Are you the kind of person who hits snooze several times and only jumps out of bed when you’re already running late? If yes, then you’re not alone. Many of us struggle to get our day started on the right foot. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’ve compiled an easy-to-follow morning routine checklist that will help you start your day on the right track. It’s not rocket science. I also included some fun tips to make the process more enjoyable. So let’s dive into it and get your day started!
The Core Morning Routine Checklist
Go to Bed Early
Yes, you read that right! One of the most crucial parts to achieve a successful morning is the evening before. A good night’s sleep will help you wake up feeling more refreshed and alert the next day, even in the early hours.
Sounds easy enough right?
Well, easier said than done for most of us. If you’re anything like me a few years ago, you’re currently trying to squeeze in as much sleep as possible before you have to get up and get going.
It’s even more tempting when you work remotely as you could technically wake up at 8:45 and still make it to that 9 am meeting.
The trick here is to gradually go to bed earlier in 30 min or 1-hour increments until you find your sweet spot.
Another easy way to think about it is by figuring out how much sleep you need and doing the math backward. For example, if you need 9 hours of sleep and want to get up at 6 am every day then you’ll have to be asleep by 9 pm.
Wake Up Early
I guess I gave that one up in the previous section. Some would say this is the first and most crucial step to starting your day right but after reading the section above you now know waking up early takes second place.
If you struggle to wake up early, think of it like this: Why do you get up as early as needed to make it on time to work for someone else but not for yourself?
Waking up early gives you more time to plan your day, enjoy a cup of coffee, and have some quiet time for yourself.
Building up that extra time, even if it’s just one hour, will set the tone for your day.
If you’re new to this, you will feel in control of your life, you will feel calmer during the day, and there is a sense of fulfillment and achievement that will make you feel you’re done with the day before you clock in at 9. This is the good stuff we’re after.
But to maximize this sense of achievement, you need to achieve things!
Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to kickstart your metabolism and flush out toxins from your system. Water provides fuel for your brain and helps to increase alertness. So be sure to hydrate yourself before reaching for that cup of coffee.
Make Your Bed
Making your bed first thing in the morning may seem like a small task, but it sets the tone for the rest of your day. It creates a sense of accomplishment and makes your bedroom look neater. It’s also a simple way to add a little structure to your morning routine.
Now I have to add a little asterisk here. I’m married and my wife doesn’t wake up as early as I do. If you also have a sleeping partner that you want to keep for a while, maybe skip this step. I warned you.
Stretching in the morning helps to loosen your muscles and get your blood flowing. It’s a great way to wake your body up and get ready for the day ahead. Even if it’s just a simple stretch on your bed, it’s better than nothing. It also helps to reduce stiffness and soreness from sleeping in one position for too long.
Exercise doesn’t have to be intense in the morning, but some light movement is excellent for your body. Going for a walk or doing some yoga can help to improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and boost your energy levels. It also helps to clear your mind and prepare you for the day ahead.
If you’re like the vast majority of us. You probably spend most of your day sitting down while working whether you work from an office or from home.
If you’re part of the latter group, there are ways to counter-balance this sedentary habit but it’s still important to fit proper exercise within your schedule.
Practice Breathing Exercises
One of my favorite things to do every morning is a breathing exercise. This helps me chill, set my mind straight, and feel relaxed about whatever is coming ahead.
To be more specific, my absolute favorite breathing exercise is Wim Hof’s guided breathing session.
It only takes 11 min to complete and as Wim says “You get high on your own supply!”.
As a bonus, it can also help you increase the amount of time you can hold your breath but don’t push it until you pass out!
Here it is:
Bonus Morning Routine Checklist Items
Work On a Side Hustle
Having more free time in the morning as a result of waking up early is a fantastic opportunity to work on a side hustle.
Once you’ve completed all of the morning routine checklist items above, your brain should be in a prime state and ready to tackle anything coming your way.
Up until now, you were used to “spending” all of this brain power at your day job without much juice left after 5 or 6 pm.
But now you can utilize this time to work on something that you’re passionate about. This doesn’t necessarily mean building a big business from scratch, but it could be anything from creating a blog to starting a small online store or reaching out to people you believe you can help with your skills.
Learn Something New
If you’re reading this I’m assuming you have a growth mindset and want to better yourself.
There’s always something you can improve and this is an infinite game. The good news is, you don’t have to learn everything all at once.
Take it one day at a time and you’ll see your knowledge compound over time. If you have internet access (duh! You’re reading this…), there’s no limit to what you can learn and become an expert in.
From specialized learning websites to free resources on YouTube and private courses. The possibilities are endless.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I always lazy in the morning?
Feeling lazy in the morning could be attributed to several factors:
– Lack of Quality Sleep: If you’re not getting enough deep, restorative sleep, you might wake up feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night according to the National Sleep Foundation.
– Dehydration: Dehydration can make you feel tired. Try drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning.
– Poor Nutrition: If your body isn’t receiving the nutrients it needs from your diet, it could affect your energy levels.
– Lack of Physical Activity: Regular physical activity can boost your energy levels. Try incorporating a short workout into your morning routine.
– Stress or Mental Health Issues: Chronic stress or mental health conditions like depression can also cause feelings of morning lethargy.
If you continue to feel lazy in the mornings despite making lifestyle adjustments, it may be worth seeking advice from a healthcare professional.
Do I need to wake up at 5 or 6 am?
Not necessarily. The best time to wake up is different for everyone and depends on your sleep cycle and daily commitments. The most important factor is to ensure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
What is the healthiest morning routine?
A healthy morning routine might include:
– Hydration: Start with a glass of water.
– Nutrition: Have a balanced breakfast that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
– Exercise: A short workout can jump-start your metabolism and energy.
– Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness through meditation, journaling, or yoga.
– Planning: Review your goals for the day to stay organized and focused.
Remember, the best routine is one that suits your lifestyle and wellness needs.
How can I make my morning more enjoyable?
Making your morning more enjoyable could involve incorporating activities you love into your routine. This could be reading a book, listening to your favorite podcast, or taking time to enjoy your breakfast. You could also try waking up earlier to avoid rushing, which can cause stress.
Why are mornings so hard for me?
Difficulty with mornings can result from various factors. These may include poor sleep quality, inconsistent sleep schedule, lack of morning sunlight exposure, not eating a balanced breakfast, or even stress and anxiety. If you’re having persistent issues, it might be worth speaking to a healthcare professional to rule out conditions like sleep disorders.
A morning routine is not something to be scared of. With this easy-to-follow checklist, anyone can develop healthy habits that will benefit them throughout the day. It’s all about setting yourself up for success and taking small steps towards a better day. Whether you’re a remote worker or a digital nomad, creating a morning routine will help to improve your work-life balance and set the tone for a successful day. Remember, a little structure can go a long way.
About the author
Karim Bel Hadj
As his name suggests, Karim is the founder of Creme de la Karim. He fell in love with remote working since he left his first corporate job and never looked back! And because something you love is almost always better shared, he is on a mission to help all remote workers and digital nomads make the most of this amazing lifestyle. You can reach out to him via Twitter @cremedelakarim