Looking to start a morning routine? Here are five simple tips to get your morning started off on the right foot.

start your morning routine right

A long time ago in a land far away….

…I used to sleep until noon.


Until I had a job.

And children.

And dogs and cats and assorted individuals who depended on me to get out of bed and put my feet on the floor and drink loads of coffee to wipe the bleariness from my eyes and face each day earlier than I ever imagined possible.  Understandably, it took me a while to adjust.  It took me a while to figure out that the sun was my friend and chirping birds are just nature’s way of telling you the day has started and that hitting the snooze button can be a little overrated.

To say I’m not really a morning person is the understatement of the century, but I truly want 2023 to be different. This year I decided I needed a morning routine to start my day off on the right foot. So after we got back from the cruise, I researched and read articles and planned out what I needed to do, and came up with a morning routine THAT IS WORKING.



I’m more productive than I have ever been before.

Now just between us, I’m only 3 weeks in so I don’t want to get overconfident yet, but if this is what getting your mornings on right looks like, then I’m all in.

So in honor of 2023 and the beginning of the month of March, here’s my morning routine (including the one thing I do that’s changed my entire day) and my five best tips to get the most out of all those hours I never knew existed before noon.

Five Things I’ve Learned to Make Mornings Easier

1.  Start your morning routine by getting out of bed

I know this is the most Captain Obvious suggestion you’ve ever heard of.

But it’s true.

You have to make the commitment to get up out of the bed and stop hitting the snooze alarm and smell the coffee pot that you’ve set on a timer and put your feet on the floor and not snuggle back under the covers.

And here’s my best tip to accomplish step number 1. As soon as you get out of bed…

….make it.

It accomplishes two things (three if you count teaching yourself how to coordinate your arms and legs together before 7:00 am).  First, making your bed prevents you from climbing back in it and second, it helps get your room ready for the morning, too.

2.  Do the same things in the same order

When I was researching morning routines they all had one thing in common.


Getting out of bed is tough enough without having to make decisions, too. If you have a routine in place, then you don’t have to DECIDE ANYTHING (especially at a time when you aren’t really at the top of your game). So decide what you want to accomplish in the morning, make a list and every morning do the list on repeat.

At the end of the post, you can see exactly what I’ve been doing every morning and what works for me right now.

I’m not sure exactly why this works, but it does.  I think when you have a routine, you are telling your brain that it’s go-time and there’s no going back and crawling back under the covers (which you can’t do anyway because the bed is already made).

morning routine bedroom

3.  Don’t get on your phone

So your bed is made and you are tackling your list and you’ve stumbled into the kitchen to the smell of coffee and suddenly you hear a Facebook beep from your phone.

And you want to reach for it.


That phone can TOTALLY draw you offsides.

If you reach for Facebook it might turn into Twitter which might turn into e-mail or Instagram or Snapchat or Tumbler and you before you know it Good Morning America isn’t playing on the television anymore and the View is on.

And the morning is halfway over.

Kittens playing the piano and dogs riding skateboards and people singing or laughing or graduating from high school or dancing to songs about Applebees can wait.

I established a rule for myself that I don’t get on social media or my phone until I’ve finished my list and I’ve eaten breakfast.  It’s what works for me.  You can find your own time that works for you, but give yourself time to adjust to the morning first before you start looking at that little screen.

4.  Make sure to drink water

The ONE thing that changed my entire morning?

A glass of water.

I know it sounds so simple. I know it sounds so basic. BUT IT IS A GAME-CHANGER.

When we wake up we are dehydrated.

And then?

We reach for coffee which can be a slight diuretic.


Drink a glass of water.

It’s an easy addition to a morning routine. I started doing this at the beginning of the weight loss journey and it really works. I drink a glass of water before I have that first cup of coffee and it wakes me up and fills me up and starts my day off right.

5.  Move your body

I added stretching to my morning routine.

Nothing fancy.

I just found some 10-minute stretching videos on Youtube and I play them on the television. I’ve been trying different instructors and I found one that I really liked.

