There is nothing I love more than a good morning routine. Starting the day with a routine sets us up for a successful day, or at the very least gives us a good start! Even if you’re not a morning person—or rather, especially if you’re not a morning person!—a morning routine helps you move from one task to another without having to think about it. As your routine becomes habit, you can cultivate positive life changes like healthy eating, exercise, and organization into your day without much effort.
Following are 10 things you can do to cultivate a seamless morning routine no matter what your life stage.
- Get up 15 minutes earlier. A lot of people attempt to change their morning by getting up a full hour or more earlier than usual. While this can be a great long-term goal, it can be hard to sustain when you’re not used to it! Instead of setting your alarm for 5 a.m. cold turkey, try getting up 15 minutes earlier each week. Gradually making this change will give you more time in the morning without setting unreasonable expectations for yourself.
- Pack your lunch or plan your meals the night before. If you work, packing your lunch in the morning is probably one of those frustrating tasks that sets you behind schedule. I know it was the case for me! Instead, save time by packing your lunch the night before and planning out what you’ll have for breakfast and dinner. This works well whether you’re a student, working full-time or even a stay-at-home mom.
- Have a plan for the first 30 minutes. Many of us use our phones as alarms. The problem? When that alarm goes off, we immediately get lost in texts and social media instead of getting up and on with our day! Have a plan for the first 30 minutes. Will you shower first? Make breakfast? Exercise? By knowing what you plan to do, you can get up and out of bed and spend less time with distractions.
- Eat a breakfast you enjoy. I love breakfast. It’s one of my biggest motivators for getting out of bed! Breakfast is very important to your metabolism and a healthy lifestyle in general, so if you regularly skip it, find a few recipes you love and consistently make them part of your routine. You’ll have more energy and you’ll have something to look forward to when you get up.
- Set out your clothes the night before. When you’re packing your lunch as part of your evening routine, take the time to set out your clothes. Even if you’re not working in a professional environment, setting out your clothes removes a choice from your morning, saving brain space for bigger decisions.
- Shortcut your beauty routine. At its longest, my beauty routine can take more than an hour to complete. Blow-drying long, curly hair takes forever! In my current stage, I don’t have that much time to spend on my hair and makeup—but it’s still important for me to look nice each day. By finding ways to shortcut my routine (washing my hair every other day, streamlining my makeup routine to 10 minutes, using dry shampoo), I save a lot of time each morning with the same result! You can do the same.
- Listen to a podcast while you prepare. Podcasts are like mini radio shows on every topic under the sun. You can play these while you complete your beauty routine or make breakfast. This is an excellent way to get in more Bible time! Podcasts like The Bible Project, Exploring My Strange Bible, Journey Women or mine—Uniquely Woman—can encourage you in your walk with God while you’re working on other tasks.
- Move your body. Do you struggle to sleep well? Look at your morning exercise routine! By doing even 10 minutes of high intensity exercise in the morning, you boost your cortisol levels, which in turn helps balance your body for better sleep at night. Whether you do a quick HIIT routine or simply go for a walk, exercising in the morning is a great way to get fitness “out of the way” for the rest of the day.
- Look forward to your commute. If you commute to work or school, make your ride as enjoyable as possible. Bring coffee in a travel mug, create a commute playlist or play your favorite podcast as you drive. This is also a great time to pray over your day.
- Have a list of your top five tasks for the day. Finally, make a list of the top five priorities for your day. You can do this the night before or in the morning as you get ready (leave some sticky notes in your bathroom!). By keeping your list short, you grant yourself momentum as you check things off. You also keep the list manageable, so you won’t be overwhelmed if new things get added later in the day.
For more morning routine ideas, check out this website.