34 Daily Morning Routine Habits for an Amazing Start to Your Day
Many people have trouble with their habits because they don’t follow a morning routine “system” for sticking to them.
It’s easy to forget about a new routine when your day is full of dozens of tasks and personal obligations.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem.
If you follow a “morning routine” every day, you’ll create a short ritual (under 30 minutes) where you can complete a number of small habits that can improve your life.
The trick here is knowing which habits to include in your morning routine.
In this post, we’ll go over 34 ideas that take under ten minutes apiece.
Let’s get to it.
The Importance of a Morning Routine
Before we jump into the habits, let's take a moment and talk about the benefits of a morning routine. For starters, people are the most productive when they wake up, and setting up a routine ensures that they maintain that level of productivity for longer periods of time.
Following a system when you first wake up, means you’ll have more time to reflect in a quiet atmosphere (less hustle and bustle) and it gives you the opportunity to be organized for the rest of the day. More importantly, this daily habit helps you create energy and the right “mindset” to tackle the challenges of a busy day.
Waking up early is a success habit that nearly all leaders follow, notes Sujan Patel in his blog post on the routines of fortune 500 leaders. Noting how early many high powered leaders start their work days.
The good news?
Everything in the following list can be accomplished in as little as five minutes. A morning routine does not necessarily mean you need to be up at 4:00 am. It only means you need to set aside a little bit of extra time every day.
These quick routines mean you can stack one habit on top of another and complete a lot of important things in a single block of 30 minutes.
Simply look at the following list and choose the habits that make the most sense for your lifestyle.
1. Schedule Your Day
Without a schedule, it’s frighteningly easy to get to the end of the day and realize you’ve achieved nothing of importance. At the very least, you should make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish during the day and decide where your priorities lie.
Make a list of the tasks you want to complete by the end of the day. Try to be realistic about your efficiency instead of creating a lengthy list of tasks that will be impossible to complete.
Use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to rate the importance of each task: 1 (important and urgent), 2 (important, but not urgent), 3 (not important, but urgent), or 4 (not important, not urgent).
2. Chunk Down a Project (or Task) into Manageable Steps
Sometimes a project is so overwhelming that you simply don’t know where to get started. But if you set aside time during a stack to create a step-by-step plan, you can improve your productivity because you’ll know where to get started.
For each of your major projects, take a few minutes to chunk it down into simple-to-complete steps. By breaking a task into specific actions, you’ll have a better understanding of what needs to be done and how to schedule the work into your day.
3. Research One “Side Hustle”
A side hustle is another way to describe a part-time activity that could turn into a full-time income. But there are too many choices out there, which makes it hard to pick one and stick with it.
To research a side hustle, the best starting points are Nick Loper’s Side Hustle Nation and his book Buy Buttons. Both provide a great overview of the different income-generating opportunities and what you need to do to create a similar business.
Ask yourself a few key questions like:
- Do I have time to work on this side hustle?
- What equipment is required to get started?
- How much money do I need to invest in it?
- Does the type of business match my personality?
- Can this business scale into a full-time income?
4. Make One Business Connection
You’ve probably heard the expression, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” Well, it’s true for every area of life, but this is especially true when it comes to your career.
There are many ways to improve your business network. Here are five resources you can use to get started:
1. LinkedIn: The best social media site for making business connections and profiling your skills, knowledge, and areas of expertise.
2. Beyond: Another social media site for professionals, with over 50 million registered members.
3. Meetup: The preferred site for finding specific groups in the area and connecting with people who are interested in your career field.
4. Facebook Groups: One of the best resources for finding people who share a mutual interest. There are millions of groups here, so it’s not hard to find a few that specialize in your industry.
5. Google Plus: While use of Google’s social site has diminished, it’s still embraced by folks in the business and technology fields. So if have a job like that, then this is a great place to look.
5. Review Your Goals
Everybody has goals. Whether they are big or small, we all have things that we want to accomplish. Sadly, the daily hustle and bustle of life can make us get off track.
