If personal development had to be described in two words, then that would be – Routines and Habits. Your habits and routines dictate your mindset, productivity and overall success. That is exactly why I am a big cheer-leader of morning routines. In this post, I will be sharing 10 morning routine Ideas to add in your own routine.
“A morning routine is a set of rituals / habits that you perform every single morning before you are ready to take your day on”Neha Shah
I personally believe that a morning routine can be a 30 minute thing or a 3 hour thing. It is completely subjective to your own situation and there is no right / wrong way as long as you have one. I had a 30 minutes morning routine when I was working 9-5 and I have a 90 minute morning routine now that I run my own business. I have shared “5 ways to hack your morning routine” in this blog post.
In this blog post, I am going to share 10 morning routine ideas that you can add to your morning routine to see massive growth in your personal as well as professional life.
12 Morning Routine Ideas
1. Wake-up with Visualization
One morning routine ritual that has changed my life is waking up with visualization. As soon as I wake up, I sit up-right in my bed, take a few breaths and practice some visualization. I usually visualize my long term goals coming true. But sometimes I will just visualize that particular day unfolding in a highly positive manner.
This really helps you wake-up in a positive, uplifting and enthusiastic way. It gets you excited for your goals and gives you a taste of the reward that you will get after doing everything that you do throughout the day. Try this ritual for just one day and I can assure you great and instant results. You can check out ‘5 techniques for visualization’ to get deeper into this practice.
2. Drink Water
You have probably heard of this one way too many times. But I am going to say it again, drink 2 glasses of water when you wake up. Your body is dehydrated for over 6-8 hours and you need to hydrate it. Drinking water after you wake-up rejuvenates your body and instantly makes you more energetic.
3. 5 minute Yoga Flow
You don’t have to be a yogi to adapt this ritual. You can follow this practice if you haven’t incorporated any form of exercise in your mornings. I was following this practice when my workouts were scheduled in the evening.
There are 2 reasons that this ritual made this list. They are –
- Take only 5 minutes (I mean who doesn’t has 5 minutes)
- Wakes your body up in a very gentle way
You can hop on to youtube or pinterest to find any 5 minute morning yoga flow. I personally love this one because it stretches my entire body and is slow enough to match my morning mood!
4. Morning Pages
I have talked about morning pages like a million times at this point. But I am prepared to talk about it a million more times because it is that life-changing. Morning pages are basically a form of stream of consciousness journaling. Stream of consciousness means writing down anything and everything that comes to your mind. You go on writing until you feel light or free.
This process helps your thoughts flow in a safe space. You can then revisit your journal entries and look at your thought patterns, your limiting beliefs, your fears and everything in between. This practice has helped me understand the why behind my feelings and behaviours.
Doing this in the morning makes you feel a lot lighter throughout the day. I have talked more about this in the blog post ‘3 Ways to Master your Mindset’
5. Cold Showers
If you are stressed out due to any reasons, this practice is for you.Taking cold (water temperature below 70°F) showers is a technique in hydrotherapy that has been used for many years. It has many proven mental and physical health benefits.
The basic concept is that taking cold showers improves our body’s tendency to overcome harsh conditions. That helps you adapt to more stress, improves metabolism and improves circulation.
In my experience, The first 20 seconds are hard and after that your body gets used to it. It’s all about taking the first step. I suggest you try this for a week at least before figuring out if it works for you or not!
Gratitude practice is not just a ‘manifestation technique’. It helps your psychological health, improves your sleep, reduces your aggression and improves your empathy. Most importantly, it enhances your mindset for the day when you practice this in the morning.
You can practice gratitude by writing it down in a journal or even naming it in your mind. I personally practice gratitude while I brush my teeth. I name 5 things that I am grateful for and feel the gratitude in my body.
7. Breathing exercises
Ever since I was a child, I had cultivated a habit of practicing pranayama (a type of breathing exercise). We were taught pranayama and yoga in our school and my parents also practiced it. I have become more aware about it’s benefits just recently.
Pranayama improves lung function, regulates blood pressure, improves cognitive performance and has multiple other health benefits. And it just takes 5-7 minutes to complete 2-3 exercises. You can check out more information about pranayama from this website.
8. Set an Intention
I believe that no day can be fulfilling and fruitful if you fail to set an intention. I am not even talking about setting big intentions by spending 30 minutes of your morning. Setting a daily intention is telling yourself what choices you will make throughout the day. This practice gives you a sense of direction and helps you reduce decision fatigue throughout your day.
For example, if today my intention is ‘Hustle – I want to work, like a ninja and feel super-productive throughout the day. I want to work towards my goal of redesigning my website’. This intention helps me make a decision of not watching netflix in the afternoon and working on my gaols. It helps me prioritize my tasks and to-do lists. It makes my life easier and fulfilling at the same time.
Maybe tomorrow my intention will be ‘Self-care – Take good care of your physical health by eating good and resting’. This intention helps me make a decision that I do not want to over-work myself, I do not want to eat junk food and I want to go for a massage instead of going out for a party.
You can read more about some more intentional practices by clicking here.
9. Plan your day
Every morning, before you start your day off, just sit and look at your calendar, to-do lists and goals. This will help you get an overview of what is coming up. When you look at your tasks and goals before getting on with your day, you can plan and prioritize different activities.
I go through my goals, next actions, current projects and calendar list in my GTD Dashboard and then I like time-blocking my day in my calendar.
You can use your planner, project management system, notes app or any other planning tool to do this activity every single morning.
10. Soak some knowledge in
Mornings are a great time to learn something new and expand your mind. You have maximum attention and focus in the morning as compared to any other time in the day. This is why learning something is a great ritual to add to your morning routine.
You can soak some knowledge by simply listening to a podcast while you commute, or by reading a non-fiction book or even by watching some informative videos. There are so many ways to learn something new these days. Pick what suits you the best and incorporate that in your morning routine.
My Morning Routine
All these morning routine ideas have been tried and tested by me in the last 2-3 years. Some worked for me under special circumstances and I have left some behind now. Before wrapping this post up, I wanted to share my 90-minute morning routine with you guys!
6:00 am – Wakeup and visualize
6:15 am – Brush teeth + gratitude
6:30 am – Jump Rope workout followed by Yoga
7:00 am – Breathing exercises
7:15 am – Morning Pages
I run errands around the home like feeding our dog, cooking, cleaning around the house, etc. from 7:30 to 10:00 am. After which I continue on to my morning routine.
10:00 am – Plan my Day + Set an intention
10:15 am – Shower
10:30 am – Start work
Let me know what your morning routine ideas looks like in the comments section below. Also get this routine planner to plan and track your morning and night routines!