11 Life-Changing Morning Routines You’ve Got to Try

I’m sure you already know that your morning can make or break your day.

Have a good morning and you feel on top of the world like nothing can stop you.

Have a bad morning and you’re just ready to get the day over with as soon as possible.

Therefore, it’s very important to have routines in place that allow you to replicate a great start to your day over and over again.

Because let’s face it:

The decisions you make on a day-to-day basis will determine your life.

That can be a scary thought, but you won’t have to worry about it.

Today I’m going to share with you 5 actionable morning routines that can jumpstart your day.

Let’s get right to it.

Note: Shout out to my Uncle Mike for the idea of this post. Here’s his original comment:

best way to start your day

Now my uncle runs his own insurance business and he stays pretty busy just like the rest of us.

You’ll also notice that he mentions a couple of misconceptions like drinking coffee and skipping breakfast, which will be covered.

Not all of these routines are fitness related, but they’re meant to give you structure and help you achieve whatever goals you want in life fitness related or not.

Don’t try to implement all of these ideas at once.

Instead, just pick a couple of them and actually take action on them.

Everyone’s morning routine will differ slightly.

Play around with these concepts and see what works best for you.

At most, each routine takes a few minutes to do so lack of time isn’t a good excuse!  

Routine #1: Exercise for at Least 1 Minute

early morning exercise

Exercise for a minute? How can that be effective?

Well think of it this way:

If you exercise for 1 minute every day, that’s at least 365 minutes of exercise over the course of a year. This is equivalent to a little over 6 hours for just 1 minute of your time!

Plus since the duration is super short, you can’t say that you don’t have enough time.

Now:

Finding sneaky ways to exercise more is cool and all, but that’s not the main reason why I want you to do it. I want you to get a great start to your day and exercise (regardless of duration) is a good way to achieve that.

Studies have shown that exercise will help with the following:

Improve your mood

Memory and cognitive function

Increase in blood flow (which will help wake you up)

Routine #2 Plan Tomorrow Today

how to plan your morning

-how I plan out my mornings 

Ok so this isn’t technically a morning routine, but it’ll help to ensure that you stay on track when you wake up. I know that for me personally I’ve woken up before and just felt paralyzed because I wasn’t sure what to do first.

I’d eventually end up working on a bunch of different things just to get nowhere. This routine I’m about to share with you helped me fix that problem.

All you need to do is write down the things you’d like to accomplish the following day right before you go to bed. Once you’ve written the list, number it in terms of importance.

Then when the next day arrives, you’ll know exactly what you need to get to work on.

Here’s the deal:

The trick with this is to make sure that you’re only working on one task at a time. You don’t move on to the next task until the previous (and more important) task is complete.

So if checking your email was 3rd on the list, then don’t open your inbox until tasks 1 and 2 are complete. Follow through with this idea and you’ll not only have better focus, but you’ll get more done in less time.

Routine #3: Drink at Least 16 Ounces of Water Upon Waking

how much water should you drink

Could you go 7-8 hours straight right now with drinking any liquids? I’ll admit that’d be pretty tough to do.

However, you’re basically doing that every night when you sleep. So wouldn’t you think that it’d be a good idea to hydrate yourself ASAP?

Water will help with the following:

Fueling your metabolism

-Lubricating your joints

-Recovery from workouts

Help wake you up

-And much more…

Drinking 16 ounces of water should be the first thing you do when you wake up. If you find yourself forgetting to drink, put a glass already filled up on your nightstand or someplace you’ll see it soon after waking.

Routine #4: Go Ahead Drink that Coffee

is coffee good for you

If hydrating yourself and exercise aren’t enough to wake you up (or if you’re addicted), then go ahead and drink your morning coffee. There’s actually quite a bit of evidence to suggest that coffee is beneficial to your health:

Reduced risk for type 2 diabetes

Improve performance

Improve your mood

Of course this doesn’t mean that you should go crazy. Adding generous amounts of sugar, creamer, and milk will make the calories add up quickly.

Preferably, you should drink your coffee black (0 calories, 0 sugar, and it’s cheaper).

Here’s the kicker:

What if you don’t like black coffee or you need to transition to it?

The first thing you can try is to drink it cold and just down it. Secondly, you can try to slowly dilute your old coffee.

For example, if you normally drink 10 ounces of coffee, take 8 ounces of the old coffee and then add 2 ounces of the black.

After a week of doing that, transition to 6 ounces of the old and 4 black and so on and so forth.

Routine #5: Write Down 3 Things You’re Grateful For

say what you're grateful for

-a recent entry from my journal

Would you be surprised if I told you that a big key to happiness is gratitude? I never would’ve guessed that a few months ago.

Studies certainly show a high positive correlation between gratitude and happiness. It only takes a minute and it’ll change your life.

As you can see from the picture above all I do is simply put the date and then write down 3 things that I’m thankful for.

It can be anything big or small or something you’ve taken for granted.

The truth of the matter is that we really do have so much to be grateful for, and a lot of times we’re too busy complaining about “first world probs” to even realize it.

In fact, when I graduated college, I ended up getting a job at a pet store. Since I had a degree, I felt entitled to a good job, and I whined a lot about the position I was in.

Here’s the deal:

#1: I should’ve been thankful to have even gotten a job.

#2: I put myself in that situation. Nobody made me apply and then accept the job offer. It was a decision that I made and was completely responsible for. I could’ve found something else instead of complaining.

1 minute. 3 things. Change your life.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

Routine #6: Wake Up Earlier

how much sleep to burn fat

“The early bird gets the worm.”

