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.

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 this year is going to be different. This year I decided I needed a morning routine to start my day off on the right foot. So I researched and read articles and planned out what I needed to do and came up with a morning routine THAT IS WORKING.

Yep.

Truly.

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

Now just between us I’m only 5 days 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.

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.

start your morning routine

2.  Do the same things in the same order

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

Consistency.

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 my 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 make your bed

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.

Don’t.

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.

Instead?

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 help improve my posture and makes me feel taller, too.

And now?

Here’s my new morning routine that I’ve been doing for five days (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

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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Comments

  1. Image for Jo Jo

    I am 66 years old and although my routine has evolved over the years with becoming an empty nester to no longer working full-time, your points are excellent! Making the bed is essential to moving you out of that sleeping space. Water is a new one for me that I only began early last year. You aren't kidding!!!! Game changer. The quiet time/devotion time creates a renewed spirit right out of the gate and will show up later when the day may become crazy. I love witnessing your journey, your energy and "gift" for shopping. You definitely make the world a brighter place! Happy New Year!! (And I must say I've become a Walmart shopper due to your influence!!!!)

  2. Image for laura@everydayedits.co laura@everydayedits.co

    Yep i Drink 20 gulps of water while i make coffee. i workout first thing so no matter what the day brings I can check that box! I just subscribed to Peloton app ( no bike or treadmill) Happy new Year KariAnne! laura

  3. Image for Robin Albanese Robin Albanese

    Good Morning, Sweet KariAnne, Thank you for this post and the reminder how important a morning routine is!! The best source I've found for encouragement in how to establish a morning routine is from the book by Kat Lee called, Hello Mornings! It was a life changer for me too. I'll be praying for your consistency (and mine too) as we start off a new year, making it a great one! Blessings upon you today!

  4. Image for Linda Johnson Linda Johnson

    I am a morning person, but I wanted to see your list. I do these things too, but I’m going to tweak my routine adding more water and an inspiring stretching app. One other thing I do early in the day, is to check the dinner plan so the essentials are ready to cook later in the day. You look great!

  5. Image for Linda Johnson Linda Johnson

    I am a morning person, but I wanted to see your list. I do these things too, but I’m going to tweak my routine adding more water and an inspiring stretching app. One other thing I do early in the day, is to check the dinner plan so the essentials are ready to cook later in the day. You look great!

  6. Image for Nancy Sharp Nancy Sharp

    I’m 75 and have never been a morning person. About a year or so ago I got tired of my grouchy self. I prayed, “Lord, you must have had a reason for creating me like this. Please help me accept who I am cheerfully.” Yes, it took me almost 75 years to pray this.😩 I still don’t get up raring to go, but I accept who I am. I get up at 6:00a.m. and have time to enjoy my morning coffee and devotions. No where to go,(we’re retired) but just enjoy the time God is allowing us.❤️

  7. Image for Deb Deb

    One of the truths I recognized about myself early on is that I needed alone time. Not hard when it’s just you and your husband but after 3 kids it became a challenge. I was always an early riser and that became my alone time and time to get things done. I ate my breakfast in peace, I counted my blessings, and even washed windows and laundry and floors in the silence before dawn. The rest of the day, well, was up for grabs but I had that early time to center myself before chaos reigned. So important.

  8. Image for Cherilyn Anderson Cherilyn Anderson

    I have always been a morning person...at 72 I have fine tuned my routine which really hasn't changed much (except when my children were little). Stretch in bed. Get up at 5:30, make bed, wash face and drink water, make coffee. Head outside to pick up newspaper. Make breakfast, read paper, challenge brain with crossword. Shower, dress. And I am good to go for the day!

  9. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    Okay, first let me say that I am a late night person, and a early morning person. I love to wake up early, make my bed and welcome the sunrise, but here I sit reading your post on social media. I think I have just blown my day, because I will probably now go straight to Pinterest, then check my emails the entire time thinking about what I SHOULD be doing today. Looks like I need to teach this old dog some new tricks. I guess Scarlet may have be right because.....Tomorrow is a new day!

