Morning Routine: From Wahh to Yeah!

I’ll say it right off the bat.

There are many people who are more masterful at the morning routine than me. In fact, I’ve just started mine, and have only done it twice thus far.

The best morning routine guru around is Leo Babauta of Zen Habits: Google “morning routine” and he’s who you’ll find. His old morning routine is here, and his simplified one is here

Here is another great artilce about morning routines:

Top 10 Ways to Upgrade Your Morning Routine



There are some things that are not mentioned in those articles that I would like to share with you:


(1) A successful morning routine depends on a successful evening routine. 

Want to wake up early? Go to bed early. Set and test your alarm.

Want to sleep without stress? Prep tonight for tomorrow. 

Want a morning free from stress + anxiety? Clean up before you go to bed. Pack your lunch and your bag.


(2) Know how much sleep thy body needs.

I just spent eight months sleeping as long as my little heart desired. My only alarm clock was the noisy street outside and an infrequent rain leak in the window above my bed. By allowing myself to sleep as long as I needed, I learned that my body needs at least 9 hours of sleep at night in order to feel energized throughout the day (read: no naps!) How many hours do you sleep when you can? That’s how much you should aim for to feel the best throughout the day! 

If you don’t get enough sleep, read these articles:

The Surprising Toll of Sleep Deprivation

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

In Defense of a Good Night’s Sleep


(3) Understand your body clock.

Also called your circadian rhythm, your body clock determines at what times during the day you will have the most energy. For me, this is mid-morning and evening. Because I understand my body clock, I can schedule my most difficult tasks for when I am the most alert. 


Now, here’s how it currently all plays out for me (more or less):

[6:00] Wake up (I have 3 alarms set at 3 minute intervals). Rolling out of bed is the hardest part!

[6:10] Meditation from Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg. This 28-day challenge started this week as an assignment for a psychology professor, and so far I’m loving it!

[6:30] Make tea, go to office and write down any brilliant ideas that I unfortunately came up with while trying to sleep. (Note to self: put notebook next to bed).

[6:45] Concoct a delicious breakfast (oatmeal/shake/toast/egg + english muffin) and slurp down some OJ. 

[7:00] Shower

[7:20] Decide on a schedule for the day. Jot down the 3 most important tasks. Scann RSS feed. Become distracted by social media.

[7:40] Finish getting ready, pack lunch.

[7:50] Start car from the comfort of my kitchen. Win. Put on arctic weather attire. Check everything twice (thus avoiding anxiety while in car).

[8:00] Out the door!


Here are some things that I’d like to add:


  • Stephen Tyler jumps from the top of a building into a lake every morning. Then he emerges from the water and lets out a whail of victory. Need I say more?
  • Walk the dog.



Here are some things that I normally don’t do in the morning: 


  • Exercise. While this is fabulous for some people, I’d personally rather fry in the pits of hell than commit to running at 6:00am every morning. Also, exercising in the late afternoon has been linked with better sleep. DONE.
  • Make coffee. I’m simply too lazy. 
  • Read a book. When I wake up early, I feel excited about beginning the day and getting things done. I prefer reading during breaks and at night before I go to bed.