morning routine to kick start your day; morning routine for focus, energy, productivity, and happiness

The Perfect Morning Routine To Make Your Day

If you want more energy, better focus, higher productivity, and all of the happiness, here’s a comprehensive guide to creating the perfect morning routine to kick off your day.

For me, mornings used to be THE WORST.

I would steal every ounce of sleep I could before I absolutely had to get up or risk being late to work, breakfast, events, etc. I hated mornings.

After realizing that mornings came around every, single, day (imagine that….) I got tired of hating mornings and decided enough was enough.

It was time to turn mornings into something I could look forward to.

It was time to develop the perfect morning routine to make me happier, more productive, and more energized.

I’ve spent over a year creating, modifying, and optimizing the perfect morning routine and I am ready to share it with you.

This simple morning routine set me up for success every single day.

Caution: side effects of an amazing morning routine may include:

  • Better focus
  • Positivity
  • Increased energy
  • All the productivity!
  • So much joy and happiness
  • A new zest for life

You can replicate my morning routine to fit your lifestyle and boost your physical, mental, and emotional well being so that you can reach your full potential every day.

And honestly, once you create the perfect morning routine for you, you will love it so much that you’ll keep getting up at 5am on the weekends! And just a side note, any day you skip your morning routine will feel gross, because morning routines are the best.

Morning Routine Step #1: Wake-Up Early

Getting up with the sun or before everyone else in your house is like stumbling upon a secret world where you’ve got all of the peace and quiet that exists. If you’ve got two kids and a dog, like me, this is a rare moment in time. If not, it’s still very nice.

Any morning routine you create should get you out of bed with an hour or two to spare before your commitments.

Pro tip: when you’re designing your own morning routine, define exactly how much time you need to complete the activities you want to include in your morning. Don’t pick an hour just because it’s an hour… if you need 79 minutes, then wake up 79 minutes early.

I set my alarm for 5:00am – and I only set one! No alarms set 10 minutes apart, no snooze buttons, nada.

I used to struggle with this when I first started implementing my morning routine. I’d set an alarm for 5:30, 5:45, 6:00, and 6:15.

When I finally rolled out of bed, I already felt unmotivated and defeated because I couldn’t get my first task of the day completed: waking up on time.

Setting my intention the night before and consciously rewriting the narrative in my mind was a huge help.

I read Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning and took his advice on repeating an affirmation the night before. It went something like this:

I will have enough energy to wake up at 5am tomorrow. I am getting plenty of sleep and will wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the day.

This helped combat sleepiness in a very real way as opposed to looking at the clock at 11:30pm and thinking ‘I am going to be exhausted when I wake up’ – shockingly that didn’t help my cause.

Secret confession: let’s be real. I can’t stay up until 11:30pm even on New Year’s Eve. My bedtime is a strict 8:45.

And herein lies the real key to waking up on time and having an amazing morning with a routine that you love… going to bed on time and getting enough sleep!

The other secret? Don’t try to slowly ease your way into an earlier wake-up. If you usually get up at 7:30 and want to eventually be getting up at 6, DO NOT start by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day over a week.

It never gets better, it just feels like you’re starting all over again every time.

Pick your ideal time and commit to it from the very first day!

move your body; exercise is important in your morning routine; the ultimate morning routine for energy, productivity, and happiness includes exercise

Morning Routine Step #2: Move Your Body

There is something about getting up and moving your body that make the entire rest of the day run more smoothly.

First off, you get all those endorphins running through your brain making you feel on top of the world.

Second, with every day you learn to trust yourself more.

Challenges in all areas of your life become easier when you start pushing through your physical limits, because simultaneously you break through your mental blocks.


Incorporating exercise into your morning routine is the best way to boost your energy levels and sustain your focus throughout the day.

At 5am, I head straight to the bathroom, brush my teeth, and then stumble into the living room and unroll my yoga mat for 15-20 minutes of yoga. I do it right then and there, in my pajamas, first thing in the morning. This helps stretch every single muscle in my body, it gets the blood flowing, it wakes up my heart, and at the same time it eases me into the day.

