How To Design a Morning Habit That Works For You

Listen, I get it…  Not all of us are morning people. And more to the point, not all of us have the luxury of spending an hour journalling away or indulging in whatever morning habits our hearts desire.

Because LIFE.


I’m going to take the liberty here and call BS on the, “There’s NO TIME” excuse.

Because, if we’re really honest with ourselves; there is, always time.


That’s the mindshift that’s needed here. Morning routines are often NOT a priority, because there’s so much to do and it’s not really seen as a necessity, right? I mean, how often do you put self care or “me time” on the back-burner because you think it’s not a top priority?

I’m guessing quite a bit.

I used to do that, too. I didn’t think I was worthy of having that time. I didn’t think I was allowed to have that time. I felt GUILTY about having that time.

But, friends… we should NEVER ever feel guilty about time for self care. Because, at the end of the day, if our teacup is constantly running on empty… how are we supposed to give to the ones we love? How do we keep going in our work and trying to stay happy when we’re constantly feeling drained.

It just doesn’t work.

Self care should be something at the top of the list. And a morning routine is one of the BEST and easiest ways to do this. Now, if you’re thinking that you reeeeeaally don’t have time in the morning for some self care, I’m glad you’re reading this post, because I’m going to show you that no matter where you are in your life right now or what your to do list looks like, you DO have time. And you can totally personalise it to work for YOU.

Let’s dive in! 

morning routine



If you could imagine it in an ideal world, what would you be doing?

  • Enjoying coffee outside in the garden?
  • Writing for 10-uninterrupted minutes? 
  • Getting in some exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise?

Morning habits help us get into the groove and feel like we’ve actually accomplished something before we jump into work.

I’ll be the first to admit it: the second I hit my alarm and snooze for an extra 30 minutes, my day is pretty much screwed. Rushing and panicking because the day is “running away” isn’t fun.

And it doesn’t matter if you work for yourself  or at the office for someone else – we all wake up every morning with time to get ready for the day.

But here’s the thing… We don’t all have the same work hours. Also, our personalities are different; so are the priorities in our lives. So what might work for me, doesn’t mean that it’s automatically going to work for you. We’ve all got totally different blueprints.


Okay, I think I’ve pretty much summed up why a morning routine is vital to self care, mindset and well-being so let’s chat about the HOW part. These are a few tips I suggest when trying to work out your morning habit and seeing what works best for you.

1.  Work Backwards to Find YOUR Time

What time do YOU need to leave home for work (or start your day job)?

Write that down.

Now comes the interesting part…

Figuring out when to wake up.

What’s the absolute earliest time you’re prepared to wake up?
Maybe it’s 5.45am but you know you’re going to feel like death warmed up the next morning.

That’s when you look at your going to bed time.

I love using the Clock and Bedtime app on my phone. You just move the dial to the time you want to wake up and then it tells you what time you should go to bed to get your 7-8 hours’ sleep.

It’s a pretty cool trick.

You could just use a calculator if you don’t have the iPhone app and work backwards from there.

Quick recap: Write down your earliest waking time; find your new bedtime. Easy!

2.  Get Real About What’s Important to You

What’s something you’d like to change RIGHT NOW?

Maybe you’re not as fit as you used to be, but you feel like there’s NO time for exercise because work is so busy.
Or, maybe you’re frustrated because you want to be more creative, but your job just doesn’t allow for it right now.

Maybe life is just so crazy right now you feel like you and your partner or family are living “past” each other.

Life. Right?

It happens.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed or stressed out or frustrated, I know I’m focusing on the wrong things  (like going to bed after 10pm, browsing my phone or reading the news… then lying awake for an hour and waking up late).

Or rather, not pouring enough time into the things that matter most. Like my health, relationships, and down time. And that’s where a morning routine makes everything better; it’s the one time of the day I have complete control over.

And so do you.

So what are one or two things you wish you had more time in the day for?

Get out a notebook or open a Word Doc and just write it all down. Then narrow it down to the heart of what makes you really happy. For example, maybe your list might look something like this:

  • Family time
  • Exercise
  • Creativity
  • Learning
  • Passion project
  • Self care

3.  Map It Out For a Trial Run

So, let’s say you really want to get (back) in shape but you feel like there’s no time whatsoever.

You can’t find extra time, so you’ve got to CREATE IT.

Now that you’ve gotten honest about what you really want to do – and your sleeping hours, all you need to do is find something that’s going to get you excited to work out! (Because seriously, it’s super hard getting into it when you haven’t in a while, but once you do, helloooo happy mood and energy!)