  10. Image for Michelle Crowley Michelle Crowley

    I am NOT a morning person - probably because I'm a night person. I tend to get a second wind at about 9pm and then want to take on project that will keep me up until at least midnight, if not hours beyond that! It's not good… Ive always really, really wanted to be a morning person. . . But I can't be both. In March we took a trip to Africa and I had crazy jet lag coming back, for three days straight I was wide awake by 4am. So I'd get up and start my day. Best, most productive 3 days of my life. . . By 10am I was done with my "to dos" for the day and had time to do whatever I wanted! Then my body readjusted and went back to not wanting to move until 8am. I'm going to try your tips because I really loved the way those 3 days felt!

  11. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I am not a morning person by nature, and even in retirement, my weekdays are busy with grand kiddos! I do struggle on the weekends to keep ANY kind of schedule, and I have to say those warm bed covers are hard to leave😴

  12. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Good morning and thank you for this post. A reminder for us all that we can take on the day. Had really slipped backwards since a knee replacement that hasn't healed well. All your suggestions are doable, I do some(drinking water, making the bed) but I will be incorporating other suggestions. As a senior who lives alone I do text my daughter in the morning that I am up and about, also text my son in the evening that am in for night. Gives them and me peace of mind and doesn't take up much time. Love your posts and always get so much joy from reading them. Thank you for sharing all the helpful info. Blessings for the New Year.

  13. Image for Jennifer Morris Jennifer Morris

    Loved this post Karianne! I’ve been trying to establish a morning routine for a YEAR 😳😳😳 what always trips me up is social media. I did read 2 books that were excellent on subject of morning routines, one was Good Morning Good Life by Amy Landino (also a YouTuber) and The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (YouTuber as well!) consistency is my goal that always seem to evade me. Well, think my life is about to change because Saturday I get to bring home our new YorkiePoo puppy, Daisy Mae! I will definitely need to establish a consistent routine for her, not only for potty training but everything else, and this will force me to be consistent! Hey, so maybe the answer to a morning routine isn’t WATER but an adorable new PUPPY??!! You’re welcome!!😂 Happy New Year!! 🥳 Jen in NC

  14. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    I need to do this. At least I’ve started by getting up earlier. Thank you for the tips. You have me thinking now how to be more productive. Blessings

  15. Image for Robin Robin

    You look 25! What all-around inspiration you have generated. You are the real deal, the whole shebang, a leader! I enjoy your posts…though don’t comment typically. Today…I comment! I comment….and I commend. Go you! Just go you! 🥰

  16. Image for Julie Julie

    I am a morning person and start to fade in the evening....usually in bed by 9-930pm. Routine is get up, make bed, and check emails/texts. This gives me a sense of friends who have written or even blogs to follow, if I choose, based on content. Get dressed, go downstairs for breakfast, and if there's laundry to be put away (from having done it yesterday), will do that and then have breakfast. On Sunday, depending on the week will write the activity for the week. Some weeks this doesn't happen because not much is on the horizon. I like having a list as it keeps me focused and many times nothing can be sweeter than having the items all done by lunch! Depending on weather will go for a morning walk before breakfast and putting away the laundry! Before going to bed I make sure the house is in order. That can be challenging because my hubby will be up for several more hours. He's 'my child' if you will so the house doesn't always look the same in the morn from when I went to bed. =)

  17. Image for Suzanne Pope Suzanne Pope

    Once in your blog you told us all “You’re amazing”. I took the compliment personally and it made my day. Well, back to you Karianne. You truly are - amazing! Ive been needing a morning routine, and what you shared is so simple I’m going to give it a try. xoSuzanne Ps. You look amazing! If you have a minute, please where did you find that beautiful, amazing drum chandy? (Can’t find it in Shop My House) Thanks.

  18. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Love all your inspiring ideas; gives me a boost w all your energy! Especially like what you’ve posted showing the ‘coffee/tea mug’ combo set? Where did you get/find this? Thanks!!

