How you start your day will have a significant impact on the success of your day. From your energy levels to your productivity and even your happiness. Your morning routine will influence it all. So it’s worth creating an awesome morning routine. To help you do that, here’s a lit of 25 things to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine.
While you don’t need to do all 25, including even a few things from this list will help you to create a morning routine that’s life-changing.
Here are 25 things to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine
1. Get a head start
Waking up earlier will improve your day in so many ways
- Quietude- you’ll have quiet time to do things before anyone else is up
- Getting a head start on your commute means it’s likely to be less busy
- Reduced stress – you can take your time about things and not feel in a mad rush from the get-go
- Mental preparation for the day – you have a chance to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead no matter what it holds
- Time for breakfast
- Time to work out
2. Eat a healthy protein breakfast
If you’re prone to unhealthy snacking at work then you might want to consider eating some protein for breakfast. Take eggs for example – studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast has the effect of reducing your calorie intake overall throughout the day – what’s more they also stabilize your blood sugar and insulin levels throughout the day which means your less likely to have energy crashes and highs and lows making it easier to focus consistently.
Not into eggs? No problem! Other great and tasty sources of protein include:
- Chia seeds
- Nut butter
- Protein balls
3. Drink a green smoothie
If a protein breakfast feels too heavy then why not opt for a green smoothie instead. Drinking a green smoothie is a small and simple thing you can do before 9AM that will definitely make for an incredible morning routine.
Packed with so many benefits, green smoothies became all the hype for a reason:-
- They’re a great way to pack in your 5 a day
- You’ll get in plenty of antioxidants that protect your body from the attack of free radicals and can reduce the risk of diseases including heart disease and cancer.
- It stimulates and aids detoxification – Your body gets filled with toxins. Whether it’s from the food you eat tot the air you breathe, unfortunately, we’re surrounded by toxins. The good news? The antioxidants from your green smoothie can help stimulate your liver, which is the body’s toxin remover.
- It helps your cells repair. If you’re wondering what cell repair or cell regeneration is all about- it’s all about aging. Aging is a natural process and part of life. However, damage to your cells can speed up the aging process. Research shows that a diet high in antioxidants will help protect your cells from damage and keep them healthy. For a green smoothie that’s packed with antioxidants, be sure to add plenty of berries including blueberries, cranberries blackberries and more since they are the most packed with antioxidants.
4. Drink water
If you find yourself feeling tired or foggy and can’t figure out why then you might want to check your water consumption. Dehydration doesn’t just give you a dry mouth and make you feel thirsty it will make you tired, sleepy and even dizzy. So make sure you give your brain the best start by having a big glass of water first thing. Since you won’t have drunk all night.
Other great benefits of drinking plenty of water include:
- It helps clear out your system- ahem,
- Water supports your liver in getting rid of toxins
- Water plumps up those cells and that skin
- Helps relieve that hangover – on the weekend of course!
5. Say your affirmations
Saying affirmations is simple. It requires nothing special and it can definitely be done before 9 am.
Self Affirmations make for a powerful morning routine.
The benefits of self-affirmation can be seen when we consider two theories:
- Self Affirmation Theory and
- Dissonance reduction.
According to self-affirmation theory: people are motivated to maintain views of themselves as well-adapted, moral, competent, stable, and able to control important outcomes. ( Yep! That sounds like me!)
When some aspect of this self-view is challenged, people experience psychological discomfort. They may attempt to reduce this discomfort by directly resolving the inconsistency between the new information and the self, by affirming some other aspect of the self, or both.
Dissonance reduction is the process by which a person reduces the uncomfortable psychological state that results from inconsistency among elements of a cognitive system.
Dissonance can be reduced by making one or more inconsistent elements consistent with other elements in the system, by decreasing the perceived importance of an inconsistent element, or by adding new consistent elements to the system.
What this all means is that we all want to see ourselves in a certain way. More importantly, we don’t want this perception of ourselves to be threatened. When things threaten our perception of ourselves, we do what it takes to move away from this uncomfortable feeling, referred to as cognitive dissonance, by affirming the parts that we want to believe, which reduces the uncomfortable feelings.