You need to review your goals so that you can:
- Create plans to reach those goals
- Put your day in perspective
- Know what’s important to accomplish
You can set goals for the day or the year, but you can't just aimlessly wander around on a day-to-day basis. Make sure you use every minute for what it's worth and accomplish what you set out for.
Read more about Goal-Setting: How to Set Clear and Goals you can Achieve
6. Track Your Expenses (from the Day Before)
Get started by keeping all the receipts, credit card statements, and notes (in an emergency) for each expenditure. Then, at the end of the day, jot down a description of the purchase and the amount. (This should be a daily habit because it’s easy to forgot those small purchases that you make throughout the day.)
From there, input this information into one of the following tools:
- A notebook (yes, this is a low-tech approach, but some folks like having a string of notebooks that they can use to maintain their records).
- A spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel.
- A Cloud-based software program and app like Mint.
7. Review Your Budget
There are two budgeting habits that you can build. The first is the daily checkup that neatly fits into any regular stack. Here, you’ll look at your budget as a reminder of what you’re allowed to spend for each category.
The second habit is the weekly budget review. This thirty-minute routine is important because it gives you a complete picture of where you’re spending your money and if you’re sticking to the plan.
During this weekly analysis, look at each category and ask questions like:
“Are my expenditures under what I’ve allotted for that category?”
"Should I increase or decrease the cap for a particular category?”
“Is there a type of spending that I can completely eliminate?”
“Why did I purchase each item? Is it because it’s a need or a want?”
“Are there substitute habits or purchases that can minimize what I’m spending?”
“Can I find any additional ‘financial holes’ that can be plugged?”
“Is my money being spent on the things that truly matter to me?”
“What was the last item I regretted purchasing?”
“What’s holding me back from taking action?”
“How would my budget look without debt payments?”
“What’s my true hourly wage?”
“What can I do to increase my income?”
“If I died today, would my family be okay?”
“Am I setting a good example for my children?”
“Where do I want to be financially one year from now?”
“Do I have enough of an emergency fund?”
“How much am I spending (and saving) each month?”
8. Conserve Your Utilities
Turning off the lights and appliances in your home, office, or apartment can save you a significant amount of money when it comes to your monthly utilities. Not only is it simple to do, but it also helps the environment.
To supercharge your efforts, you can add a series of tiny actions into your daily routine:
- Turn off lights whenever you leave a room.
- Power down electronics when they’re not being used. (Many electronics will often go into “standby” mode that still uses some electricity.)
- Open windows and use fans for cooling in the summertime, saving the air conditioning for those oppressively hot days.
- Open the blinds and shades in the winter, which lets the sun shine in and warms your home without expending additional energy.
- Match your pot size to the proper sized burner. Using a small pot or pan on a larger electric coil means you expend more energy to get the same result.
- Use cold water to do loads of laundry. The results are nearly as good, but it costs about 40 cents less per load of laundry than washing clothes with hot water.
- Turn off the water heater if you are going to leave your home for a few days. It takes an hour to get a water heater to reheat the water and saves quite a bit of energy over the days you are gone.
9. Pack a Meal, Snack, and Coffee
Preparing and packing the food items you consume every day is both a healthy choice and a wise financial decision. Author David Bach often talks about what he calls The Latte Factor, where a simple way to save money is to eliminate those small, recurring purchases that add up to a substantial amount of cash. You can put his advice into action by preparing your, coffee (or tea), and a snack before leaving your home in the morning.
Check your kitchen for what you could bring as a snack or for lunch. Place it with your purse or car keys so you don’t forget it when you leave. Or make coffee at home and use a travel mug to take it with you.
10. Read a Personal Finance Article
You can never be overeducated, especially when it comes to personal finance. In fact, I recommend building a self-education habit where you read books, listen to podcasts, and scan personal finance articles. If you don’t have time for these activities, then I’d recommend checking out at least one personal finance article a day.
Here are a few personal finance websites that I’d recommend checking out:
If you want a simple way to scan these websites, then you can sign up for a free Feedly account, add these sites to your feed, and look through it during a regular stack.