  19. Image for Brigitte Brigitte

    I couldn't agree more - particularly drinking a glass of water! I've been slacking off with a morning routine in this age of COVID, and I've been thinking how I need to get back into taking "little steps" in order to have a more organized life. This is a good start! As always, thanks for the inspiration. :)

  20. Image for Kathie Kathie

    You are so right! Picking up the phone, iPad or other electronic device first thing in the morning is a big mistake!

  21. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I love your routine…my bed is always made when my feet hit the floor…at least my side when someone else is slumbering! And water before coffee, yes! My downfall is that phone! Thanks for the inspiration to not go directly to it with my coffee. A new prayer journal is where I need to go first…

  22. Image for Lorrie Bredal Lorrie Bredal

    Great ideas! I always drink a big glass of water in the morning. I don’t make me bed right away though. I read years ago that you should throw back the covers and let it air out a bit before making. So that’s my habit. I am trying to cut back on looking at my phone first thing in the morning. I can spend way to much time doing that. Would love info on that darling coffee pot please.

  23. Image for Karen Karen

    You must be a nighttime shower person, didn’t see shower in morning….great routine…love the water….I always remember as a kid….” Early to bed early to rise,…makes….perfect sense !

  24. Image for Amy Amy

    I have so needed this post! I always thought I was a morning person, but since retirement, I’ve discovered my early morning rising was more due to necessity (work, kids) than my natural inclinations. Now I find myself getting a burst of energy around 10 pm. You can find me in my sewing room or rearranging furniture or cleaning out a closet at midnight, telling myself that I really need to get to bed!☺️ Then when morning comes I plan to get up at a reasonable time, but keep hitting the snooze button. By the time I really get moving, the day is half over! I want to go back to being more of a morning person, and this post is just the kickstart I needed! Thank you!

  25. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    Loved reading your post. First of all I have to admit that I do not get up really early. I lost my husband of 58 years in April and it changed my routine of when I get up. But when I do get up I make my bed right then! My next thing is get my coffee and my Bible and spend a quite time. Sometimes it is short then sometimes it’s an hour or so. But that starts my day!! Love always reading your post!

  26. Image for Debbie Hernandez Debbie Hernandez

    I started a new morning routine when I retired because I was afraid I’d get lazy and I didn’t want that. I retired just 4 months ago. It took a little bit to get something going but I did it. 1. I get up about 7:30 (better than 4:30 like I had to when I was working) 2. Brush teeth, wash face etc. 3. Put on my workout clothes 4. Read my devotional from the First5 app and drink a glass of water while I’m doing that ( takes about 10-15 minutes) 5. Go for my morning walk 30-40 minutes and listen to a podcast while I’m walking. I also bring my 3x5 cards with prayer requests with me and pray for those needs while I’m walking. (BEST thing I did when I retired was buy two pair of leggings with pockets, game changer). 6. When I get home I drink more water and dig into my Bible study that I’m currently working through whatever it is at the time. My morning routine is longer than an hour but one thing I have made a BIG commitment to since retirement was putting God first and not let other things get in the way of that so that’s why I do ALL my deep Bible time in the morning. Then I’m ready to tackle my list which I also started during retirement. Each Monday make out a to-do list of what I need to or want to get down that week. Another game changer for me. I’m being more productive and not letting others or other things derail me unless there is an emergency or something like that. Love ALL your post. My husband LOVES the battery daddy.

  27. Image for Joan Joan

    My morning routine is similar, except for the making of the bed. My dear old Mom always had us "air out" our beds each morming before making them, and that has stuck with me clear into my seventies! I prepare my French press coffee, say my prayers, do stretches, then make the bed. I just need to work in that water drinking! Thanks for reminding me!

  28. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    I am 73 and when I retired, I told myself, I am not getting up early ever again, now it's 7 or 7:30. I do all of the other things but, would like to find a video instead of doing my own. I do love to walk first thing in the morning it's so relaxing.