It’s WAY TO EARLY to actually exercise for me. But stretching? It makes my toes wiggle and my stomach feel flatter and my arms feel like they want to take on the day. It’s helped improve my posture and makes me feel taller, too.

And now?

Here’s my morning routine (I put it into a Google doc so I’d remember it):

7:15: wake up and drink a glass of water

7:20: wash my face (with my skincare routine)/brush my teeth/floss/apply moisturizer

7:30: stretch with stretching video for 10 minutes

7:45: morning devotion and quiet time for 10 minutes/drink coffee

8:00: eat breakfast

8:05 get dressed and put on make-up

8:15 take on the DAY

A couple of quick notes:

  • I take a bath/shower at night so I already have that out of the way in the morning.
  • The thing that has made the biggest difference for me is that I’ve embraced the routine. I love it. I relish it. I enjoy it.
  • When I’m stretching, I’m telling my arms and my legs how beautiful they are.
  • When I’m putting on lotion, I’m taking my time and pretending I’m in a romance movie.
  • That’s the key. Enjoy your routine. It’s for you. Let it prepare you for the day.
  • Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace. There’s only one you and you are AMAZING.
  • My routine is only one hour from beginning to end and I’m ready for the day.


morning routine

Someone wise once said that the first hour of the day can set the tone for an entire day of productivity.

It is so true.

And having that morning routine is the key.

It takes the thought and decision-making out of the morning—kind of like laying out a super cute outfit for the day so you don’t have to think about what you are going to wear.

I don’t need to think about what I’m doing the first hour of the day, because it’s already all planned out for me.

And when I’m done?

I’m ready for the day.

Watch out world….

…..here I come. 🙂

PS What do you do first thing in the morning? Do you have a morning routine? I’d love to hear any ideas and suggestions.

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  1. Image for laura laura

    Hi KariAnne I also start with 20 gulps of water. I don’t know how i settled on gulps but it works! I don’t do social media either but i scroll through my emails and delete all the junk. I workout after coffee most days and do one day of videos on youtube ( pinned to my workout board on pinterest so i can access on my phone. Happy Thursday!

    1. Image for Susan J Susan J

      Wise words!!! Thanks for the ideas to start my day on the right way. And, between is, making the bed first thing is a Game Changwd!

      1. Image for Heidi Heidi

        Hi Susan, My grandmother taught me that when I was a little girl and have kept that discipline my whole life. I'm 77 now, and some of my routines have changed, but not this one!

    2. Image for Kris Kris

      I read somewhere that 8 gulps of water equals approximately a cup, and that when you take medication, you should follow it up with 8 gulps to wash it down. I don't know how accurate the 8 gulps measurement is, but it's an easy way to "measure" your water intake.

  2. Image for Barb Becraft Barb Becraft

    I happened upon your blog a couple weeks ago and I’ve never looked back!! I feel like you’re a neighbor or friend now, you make it so personal! I just want to say I’m grateful I found you! I’m a busy gal so I’m picky about what I read and I’m off social media since it was too all consuming so I feel like you fill that niche for me. Thank you!!

  3. Image for Joanne McNevin Joanne McNevin

    Great sharing KariAnne. Thank you. I had read a similar post from you sometime back and it always sounded like a great idea to add 10 mins of stretching and since I’m stuck up here in the snow all winter at 55 yrs of age and started to feel 80 I decided to add that to my mornings. So I’ve only been doing this for the past week and already feel better! Thanks very much. Do you have a favourite video to share? Do you change it up as you get better at it?

  4. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Is your house always photo ready? I see pics of your house and think dang does she ever have anything out of place? Scissors, a cup left unattended, A dirty plate sitting on the counter? Give me something..lol I am guilty of not drinking water in the a.m. I have tried but I get so nauseous from it so straight to coffee (2cups) for me. But my actual morning starts with taking my 3 little dogs out and then feeding them and that is everyday at 3:30 a.m. Then I start my morning with my coffee. I make my bed after coffee because you know when a dog has to go out after sleeping all night, waiting on you to make the bed is pretty cruel. So I make my 3 pups priority. But these are some good thinks you gave us. Thank you. And please let me think you leave a cup out sometimes. 😁

