“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” - Benjamin Franklin
No doubt you have heard this popular adage from one of our Founding Fathers. It’s time-tested wisdom that still rings true today. Curating a healthy schedule that works for you is key to feeling and performing at your best.
A consistent morning routine, in particular, can set the stage for a productive and successful day. But what exactly does that look like? And is it really necessary for you to get up at 4 a.m. to have a good day?
Learn more about the benefits of a morning routine and how you can create a plan that works best for you.
Why Should I Have a Morning Routine?
A morning routine can add so much to your day. Creating a morning routine can help you set your intention for the day, improve your positivity, and let you be proactive about what you want to accomplish.
A rushed morning where you wake up later than you intended can leave you feeling like you’re behind schedule or stressed out. Or, time might slip away from you quickly during the day, and you aren’t able to accomplish what you wanted.
Carving out time for your specific goals in the morning can help you feel like you’ve already started the day with a victory and set the stage for more accomplishments throughout the day.
Successful people throughout history have adhered to specific morning routines. Here’s a small sampling to consider:
- Georgia O’Keeffe took a walk with her fox terrier.
- L. Frank Baum tended to his prize-winning mums.
- Jane Austen practiced piano.
- Theodore Roosevelt read books.
What Should a Morning Routine Include?
Every person is different, so keep in mind that what works in one person’s routine, may not work best for you. Your routine can be as simple or involved as you like.
There is no set time to start your morning routine. This is important to keep in mind because everyone has a different chronotype, or biological clock. It is this clock that determines whether you are a night owl or an early bird. So, if getting up at 4 a.m. doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean something is wrong. It just might not be the best schedule for your body. Choose a time that works best for you and your goals, and be consistent.
A morning routine can be as long or short as you prefer. Whether you have two hours or five minutes to dedicate to your routine, find something you enjoy that will help you find purpose in your day. Here’s a list of suggestions to help you get started.
- Exercise or take a walk. If you struggle to fit physical activity into your day, a quiet morning walk or workout might be just the thing to get you moving.
- Meditate or reflect. Spend some time quietly reflecting, or doing meditation or prayer. Find a comfortable spot where you won’t be interrupted.
- Make (and enjoy) a healthy breakfast. Create a leisurely morning meal with your favorite nutritious foods for a healthy start to the day.
- Read or write. Taking the time to capture your thoughts in a journal can help you free your mind for the day. Or, spend time between the pages of a book you enjoy each morning.
- Connect with others. Life can get so busy that we don’t always have time to spend with loved ones. Set aside time each morning to write a letter or plan a phone call with someone you want to catch up with.
- Set goals and plan ahead. Determine what you’d like to accomplish today and plan for it. Or, if you’re working toward a long-term goal, take a small step toward reaching it.
Remember, the goal of a morning routine should be to help you feel calm, energized, and ready for the day. Find the activities that work best for you and help you begin your day with intention.
How Can I Get Started with a Morning Routine?
Starting any routine can be challenging because our bodies naturally want to default to the status quo. One study found it took an average of 66 days for participants’ habits to become automatic.
That said, understand that it will take some time before your morning routine becomes a habit. Start small, by adding only one or two steps at the beginning.
If you decide to wake-up earlier, keep in mind that you will probably need to go to bed earlier. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Don’t be afraid to make tweaks to your morning routine. If something isn’t working, and you don’t enjoy it, try something else. Make changes that help you start your day off the way you want.
Your Next Read: 4 Creative Ways to Beat Boredom
Looking for fun activity suggestions you can do at home? You might enjoy our blog, “4 Creative Ways to Beat Boredom.” Read it here.