  29. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    My day starts between 3 and 4 am depending on the season (part of the work that I do changes seasonally). I keep the same schedule and it really works. Keep going-it is worth it!!!

  30. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I was never a morning person, but now that I'm retired, I find that I get my peace and quiet by getting up at 5:30 (or before) and bring on the day!!! I drink my glass of water, and a cup of coffee and then play "Word With Friends" to get my brain going. I read my e-mails (which includes blogs) and usually have all my reading out of the way by the time my husband gets up. I go to bed early;He stays up late. It works in this house!!!

  31. Image for Lynne Lynne

    Dogs wake me every morning at 7am. Throw back the covers to air the bed, I have to air it for half an hour, I can't manage not too. Grandmother and mother told me to! Then dogs go outside, have their breakfast, I put the coffee on. This morning I was going to put the washing on the line, but thought I'd check the forecast for rain and your email popped up, so here I am at 7.45am still on the computer. Often I take a coffee back to bed and look at social media and half the mornings wasted! I will add stretching and drinking water to my routine and not getting on social media, that's the really big time waster for me. 7am is much better that 5.20am before we retired! You look so healthy and amazing now Karianne xx

  32. Image for Rita Rita

    Your bedroom is gorgeous. Please could u share your paint color and how u keep everything so clean and white ???love you ,and thank u Rita

  33. Image for Val Val

    On the days that I’m not watching grandkids, I walk with a friend at 6:30 am. Then I get ready for the day. I always put on makeup and style my hair whether I’m leaving the house or staying home. Them I’m ready to take on the day. I do not want to waste precious daylight hours by sleeping through it.

  34. Image for Lynne Parish Lynne Parish

    Your routine and mine are similar, except I try to be up around 8 a.m. The first thing I do is drink water. The body is thirsty after a night of sleep and I couldn't believe what a difference it made when I started this. I've been a night time person all my life. Convention calls for most folks to be productive during the day, and I have to work at it. My energy bursts through in the evening time through the night. My husband is in bed early and up most mornings by 5. That's his quiet time and when I do have to get up early he tells me I'm messing up his peaceful morning. The one thing I need to work on is reading my devotion and my Bible right after I get up. I tend to do this mid-day, and then there are certain days I wished I'd read what I read earlier - it would have changed my attitude that day for sure!

  35. Image for Debbie L. Debbie L.

    Karianne, Wow those tips are very helpful but I must know what do you eat for breakfast that only takes 5 minutes? You look fantastic!!! I have a recurrence of ovarian cancer but you have encouraged me to get up and get going and get moving. Somedays I have to really force myself out of bed so thank you!

  36. Image for Valerie Valerie

    Hello! I recently tweaked my morning routine by not adding a 10 minute meditation (Calm app) and not picking up my phone until after morning “chores” are finished. I love your help des if a stretching app, I’ll be adding that! I also started journaling about the things I accomplished the day before .. hubby has end stage dementia and my list of accomplishments helps me give a little self pat in the back .. then I make the to-do list for the day.

  37. Image for Wilma Wilma

    My mornings start with running with a neighbour before our families awake. We started this in March 2020, when the pandemic shut down the schools in our area. We have maintained it now for almost 2 years--we go every day. Then I come home, start breakfast, make my bed, get the kids up, and on it goes. I love the idea of drinking water before coffee. Thanks!

  38. Image for Marian Marian

    Happy New Year, Karianne, Wow! Do I feel guilty. First of all, I am an 80 year old retired high school educator. Eighty looks soooo old, but doesn't feel like it. When I wake up, my husband is pouring a cup of steaming coffee for me next to our bed. We sit and talk about the news or about a lot of nothing. Then he goes down, makes breakfast and brings it up; he is an excellent cook. I have never had anyone take care of me like he does. I was happily married for 45 years, and I was always the caretaker. My husband passed away, and I thought my life was basically over as I knew it. Years later, I met this great guy, and he wanted to marry me. I wasn't looking for love, but it just found me. This is the way we spend our mornings, and nine years later, we are still both enjoying the time we share together. By 10:00 AM we get up, make our bed, and continue with the day's chores. By the way, I still ski, ice skate, and swim.