  5. Image for Peg Peg

    I'm a morning person so I'm happy to start my day no matter what!! Glad this is helping you embrace the mornings!! xoxo

  6. Image for Joan Joan

    Good Morning KariAnne! My morning routine is very similar to yours, except for the making of the bed. My dear, old Mom always had us "air out" our beds each day, and I still do. So, I don't make mine until the end of my routine. It doesn't bother me as I've never cared for sleeping in anyway! You are an inspiration with the water drinking, though. I need to drink more water, but I detest it. I even pinned your fruit infused water ideas. At 73 years of age, and now living in Texas, if I don't follow your example, I might blow away! Good luck with today's nasty weather.

  7. Image for Joen Bayliss Joen Bayliss

    I so enjoy your posts. But have to say the Morning Routine is the BEST! Why have I never thought of this? GENIUS! Already put one together for today! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  8. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I always make the bed right after I brush my teeth, weigh myself and put on lounge clothes (just for the early morning then change for the day). I read somewhere that you use 100 calories when making a bed! Plus I like seeing it all neat when I walk through later.

  9. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Oh my, KariAnne, you must be talking to me. I developed a bad habit last year. After leaving my job of travel and years of getting up and out the door at 3:45am to catch 6am flights, I have my coffee in bed at 6:45 after feeding the dogs, and I watch GMA and read emails. It’s so comfy I just don’t want to get up! I talk myself into staying just a little longer and I crawl out at 9:30ish. Notice the “ish”. lol. Then off to the dog park we go and my day is in full swing. If you can share your preferred stretching video, that would be great! And thanks for the tip on drinking water as soon as you get up. I just love your posts ❣️❣️

  10. Image for Kris Kris

    On days that I work, I have a routine that I follow which helps me get out of the door in a timely manner. I am Team Make Your Bed all the way, although I have read that it's actually healthier to let your bed air out for a bit before making it (it helps with dust mites). My mom told me, when I was young, that the bed was the biggest thing in your bedroom and if it is made, then your whole bedroom looks much cleaner--for some reason that resonated with me. For those who work outside of the home, my suggestion is prep, prep, prep. Have your clothing laid out, your lunch prepared (and possibly packed), any odds and ends you need for work set out (for me, that would be my work badge, glasses, and a pen), the teakettle filled so all you have to do is switch on the stove for tea, have breakfast prepped (or a very simple breakfast plan) .... in short, if you can do it the night before, then do it! That way, if your morning hits a snag, you don't have to put extra brainpower into your must-do tasks and can concentrate on dealing with the emergency at hand. Where I'm not so great is getting up and motivated on my days off. I think you are on to something with having a routine, KariAnne.

  11. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Karianne. What a great post. I totally agree about morning routines. They really help set the stage for my entire day. My first task every single morning is making up the bed. I always walk around the entire bed, making sure the comforter hits evenly on every side of the bed frame and the pillows are stacked "just so". Hubby calls it "a bit much", but he's used to it now. Anyway, you've made some great suggestions. I'm going to try the one about not picking up the IPhone so quickly. That's going to be a tough one-lol. Happy day to you. P.S. You're the cutest in those jeans and sweet top.

  12. Image for Patricia Patricia

    I AM a morning person. I can't sleep in (unless I've been up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back asleep). Last one up makes the bed (usually my husband) so I take my vitamins and meds with a glass of water, write at least one page of whatever comes to mind and end with my to-do list. Then into my swimsuit and bathrobe, walk 2000 steps and end up at the jacuzzi in my senior residence. I do my stretching routine in the hot water, enjoy the bubbles and head home to dress and have breakfast. Next up is exercise class or meet my d-i-l for a long walk.

