If you are anything like me, you have often wondered what the best morning routine for you is. In the wild, wild west of the internet, there isn’t a shortage of opinions on this topic, either. It can be difficult to wade through all of the different approaches and figure out what is right for you.
So, in this post, you won’t find a “best morning routine ever” formula. It isn’t that those types of morning routine formula’s aren’t awesome; it’s just that they are a reflection of what works best for the person who created it. And, honestly, a lot of them are based on the ideas of what we “should” do and I’m not about that life.
Instead, I would rather empower you with tools to discover what is actually going to work for you and your current life situation.
So, without further ado, let jump in.
How to Create the Best Morning Routine for You
1. What is your intention for your morning routine?
As Simon Sinek says: Start with WHY.
He’s talking about business but I think that question really applies to every aspect of life.
Why do you want a morning routine?
What are you hoping to accomplish?
How do you want to feel as a result of your morning routine?
Is a morning routine the BEST way to create those feelings? If not, what is the best way?
The answers to these questions will tell you so much about how to create the best morning routine for YOU.
I can’t tell you how many women slogging through prescribed morning routines because they think they are “supposed to.”
The Truth is there aren’t any rules you have to follow. You have free will and choice.
So, before going onto the next steps, honestly answer those questions and decide if a morning routine is actually what you need and if it’s going to work for you.
2. Assess your mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and practical needs.
As I mentioned before, instead of using a list of “shoulds” to create your morning routine, the best morning routine for you is going to start with your specific needs. So, the first step is to assess what those needs are.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What do you need to support your emotional well-being each day?
Do you need to journal, or do some EFT Tapping, or just have some space to feel your feelings?
How do you want to feel and what do you need to do to create those feelings?
What do you need to feel mentally clear and ready for your day?
Do you feel your best when you meditate, do affirmations, or plan out your day?
What do you need to feel connected to the Divine (God, Universe, Source, Creator)?
Do you need some time for creative activities, prayer, or spending time in nature?
What does your body need first thing in the morning?
Do you need to exercise, eat or food prep, and shower?
What other physical needs do you have in the morning?
You’ll also want to consider your practical needs like caring for your children, pets, partners, or other loved ones.
Related: What To Do If You Feel Drained By Other People
3. Assess your values.
Your values are the things that are most important to you. When we live in integrity with our values, we feel happier and more satisfied with life, no matter what our external circumstances are. Your morning routine is a great opportunity to prioritize your values, otherwise, life can get in the way.
So, when you are considering what to include in your morning routine, think about what REALLY matters to you and include it.
What is MOST important to me?
When you ask that question, take a really close look at how long your list is and be really honest with yourself about what is MOST important to you.
Related: How to Define Your Personal Core Values
Once you are clear on what is MOST important to you, ask yourself this:
What, if anything, do I need to do in the morning to honor my core values? And how much time will those things take?
For example, if you have a strong value around personal growth, you may want to add some reading or “doing the work” time to your morning routine. Or if you have a strong value around connection, you may want to prioritize a conversation with your partner, children, or other loved ones.
I’ll get into this more in the next point but it’s important to build those things into your morning if they end up falling to the bottom of your list. As the saying goes, we prioritize what is important to us.
4. Determine your wake up time.
It probably seems like this should be the first step but let me explain why I put it here.
What I have noticed a lot in conversations with my students, clients, and readers is that they don’t have a solid morning routine that really nourishes them because they don’t get up early enough.
They say they don’t have enough time, that other things are more important, or they are worried it’s selfish.
But remember what I said before about your values? Often what happens is that we have conflicting values.
For example, perhaps you are a mom to young children who need to be fed, or you are caring for an elderly parent, or you have a gaggle of dogs to walk AND you want to spend some time on your personal or spiritual growth each day but you have to be out the door by a certain time for your job.
If you aren’t waking up in time to do all of those things, in most cases, your own needs are what falls to the wayside.
It’s important, to be honest with yourself about that. I’m not suggesting that the morning is the only time to take care of yourself. In fact, I believe that your practices of self-love and self-acceptance are best when integrated throughout your day. But, if you consistently put off your self-care to the end of the day and never actually get it done, that is a clue that you don’t have your priorities in order and, most likely, have some shadow work to do.
So, ask yourself:
How much time do I actually need to accomplish all of the things that I need and value in the morning?
And then, base your wake time on that.
5. Determine your bedtime.
Now, I know what you might be thinking after that last point: How am I ever going to get up that early?
Well, you may need to adjust your bedtime. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of good solid sleep each night. So, if you need seven hours of sleep and need to be up by 6, your bedtime needs to be 11.
If the time gap is a big one, it may be helpful to start slowly setting that time back.
The awesome news is that the wake time and bedtime steps will help you get CRYSTAL clear about what you say is important to you vs. what you prioritize.
And it might take some serious adjustments, an honest look at your habits, and probably even some shadow integration.
But here is what I know FOR SURE:
Living a life that is truly aligned with your heart’s desire REQUIRES some discomfort. In fact, discomfort is the KEY to heal, evolve, and grow.
You must be willing to face this very stuff if you want to live in alignment. Because, as they say, nothing changes if nothing changes.
Related: How to Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success
6. Make a list of your routine.
Once you figure out what you need to include in your morning routine and have adjusted your wake and sleep times to fit, make a list of what you want to do until you’ve built a solid habit around it.
It may also be helpful to slowly, over time, build your morning routine piece by piece by adding one habit at a time. I encourage you to be honest with yourself here (and everywhere!). Do you do best with small adjustments or big leaps? Neither way is right or wrong; it’s all a matter of what works for YOU.
Once you have your list, print it out and put it somewhere to remind you. In an effort to save paper, I actually like to put mine inside these dry erase sleeves and use a dry erase marker instead of printing it over and over again.
7. Put it into action.
This, my friends, is where the rubber meets the road. You may experience some mental resistance in the beginning but that is normal. Your brain is wired to be habitual and when you start making changes, your brain will do everything in its power to keep things the same.
So, remember that going in and, as I said before, be willing to be with that discomfort and CHOOSE what is in alignment for you, even if your mind is yammering off all of the reasons why you shouldn’t. If you’ve done your shadow work, then making that choice will be so much easier.
With these steps, my hope is that you will be able to create the best morning routine for you without relying on someone else’s ideas about what a morning routine should be. A morning routine is a powerful way to start your stay as long as it actually works for you, your needs, your values, and the practicalities of your life.