If you’ve never had a morning routine and always wanted one, then this is for you! I’m going to teach you how to create a morning routine from scratch, and I hope you have as much fun with your mornings as I do!
There are five elements to a great morning routine, and we will dive into each one.
But first, let’s kick some myths out of the way.
Morning routine myths you should ignore
Your morning routine isn’t good enough if it doesn’t start at 4 am.
If you don’t need to get up at 4 am, don’t get up at 4 am. Rest is good, getting up is also good. The main point here is that you shouldn’t compare your morning routine to anyone else’s! You do what is best for you.
A morning routine has to feel like work in order to be a true morning routine.
I don’t know where this one came from, but we work a LOT during our days. It’s more important for your morning routine to lift you up, to invigorate you, than it is for your morning routine to feel like work.
If you don’t get up when you said you would, your morning routine is shot and you might as well not try.
This single thought stopped me for years. If this is where you are, you’re not alone.
Actually getting up may be the hardest part of a morning routine. But the way we are going to create it will allow you to follow through on your routine no matter what. So keep reading!
If you can’t do it all, don’t do any of it.
Googling “morning routine ideas” can overwhelm us with all the possibilities of what we could do with our morning hours. Many of them seem like fantastic things to do.
You can’t do it all. I can’t do it all. But we can choose what is important to us and go from there. So let’s get started learning how to create a great morning routine!
Creating a personal morning routine
It all comes down to this:
If it’s not yours, you won’t do it.
We are stubborn people, even if you’re not an Enneagram 8 like me. You likely won’t want to do what someone else tells you to.
Or, you’ll compare yourself to others, try to do exactly what they do, and then get frustrated when it doesn’t work out the same way.
Neither of those things are going to help you build a routine that works for YOU.
What does this look like practically?
Follow this process to determine the “when” of your morning routine:
- When do you need to be available to others (family, work, etc)?
- How much time do you want for yourself?
- Create margin for personal hygiene/necessary morning things.
- Then, determine when you will wake up
It sounds cliche, but…you do you! Do you need music or silence? Would you prefer to be outside or inside? Is there a specific spot that is centering and focusing for you?
Take some time thinking about the “where” of your morning routine. I used to do mine in a cute little recliner chair but I’m sitting at a desk now, testing out whether that would be better for me.
What inspires and invigorates you? Choose activities (the “what”) that make you feel prepared for the day and that make you feel like you’ve had valuable time to do what matters to you.
If you need ideas on things to do in your morning routine, check out my free resource 10 ideas to spice up your morning routine.
Creating a practical morning routine
Complexity for the sake of looking tougher or having a “better” morning routine than someone else is just silly.
Let’s simplify and make everything more practical. There are many things you CAN do in your morning routine but only some of them are reasonable.
Adding complexity off the bat is a good way to overwhelm yourself so that you give up all together. But the good news is that you can always add and adjust later!
So what does this look like?
Decide ahead of time the what, where, and when so that you’re not wasting time in the morning and expending your decision making energy.
Maybe this even looks like setting out your tools in the evening, setting the coffee machine on a timer, and making sure all the blankets are in the right place on the couch.
Speaking of tools…
I see this especially in journals. You want to journal, but you set is up so you’re doing gratitude, affirmations, health, and spiritual journaling all in the same time.
Or you’ve got the fancy notebook and the twelve-million colored pens or books.
Simplify. Pick one thing. Start small. Grow and add over time.
Use what you already have and get started now.
Choose something repeatable and simple. For example – sit down, read 5 pages, write down a few thoughts on what you read, and then spend five more minutes praying.
Again – you can always add more later! A great morning routine is the one that works for you now. When your life or schedule changes, you can change your routine.
Creating a fun morning routine
Question for you: why are you doing something that makes you miserable? Whether it’s frustrating because of when (4 am is not human wakefulness hour) or the what, having a morning routine that isn’t at least a little fun is a good way to make yourself quit before you really start.
While fun isn’t the most important thing, it’s a huge motivator! Doing something fun in the morning will give you more energy and make it more likely that you’ll stay consistent.
Create your own morning mood
What you do should be fun. Consider a small dance session, or a mug that makes you smile.
How you think should be energized as well! Maybe you read a page from a book that makes you smile, or jot a note to someone using fun pens/stationary.
Pursue the joy
Don’t be afraid to evaluate your routine, especially your “what” and your “when” and make changes so that you enjoy it more.
Let’s remind ourselves: We are allowed to have fun in the morning!
Creating an adjustable morning routine
Now that we’ve bolstered ourselves chatting about fun, it’s time to face the not-fun: when things don’t go according to plan. What’s the use of learning to create a great morning routine if you can’t keep up with it?
This happens more often than we would like. So instead of feeling frustrated when we don’t wake up on time, or when we are travelling and our usual place isn’t available, or when the unexpected happens…let’s create a routine that is adjustable on the front end.
Even the smallest piece of structure will set your day up right. If part of the structure of your entire routine is being able to bite off a small chunk and still be uplifted and invigorated for our day, then our morning routine has accomplished its purpose.
Consistency isn’t about what you do. It’s the fact that you show up as often as you can and do as much as you can.
To learn more about consistency, see this blog post about how to be more consistent with your routines.
Consistency is intimately tied to progress, and they both have one thing in common: they are not perfection.
Repeat after me: I will never have a perfect morning.
Why? We are human and life is life.
What we can do is become more consistent and make consistency as easy to achieve as possible. How?
Determining the cornerstone of your morning routine
Your cornerstone is the one thing you will do when you can’t do anything else. Choose the thing that centers and grounds you.
The best reason to have a cornerstone is that it helps you erase the guilt of “not doing your morning routine” because you DID the most important part.
It also gives you flexibility for those days when you only have a few minutes of time for yourself.
And it enables you to continue moving forward without frustration because you have planned this adjustment into your routine.
Creating a purposeful morning routine
Here’s the bottom line: if you don’t know or care WHY you’re building and keeping up with your morning routine, you won’t keep it up.
Each person’s reason can be different – it’s YOUR routine! But you need to know why you’re doing it.
What does your morning routine mean to you? A great morning routine is one that means something specific to YOU.
How does your morning routine help you become the person you want to become?
Evaluate the routine you’ve already created using these questions. Adjust as necessary to create a great morning routine that works for you!
So now what?
Now that you’ve learned how to create a great morning routine, take some time to work through these steps and build it for yourself!
To get accountability and encouragement with your morning routine, join the Courage Community. You’ll get weekly training, monthly goal setting workshops, and other women pursuing God and goals!
And come chat with me on social if you have any questions about routines – I love chatting about them and helping you build them!
Remember that whatever you do, do it for God’s glory and for your growth.