Whether you start your day with meditation, exercise or making a healthy breakfast (or are hoping to switch to that from your current habit of hitting snooze 17 times), morning routines vary from person-to-person and can set the precedent for your entire day. Plus, they’re good for you — research has found that various elements of your morning routine, such as exercising, can positively affect your entire day.
For instance, researchers at Appalachian State University discovered that exercising in the morning helped reduce blood pressure throughout the day, and participants slept better as a result.
But even if exercise is not part of your morning routine, a lot of morning routines are still beneficial since they get your blood flowing and set you up for the day. Here, productivity experts and life coaches explain their morning routines, so if you’re looking for some inspiration, look no further.
1. Do “The Miracle Morning”
“My morning routine is The Miracle Morning created by Hal Elrod. I wake up seven hours after I went to sleep (I know my body needs seven hours). I meditate, scribe, recite my affirmations and visualize my day unfolding. Afterwards, I eat a healthy breakfast and I’m primed and ready for my day.” —Sean Douglas, Founder of TheSuccessCorps.com
2. Drink celery juice and spend time with my dogs
“ … Upon getting out of bed, I immediately drink 16 ounces of straight celery juice before I do anything else; I’ve been absolutely amazed at the physical and mental benefits I’ve experienced firsthand. …Next, I spend a good 20-30 minutes of quality time with my dogs. I love getting them outside for a brisk walk (when the weather is good) or just snuggling them (when the weather is bad). Either way, starting each day with my attention focused solely on the dogs makes me feel incredibly at peace and centered — it’s Zen for me. After my juice and puppy time, I’m fully ready to get to the computer, dive into my inbox and take on whatever the day throws at me!” —Jackie Ducci, hiring expert, author and CEO of Ducci & Associates
“I get up at 7 a.m. and, as a life coach, the first thing I do is meditate for 10 minutes. I feel this helps me get my day started off right. Then, I read a book for 10 minutes — it may be on personal development, business or health.” —Anthony Treas, Master of Public Health and founder of STRONG Men Coaching, LLC
4. Exchange daily goals with my partner
“The morning routine that helps me ground myself for the day includes cuddling with my husband while we talk about our goals for the day, what we dreamed about the night before (dreams are a great source of guidance!) and appreciating what we see through the window. Appreciation for a new day is a must, visualizing how you want your day to be and focused planning will make your day easier and more productive!” —Thania Keppel, founder of Thania Keppel Coaching LLC
5. Work out
“I wake up every morning at 7:15 a.m. and spend 30 minutes on time for myself; this usually means writing in my journal, reading a fun book or watching submissions for Victoria’s Secret PINK’s GRL PWR Project (a campaign that will award 20 girls with $10,000 to power their dreams), for which I am a judge. I do this while enjoying the beautiful early-morning sunshine. By 7:50 a.m., I am heading to a workout, such as spinning, barre or running. Working out is incredibly important to me in terms of clearing my mind and pushing my limits physically. … After every workout, to save time, I get ready in the studio and take advantage of the really nice amenities that many provide. …Then I head to my office; while on the subway, I listen to a book or podcast, usually focused on a successful entrepreneur (currently listening to Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike) to get inspired for the day.” —Allyson Ahlstrom, founder of Threads for Teens.
