How to Create a Morning Routine and Stick To It [The Ultimate Guide]

Want to start your day on the right foot?

The simplest way to do that is to create a morning routine.

That said, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to follow a morning routine you find on a website or YouTube.

Instead, you should create a morning routine that aligns with what you value in life

So in this article, I will give you a simple seven-step process you can use to create a routine that works for you and will become a permanent part of your daily life.

Now, if you’re not a reader, then watch this video that provides a brief overview of the steps that we cover in this article. (If you watch the video, be sure to also check out the resources and tools throughout this article.)

Okay, let’s get started…

Step #1. Identify Your Current Challenges

What do your mornings look like right now?

Are there some habits you want to keep doing?

What are the things that you do that are holding you back from starting off the day on the right foot?

Get an idea of your dos and don’ts by reviewing your current behaviors and separating the good habits from the bad.

If you’re among the 57% of people who hit the snooze button each morning, you’re literally starting your day off by procrastinating.

Or, maybe your alarm goes off and you roll over, pick up your phone, and start checking your email.

Or, you go straight for social media.

If you’re like me, you can easily get lost in your phone, spending half an hour scrolling aimlessly and wasting time.

And if you’re not sure what types of habits are considered “bad,” then here is a video that profiles ten self-destructive behaviors people do in the morning that can ruin their day:

Now, once you eliminate the bad habits like the ones mentioned in the video, you’ll have a lot of extra time that can be devoted to creating a positive morning routine. 

You have to intentionally let go of these bad habits in the morning and, if you have to do them, save them for another time.

So reserve your mornings exclusively for positive habits such as exercising, reading things that you find interesting, doing daily journaling, meditating, and focusing on your important projects.

This leads us to the next step…

Step #2. Pick Habits That Are Important To YOU

Think back to the beginning of this article.  The one thing that I cautioned you to not do is blindly follow a random morning routine that you find on a website or YouTube. But as Jim Rohn once famously said: “Success leaves clues.”

In other words, while you shouldn’t follow the exact morning routine that some person recommends, you should pay close attention to the habits that many people recommend.

So what habits should you pick?

Well, researchers have found that one of the most common components of a successful morning routine is its ability to be simple and straightforward.

Specifically, a good morning routine should set you up for the rest of your day, align with your “why” and relate to your important goals.

The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to a morning routine. 

Instead, you should pick and choose which elements of the routines that you come across that are valuable to you, depending on what you want from your life.

In other words, your morning routine should include activities that support your goals, values, and the things that make you happy.

To get started, watch this video to learn about the 12 best morning routine habits and then pick a few that match your personal preference.

Moreover, here is a list (with links) to specific habits that can help you succeed in life:

Now if you’re still stuck with habits to pick, then I recommend spending a little bit of time to identify what you value and what’s important to you.  Here are two articles that can help:

1.  The 5 Core Value Quizzes to Identify What’s Important to You

2. The 12 Steps to Find Your “Why” in Life

Step #3. Focus on a Few Habits (At First)

Start your morning routine with just two or three habits.  This is important because you don’t want to create a routine where you’ll feel overwhelmed on those mornings when something unexpected comes up.

To be honest, the last thing you want is to feel rushed during your routine or struggle to get out of the door on time.

You want your routine to be relaxed enough that it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Once a habit starts to come naturally, add another habit that makes sense.

Keep doing this until you find the right combination of habits with enough time to complete each one.

Step #4. Schedule Your Morning Routine  

It’s important to be intentional about your morning routine and schedule it at certain times throughout the week.

That’s why you should treat it like any other important activity on your calendar. 

In other words, you should schedule it at a specific time each day and make sure you have enough time to complete it.

To get started, I recommend scheduling at least 30 minutes for this morning routine.

Now you might be saying to yourself:

“I don’t have an extra 30 minutes each day.”

Well, there are two things you can do to find more time.

First, you can get to bed 30 minutes earlier in the evening. 

You’ll discover it’s not hard to create an evening routine where you consistently get to bed early and wake up feeling refreshed.

And if you’re someone who struggles with getting up in the morning, then here’s a video that walks you through the process of waking up at 5am without feeling tired:

The second strategy will be a challenging one — you need to proactively remove many of the distractions from your life.

Let’s face it:

If you’re like most people, you probably wake up in the morning and immediately pick up your phone and start scrolling through a variety of apps. 

You might hop over to Facebook or look at pictures on Instagram.  Or perhaps you start reviewing your work emails.  Or maybe you pop over to your favorite news website and scan the headlines.

My point is it’s easy to waste a lot of time in the morning that could be redirected to building a great morning routine. 

So it’s important to proactively remove these distractions from your life.

If you’d like to learn how to do this, then watch our video on the 7 ways to prevent distractions from your life:

Step #5. Have an Evening Routine

You want to be well-rested to prepare yourself to tackle any day.

So in addition to having a morning routine, you should create a brief evening routine that helps calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep.

You can start by prepping each night for the next morning.

Plan what you’ll wear the next day, pack your workout clothes (if you exercise outside your house), pack your lunch and everything you need for work, and tidy up the house so you don’t get sidetracked with cleaning when you wake up in the morning. 

To learn more about what to do at night that will set the tone for the next day, watch this video to discover nine habits you should follow each evening:

Step #6: Focus on Consistency

The most important aspect of a morning routine is consistency

That’s why you should make the commitment to never miss a day of your morning routine…

…EVEN if that means you only complete one five-minute habit on some days.

A quick strategy to stay consistent is to apply the “don’t break the chain” principle that’s discussed on this page.

The idea here is to get a wall calendar, then put a red X over each day where you successfully complete a morning routine. 

Soon enough, you will have a chain of red Xs that serve as a visual reminder of the consistency habit that you’re building.

Now, while consistency is important it’s okay to break the rules once in a while.

If you’ve followed a routine for the entire month, don’t stress out if you decide to take a weekend morning off to sleep in, splurge on a big breakfast, and do almost nothing productive at all.

An occasional interruption to your morning routine can be healthy.

And chances are, you’ll be eager to get back to your morning routine after taking a day or two off.

Finally, if you prefer a different method to track your morning routine, then check out these posts and try one of the tools we mention on these pages:

Step #7: Make Frequent Adjustments

While it’s important to be consistent; it’s equally important to focus on habits that are personally relevant.

So if you find yourself “dreading” your morning routine, then it’s probably because you’re focusing on the wrong habits.

This is where you can use procrastination to your benefit.

There will be times when you might miss a day or two and feel a lack of motivation to get started.

When this happens, take 30 minutes to figure out why you feel like procrastinating on your routine.

Specifically, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What challenges am I facing in the morning that prevented me from getting started?
  • Does each of these habits align with my goals?
  • Am I spending too much time on a certain habit?
  • Are there any other habits I want to focus on?
  • Do I feel rushed in the morning because of my routine?

All these questions are important because they will help you make adjustments to identify the habits to eliminate and new ones you can try.  So don’t be afraid to drop certain habits. Or try new ones. Or even start from scratch with a whole bunch of new habits. 

Keep doing this until you’ve perfected the perfect morning routine.

Before You Go…

So there you have it — the 7-step process to creating a customized morning routine.

Just remember that your morning routine shouldn’t be identical to your friends, family members, or something you found online. Instead, it should be tailored to the specific goals and plans that you have for your life. 

Finally, if you would like to learn more about mastering a morning routine, here are a few other articles worth checking out:

morning routine guide | morning routine examples | morning routine for success
How to Create a Morning Routine and Stick To It [The Ultimate Guide]