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

We’ve all heard things like this a thousand times.

While those phrases sound good in theory, who actually wants to get up any earlier?

The truth is that you’ll have a hard time doing these routines (fitness related or not) if you don’t.

Here’s the deal:

Most people wake up at the latest time possible.

If you have to be at the office by 9 and it’s a 20 minute drive, 10 minute shower, 5 minutes to brush your teeth/get the coffee going, and 7 minutes to grab a bite to eat on your way out the door, then you’re going to wake up a little before 8:18.

The problem with this is that it’s a lot harder to establish good habits (such as going to the gym) later in the day. You’re drained from work, your willpower is lower, and it’s easier for random things to hijack the rest of your day.

In the morning, however, things are the opposite: your willpower is fully charged, you’re fresh, and nobody else is awake to bug you.

Of course this can’t happen if you wake up as late as possible so you need to (slowly) wake up sooner. Start with something simple like waking up just 5 minutes earlier and using that time to exercise.

From there you can gradually work your way back to 10 minutes, 15 minutes, etc., and of course don’t forget to go to bed earlier!

Routine #7: Skip Breakfast

should you skip breakfast

With phrases like, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and “start your day off right with a healthy breakfast,” it’s easy to get conned into thinking you actually need it.

However, if you’re not hungry in the morning, then I’ve got a simple solution for you: don’t eat.

Fast until the late morning or lunch and eat when you actually feel like it. This is especially true if you’re someone who wants to lose weight. How does eating extra calories (that you’re not hungry for) help you lose weight?

Contrary to popular belief, breakfast doesn’t boost your metabolism.

Save those calories for later in the day when you want to use them and feast on a nice dinner instead of breakfast.

If you want to learn more about fasting and how it can help you lose weight, then be sure to pick up my free fasting guide.

Routine #8: Take a Cold Shower

contrast shower for muscle recovery

You shower, right (I sure hope so!)? But how many of us are guilty of only taking hot showers?

My guess would be practically everyone including myself. Hey, at least that’s something we can be thankful for!

If you’re someone who showers in the morning, it’s a good idea to take a cold shower. This is because it’ll actually help to wake you up, while a hot shower will help you fall asleep.

When you emerge from a hot shower into cooler air you will cause a sudden decrease in body temperature, which helps to relax you.

You can use this to your advantage if you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, but it’s not a great idea for getting started in the morning.

Here’s the deal:

You’re probably thinking about how awful this idea sounds right now. The good news is that you don’t have to take a cold shower for the entire duration.

The key here is to make sure that you finish with it on cold.

At the end of your shower simply alternate between cold and hot like this:

-30 seconds cold

-30 seconds hot

-30 seconds cold and you’re done

Give it a try and see if you feel more awake.

Routine #9: Reflect in a journal

reflecting in a journal

I used to think that journaling was only for teenage girls going through a breakup, but boy was I wrong about that. Journaling is something that should be done by everyone.

There are some surprising benefits from it:

Lower anxiety

Improve your communication skills

Boost self-confidence

Of course you don’t have to write a novel every time you want to journal. Just write a paragraph about what you plan to do for the day or something along those lines.

It doesn’t need to take up any more than a few minutes of your day.

Routine #10: Read

how much should you read

                                             -the book that I’m currently reading

Great leaders are readers. Yet according to mentalfloss.com, a staggering 42% of college grads don’t read another book after graduating.

When most people finish school, they think that they’re done learning. They get a job, learn the ins and outs, and then get into the routine of doing that job.

The truth is that you should be a life long learner always striving to learn something new each day.

You wouldn’t want your doctor to stop learning right after medical school, would you?

You wouldn’t want me to stop learning everything I possibly can about the most efficient training and nutrition either.

So why should your career and life be any different? Even if you just read 1 page a day, you would still cover 365 pages over the course of that year. That’s enough to finish just about any book plus a good chunk of the next one.

Routine #11: Visualization

how to write your fitness goals

Ever heard of the law of attraction? It basically states that you will attract the types of things in your life that you think about most.

Always worrying about problems?

Then that’s exactly what you’ll get, according to this law.

In terms of fitness, you can certainly use this to your advantage.

Each morning just take a few minutes to visualize what it would be like to achieve your dream body.

The compliments you’d get from friends and family.

How you’d feel at a pool party.

The confidence you’d have.

Get all of your senses involved and make it as real as possible.

Now:

Visualizing the outcome goal is important, but it’s not the end all be all. The process goal (i.e. what you’re going to do to achieve that goal) is actually more important.

Visualize yourself executing on the habits necessary to achieve your fitness dreams. Picture yourself getting up early and going to the gym.

Imagine eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water. This might sound boring, but this is what will lead to you taking the actions necessary to reach success.

If you’re going to spend 5 minutes in the morning visualizing, spend the first 3 thinking about the process and then move to the outcome.

Final Thoughts

Your daily actions will determine the trajectory of your life.

That’s why it’s critical to start every day off as strong as you can.

These morning rituals will help you to achieve just that.

Now it’s your turn.

Let me know what you think in the comment section down below.

What are some of your morning routines?

Which of these routines are you going to implement into your daily life?

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

  1. Monica

    I have struggled with my weight mostly as I’ve gotten older, having been life-flighted twice in this millennium. I’m getting married in July and am truly on the mission to not be a fat bride. Recent surgery has put my workouts on the back burner for a little while longer – then I really have to get back into it and kick some ass!

    • tarohmer

      That’s the right attitude to have Monica. You’re not going to let everything that you’ve been though hold you back. You’ve got this!