The Importance of Having a Morning Routine

By Katherine Ratliff October 20, 2015

Do you ever find your healthy living goals crumbling to the ground the moment you get stressed or super busy? It is easy to eat healthy and exercise when life is good, but the moment things go south, these activities tend to fall off our list of priorities. Yes, we may understand that exercising and eating healthy are the exact things we need when life gets challenging, but in those moments of stress, we tend to forget. Life gets in the way.

I know this all too well. When I started graduate school I thought I had everything in order. I was preparing healthy meals, exercising, practicing mindfulness, and then school kicked into full gear. All of the sudden all these healthy living techniques I had developed disappeared. I remember sitting at home one day laughing to myself. Here I am getting my masters in nutrition, so I can help people get healthier, and I’ve gained 10 pounds, my eating habits are crap, and I barely exercise. What went wrong? It took me until the end of this past school year to truly understand what was going on. Two things were off.

1. My priorities were out of alignment
2. I had no habits in place to fall back on when life got hard.

This is where a morning routine comes in.

Establishing routines, rituals, habits, can make all the difference in the success of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even when life gets in the way. Just the other day I was talking with the lovely Amber Krogsrud of Thrive + Well about this idea. She reminded me of how important having habits in place can be when we encounter difficult situations. One habit we discussed was the morning routine. When we start our day off on the right foot, we are setting ourselves up for success. A morning routine is the first step in getting the day going. Now before we jump into what a morning routine looks like, I would like to note that everyone’s ideal morning is going to look different. 

The key to creating a sustainable morning routine is that it needs to be meaningful. What works for one person may not work for another. 

To establish a morning routine, take a moment and reflect on what your ideal morning would look like. What little things can you incorporate into this sacred time that will help you achieve the life you desire? I urge you to go deep in looking at what this means for you. The more personal you can get, the more meaningful your morning routine will be. 

If you are uncertain what a morning routine could look like, here are a few ideas to get you started: 

1. Start your morning with a glass of warm lemon water.
2. Move your body – Do some stretching/yoga, go on a walk, or do a full work out.
3. Journal – What are you thankful for? What would you like to get out of your day? What are your daily non-negotiables? How would you like to feel today? These are just a few ideas to get your started.
4. Put on some tunes that bring you joy.  Listen to music that inspires you.
5. Create a nourishing breakfast – start your morning with a green smoothie or kale and eggs.
6. Write down a daily affirmation.
7. Map out your day – What do you want it to look like?
8. Listen to an inspiring podcast.
9. Meditate – even a few minutes of deep breathing exercises can energize you in the morning!

So how does this all feel? Is this a completely new concept or are you already a seasoned morning expert?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know what works for you!

Check out the rest of our Health & Happiness posts curated by our Guest Editor, Lea Michele, all week long. Also, be sure to get Lea’s book, You First, a book about, “respecting and understanding what you really want — and then going out to achieve it.”

*This post was originally published on For more from Katherine, be sure to visit her site here.

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