How you start your day is how you live your life. You’ve probably heard this before. Do you agree? In my experience, it’s spot-on accurate.
My days go much better when I don’t immediately dive into email or scroll social media first thing in the morning. Getting grounded and empowered before I do anything else each day has literally changed my life.
That means I start my day with a solid morning routine.
Of course, all the gurus swear by morning routines. But sometimes, the things they suggest get a little bit crazy…
Get up at 5AM, go through a million enlightening steps, meditate, journal, gratitude, move, pray, breathe, get fully ready, ahhhhhh
Fair enough. But first of all, who has time for all that? And second, does a morning routine have a complex, multi-step ritual to actually work?
Most of us like the idea of morning routines. A lot of us start morning rituals with the best of intentions (just like starting diets or workout programs, actually…)
But despite how much we’d like to be up at 5 AM meditating and mastering our mindset, this is how an attempt at a morning routine usually turns out…
You try it for a few days, it loses steam, and you’re back where you started. (This was my epic morning ritual fail for years.)
Or think you’re going to go from no morning routine to a 22-step morning plan. You write down all the steps. You’re raring to go the night before you start. Then the morning comes, you look at your list, and it feels like a day’s worth of work.
Before you know it, your enlightening morning routine turns into another to-do list. And you quit.
Don’t make your morning routine something that you stick to for one day. Morning routines don’t have to take hours or include countless steps to be effective.
The secret to successful mornings is the same as making any positive changes. It’s about building supportive habits, one step at a time. Small and steady steps win the race!
In this video, I’m going to show you how to create a morning routine that will help you slay the day, and will actually work.
Step One: Start out simply. If you’re new to morning routines, start by making one small change. Then give that one small step the time to become a habit.
Now, here’s the cool part. You can start a morning routine by doing nothing.
The first thing that I do in the morning is nothing. What does that mean, exactly?
Instead of rushing into the first step – I lay in bed and let my body wake up.
I scan my body. I check in with my body. I stretch, move my arms, and get my energy flowing. But not much more. So in other words, I don’t really DO anything. I simply allow myself to BE.
I allow myself to wake up. I breathe with peaceful intention. I express my gratitude for all that I have in life. I do grab a glass of water from my night stand, but that’s the only active part.
This was the first morning routine that I ever did, and it was THAT simple. All I did was commit to laying in bed for 15 minutes and connecting to my body.
But here’s the kicker: there is one thing that I did NOT do that made all the difference…
In the first 15 minutes of my day, I did NOT reach for my phone.
I know, that’s pretty radical, right? And I’m not going to lie–it was the biggest morning routine challenge of all!
But with some practice, I established a new habit: a peaceful, connected, phone-free start to my day. That alone was magical.
Once I mastered a few peaceful phone-free minutes every morning, I moved on to step 2.
Step Two: Add in each new thing, one at a time. Waking up without diving for the phone was my morning routine for awhile. Then when this became second nature, I took things to the next level.
I added a little prayer or channeled some energy. I visualized myself waking up and feeling amazing for the day. Then I added in some moving and stretching to get the energy flowing.
The next piece I added in was a morning playlist of favorite songs. After that I occasionally added in an audiobook or a favorite podcast as I was making breakfast or getting ready for the day.
Now, you might be wondering if I added in all these steps in one fell swoop. The answer is no.
I added in one thing at a time. I gave each step at least a week or two to become second nature. Once each practice became embodied, I added another that I knew would be supportive.
Remember to choose add-ons that you enjoy. Don’t choose things that you think sound good but you secretly can’t stand. Just because this guru or that influencer gets up at 5AM or meditates every day doesn’t mean it’s your thing!
I used force myself to do everything everyone was telling me, but then I had to realize that I needed to figure out what works for ME!
Things that sounded good but didn’t resonate with me. You can imagine what happened.
I did them for a few days or a week, but it was a struggle. My morning routine went from a gift to a chore, and I ended up quitting altogether.
Focus on what you like to do. That way you’re a lot more sure of keeping up with it!
Step Three: The finishing touches. I end my morning ritual with breakfast and journaling. Then I look at my schedule for the day, and get it all started.
The short version is this: I start with connection and gratitude, then end with intention. That’s my morning routine in a nutshell!
It comes down to four steps. Waking up with gratitude, energizing movement, a nourishing breakfast, and daily intentions.
Step Four: Let go of the pressure to be perfect. Now, here’s the most important reminder of all. Your morning routine doesn’t have to be perfect.
I’m hardly perfect with my morning routine. I don’t do every single step every single day.
I always start with that 15 phone-free minutes every morning. But after that, I pick and choose extra layers according to my needs. Sometimes I don’t add anything, other days I add in several steps. It all depends on how I feel and what I need in that moment.
(P.S. Notice that “present moment choices” thing? If you hang out with me on the regular, that probably sounds familiar…)
So morning routines aren’t about following a rigid set of rules. It’s setting aside intentional time for yourself in the morning. It’s doing what will empower you and set you up for success for the day. That’s it!
The only “rule” I’d suggest for a morning routine would be to start with 15 phone-free minutes. Connect with your body, allow yourself to wake up, and set the tone for the day.
Once you’ve mastered that, add in the layers that feel exciting and empowering, one step at a time!
Don’t feel like you need an elaborate, 22-step routine for it to “count.” Start with that one basic step, then add in what feels right to you in the moment.
I hope this has given you some inspiration and ideas to create a morning routine for yourself! Remember, your routine doesn’t have to look like mine. Take these ideas, start with the basic first step, and make your morning routine your own!
Ready to inspire and empower your mornings? Here’s my suggestion to get started:
First, make a list of all the things you’d like to include in a morning ritual. Then, circle the top four activities inspire you the most.
Then choose the one that stands out the most. Start there, and commit to that one small step every day until it becomes second nature (I recommend making step one the 15 phone-free minutes, but it’s up to you!).
It might take two weeks for your first step to stick. Maybe even three or four. That’s OK. Master this first step first, then add in the next item from your list. Then repeat the process, giving yourself another week or two to integrate each new step.
Start small. Build up your routine over time, and watch what happens. It just might change how you start your day, and eventually how you live your life.
Now, I want to hear from you!
Do you have a morning ritual? If you do, share your favorite morning ritual step in the comments below.
If you don’t have one yet, leave a comment and share the one morning activity you’re going to try this week.
What you share will inspire others, too, so let’s get the morning routine conversation started!