Where do affirmations come in?
When someone behaves in a way that doesn’t align with the type of person they believe they are, they will feel a sense of cognitive dissonance. They’ll feel very uncomfortable and could then change their whole attitude to align with the action that they’ve taken.
This is called forced compliance.
Basically, no one wants to be proven wrong about who they believe themselves to be.
This makes self-affirmations powerful and beneficial. If you affirm something to yourself every day- like the examples below:
I am positive and I see the opportunity in every situation
I am happy
I am taking actions that are moving me towards my goals
I am learning every day
I am a great friend, sister, daughter
…eventually, you’ll leave yourself no option but to live by these affirmations to avoid feeling incongruent.
Because, rather than live with the cognitive dissonance/ incongruence that comes from not living in alignment with your affirmations, you’ll start to adopt the behavior that matches with these statements.
But here’s the catch…
Don’t start saying affirmations unless you really want to. You need to choose to self affirm. If you feel like you’re being made to do it then you won’t experience the benefits.
In 2 studies, participants were made aware of the benefits of affirmations. Then they were MADE to self affirm. In both cases, they didn’t experience any benefits.
However, when the participants were given the choice to self affirm. Those who chose to experience an improvement in their performance.
6. Start Journalling
Journalling is another great thing you can do before 9am as part of a powerful morning routine. It’s more than just a reason to buy gorgeous stationery. Although that’s definitely an added perk.
In fact, regular journaling enhances creativity and keeps you moving towards your goals.
Not only this, if you’ve been going through a tough time then it can help you gain distance from difficult emotions as well as reducing your stress levels.
By keeping a daily/regular record of what’s going on, journaling can be valuable in helping you spot trends and patterns, and for noticing things that are going on in your life that you might otherwise miss, if not for this reflective practice.
7. Set positive intentions for the day
We all know what it feels like to get out of the proverbial wrong side of the bed.
From that moment on, it’s like nothing can go right. From stubbing your toe to things breaking down to that presentation, not going according to plan ( Even though you planned it to the letter!). It all seems to happen. Or does it?
Perhaps the real issue on these particular days is that having got up feeling crappy, all we notice is what’s wrong. Remember you get what you look for; seek and ye shall find!
To combat this, make a point to set positive intentions for every day. This way you’re looking for the bright side. Your car might still break down and you might still stub that toe, but when you set positive intentions you’ll find you respond differently.
Instead of getting more and more wound up, you’ll be calmer, making you better able to see the potential benefits or opportunities in situations that may not be ideal.
8. Read a book
Reading is a great way to expands your mind, get inspired and continue to develop. And if you’re planning on major success then you’d better get reading since according to research, 85 percent of self-made millionaires read two or more books per month.
9. Write morning pages
Ok, firstly what on earth are morning pages you’re probably thinking. These were my thoughts exactly.
From the- The Artists Way- a book by Julia Cameron. Morning pages involve writing 3 pages, long-form, by hand. No editing, no reading over, no thinking about it. No stopping. Just writing non-stop till you have finished.
The purpose of this exercise is to get those creative juices flowing, improve your productivity and clear any clutter from your mind.
If the idea of writing so much by hand sounds somewhat archaic, and in case you’re wondering, yes, there is an app for that (Morning Pages App)
Up next on our list of 25 things to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine – Meditation.
We’re all finally accepting that there are benefits to be had from meditating. A number of scientifically-proven benefits of meditation include:
- Reduced stress
- Improved focus
- Improved mood
- More self-compassion
- Decreased risk of burnout
- Reduced anxiety
- Better eating behaviors
With these types of benefits, it’s clear that making time for meditation should be high on your list of priorities. So why not take time first thing to set yourself up for the day.
11. Have a workout
If you want to feel happier throughout your day, then having a short workout could be the answer.
Exercise increases the flow of oxygen around your body, causes endorphin release and reduces stress.
Most of us spend a lot of time in unhealthy positions. Hunched over a laptop, sat in front of a screen, hunched over a desk, sitting in the car. That’s why your body could do with a good stretch.
