#1 What’s your intention?

Not all morning routines are created equal. You see so many articles about morning routines circulating through social media, many of them arguing that “every morning you should drink lemon water!” or “every morning you should work out!”

These may be great ideas for some, but before you start buying lemons and dumbbells, you should actually set your intention first: What do you want more of in your day? More productivity? Better healthHappiness? Figure out what your goals are, and move from there.

#2 What’s your NOT To Do List? 

This may seem a little counter-intuitive, but your next step is to create a NOT To Do List. We all have our normal To Do Lists for the day, but it’s important to check off what you should not be doing as well. After all, it’s easier to stop doing things, than to start doing new ones.

Riddle me this: what are the things that you do that take away from your goals or intentions for the day?

Whether you want to stop checking email first thing, not eat right away, keep off social media, stay away from mindless busy work, make sure this NOT list aligns with your intentions from #1.

#3 Set-Up Barriers

Now that you have your intentions and your work to avoid, it’s time to reinforce those things you shouldn’t be doing. Set up time or space barriers to keep you from those items on your Not To Do List.

  • Charge your phone across the room, so getting out of your warm and snuggly bed to check social media seems too daunting a task to complete.
  • Set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” so those pesky app and messaging notifications won’t keep disrupting your otherwise peaceful morning.
  • Set a timer for answering emails so you can give yourself a break and maintain your sanity.
  • Sleep in your gym clothes, or keep them next to your bed so you wake up and are immediately on the go.

The options and barriers are endless — and I promise, they’re not as scary as they seem.

#4 Choose Replacements

Let’s replace the bad, boring, draining things you no longer want to do with some that can be helpful ways to start your day! What do you want to do instead, what kind of tasks would help you reach your goals? Some ideas that you may benefit from:

  • Bed Yoga Stretches 
  • Journaling
  • Reading a chapter of a book
  • Exercise
  • Drinking Tea or Coffee
  • Family Time
  • Walking your dog
  • Gardening
  • Meditation
  • Listening to Music/Podcasts
  • Painting or Coloring

Make a list of the things you’d like to try and slowly start incorporating them into your morning routine!

#5 Stop Snoozing

Don’t you hit that snooze button. Board-certified sleep medicine physician W. Christopher Winter says that every time you wake up, hit snooze and then roll back over, you enter a brand-new new sleep cycle. And the extra sleep you do get from snoozing is light and fragmented, which could actually leave you feeling more tired.

You’ll feel much more rested if you just get up with your first alarm — so either intentionally sleep later, or use an alarm with no snooze button.