Mornings have never been my favorite part of the day.
In fact, for a long time I fully classed myself as “NOT a morning person”.
The alarm dragging you out of sleep, your brain bombarding you with everything you have to get done that day and the knowledge that you have to be out the house by a certain time but already feeling stressed BECAUSE WHAT, HOW IS ALREADY HALF PAST SEVEN!!!
Yep, mornings have never been what I would call enjoyable.
But there is a trend at the moment for morning routines.
All the most successful people have one, waking up at 5 am and doing yoga while meditating. That sort of thing.
So I want to know if they can really help. Can they really make you feel relaxed, ready to take on the day but still out the door on time?
And do you really have to meditate and do yoga…
*Spoiler alert* they can, you don’t and in this post I’m going to be diving into all the dets and giving you your very own morning routine checklist!
Grab Your FREE Morning Routine Checklist
Too busy to read the full post now? Or maybe you have a bit of a TLDR syndrome…
Don’t worry because I’ve got you sorted! Just grab your free printable morning routine checklist and you will get all the important information on exactly what to do in your morning to set yourself up for the day.
You’ll be more productive, more chilled AND ready to take on the day like some top-notch CEO.
Then just click the button below to grab your FREE morning routine checklist for adults!
Why do we need a morning routine?
Right now, if you’re anything like me your mornings can be a bit of a shambles.
Stressful and chaotic. You dread the moment the alarm rings and are feeling completely flustered before you’ve even started work for the day.
My morning routine is currently non-existent (which I’m slightly embarrassed to say, considering how obsessed I am with a night routine for productivity or a nightly routine to keep your mental health in tip-top shape.)
So why should you or I start a morning routine?
What is the importance of a morning routine?
It’s all about having a routine that you do every single day. Your body and brain loves them!
It makes them feel safe and happy, which in turn makes you wayyyy more productive and relaxed, thus able to take on the day easily.
If we’re in a safe environment we’re able to complete our routines no problem. Whereas if we are in a dangerous environment we human beings stop our normal routines in order to focus on the more pressing matter of staying alive.
Which makes sense, no point in doing the dishes if someone is pointing a gun at you.
Err unless they’re pointing a gun at you to do the dishes, in which case it makes perfect sense.
Anyway, I digress…
So naturally, if our brain notices we are running from task to task haphazardly it will think we’re in a dangerous environment and flip the switch on our fight or flight response.
Low and behold we become even more stressed because our brain and body are sending signals to each other that we are in danger and might get eaten, or whatever prehistoric threat we use to have to deal with!
Not a good mood to arrive at work in or to try and get the kids to school in…
But doing a morning routine would solve that because your body and brain will know your environment is perfectly safe because here you are doing the same thing you do every morning.
And no it’s not boring. Well unless you like starting each day with the same levels of stress hormones coursing around your body as you would if a tiger had been trying to eat you for breakfast.
Nope, a morning routine means you turn up for the day looking like one of those calm, perfectly put together people who actually contribute to the 9 am Monday meeting and whose kids don’t have jam in their hair when they go to school.
Plus these people are happy, in the morning, without coffee, even on a Monday.
I know we love to hate them, but a morning routine promises to put that same content smile on our faces and I don’t know about you but I’m a-okay with that!
Why do we need a morning routine checklist?
So I’ve convinced you on the whole morning routine thing, but in order to really make it work you need a morning routine checklist.
Because a checklist stops us having to make decisions.
I’ve spoken about decision fatigue before but it really is a productivity killer and a stress producer.
So what is decision fatigue?
Ever come home from a busy day at work and not been able to decide what to have for dinner?
We’ve all been there. But that inability to make a decision isn’t because you’re tired (although that doesn’t help), it’s because you’ve got decision fatigue.
Decision fatigue is your willpower killer.
It stops you from making the big important decisions in life, as well as silly little ones like what to have for dinner and whether you should put the laundry away now or tomorrow.
It stops you from deciding to exercise rather than watch TV because it defaults you to the easiest possible course of action (as your body and brain are always trying to be as efficient as possible) or an ingrained habit.
So the laundry gets put off until tomorrow because that will conserve energy now and you will watch TV rather than exercising because your ingrained habit is to come home from work and plonk yourself on the sofa.
Decision fatigue is something successful people are hyper-aware of. For example, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg wear pretty much the same outfit every day to combat decision fatigue.
Barack Obama wears a grey or navy suit, while Mark Zuckerberg wears a grey t-shirt and jeans each day. This choice cuts out having to decide what they will wear, reducing decision fatigue and allowing them more space in their day to make other, higher priority decisions.
So going back to our morning routine…
Without a checklist you have to consciously decide to do your morning routine actions, thus using up a significant number of your decisions for the day.
Whereas a morning routine checklist literally automates that process for you so all you have to make is one decision, to follow the checklist each morning.
And when these checklists are done well there shouldn’t be a single thing left undone and you should end your getting up period feeling even more refreshed than when you woke up!
Grab Your FREE Morning Routine Checklist
Now you know how important a morning routine checklist is, if you don’t want to have to make your own you grab one for FREE right here!
Then just click the button below to grab your FREE morning routine checklist for adults PDF!
Examples of morning routines of successful people
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what your morning routine should look like I thought it would help to get some inspiration.
I mean looking at what successful people do in the morning should give us the best morning routine examples, right?