11. Weigh Yourself Every Day
I know, this isn't something that you want to hear. But, weighing yourself on a regular basis can help you establish clear health and fitness goals. Also, it's important to know that your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis, so you don't have to be bummed if your weight goes up for a day or two. Finally, be sure you weigh yourself at the same time for the most accurate results.
12. Practice Rebounding
Rebounding is a trendy new exercise routine that is changing how people start their day. You need a small trampoline (here’s one that I have personally used).
There are numerous benefits to rebounding:
- Cleared sinuses
- Toned muscles
- Stronger lymphatic system
- Increased creativity
One of the best things about rebounding is that it doesn't take up a lot of space. Whether you live in an apartment or a home of your own, you can start rebounding right away.
Learn more about rebounding here:
Rebounding: My Exercise of Choice For The New Year
13. Have a Glass of Cold Water with Lemon
Start your day by drinking a 16 ounce glass of lemon water. (Make sure your drinking water is clean and safe by using a quality water filter pitcher). We’re not talking about putting in a whole lemon and juicing it. Instead it’s better to do just a few drops.
This habit helps you:
- Wake up faster
- Freshen your breath
- Get large amounts of vitamins
- Reduce the feeling of hunger
- Aid your digestive system
This is a lot easier to do than it seems, and it's a great way to start your day. All you need to do is pour some water into a glass and add a couple drops of lemon juice. Easy, right?
Learn more about lemon water benefits: 10 Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon Water In The Morning
14. Take Daily Vitamins
Daily vitamins are a must for anyone, and you'll feel better about your day if you take them on a consistent basis.
Vitamins are essential because they:
- Help build a stronger immune system
- Increase awareness
- Ensures your body gets essential nutrients
- Build stronger bone
Vitamins can give your body the boost it needs to get started and help your mind stay focused throughout the day. Be sure to read the directions on specific vitamins so that you are taking them properly.
Learn more about the benefits of taking vitamins daily: Potential Benefits of Multivitamins
15. Maintain a Food Journal
This is another aspect of your morning that you probably don't want to do, but need to do if you want to lose weight. Maintaining a food journal helps you see exactly what you’re putting into your body and how much you’re eating. You'd be surprised at just how much you consume in a given day.
Food journals are effective because they:
- Make you responsible for what you eat
- Give you a physical representation of your daily habits
- Encourage you to avoid little "snacks"
- Help you meet your health goals
- Food journals might seem like a negative thing at first, but you'll soon be able to take pride in recording what you eat.
Check out this site to learn more about food journals: The Benefits of Keeping a Food Journal
16. Use the Coach.me App
The Coach.me app is a great tool for maintaining and sticking to new habits. It's like having a coach in your pocket, for better and worse. You'll be held accountable for your activities and goals through Lift.do.
This app will help you:
- Visualize your progress
- Receive step-by-step coaching (on specific habits or goals)
- Develop winning habits
- Get encouragement from friends and strangers
Did I mention that Coach.me is free? It's supported on both Apple's Store and the Android store, so be sure to download it now and get back on track!
Feel free to add me if you decide to use this tool. Read more on the Coach.me blog.
17. Let the Natural Light In
Remember when your parents would come into your room and open the blinds? While it may not be fun to wake up to, natural light does help you get started on the right foot.
Natural light has a number of different advantages, including:
- Aiding in mood and perception
- Enabling the performance of tasks
- Controlling the body's Circadian system
This tip is only helpful if the sun is up, but it's an essential one that you should turn into a regular habit. At the very least, it helps you lower your bills because you're not using as much light during the day.
Learn more about the benefit of natural light here: Benefits of Natural Light
18. Make an Antioxidant Smoothie
If you need a quick pick-me-up, you should try making an antioxidant smoothie. They help you get the necessary nutrients and vitamins in a simple and tasty form.