  39. Image for Ann C Ann C

    Great tips! I’m a retired morning person also. I make my bed immediately but am thinking about trying the airing it out process. I drink a big glass of water that I set out the nite before so it’s room temperature which I find doesn’t upset my stomach like cold water does, especially an empty stomach. After getting dressed I pour myself a small 4 oz. glass of orange juice. Then the next hour I spend reading devotions and praying. After that I check my calendar and depending on schedule I may walk on treadmill while listening to The Bible In A Year podcast, or invite neighbor for a cup of tea, or head out for the day. I care for my elderly aunt so some days are spent running errands and others are full of appointments. I try to avoid social media until evening. I always enjoy reading my emails and your’s is one of the first. I fall into bed at night counting my blessings.

  40. Image for Barbara Sullivan Barbara Sullivan

    Several years ago, I discovered FlyLady - the queen of routines. So, yes, I follow a morning routine, midday routine, evening routine, weekly routine. It's great! Our household ticks along without major drama, and I feel in control - not overworked. My alarm goes off at 6AM. I weigh myself, shower, dress, make my bed, and put the first load of laundry in to wash. Then I unload the dishwasher. Then my daycare children start arriving...

  41. Image for JC JC

    Needed this reminder, AGAIN, to not even unplug the phone from the charger before doing these things!! It trips me up EVER time! 15 mins to get ready! Do you shower at night or are you just speedy in the morning? Happy New Year filled with joy, my friend! Consistency is key, let's do it! :)

  42. Image for Linda Linda

    Since I fall into the Rebel category based on Gretchen Rubin's personality types, I tend to do what comes along. But only if I feel like it. This trait makes it very hard for me to develop a routine. When I was working, it was easy to find a routine, but since retiring and have a line of days in front of me, it's much harder. Your post certainly gave me food for thought.

  43. Image for Sally Sally

    About 9 years ago I started a new morning routine and it has changed my life and health. I get up by 6:30 and work out for 30 minutes…5 days a week. My morning routine is almost exactly like yours but I do 30 minutes instead of 10. If you add a mile a day walk, you will be set! Because I substitute teach my day needs to start a little earlier than yours. You go girlfriend!

  44. Image for Susan Susan

    My morning route is almost the same as yours! I wake-up at 6.00 am get out of bed quickly and turn up the heat, I live in Canada and it is usually freezing here. I put my coffee on and drink my warm glass of Lemon water while I get my bed made and get into my Yoga outfit. I do a light stretch then at least a 25 min online class, ( Boho Beautiful ) then a arm workout. By then my coffee tastes amazing and I feel as if I have earned it and can take on the day! I do a few tasks around the house before I leave for work, I have a hour + drive so getting my morning exercise is really very important to me. P.S . Girl you look amazing!!

  45. Image for Rita Coffer Rita Coffer

    Thank you for sharing your morning routine. I have felt so off my game since retirement. You are such an inspiration to me your always smiling and so positive and put together. Keep being you … beautiful, smart, inspirational, you brighten my day.

  46. Image for Connie Callahan Connie Callahan

    I am 74 years old. As a self employed Interior Designer & Organizer I could make my own working hours. I haven't worked in the public for about 2 years. I have always been a night person but could jump up in the mornings to get children off to school and such. Now I may wake up at 7 or 8 am and just roll over and snuggle under the cover and go back to sleep. Some nights I don't go to sleep until 4am. Busy as a bee. I admire your routine and am going to try to get myself in a routine. Thanks for the inspiration. Connie Callahan

  47. Image for Wen Wen

    Loved what you shared about your mornings! I do very similar too! But wanted to share- better late than never.. knowing your post was from the 5th! On PBS at 5:30am (DVR it) Classical Stretch -22 minute stretch!!! It has changed my shape & I feel so good! Try it you’ll love it 😍

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