Let’s look at an example quick…

Say you need to leave home by 07h30 to get to work on time. That means you need to be in the shower by 07h00. You’re not prepared to wake up a second before 6am, so that leaves you with about 45 minutes (minus 15 minutes to wake up, etc.) to exercise.

The more honest and realistic you are, the easier it is to make this morning habit happen!

Now you’ve got a realistic list of exercises you can easily fit into your day, for example:

  • A walk around the block while you listen to a podcast
  • A couple of good stretches to some calming music
  • A HIIT YouTube workout video
  • A jog around the neighborhood
  • Skipping in place and a few bodyweight exercises

See? There’s SO MUCH you can do!

It just takes a little experimenting – and you can switch it up. Nothing is set in stone here.

Remember this is your time, YOUR rules.

Maybe a walk tomorrow and a stretch the next day? Whatever works for you; the trick is to try things and see what you like and what you don’t.


Don’t think that you’ve got to have exactly the same routine every day. Also, maybe what you like now will change in a month or two. No biggie.

Keep it fresh, keep it fun and I swear, you’ll be loving your morning routine before work so much, you’ll start looking forward to that alarm going off. (Okay, maybe not every day… but you know what I mean!)

Need a little inspiration to get started?

I created a handy 21 Morning Routine ideas PDF that you can download. Click here to get access to my FREE resources library to get this and more (printable planners + resources for self care, mindset and personal growth).

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11 Replies to “How To Design a Morning Habit That Works For You”

  1. Well, I am a morning person, and it’s my job to make time for writing, but I am in total agreement. For those who say there is no time to write I, like you, say B.S. It’s just that they have chosen to not take time to write and instead did something else. Own up to that and maybe the time will magically appear. 🙂

  2. Thanks for your words of wisdom. I’ve been in such a rut and feeling like my life is going nowhere lately, so this was so for me. Going to make time every day to do this. I know I will find more purpose.

  3. I like the idea of writing down what time I would start my day cuz honey, the older I get the less I’m friends with the morning. It’s after 10pm as I type this, and I’m not bouncing off the walls or anything, but…I could easily get used to going to bed at midnight or…later. And getting up later. But then again, I don’t like meditating in the mornings when the rest of the wold is “up.” So…I should go to bed. lol.
    But priorities. In the last month, I haven’t done much in the way of creativity. Been working on the blog, right? The rest of my creative energies have gone to putting on a conference at the school – working these crazy 45 hour weeks, attending a night class, and trying to complete the LIFE Project. Ya know…when it ends, I’ll get about 3 hours back in my day, lol. Granted, they are all things I SHOULD be doing anyways: walking, mantras, meditation, but still…STILL. lol.
    In any case, thank you for a wonderful post. Sending you hugs and hope your week is going well. xoxo

  4. I love how realistic you are with you this. I want to get into a morning routine so bad but I love my sleep too much lol. So then I’m rushing around in the morning and it’s not fun. I’m much better at night time routines. That’s when I do my workout, journal, read, etc. I love the idea of talking a walk in the morning and listening to a podcast though!

    Dee //

  5. Bill, I think it was something you wrote a while ago on one of your posts about the whole priorities thing when people say they don’t have time. Since then, it’s changed the way I see time a LOT!! 🙂

  6. Hi Joan! Oh don’t worry… I hear you. Those ruts are the worst, aren’t they? And they happen to the best of us when we least expect it. You know what I’ve learned recently though, which helps every time I go through a bad patch or feel demotivated? Reminding myself that it’s all a PHASE… it’s part of the season and it’s part of the story. It WILL pass. It’s got to happen to wake us up and shift our priorities to where they are meant to be. I think! 🙂 Let me know how your new morning routine goes – I’d love to hear about it! Good luck x

  7. LOL!!! “The older I get the less I’m friends with the morning.” Yup, I’m feeling similar. Goodness, I used to get up at 4.45am every morning. Now I struggle for 6.15am! Guess it all depends on what stage you’re in, hey? Where you’re at right now. Sometimes morning routines just don’t happen and there’s no way around it. I read a cool post today on evening routines which I want to try… Let me find it quick; maybe you could try something like this in the evenings?

  8. Thank you Dee! I know what you mean… I think it’s even harder as the days get shorter. For us, it’s almost summer, so I need to get my butt into gear and get up earlier. I read your night time routine this morning and LOVED it! Such great ideas there. Must try them soon. Oh yes, podcast walks are my favourite, too!

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