The Ultimate Morning Routine Checklist
What does a typical morning look like for you? Do you leave the house feeling like a million bucks—full of energy, focus, and ready to take on the day? Or are you always heading out the door in a rush, feeling disorganized, and dreading the day ahead?
To help you get energized and kickstart more productive days, we’ve pulled together a daily morning routine checklist. As we like to say here at Kreatures of Habit: Own your morning, own your day, own your life.
What Should Be in Your Morning Routine?
When it comes to building a morning routine, know there isn’t some magical, cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all formula that will work for everyone. Your billion dollar morning routine checklist will be different from someone else’s, and that’s okay. A lot of it will depend on what you have going on in your life. For example, waking up at 5 in the morning to workout, meditate, journal, read, practice positive affirmations, and meal prep—all before work—might not be realistic for you.
At the end of the day, it’s about finding what works best for you and implementing those simple daily habits into your mornings for more productive days.
Morning Routine Checklist (for Adults)
Every single thing on this list doesn’t have to be included in your morning routine. Think of this list as more like a sample morning routine or template to draw inspiration from.
Now, with that said, here are 6 great ideas to include in your mornings.
1. Do prep work the night before
Owning your morning starts with the evening before. Here are some things to do at night to set yourself up for success the next day:
Set a time to get up and stick to it
We’re all Kreatures of Habit (pun intended). Getting up at the same time every day can help get you in the flow of a routine and make life easier. Set an alarm until your body gets used to waking up at the same time each day. If getting up in the mornings is a super struggle for you, turn off the snooze button and put your alarm on the opposite side of the room.
Lay out your clothes the night before
This is especially useful if you plan on hitting the gym in the mornings. When you wake up and see your workout clothes, it’ll be an automatic cue that it’s time to get a workout in. The less obstacles there are in your way, the more likely you are to stick to your workouts. And laying out your clothes ahead of time eliminates the excuse of finding something to wear to the gym. You can just hop up when your alarm goes off, get dressed, and head to the gym.
Create a to-do list
Having a plan of attack for the next day can help you put some intention behind your days. Write down the three most important tasks you want to accomplish and put it somewhere visible so it’s never too far off your mind.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
As reported by the CDC, ⅓ of adults in the US aren’t getting enough sleep. But research says you should aim for at least 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night.
Sleep is a non-negotiable when it comes to your overall health. It can impact you both mentally (i.e. how alert you are and your cognitive skills) and physically too. When you don’t sleep enough, your body produces more ghrelin and cortisol, which are hormones that make you hungrier, and redudces your leptin levels (a hormone that suppresses your appetite). That combination can lead to overeating and unintentional weight gain.
2. Stay off your phone
It’s right there when you wake up. In fact, it’s probably your alarm. So it can be easy to open up your phone first thing when you wake up and just start scrolling. But hopping on your phone and getting lost in apps like Instagram, Twitter, or even going through work emails is one of the fastest ways to turn a productive morning into an unproductive one. Try holding off on phone time until after you’ve completed your morning routine checklist.
3. Get a workout in
Fitness is freedom. And morning exercise is a great way to kickoff a healthier and more productive day. Besides the obvious physical benefits like weight loss, building muscle, and getting in shape, exercising in the morning has many mental benfits as well, which you can take advantage of as soon as you wake up by making exercise part of your morning routine checklist.
“Happy chemicals” that get released during exercise, like serotonin and dopamine, help you become more alert, have better focus, more energy, and contribute to an overall better mood.
Lifting weights your thing? Here are a few strength training routines guaranteed to help you achieve a killer pump:
Your morning workout doesn’t have to be something super strenuous either. You can go on a walk or jog, hop on the elliptical for a quick cardio session, or do some calistenics like push-ups and sit-ups right on your living room floor. The key is just getting your body up and moving, and your blood flowing.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast and hydrate
Eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast fuels you to tackle the day ahead. Make sure you’re getting enough of the 3 primary macronutrients:
- Protein to aid in muscle recovery.
- Carbs to replenish glycogen stores and give you energy.
- Healthy fats to help with nutrient absorption.
If you’re short on time (or just looking for something tasty to start your day), try our gluten-free PrOATagonist Superfood Oatmeal for a quick and convenient breakfast option. There are 4 amazing flavors, including rich chocolate and mouthwatering blueberry banana. Each serving contains 30g of plant-based protein, and plenty of vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids for the energy and brainpower you need to start your day off on the right foot!
Also, make sure you’re starting off the day with some good ol’ fashioned H2O by drinking a glass of water. It almost sounds too easy, right? But getting some fluids in gives you an energy boost, helps you wake up, and puts your digestive system in motion. Consider setting out a water bottle the night before, so all you have to do is grab, fill up, and drink.
5. Exercise your mind
While it’s not something you can necessarily show off, like a pair of bulging biceps or a set of washboard 6-pack abs, your mind is a muscle that needs to be worked too. Setting time aside to exercise your mind helps you stay sharp, center yourself emotionally, and relieve stress.
Here are some habits to consider implementing into your morning routine:
- Journaling is a great way to get your feelings out, put things in perspective, and relieve stress.
- Mindfulness meditation can help regulate your emotions, decompress, and calm your mind.
- Reading expands your mind to new ideas and skills that you can implement in your daily life.
6. Make your bed
You might think this one is insignificant and won’t make much of a difference in whether or not you have a productive day. But making your bed right when you wake up is a quick and easy way to accomplish something to start your day. Even though it might be small, starting off your day by accomplishing something gets your mind on the productive train. And it can’t hurt to make your bedroom a little neater, right?
Creating the Ultimate Morning Routine Checklist
To start, make it make it a goal to accomplish just 2 or 3 habits from list. Just as a reftresher, here’s the morning routine checklist again:
- Do prep work the night before by setting a wake up time, laying out your clothes, and creating a to-do list.
- Stay off your phone to start the day.
- Get a workout in.
- Eat a healthy breakfast and get hydrated.
- Read, journal, or take up meditation to stay sharp and calm your mind.
- Make your bed to start your day off with a small win and get your mind in a productive frame of mind.
You can hold yourself accountable by writing out your goals. And when you do, be specific. For example, your 2 goals might look something like... “I will read for 15 minutes before work each day” or “I will exercise for 30 minutes before work on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.” Also, consider taping them to your bedroom door so they’re never too far out of sight.
See if you can add a new task to your list each week. It might take some tinkering but once you find the right combo of new habits, your productivity and energy levels are sure to skyrocket!
Does the art of creating better habits get you exicted? Check out our blog post on habit forming.
Author: Chad Richardson
Chad is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH. When he’s not behind his computer cooking up content, you’ll find Chad at the gym making extremely ugly workout faces or watching sports with friends. He likes to pretend his hometown teams will play better if he yells at the TV.
Learn more about Chad on his business website here.
The information contained in this post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical or professional advice. You should consult your doctor or medical professional before starting this or other fitness or nutrition programs to determine if it is right fo your unique needs.