My personal favorite consists of:
- 1 cup of frozen berry mix (usually containing strawberries, cherries, pomegranate, raspberries, and blueberries)
- 4 ounces of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 2 tbsp of milled flax
Just blend all of the ingredients together until they are smooth and take your smoothie on the go. Make it as thick or smooth as you want by adding or subtracting water. It tastes great and will satisfy even the pickiest in the family.
Here are 20 more great healthy smoothie recipes you can try!
19. Eat Other Nutritious Foods
Of course, you can't just live off of smoothies for the rest of your life. There are plenty of other foods that you can have for breakfast that are really beneficial to your performance.
Some suggestions that I recommend are:
- Having a small bowl of berries
- Eating a breakfast bar
- Sprinkling granola or nuts on yogurt
- Putting an egg on a high-fiber English muffin
All of these options are healthy for you and you can mix things up to your liking. Never stick with the same thing because your body can get used to it. It pays to try new things!
20. Have a Mint
Mints can do more than just freshen your breath. You can suck on an Altoid, chew some strong mint-flavored gum, brush your teeth with mint toothpaste, or dab some peppermint essential oil under your nostrils if you want; the choice is up to you.
The reason you want to do something with mint is because it:
- Increases mental alertness
- Is a natural stimulant
- Helps with memory loss
- Mint can be used in a number of different ways, and how you choose to use it will change what it does. It can be ingested (when directed) or applied to the skin for other benefits.
Here's a great list of all the things mint can do for you: Health Benefits of Mint
21. Wear a Step-Tracking Device
Wearing a step-tracking device can have an amazing impact on your physical fitness. If you’re not familiar with them, step trackers are small devices or watches that track your total steps and floors climbed every day.
At first glance, “putting on a step-tracking device” might seem like an inconsequential habit. But there are a surprising number of people who buy these devices and never wear them. If you start each day by clipping on this device, you’ll take that crucial first step to building the exercise habit. And when you constantly wear this device, you’ll find reasons to get more movement throughout the day.
If you don’t have a step tracker, then feel free to check out the exhaustive review that I posted on my website, which compares the pricing and features of the popular pedometers.
22. Complete a 7-Minute Workout
A great way to start or end your day is to use an app like 7 Minute Workout, which acts like a personal trainer that guides you through a 12-exercise total-body workout.
Just fire up the app and complete the recommend exercises. (You might have to buy a few pieces of equipment ahead of time to get the real value from this app.)
Also, you should consider upgrading to their “All the Things” level, which gives you a few different program options:
If you alternate between these options with each stack, you’ll get a decent amount of exercise that’s better than what most people do during their day.
23. Practice Self-Education
In my book Novice to Expert, I talk about a lot of ways to efficiently learn new skills. Two of the strategies that I discuss are to schedule time for deliberate practice and to research what you need to learn. Odds are, five minutes isn’t enough time for deliberate practice—but it’s perfectly adequate for researching one skill-related topic or a challenge that you’re currently facing.
Practicing self-education is a perfect task for those longer breaks during the day, like on a drive, at lunchtime, or in the evening. This is the time when you can listen to podcasts, scan through blogs, or read books that focus on one specific, interest-related challenge.
24. Watch an Inspiring Video
Motivation is fleeting. You might feel excited one moment but then experience a crash in emotion when something negative happens. One habit that can be used to “reset” your motivation is to watch an inspiring video.
You have a few options with watching inspirational videos.
TED Talks are inspiring lectures from the most visionary leaders of our time. They tend to be ten to twenty minutes in length, so you might need to commit to a longer habit, or watch a single video over a few days. You can access these videos directly through the TED website, but they are also accessible on a mobile app (iTunes & Android) and through a video streaming service like Roku.
I recommend limiting your viewing time. It’s far too easy to turn a five-minute break into several hours of passively watching videos. My suggestion: Stick to one video per break.
25. Add to Your “Soon List”
Make a list of twenty fun and enjoyable things you want in the next three months. This is not a goals list. Instead, it’s a list of fun or even odd things you can enjoy by yourself or with others. The only requirement is that each item needs to be something that makes you happy.
