My Morning Routine (& Why You Should Have One Too!)

I am a true morning person.

A coffee-in-my-cup-before-the-sun-comes-up kinda morning person.
A ready-to-have-full-on-theological-conversations-about-Jesus kinda morning person.
A dance-party-to-Beyonce-in-the-shower kinda morning person.

Now just wait, you night owls, and don’t sign off quite yet. I wasn’t always this way.

There was a time, early in my college career, when given the opportunity, I would sleep in well past noon. I’d snooze my alarm fifty times, drag my butt outta bed, and begrudgingly awake to the day before me. I laugh when I think back on this version of myself, I hardly recognize her!

Though I’ve always loved a good routine...a dance routine, skincare routine, etc. I had never really implemented a lot of routine into the beginning of my week or day.

Once I graduated from college and got married, I was working full time, serving in our local church, and getting used to the new rhythm of newlywed, post-grad life. During hours spent in the library only months prior, I’d console myself that in just a few months, when they handed me that diploma, I would have nothing but time. Much to my surprise, I was just as busy as when I was in school...somehow, even more! Funny how with each transition, the one constant seems to be there is never that “breather” we anticipate. Instead of more time to do whatever I wanted, I had new responsibilities, dreams in my heart, and not a lot of balance or structure to help hold it all up.

Pretty quickly, I realized that in order to get what I wanted from life, and to become the person I wanted to be, my day would need to start a lot earlier.

I learned that most of the people I and women who wore many hats and accomplished their goals, were ones with great self-discipline and wait for it -- morning routines! Head first, I dove into research on what kind of morning routine would best set me up for success. I wasn’t naive...I knew a morning routine wouldn’t solve all of my problems. But I did believe it was one of the missing pieces and at least worth a good try.

Friend, I’m here to tell ya it has made ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Over the past four years, as I’ve experienced different seasons of life, my morning routine has grown with me. It’s important to note that may happen for you too. Different seasons call for different things, and your life’s needs and demands will change. Routine is meant to free you not bind you, so don’t look at it as a set of rules or a test that you pass or fail. It’s also not about replicating what works for someone else. Sure, start somewhere, and that may be with the structure and tips I share with you here. But make sure you think about YOUR “why” and the goals you want for YOURSELF as you setup your routine. The point of a morning routine is to start every day by keeping some promises to yourself.

A good morning routine is about prioritizing the parts of your life that no one can take responsibility for but you.

My morning routine is one small way I take time to care for my relationship with the Lord, my personal recharging (introverts get it!), my health and fitness, and my creative passions. It’s simple, but has profoundly impacted my day to day life, growth, and emotional wellbeing. Carving it out is a sacrifice...I wake up at 5am to get this time in. I’m a new mom, I work full-time, and I am invested in many interpersonal relationships that require a lot of output. In order to show up for all of these things with my best self, I need to make sure I’m operating from a full tank...and this morning routine helps make that possible.

Whether it’s fifteen minutes or an hour, whether yours starts at 6am or doesn’t matter and there’s no judgment here! Whatever it looks like and whatever it takes, I encourage you to try making space. Give this morning routine thing thirty days and see what happens! At the end of the day, your dreams and goals won’t happen and you won’t reach your full potential, if you don’t make yourself a priority.

A few tips as you put together a morning routine that works for you…

  1. You can push yourself but make the routine achievable and practical. If you’ve never woken up earlier than 9am and you start right out of the gate with a 5am wake up call at the will likely break this promise to yourself. If you commit to drinking celery juice every morning, but you hate’re not being realistic. This would be a discouraging start, right? Your current self will need to get uncomfortable to transform, but baby steps and consistency are the sure steps to lasting success.

  2. If you miss a day, begin again tomorrow! Stay committed to the long term plan even when the short term schedule has changes.

  3. Remember your why. Routines without purpose won’t make an impact. If you really want to see the fruit of a morning routine...make sure your “why” is woven into each element. (Ex. One of my “why’s” is I want other women to care for their personal growth. But I can’t preach what I don’t I show up every morning to become better than I was the day before.)

