When you want to have a healthy and happy day, it all starts with your morning routine!
There is hope though! A lot of people say it takes 21 days to implement a new habit, but I think it depends on you.
If you consistently do these steps, you’ll start to have a healthy and productive morning routine in no time!
1. Put Your Alarm Clock Out of Reach
Step one to a healthy morning routine is to pop out of bed when your alarm clock goes off! That’s probably not going to happen if you have it within arms reach.
If you are someone that normally has a bunch of alarm clocks set (hello 5:00 am, 5:10 am, 5:20 am, etc.) or hits snooze a thousand times each morning, then this step is going to be the hardest.
This is when you need to be really honest with yourself. If you have the alarm within reach, can you really trust yourself to not hit snooze?
If you shrugged and answered, “maybe…?”, then it’s time to keep your phone (or alarm if it isn’t on your phone) AWAY from your bed!
Hitting snooze over and over again is actually making you more tired, my friend. There’re plenty of studies out there showing hitting snooze is doing you more harm than good!
Our bodies goes through sleep cycles and as you snooze for another ten minutes of sleep, your body starts to go back in to the early stages of a cycle then gets rips out when your alarm goes off again.
If you’re still not ready to ditch the snooze button for good, then check out this article from The New Yorker magazine!
2. Drink a Glass of Water
Staying hydrated is absolutely essential to not only your health but your mind, too! Keeping hydrated helps with digestion, clearing your skin, your focus and probably a thousand other reasons.
Now that you are convinced of drinking more water, add a glass right when you wake up. Drinking a glass on an empty stomach jump starts your metabolism. So, if you’re on a weight loss journey, then this step is important for you!
3. Morning Journal
Set your daily intentions
After you get up and grab your glass of water, take a few minutes to sit and think about your day. This is a perfect time to take a journal, or even the notes section on your phone, and jot a few things down.
For me, I take this time to reflect on the previous night and my day ahead. I’ll first write down what time I wanted to go to bed versus what time I actually DID go to bed! I do this because it’s an easy way for me to see my habits. If I go through a day and I feel groggy and barely awake, I go back and see what I ate that day and when I went to bed.
I’m typically good about not eating anything that isn’t lean or gives me energy. I’ve been journaling my food for a while and have a good grasp on what my eating habits look like.
Usually, the reason for my grogginess is from lack of sleep, not from food. I can check the notes I made and commit to myself to go to bed a little earlier that night!
When I sit to journal for the day, I also think about what my intentions for the day are. I truly believe we can decide how our day goes by setting our intention in the morning.
Now I know, sometimes bad things happen in life that can affect the day. But it’s when these happen that you need to be able to come back to your intention and reset the course for the day.
What do I mean by that?
Setting an intention could be setting your mood for the day, or being able to allow yourself forgiveness when you don’t do something perfectly. It could even be you repeating a few words to yourself that you know you’ll need in the day. Sometimes my intentions for the day are words like calm, energy, or patience.
I would recommend keeping your intentions for the day short and positive. Here are a few intentions I’ve set for myself, based on what I really needed in my life then:
I intend to keep my thoughts about myself positive (no negative self-talk!).
I intend to patient with every person I talk to today. (You never know what their day looks like; maybe they really need someone to be nice to them!)
I intend to truly listen to people and think about what they say before I respond (somedays, I need to remind myself!)
I intend to take a deep breath when something goes wrong before I react to it.
These may change for your needs, but you get the picture! I think a good idea would be to actually write (or type) them, not just say these in your head.
Being able to actually SEE your intentions are important. This will help them manifest and you’ll be more likely to keep your them!
Review what you’re grateful for
If you have a gratitude journal, then make sure to either fill it in the morning. Or you can review what you wrote from the night before.
Practicing gratitude is such a POWERFUL way to start your day. It’s so easy for us to wish we had more in our life, but we forget about all the things we already DO have!
I go in-depth about gratitude and how to practice it in Episode 15 of my podcast, so check that out if you need help getting started!
Write out your 1/3/5 to-do list
Most adults today have crazy hectic schedules and the seemingly never ending list of things to do, so having a good system for the to-do list is important.
One of my favorite ways to organize what I need to do in a day is the 1/3/5 technique. With only having 24 hours in a day, we need to be able to prioritize to keep ourselves on track. This technique does that really well!
It’s such an simple idea! Just simply write these out:
- 1 Big thing to do.
- 3 Medium things to do
- 5 Little things to do.
I like this method for a few reasons: it helps you prioritize what your biggest task is (a.k.a. the one that takes the most time) and ranks it at the top, and because this is an organized and not overwhelming list.
If you start with your biggest task on the to-do list, you’re bound to feel more productive by the end of the day! You’re one big thing is probably the one task you’re looking the least forward to doing, so knocking it off your list first will help you stay on track!
After getting the first, most time consuming task off your list, the rest of the day will start to look easier! The tasks you have left will seem less daunting since the most time consuming one is done and over with!
4. Get a Morning Exercise In
Realistically, it may be hard to get a workout in every single morning, but I would try for at least a few times a week.
There’s a lot of good side effects of working out in the morning. For me, I’m less likely to reach for sugary or unnecessary snacks because working out in the morning put me in a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.
Also it may help lower your chances for diabetes. Check out this study from the National Institute of Health to read more.
Even if you can do a quick 30 minute weight lifting session or take a run around your neighborhood, your body will thank you!
5. Eat Your Breakfast
Like your mom probably says, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” I think she’s right!
Breakfast is so important to your diet, but is easily the most neglected meal! There are so many people who skip breakfast thinking this will help them loose weight, or there are those who skip it because they don’t think they have enough time.
While there isn’t a ton of exact science around wether skipping breakfast is bad for you, there IS science around how your metabolism is faster in the morning. So having a meal in the morning is more beneficial than skipping any other meal.
For more science and info about breakfast, check out this article from Rush University Medical Center.
If you’re struggling with breakfast because of the lack of time, then meal prep when you can. I like to make overnight oats with some protein powder or bake some lean muffins with almond meal and protein powder. If you prep a few meals in advance, you’ll be thanking yourself when you’re running late!
I mentioned a few breakfast ideas with protein on purpose! You should be having protein at least 3 times a day and breakfast is the perfect place to start!
Easy, lean and protein packed breakfasts can be scrambled egg whites with veggies, or a smoothie with protein powder. For more info on how much protein you need and the different types check out my post about it here.
6. Clean Your Dishes
This may seem a little random compared to the other things to do in the morning, but I write it for good reason!
Often, when I get home and see a bunch of dishes that need to be done before I can cook dinner, I give up and either order something or eat a bunch of snacks. The idea of creating more dishes for me to do later is usually worse than me having unhealthy snacks.
Even if you seem tired in the morning, you’ll probably come home even more tired. Knocking out your dreaded dishes in the morning will make you more likely to cook yourself a lean, clean meal for dinner!
Last, but definitely not least, meditate even for a few minutes before you leave for the day. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting in a cross-leg position for half an hour. This could be a less than ten minute session where you are just aware of your breathing.
If this is your first time attempting to meditate, don’t be concerned if you have thoughts floating in. The point of meditation is simply to be aware of the thoughts you have and purposefully bring your attention to your breathing.
This may be a good time to close your eyes and reflect on the intentions you set for earlier in the day!