  13. Image for Jane Jane

    KariAnne, do you have spies in my house? I, too, am not a morning person. Thankfully, I am retired now, so the pressure to be up and at 'em, has caused my once early routine to falter. I am trying as you have been for the last three weeks to do better. I like all your ideas. Yes, water is first on my list. I keep a bottle on bedside table and sit up and drink it. After my legs agree to move, I head for the kitchen. I too air out the bed but spread it up when I return to the bedroom to get dressed after breakfast. My little bit of luxury is eating breakfast in my robe. My husband has learned this routine and he helps make the bed. I sure wish we still lived in Keller, Texas because you just might have a visit from me if we did. I feel like you are one of my Texas friends. I do enjoy your beautiful home and your wise words. Thanks for sharing your routine. At 78, I will even try your stretching ...maybe that is what I am needing.🤗

  14. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Good morning and thanks for these helpful reminders....I always drink a full glass of water and make my bed, but I had just let the stretching slide to point didn't do it.....Will put that back in because as a senior I really need it. Love your blog and thank you for all the good info you share. Thought for the day: There are no bad days---Some are just better than others. Happy Day my friend.

  15. Image for Suzi Wollman Suzi Wollman

    Ahhhhh.... that first morning stretch! One way I hop out of bed in the morning is thinking about how my dad would sit by my side, waiting patiently for me to wake up—and then greet me with a smile and a hug. My dad's gone now, but I think of God waiting by my side, eager for me to wake up and start the day with Him. Starting with my morning devotions sets the tone for the day. I can't make the bed until the love of my life is up (and I usually wake up before him), but it's the first thing I do when we're both out of it. Morning cleansing routine follows letting my dog out and feeding her. Water! Lots of it. (I put electrolytes in mine.) Breakfast and dishes and then off to my studio to work for the day!

  16. Image for Jayne Jayne

    I love this! I happen to be a morning person and look forward to getting up. After I get up I put water on for coffee that I make in my French press, I take my dogs out, feed them, make yummy coffee and have a cup. I REALLY want to begin adding that water to my start though, it sounds so smart on so many levels. And the next thing I want to change is to add the stretching like you do and to also not get on my laptop until the stretching, dressing, having breakfast are done!

  17. Image for Laurie Laurie

    Hi Karianne! 10 minutes to put on make up and get dressed? You must wake up with naturally beautiful hair and skin. For those of us less fortunate, 10 minutes is just getting us started. LOL. I don’t shower at night because my hair would look atrocious in the morning. It takes me at least an hour and a half to shower, wash my hair, dry it, roll it, put on make up, put on my clothes, style my hair and get out the door. Once I add in, making the bed, water, coffee time, stretching and breakfast I’m looking at 2 to 2 1/2 hours easily. I love your routine, but I’m willing to bet they are more women like me who need just a little more time to get our day going.

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      LOL! I only wash my hair once a week! I get a blow-out every Friday and that lasts all week so I have to just brush it and go. If I curl it, it says all week (gradually falling a little bit every day which is perfect because the first day is too curly!). The rest of the time is for make-up which I do t spend too much time on (except the lipstick) LOL! :) happy day, karianne

  18. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    Hi Karianne, I have always been a morning person, don't hate me. But I always get up and make my bed first. I trained both of my adult sons to do the same and their lovely wives thanked me all the time. Haha. Then I pretty much do what you've described. A doctor on TV once said you should always drink water first thing because your brain is dehydrated as well as the rest of your body. I shower at night, so after bed making and water drinking, I wash my face and apply my moisturizer and then drink coffee. Make up comes after 2 cups of caffein. Haha. Karen B.

  19. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    All REALLY great advice. If only I could sleep it'd be perfect for me. Ah, insomnia, ain't it just fun??? And I must say wow - you look so good, KA! I don't want to sound condescending cuz I am not trying to be - but I am so danged proud of you. Keep it up. The best days are yet to come with your healthy routines and positive outlook on life. Your smiles show through on your blog and it is appreciated! Thank you for being your awesome inspirational self!

  20. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    As always, I have to find fault: you should floss BEFORE brushing. It gets all the crud out when you brush!!! Lol But otherwise you have a wonderful routine!!! My husband sleeps longer than I do(since we've retired), so he makes his half of the bed and I make my half later!!! It works.

  21. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Hi KariAnne I'm using an old post to let you know the new post link for Saturday (today) wont open. Hope you can get it fixed.

    1. Image for Regina Regina

      Hi Karianne the best way to start the day is with morning prayer and daily Bible reading. thanks for the post like spending some of my sat morning with you

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