As you get into your routine, you can swap out yoga for weight lifting (which I eventually did), but ease into this.

When you’re building new habits, and a morning routine is most definitely a sequence of new habits, it’s important to start small. If weight lifting at 5am is not your jam, move your body in a way that is more appealing until you’ve cemented that early morning wake up.

After all, it is easier to do child’s pose half asleep on your yoga mat than a bunch of Bulgarian split squats.

If yoga sounds like your thing, start with some of Boho Beautiful’s yoga videos! No, I don’t earn anything for promoting them, I just LOVE THEIR STUFF.

Here are 3 of my absolute favorites that I alternate most mornings.

Yoga to Cure: Revitalize and energize your body
Vinyasa Power Flow
Peaceful Yoga: The perfect balance, breath and flexibility

Once your new wake up time is a habit, amp up your exercise game.

Morning Routine Step #3: Appreciate Your Life

After yoga, I turn on the kettle and steep myself a nice earl grey with milk. I sit on the couch with a notebook and pen in hand and I spend some time journaling.

Update: I’ve now switched to drinking BulletProof coffee in the mornings to help boost my cognitive function and activate ketosis. Fancy words that mean my brain thinks more clearly and my body starts burning fat. Again, no affiliation here, but I love this change to my routine!

Over the course of my personal development journey, I’ve tried several different approaches to journaling. Here are three that you can play around with to see what works for you:

ONE: The 5 Minute Journal

I first read about this in Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans.

At the start of the day, jot down

  • 3 things you are grateful for
  • 3 things that would make today amazing

Before bed, complete the journal entry by writing

  • 3 amazing things that happened today
  • 3 things that would have made today better

TWO: Start Today Journal

This one comes from your girl Rachel Hollis, who we all know is famous for that Girl, Wash Your Face book.

At the start of the day, jot down

  • 3 things you are grateful for
  • 10 dreams you made happen
  • Your focus for today

THREE: Ana McRae Coaching Journal

I hodge podged together a journaling process that works for me, based on what I’ve tried from other personal development books. If you want to follow along then start your day by jotting down:

  • 3 things you are grateful for
    • Starting the day with gratitude is non negotiable.

      It puts me in the right frame of mind to appreciate the present moment while striving for bigger and better things.
  • 3 things to look forward to today
    • This used to help me combat the “it’s not Friday yet” blues.

      Of course, now that I’ve built a life I love, I no longer regularly experience those blues.

      But thinking about the things I’m looking forward to helps me savor them more when they occur and increase my excitement for life first thing in the morning.
  • Your 3-5 big life goals
    • I got tired of writing down 10 dreams I made happen every day, but I wanted to keep the focus on my BIG dreams for life.

      The reason I get out of bed in the morning. The things that give meaning and purpose to my life.

      I write those down every day so that I’m always reminded of why I’m here.
  • Your focus for today
    • This is the killer. One priority for the day helps me focus on what matters most.

      Sure, there are a ton of things that need to get done, but the one that is most important has all of my focus until it is completed.

      This is how goals get accomplished y’all.

As you can see, there is a little bit of everything in my daily journaling routine. This is what I’ve found that works for me, and I encourage you to experiment with different styles and don’t be afraid to blend together something that works for you!

Regardless of how you do it, journaling is essential to mastering your mindset and living an abundant life.

meditation; clear your head; increase focus; morning routine to increase energy

Morning Routine Step #4: Center Your Mind

Meditating! So important!

One of my goals in August was to meditate for a combined total of 100 minutes, and I did it! You can read all about my personal growth goals here, if you want to get to know more about me and what I’m up to these days.

Related post: Setting My Personal Growth Goals for September

It took a while for me to incorporate meditation into my morning, but the payoff was worth it. Rather than my minding running off with a million concerns about what needs to get done today as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, I feel calm and confident.

In the mornings, I only meditate for 5 minutes. It’s my favorite way to practice getting into that ‘flow’ state, when there is no real stress in my day yet.

