Whether or not you consider yourself a morning person, we can all agree that mornings can be hard sometimes. If you’ve ever woken up late and had to rush out the door with one shoe on after having to skip breakfast, then you know how terrible mornings can be. Luckily, there is something that can help – having a solid morning routine checklist set in place.
I have always struggled with mornings. Things definitely didn’t get easier after I spent two years working night shifts either. So after a few difficult months filled with even worse mornings, I decided to write my own morning routine checklist. Writing that checklist and sticking to it made me a healthier, happier, and more productive person.
So what should a morning routine consist of?
There are plenty of resources on morning routines. A simple google search brings up thousands of results, and there are plenty of books on the subject as well. I would like to add, there is no set morning routine that is best for everyone. Every person is different, so your morning routine will in turn be a little bit different. This checklist is by no means meant to be an unalterable prescription, just a list of ideas to serve as a jumping off point. Add to it, delete from it, and change it however you would like!
With that being said, I do have 12 rituals that will make a great impact on your day, and would be a valuable asset to your morning routine checklist. All of the topics have been grouped into three categories: ideas that are good for your body, ideas that are good for your mind, and ideas that are good for your soul. An ideal morning would be a mix of all of these elements. After each idea, there is a tip on how to make the habit easier. Making things easy is a big part of creating a lasting habit, so where you can make something easier on yourself, you should.
If you are someone who likes to write things down, please feel free to use our morning routine checklist printable to help you out. Pick and choose from the following list as you please, and create a morning routine that works for YOU!
Make your own morning routine checklist: Ideas that are good for your body
Hydrate by drinking a glass of water
We all know that water has many health benefits, including flushing out toxins and improving brain function. Staying hydrated is important, so why not start with a glass in the morning?
How to make it easier: Putting a glass of water on your nightstand before bed will make this habit much easier to remember and maintain. It is also an easy and slow way to jump into your day.
Get a workout in
No doubt, exercising is good for your body. And even your mind! One of the best things about exercise is that you have plenty of options. Try some morning yoga, going for a walk, or doing some weight lifting. You don’t need a large time or energy commitment either; just do something that you find manageable and fun.
How to make it easier: Lay your work out clothes and shoes out so that they’re ready in the morning. If you have a tendency to procrastinate work outs, taking away the friction of choosing an outfit (and therefore committing to the workout) can give you the jump start that you need.
Did you know that nearly one quarter of Americans skip breakfast every day? It’s about the same in the UK as well, at an estimated one in five that skips breakfast daily. For the meal that was long revered as “the most important meal of the day,” it sure sounds like we don’t all give it the attention that it deserves. Eating breakfast after you’ve been sleeping boosts your energy levels, increases alertness, and jump starts your metabolism.
How to make it easier: Know ahead of time what you’ll be eating for breakfast. Consider having some fast grab-and-go options in case of a breakfast emergency.
Take a Cold Shower
There are a lot of physical benefits to taking a cold shower. These benefits include waking you up, increasing circulation, reducing muscle soreness, and more. Plus, it is great for your hair and skin. This ritual is not for the feint of heart, but if you’re someone who appreciates a challenge then this one is for you.
How to make it easier: Start slow. In the beginning, start by taking a regular shower and then turning the water to a cooler temperature at the end of your shower. Stay under the stream for about 2 minutes, and gradually work your way up Building up a tolerance before completely jumping in will make building this habit much easier.
Ideas for your morning routine checklist that are good for your mind
Make your bed
Bed makers vs. non-bed makers: a seemingly endless battle. I myself have always struggled with making my bed, but bed makers make two convincing points. The first being that it automatically cleans up your room and therefore allows you to focus better, and the second being that it can be a good way to propel your productivity. Making your bed is a good and relatively simple way to start your day with a win.
How to make it easier: Don’t toss and turn in the night and you won’t need to make your bed. Just kidding! (Kind of). But in all seriousness, I find that securely tucking my covers underneath the mattress makes it a breeze to throw together in the morning.
Write out your to-do list & get the worst done first
Planning your day ahead of time makes it so that you control your day, not the other way around. Sitting down and taking the time to write your to-do list will do wonders for your productivity. Making a to-do list is a top time management strategy as well as a great way to get you ready for the day.
Another time management strategy that goes hand in hand with writing out a to-do list is getting your most important task done first. You might know this as the “Eat that Frog” strategy from Brian Tracy. Getting your most important and most dreaded task out of the way first thing will make the rest of your day seem easy!
How to make it easier: Have a designated space to write your to-do list. Keep it clean and make it an environment that you enjoy! Create a place that you look forward to using.
Bring out the journal
Right after you write your to-do list, take some time to write in your personal journal. You can write a stream of consciousness, three things that you’re grateful for, or even just recap yesterday. Write down anything, as much or as little as you want.
A journaling method that has been gaining a lot of popularity is an idea from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” called “Morning Pages.” The process itself entails writing three pages in the morning. The idea is that by getting all of your morning thoughts out on paper, you will be able to declutter your mind and move forward with more clarity. Keep in mind that this form of journaling is not meant to improve your writing or even chronicle anything, it is simply to allow you to be creative and give you a cathartic release. You can write about anything that is on your mind.
How to make it easier: If you don’t already have a journaling habit, start small. Don’t force yourself to write more than you want to. Even just a sentence a day can do the trick.
Read a book
One of my personal favorites. Just like you need to feed your body, you also need to feed your brain. And one of the best ways to feed your brain is through reading! Reading a self improvement book, or even just a fun fiction book, can put you in a better mood and possibly give you something to think on throughout the day.
How to make it easier: Leave your book next to your bed as a reminder, and so that you know right where it is.
Ideas for your morning routine checklist that are good for your soul
Did you know that meditation improves anxiety levels 60% of the time? You’ll be surprised what just a little bit of peace and mindfulness can do for your day.
How to make it easier: If you’re a beginner, pull up a guide on YouTube and meditate for a few short minutes. Increase your time as you become more comfortable.
If you haven’t already, come up with a list of personal affirmations, and then make a habit of saying them to yourself in the morning. Try looking in a mirror and saying them aloud while looking at your reflection. You already know that you’re a bad-ass, so affirm it every morning before you go about your day.
How to make it easier: Start small and simple. Something as quick and easy as saying “you are strong and independent” while you wash your face could be all it takes.
Listen to music
If you’re a big music head, or you have a specific album or artist that always seems to get you in a good mood, then add it to your morning routine checklist and do a quick jam sesh. Bonus points if you dance!
How to make it easier: Have some playlists made up beforehand. Removing the stress of not knowing what you want to listen to will make it easy and enjoyable.
No one could convince me that snuggling isn’t the best thing ever, and I will die on that hill. Try snuggling up to your significant other in the morning, or even a furry friend. Everything is better when you snuggle, I promise you that much.
How to make it easier: Is it even possible to make snuggling any easier?
There you have it, a comprehensive list of ideas to add to your morning routine checklist that are good for your body, your mind, and your soul. Remember that health and happiness are a balance, and that all of these areas should be acknowledged in the morning, and in your life.
Remember to use our free printable to organize your new morning routine! Just fill it out and hang it as a reminder of your new morning routine checklist 🙂 May the mornings be good to you.