Here are a few ideas:
- Sleep until noon on one of your off days.
- Have a movie/game night with your family.
- See a play.
- Go for a daylong hike.
- Play baseball with your son.
- Buy a new grill.
- Enjoy a date night with your spouse, away from your kids.
Next, you have to make time to do these things. You’ll sleep in late one day. You’ll go buy that new grill. And you’ll schedule time to play baseball with your son. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of spending your days working, running errands, and doing household chores. But if you keep an ongoing list of fun activities, then you’ll proactively create opportunities to enjoy life a little more.
26. Fix Your Broken Windows
No, you don’t have any actual broken windows, but you probably have a number of small things that add to your stress levels if you don't address them early on.
Some common broken windows include:
- Unmade beds
- Cluttered mail
- Unsorted laundry
- Messy kitchen
- Trash that needs to be taken out
Most of these can be fixed in a matter of minutes, yet we allow ourselves to ignore them and let them sit in the back of our minds for the rest of the day. Take care of your broken windows and then you'll see a dramatic decrease in your levels of stress.
27. Make Your Bed
In life, sometimes the smallest of actions can have a powerful impact on your daily success.
In a commencement speech at the University of Texas, US Navy Admiral William H. McCraven said the following to the graduating class:
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.
I won’t tell you “how to make your bed” because I’m sure this is a skill that we’ve all learned at some point in our lives. But if you get stuck, I recommend watching this video, courtesy of Howcast.
28. Follow a “Getting Out the Door” Routine
There are few things worse (from a psychological standpoint) than starting the day feeling rushed and disorganized. If you’re running around in the morning like a headless chicken, then these feelings will create unnecessary stress that can negatively impact your workday.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. In the evening, compile all the items you’ll need for the next day and put them into a central location. Then, when you wake up in the morning, every item you need will be in this predesignated spot waiting for you to leave.
In the hour before going to bed, think of the items that you’ll need for the next day and then spend five minutes putting them together.
These can include:
- Briefcase or backpack
- Laptop or tablet
- Personal items like your wallet, keys, purse, or cell phone
- Lunch, snacks, water bottle, and travel mug
- Gym clothes
- Items for your children (toys, clothes, formula or stored breast milk)
Start by reviewing your calendar for the next day, then think about what you’ll need for each activity and appointment, and finally put these items in the same location where you put other items, like your wallet, purse, and car keys.
If you can commit to building this evening habit, then you’ll eliminate the stress that many feel in the morning as they get ready for work.
29. Research a Fun Activity
Set aside time each week to come up with a few interesting events you can share with people in your life.
I recommend using a mix of nine resources to find fun events in your area.
1. Eventful is a great website for anyone who lives in or near a big city.
2. Narrow down your search to your local area, which can be found in region- or town-specific newspapers, magazines, and websites.
3. Simply go to Google.com and type in the name of your city or town, plus one of the following terms:
- Event listings
- Cooking lessons
- Softball leagues
- Running clubs
- Volunteer opportunities
- Concert venues
4. Map out a Walking Tour
5. Only In Your State has a massive collection of articles that feature interesting, state-specific attractions.
6. Try Geocaching.
7. Bulletin Board Flyers
8. Craigslist is a useful resource to find listings for fun activities, interest-specific groups, volunteering opportunities, local events, and classes.
9. Meetup.com is a great place to find groups based off your personal interests and make new friends as you enjoy one of your favorite activities.
30. Meditate for 5 Minutes
Meditation is about maintaining focus on one thing (such as your breathing or the sounds of the ocean) and blocking out any other distractions.
Meditation has been proven to have numerous benefits, including:
- Less stress
- More creativity
- Better focus
- Increased memory
Some people meditate for hours on end while others just take a few minutes out of their mornings. I suggest you start by meditating for a few minutes, so it fits into your morning routine. And if you like it, you can increase the length of time that you do it.
Learn how to meditate: Meditation for Beginners
31. Yoga for 10 Minutes
Still not buying into the idea of meditation? That's okay, you can give yoga a try instead. Some of the core ideas are the same, but yoga has a more active approach then pure meditation.