I also meditate for 5-10 minutes in the afternoon, when I’m switching from work life to home life. I’m incredibly intentional about leaving work at work, it’s one of the things that helps me gain control of my time and stand out as an employee. Meditation is the bridge that makes that happen.

Try it out in your morning routine. For the first little while you might just fall asleep every time, but once you’ve mastered the habit of sitting your butt down and focusing on your breath, you can start to work on the quality of the meditation itself.

gain some perspective; your problems won't matter 10 years from now; don't worry; be happy; be mindful

Morning Routine Step #5: Read something inspiring

It is so easy to get lost in the weeds of day to day life and become demotivated and overwhelmed. As proven by Benjamin Hardy in Willpower Doesn’t Work, you must surround yourself with people that inspire you to be the person you want to be, or else you don’t stand a chance. One of my favorite ways to do that is by consuming media and information written by people who are living their best lives.

Whether you spend 5 minutes or 1 hour reading, it is such a good way boost your motivation and get into the “I got this” mindset.

If you don’t currently have a list of super motivating books to dig into, here are a few I have read multiple times because they are just so damn good:

And that is just the beginning. If you want to know more about these books, and hear my other recommendations, check out

PS – another great way to get inspired in the morning if you don’t have time to read but want to leverage your commute, or your cooking time, or whatever it is you do while you’re getting ready, get some podcasts!

I definitely prefer books over podcasts because there’s something kinetic about it for me, but if I’m driving, I always have motivational/informative podcast to inspire and educate me

Related post: 5 Best Self Improvement Podcasts To Inspire Personal Growth

Morning Routine Step #6: Eat good food

Your body needs fuel to function at its highest level of performance. Your morning routine should most certainly include good food (that means healthy fats, organic proteins, and all the colorful veggies).

What you eat in the morning very much depends on your body type and what works for you. If you need food first thing in the morning to keep you from getting hangry, fuel yourself to move mountains during the day.

I like to fill my belly with healthy, whole foods. After reading David Perlmutter’s Grain Brain I’ve tried to keep 80% of my diet to whole foods. It helps me stay lean, improves my energy levels throughout the day, and keeps my stomach feeling good.

My favorite breakfasts for home are:

  • Two eggs with extra egg whites, half an avocado with salt, and a strip or two of bacon (naturally raised and uncured from the local farmer’s market)
  • Organic plain greek yogurt with strawberries, walnuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup
  • Protein shake with a frozen banana, PB2 peanut butter, and Leanfit Whey protein powder.

Update: after listening to Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Radio podcast, I’ve switched to a cyclical keto diet, and also started intermittent fasting! This means I actually don’t have breakfast in the morning anymore, and surprisingly I have yet to get hangry, I have much more energy, and I stay focused for longer! All good things. This just goes to show that finding the right way to fuel your body FOR YOU is critical. Keep modifying your approach until you’re feeling on top of the world.

morning routine; productivity; happiness;

Step #7: Get Out The Door

This marks the end of my morning routine. I go and get dressed, do my makeup, get the bags to the car, prep the kids’ breakfasts, wake them up, get them dressed, put some food in their bellies, and haul the fam jam to daycare/work.

Because I take the time to get in an optimum state of mind beforehand, this whole getting out the door thing goes flawlessly every time. I am more patient with the kids, I am more calm and prepared, and I’ve got the energy to deal with the inevitable setbacks that come my way because I’ve just spent 60-90 minutes nurturing my mind, body, and soul.

This morning routine makes me LOVE mornings, to the point where I still get up at 5am on the weekends. And no, I don’t apologize to anyone for going to bed at 8:45 on a Friday night.

I feel great physically, I feel great mentally, and I feel more ready to face whatever the day throws at me.

Everybody is different and this may not be the perfect morning routine for you – you may hate tea and need coffee first thing, you may hate yoga and prefer running – but I highly encourage you to develop something consistent that will make you excited for your life.

Something that will give you some you time to improve your physical and mental well-being before you start on your to do list.

Something that makes you feel more human and more alive every day.

It will make a huge difference in your productivity, happiness, and health – believe me!

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What’s your morning routine? How do you feel when you follow it compared to when you don’t get a chance to? Comment below!

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