A few ideas to add to your morning routine…

  • Don’t get out of bed before you’ve thought of 5 things you’re grateful for.

  • Start the morning with drinking a warm glass of water with lemon.

  • Listen to worship music or a playlist that pumps you up while you’re in the shower.

  • Spend uninterrupted time in your Word and in prayer.

  • Write a letter to your future self.

  • Send an encouraging text to someone you love.

  • Stretch or do some yoga while listening to an inspiring podcast or meditation.

  • Read one chapter of a book written by someone you admire.

  • Walk around your neighborhood before the sun comes up (Bonus: bring your dog with you!)

  • Don’t turn your phone on or use any of your apps until you’re ready for the day.

  • Write down your intentions for the day.

  • Look in the mirror and say 5 things you love about yourself.

  • Give one of your goals 30 minutes of undivided attention. (Ex. Spend 30 minutes on your writing or that scrapbook if you’ve been meaning to get to.)

As I mentioned before, my morning routine has changed with whatever season of life I am wading through, but the one thing that doesn’t change is having one! Even if some days need to be flexible, I figure out a way to fit it in.

With a brand new baby, it would be easy for me to dismiss the value of this time, but it is more important than ever that I am filling myself up. I am tired...boy, am I tired. But I know this season of late night feedings with a newborn is short and without these moments to myself in the morning, I won’t just be tired...I’ll be drained! Here’s what my morning routine looks like right now…

My Morning Routine

4:50-5:30 | Wake up, change River’s diaper and feed her. River goes back to sleep until 8am.

5:35-6:00 | Walk to the kitchen, turn on lights and pour cup of coffee (I pre-program our coffee pot the night before to brew at 5:30am), light a candle on my dining table and play worship music softly as I gather my things (Bible, journal, planner, water bottle, and book I’m reading.) I have an iPhone and use the Screen Time setting to keep all of my apps locked until 8am, so that I’m not distracted during this time. I ignore all texts and emails until my morning routine is done!

During this time, I read 1-3 chapters of my Bible (I’m reading Matthew right now in preparation for Easter), and I’m currently going through a 5 Love Languages Reading Plan on the YouVersion Bible App. Then, I journal my reflections and spend time in prayer. I’m also reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis and Safe People by Cloud and Townsend. If I don’t have time to read either book during this time frame, I always read at least 2 chapters during River’s 8am feeding. This is a flexible, relational to invest in my spiritual growth but also to connect with God. Remember that it’s a relationship, not a checklist!

6:00-6:15 | Make a quick breakfast (usually some granola and greek yogurt or apples and peanut butter), write down my intentions for the day, some things I’m grateful for, and look at my planner to sort out the agenda for the day and remind myself of any upcoming appointments.

6:15-7:15 | This time alternates every other day with either a workout or hour spent writing. With this schedule, I am working out 4x a week, and writing 3x a week. I am slowly getting back into a fitness plan since I am still recovering from my it’s mostly yoga, a little bit of core, and stretching. I’m not in a hurry, just enjoying being able to reach my toes again! On writing days, I open up a blank GoogleDoc write down some themes or ideas I feel inspired to write about and get to it! Sometimes, these writing days are more about improving my craft and having fun than producing or sharing something, and then other days it’s about putting my words out there!

7:15-8:00 | Feed our pup Chloe, complete some house chores (unload dishwasher, pick up dog poop, switch laundry loads, straighten up any mess left out the night before, etc.), shower (I always listen to this playlist to get pumped) and get ready for the day.

8:00-8:45 | Phone apps are unlocked, text people back, and change diaper/feed River!

I love starting my day this way! Every time I sit down to feed River at 8am, I feel rejuvenated, encouraged, connected, and ready for whatever the day holds. I hope this encourages you to think about approaching your mornings more mindfully. Share in the comments what your morning routine tips are, and let me know if you try any of mine!

Celebrate everything,