A Morning Routine is Essential to a Great Day

morning routine

If you don’t have a morning routine, I can guarantee you’re miserable.

I’m sure there’s some science behind why morning routines are essential for a great day – but I don’t know what it is. All I know is it works, and I swear by it.

There’s a stark difference from when I have a routine, or when I’ve been skipping for a week.

When I get up early, read, journal, and pray, my days are full of optimism. I generally feel at ease. When I’m poked or something bothers me, it’ll easily roll off my chest. As the cheesy saying goes, “Life is Good.”

However, when I’m not in my routine, everything is dark and gloomy. I swear every driver on the road is horrible and they’re all out to ruin my day. (Because, well, they are…)

I hate days like that.

I only like good days.

Morning Routine – Don’t stop

So why would I ever stop my morning routines, if it makes me feel so great?

Complacency. Life. Changes in routines. New jobs and stuff. New waking hours. Trying to catch up on sleep. It means I have to get up a 6AM instead of 7AM. I’m tired. Excuses.

My wife had been doing a morning routine for a while and I took note. Her spirit had changed. She was like a totally new person. She walked with a smile on her face and was pleasant to be around.

Then she stopped, and life went back to normal.

I know for me, sometimes I feel like I have it all together. Things are going well and life is generally cheery. You forget the morning routine has such a huge impact on that success, so it wanes. You just stop doing it. Because you think you don’t need it any more, or something.

I don’t know. I can never really figure why I stop my routines, but it happens, and I hate myself for it every time.

Morning Routine – Successful tips

So what elements are involved in a successful morning routine?

It almost really doesn’t matter.

I like to sit in a quiet place, listen to music, and eat breakfast. My wife, on the other hand, loves to tackle the day, go for a long walk, and watch the sunrise.

(I joined her once, because she wanted me to see how beautiful the morning was, and I nearly wanted to die. I got sick and wanted to jump off the bridge and end it all there. Luckily I survived.)

So needless to say, a morning routine is what works for you and what you enjoy.

One of my younger-self routines was to watch early morning MTV music videos (when they actually air music and not Jersey Shore reruns). It got me pumped for the day by jamming with Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez. Don’t judge.

The common element, however, is to calm your mind.

If you don’t know where to start, or have never introduced a morning routine into your day, here are a few things I do to feel successful.

Tips for a successful morning:

Morning Routine #1 – Journal

As a writer, I began using this tip to calm my jumbled mind. It’s difficult to write fiction when you’re editing and self-doubting everything you say. You’re trying to write the next great American Novel, for crying out loud, so what you write had better be genius. But it doesn’t have to feel that way.

Journaling (free writing) gets all your anxiety down on the page so you can forget it and move on to more important things. It frees writers block too, which is essential for a writer.

Sometimes I’m in a horrible mood and all the writing is negative, and that’s ok. No one’s ever supposed to read the journal. It’s just a mind dump.

When I’m in a better headspace, my journaling mirrors that and I reflect on grateful things. Because life is great. And I have a lot to be thankful for.

Morning Routine #2 – Pray

My best mornings are when I take time to remember God. I include reading the Bible to get my mind back on eternal things, and not my petty day-to-day complaints. Even just 5 minutes of diving into the Bible and jogging my thoughts in the right direction is a powerful element.

After I pray, I hit the ground, get on my knees, and thank God for all he has done. It’s a quick conversation, but it puts me entirely at ease knowing he’s in control and there’s a greater story involved than my ridiculous complaints.

And prayer is the ultimate morning routine. Even lots of self-proclaimed Christians fail to pray every day, even though it’s a central element to their faith. I don’t really understand that.

But I always know when I’m far from God, and life feels dreadfully horrible. It’s when I’m not praying. Duh.

Morning Routine #3 – Exercise

If you’ve ever seen my thin frame you wouldn’t pick me for a gym rat. I really hate the idea of all types of exercise and I have the high cholesterol to prove it.

However, to get my days going on a solid note, I whip out a 5 minute exercise routine of pushups and jogging in place. It makes me look like a psychopath, for sure, but the adrenaline and blood rushing to my brain makes me feel like a million bucks.

Get started tomorrow. Morning routines are essential. To get started, get up 5 minutes early and try something new. It’s easy and fun. Most of all, it’ll impact your entire day. And those around you will definitely take note.

Morning Routine – Action Steps:

  • Journal
  • Pray
  • Exercise

What morning routine do you find effective? Why do you refuse to have a routine?