6. Plan the day
“The first thing I do is read for 30 minutes (usually books on self-development and/or coaching). I then spend 30 minutes journaling (usually about how I’ve handled conversations and difficult situations with clients, loved ones, etc.). I might also do a five-minute gratitude exercise, noting down three good things that happened the previous day. … My biggest productivity tip is that I spend 10 minutes planning the day; most people spend too much time reacting and not enough time thinking ahead and planning. I’ve got a list of things to do for the next five-to-seven working days, and as I start my day, I move the most important one to the front; note: the most important one, not the most urgent one. I then make room for two-to-three medium-sized tasks, and four-to-five small tasks … which leaves time for unforeseen events. This means I usually feel pretty good about actually finishing everything on my to-do list every day.” —Christine Mitterbauer, career and business coach at Christine Coaching
7. Drink water, stretch and eat energizing foods
“My morning routine is simple and doesn’t take much time, which are two very important aspects to me. After all, if I can’t even give myself 20-30 minutes a day (out of 1,440), what value am I placing on myself? My routine is: I drink 12 ounces of water and perform simple stretch exercises while I microwave eggs for my meal (five minutes); I sit for five minutes and focus on my breathing; go outside if the weather is amenable (five minutes); I read my personal manifesto (affirmations/vision), setting the right mindset for the day (four minutes); I do a quick Tai chi or kung fu form or practice my juggling to get blood flowing and work on a new skill (three minutes); I eat my eggs and banana (30 seconds); if I have time, I do a 1.5-mile jog (10 minutes) before I eat my eggs.” —Josh Zepess, founder of Broke Is No Joke Enterprises
8. Write down my intention for the day
“My morning routine is centered around working out, setting an intention for the day and getting as much out of the 2.5 hours I have before I need to leave for work. On weekdays, I wake up at 6:00 a.m.; I either do an at-home workout or hit a strength class at the gym. … While getting ready for work, I usually listen to an audiobook. … During my commute, I set an intention for the day. I type this into my phone’s notes and, throughout my day, I aim to make it happen. I also try not to check my email before work unless I absolutely need to or have an emergency. This allows me to stay focused on my morning routine and makes me feel that the time I have before work is spent on me, not on work.” —Paula Liza Bartis, small business advisor
9. Speak my day’s intentions out loud
“ … How I start my day dictates not only how I serve others, but how I am open to receive all that the day has in store for me. … Before getting out of bed, I start my day with speaking out loud what I would like to come to me (i.e., new clients, positive interactions, new opportunities). … Next, I take 15 minutes to meditate and visualize what my day will look like, as well as rid myself of any anxiety about the day. Finally, I go to my bathroom, where I have all of the wonderful things about me taped onto my mirror. These are things that I believe about myself, things I would like to see in myself and things people have said they see in me, such as ‘I am a talented women who moves boldly through life.’ I read these aloud daily. This technique is important in reinforcing your self-belief. If you are the first person to speak to yourself, then you build a strong armor that becomes difficult for the world to penetrate.” —Lisa Guice, Certified Life Coach and self relationship expert
“I wake up at 6 a.m. and stretch, deep breathe, meditate and refer to my journal, which reminds me to show gratitude, encourages ‘me time’ and helps me set priorities to better juggle the five facets of a brilliant life: family, fun, fitness, better finances and a fabulous career. I believe people learn more about themselves, have more fun and improve their mindset thanks to monthly, weekly and daily journaling. … After journaling, I brew coffee, walk my rescue puppy (some days, I do Facebook Live’s ‘Walks and Wisdom’) and head to the gym for an 8 a.m. class. I’m exercised, showered and allow myself 30 minutes for personal chores — then am at my desk starting my work day at 10 a.m.” —Pat Roque, career transformation coach, RockOnSuccess.com, and author of Rock On Success 90-Day Fast Action Planner
11. Write out my goals for the day, as well as pray
“When I wake up, I write my goals for the day, and a recap of my goals from the previous day, in my journal. I then meditate on the day’s goals and visualize myself completing each of them. I then pray. … Next, I pick up my phone for the first time and let the outside world in through emails, text/voicemail messages, missed calls and social media. Taking charge of this part of my day allows me to be in control of how I spend my time and what I focus on at the beginning of each day.” —Tana M. Session, international speaker, coach and consultant
12. Practice a morning self-care routine
“I’ve learned to embrace my mornings by carving out extra time for ME. I add anywhere from five minutes to one hour before my usual get-ready routine for my own morning self-care routine. It is all about me and the things I enjoy, and includes meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and journaling. On a perfect day, I wake up, get some upbeat music going and drink a glass of water. Then, I have my coffee for three minutes, meditate for five minutes, journal for 20 minutes (e.g., schedule my day, write my affirmations, such as ‘I raise the bar!’, define my intentions and list what I’m grateful for), visualize my best self for two minutes, stretch and practice taekwondo for 15 minutes and read for 15 minutes. When I know I have things to look forward to, it actually makes waking up enjoyable! (As an added bonus, I feel more productive and energized, too!) I recommend reading Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM) if you want to learn more about developing your own Miracle Morning.” —Sara Dawson, health and lifestyle coach with Ama La Vida