So I picked three unarguably successful people whose morning routines seemed to be widely available. Now these aren’t perfect and I’m sure they change up their morning routines but it at least gives us an idea of the sorts of things these successful people do!
- Wakes up and practices gratitude for being alive
- Brushes her teeth
- Cares for her dogs
- Has some chai tea
- Works out
- Meditates for 20 minutes (either sitting or walking)
- Eats breakfast
- Personal business and admin
- Wake up naturally, no alarm
- Makes his bed
- Meditates for 20 minutes
- Has some strong tea
- Journals for 10 minutes
- Eats breakfast
- Works out
- Wakes up and takes an “adrenal support cocktail” (basically a fancy health shake)
- Eats breakfast
- Meditates for 10 minutes (which he calls priming)
- Works out
So looking over these I’m shocked how not crazy they seem. Sure, we might not be able to fit all that in before we start our working day but a lot of it’s quite normal stuff; make the bed, have some tea, breakfast, work out, etc…
However, we want our morning routines to be inclusive of *everything* we have to get done and want to do, so while none of these routines say stuff like shower, I’m sure Oprah, Tim and Tony all do and so we want to make sure we include stuff like that on our morning routine checklist.
One thing that is worth noting is how they all meditate. I will be honest with you, I’ve resisted meditation for a long time but maybe it’s worth giving it a go!
Creating your own morning routine checklist
Now, the part you’ve been waiting for!
It’s time to create your very own morning routine checklist!
To help you out I’ve created a FREE morning routine checklist printable for you to grab, so just click the button below to get your copy.
It will make this step so much easier!
Step One – Plan your morning the night before
Whether we like it or not, a great morning routine just won’t happen without a little bit of prep the night before.
This can include things like planning your day (for the next day), laying out the clothes you want to wear tomorrow (cutting down on those decisions you have to make), tidying the house and anything that will make the next morning run smoother for you.
I actually think an evening routine is much more important than a morning routine, or at least that you should implement an evening routine first. Because if you wake up to the house being a tip, no clean washing and no idea what you need to get done that day then the morning routine just has no chance…
So if you don’t yet have any idea on your nighttime routine check out one of these two posts (whichever is the most applicable to you) to help you get your nightly routine down:
- My Nightly Routine [The Secret to TRIPLING my Productivity]
- The BEST Evening Routine to Help Depression [It worked for me!!!]
Step Two – List out everything you have to get done
The second step in creating your morning routine, after sorting your night routine, is to list out everything you have to get done.
Literally, list every little thing down from brushing your teeth, making the bed to feeding the cats.
No matter how small, if you need to do it then write it down on your “Morning Must-Dos Braindump” sheet.
And don’t forget to add it how long it takes you, we need to make sure we can actually fit everything in before you need to start your day.
This might look like a crazy long list but don’t worry, remember lots of the tasks are super short!
Step Three – Now list out everything you want to do
The third step is all about making your mornings a delight, so start listing out things that would improve your mornings on your “Morning Would-Likes Braindump” sheet.
Again, don’t forget to list how much time you plan to spend on that activity.
Of course, be realistic, we don’t want to go from zero morning routine to one where you’re running a marathon before breakfast.
But maybe you want to give meditation a try seeing as all the successful people seem to do it. Or you want to fit in a morning workout.
Add in a few things that you think would enhance your morning and set you up for the day. And remember these aren’t set in stone, if after a month, you’ve realized meditation is not for you then you can just swap it out for something else!
If you’re struggling for ideas I’ve listed a few nice want to-dos below that often feature in morning routines:
- Sit with a large mug of your favorite tea or coffee
- Practice gratitude
- Go for a walk
- Do some yoga
- Have a cold shower (yep, some people love this)
- Eat a good breakie (if breakfast is your thing)
- Go over your day’s schedule
- Do affirmations
- Review your goals
- Review your budget
Step Four – Combine your two lists into one morning routine checklist
Okay, now you have your two lists filled out on your “Morning Must-Dos Braindump” and “Morning Would-Likes Braindump” sheets, it’s time to turn these into an actual morning routine checklist!
First, add up how much time it would take you to do everything and see if you actually have that much time in the mornings.
If there is too much to fit in then there is really only three options…
Can you wake up earlier? But still make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.
Are there any items that can be removed, reduced or delegated? Maybe you can’t meditate for an hour, but ten minutes could still have a big impact on your day. Perhaps your partner could make the kids breakfast.
Can you combine any items? Like practicing gratitude while you’re eating breakfast, sipping your favorite tea!
Now fill in your “Morning Routine Checklist” sheet
At this point you can just take the items from each “Morning Must-Dos Braindump” and “Morning Would-Likes Braindump” sheet and combine them onto your “Morning Routine Checklist”.
And tada!!! You now have created your very own morning routine checklist!!!
You might want to put in the times of each action on the column on the left, so you stay easily on schedule during your morning routine, but this step is optional.
Now all there is to do is try out your new routine!
It’s highly likely that your first routine won’t be perfect and that you’ll want to make some tweaks to it.
I would recommend you do a routine for at least two weeks or ideally a month before you change it up though as this will give you enough time to see if any of those actions are actually benefiting you.
Did You Grab Your FREE Morning Routine Checklist Printables?
If not now is your time!
Just click the button below to get your hand on all the sheets I spoke about in this post – everything you need to create your own, perfect and personalized morning routine checklist!
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