Yoga is great for you because it can:
- Increase your lung capacity
- Help with memory
- Lower the risk of heart disease
- Relieve anxiety
Yoga has been practiced for years, and it's not like other exercises that are just fads or trends. It's easy to get started and can have a huge impact on how your body reacts for the rest of the day.
Get started on the right foot: A Beginner's Guide to Yoga
32. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is a quick habit that takes less than five minutes to complete. It can be part of a regular stack or a single habit that you do whenever you feel stressed.
Simply follow this nine-step process to get started:
1. Schedule uninterrupted time where you ignore your cell phone or other types of technology.
2. Pick a specific time each day (or a specific stack) where you’ll practice deep breathing.
3. Set an alarm for a specific time (like three to five minutes).
4. Sit on a pillow on the floor, in a comfortable chair, or on your couch. Find a comfortable position with your feet on the floor, straighten your back, and rest your hands at your sides.
5. Inhale slowly through your nose until your lungs are filled to capacity.
6. After inhaling as much as possible, hold your breath for a full two seconds.
7. Slowly exhale, in a steady and even manner. If you desire, envision exhaling all your negative emotions.
8. Take a two-second pause.
9. Return to step 5 to repeat this cycle until the alarm signals the end of the session.
33. Shower Meditation
For most people, a shower is already a part of the morning routine. But when you add a quick meditation session to this ritual, you can focus on deep thinking and creating positive thoughts for the day.
The calming effect of warm water puts your mind on autopilot, which frees it up to come up with inspirational ideas. (There’s even research that shows we often get our best ideas while engaging in mindless tasks, like showering, driving, and doing chores.)
Shower meditation can easily be attached to your existing “getting ready” routine. This means you only need to add a few minutes to your shower time to get the full benefit of this habit.
Get started by letting the warm water of the shower wash over your body. Visualize all the stress, anxiety, and worries in your life as being tangible things sticking to your skin. Next, visualize the water and soap scrubbing the stress off your body. Third, envision all the metaphysical “dirt” of your body—your fears, regrets, anxiety, anger, and stress washing free and swirling down the drain. Finally, realize that you are clean, fresh, and ready to start your day free of distractions.
34. Drink a Calming Beverage (Like Tea)
Drinking a calming beverage, like a cup of hot tea, has both physical and mental benefits.
When it comes to your health, drinking tea (specifically green tea) has many detoxifying effects on the body. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, assist hydration (despite the caffeine), and reduce stress hormones.
When it comes to spirituality, a daily tea break gives you “me time,” which can be a few spare minutes to think on what has happened during the day and what you plan to do for the next few hours.
Start a teakettle right after you wake up as part of your morning habit stack. You can also repeat this habit during the afternoon or at the end of your day.
While the water is boiling, focus on completing two to three tasks in your stack, and then enjoy a few minutes of reflection while you’re enjoying a cup of tea.
Best Results = Habit Stacking
As you can see, there are 34 different small habits that can be added to any morning routine. While you don’t have to do them all, I do suggest following a simple strategy that I call “habit stacking.”
With habit stacking you create a process flow where you put everything in a logical order where you go from room to room and complete one task after another. (Example: Start the day by making your bed and opening the curtains.) The idea here is to establish a routine where you complete a number of positive habits without even thinking about it. You can even write down this routine and follow it as a daily checklist every morning.
How to Build Your Perfect Morning Routine
In 30 minutes a day, you can be on your way to a happier, healthier life. There is no suggestion that one small habit is important than the other. Instead it’s up to you to find the ones that best work for your situation.
The hardest part of starting a morning routine is getting started. My advice is to create the habit of following this process. Sign up for it using the Lift app, then check in on a daily basis. And once you’ve established that habit, play around with the different quick habits until find the ones that best fit your lifestyle.
Now it’s your turn.
Do you follow a certain routine in the morning? Does it include completing certain habits?
If so, tell me all about it in the comment section below.
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