I for one have experienced first hand the effects of what bad posture can do to your health, From bad shoulders to a stiff neck and even headaches. After all the head bones connected to the neck bones!
Get in a daily stretch and do your posture a favor.
13. Do one nice thing for someone else
If you feel you’re already doing enough for yourself then remember, the thing you do before 9am for an incredible morning routine doesn’t have to be just about you. One of the simplest ways you can make a positive impact on your day is by doing something good for someone else. Doing good things for others has many benefits. Firstly, making a positive impact in someone else’s life means you’re putting out good vibes and if you want more good to come into your life this is the place to start.
Not only this, doing things for others can actually have a positive psychological and physiological impact on us. From increased feelings of gratitude, wellbeing and happiness to reduced stress and even increased life expectancy.
14. Review your goals for the year
If your goals are done right, then your yearly goals are the steps leading you towards achieving your life goals. So, if you’re taking steps ( each day ideally) towards achieving your yearly goals then you know that you’re moving in the right direction.
But life has a tendency to happen. Our lives are filled with more than just our goals. So, if you want to stay on top of your life goals then your yearly goals and action steps need to be top of mind at all times and the best way to do this is to review them as often as possible.
Reviewing your goals on a weekly basis is great, reviewing them daily is even better. Because the more focused you are on your goals and the actions you need to take to achieve them, the more likely you are to succeed.
More practically, if you review your goals every morning against what you have planned for that day, then you will quickly see if your plans include an action that will move you one step closer to your yearly goal(s). However big or small, taking that one action on a daily basis will lead to great things. To your desired destination.
15. Practice gratitude
There are many proven benefits of gratitude. Some of the physical and mental health benefits include reduced stress and increased happiness. With further benefits such as improved sleep, enhanced empathy, and even increased self-esteem.
With all the things you have to gain, it’s time to start putting your attitude of gratitude into daily practice.
16. Feed your mind
In life, nothing remains still. Everything is either getting better or getting worse, growing or shrinking, going up or going down. Nothing is still.
Just like your muscles atrophy when you don’t use them, so will your mind. We all know we need to exercise our bodies, but you also need to exercise your mind. Challenge yourself, learn new things and continue to feed your mind.
You might already be reading a book and wondering how else you could feed your mind. So here’s a list of even more things to do for an incredible morning routine, that will feed your mind in the process. As well as reading a book.
- Listen to a podcast
- Listen to an audiobook
- Spend some time learning a new practical skill
- Sign up to a webinar on just about anything
- Learn a new language
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.- Oscar Wilde
17. Do something that’s just for you
We spend a lot of our time saying yes to other people and doing things that we need to do, have to do or should do- often when we may not want to.
If you’re guilty of this, and so many of us are, then it’s time you started doing things just for you. If only once a day.
While this simple act of self-care might feel selfish, especially if you’re used to putting everyone else first, the benefits will be far-reaching. Remember, you can’t look after everyone else if you’re not ok.
18. Take a cold shower
Taking a cold shower might seem like a very strange thing to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine. But it does have its benefits.
Personally, I’ve always been one of those people that would prefer to be too hot rather than too cold.
But after reading about the benefits of having a cold shower – I had to test it out for myself.
If cold showers sound like your worst nightmare- and they were definitely mine- then read about my challenge here and watch the video below. You might just be tempted.
19. Listen to, read or watch something motivational
It always surprises me how normal it is to start the day by turning on the news and filling our heads with all the horror that’s going on around us.
Yet so few of us intentionally start the day by filling out heads with something positive, motivational or inspiring.
The thing is, you don’t have to look very hard to hear bad news, but why not start actively feeding your mind with positive or motivating things.
Your mind is the most powerful tool you have, so why not protect it, or at least be more intentional about what goes into it.
What you feed your mind will affect what you think, how you feel about life, other people yourself and will even impact what you do or don’t do.
Are you feeding your mind with things that empower you?
20. Doodle… a seemingly pointless thing to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine!
Yes, you read that right. Doodling has made the list of things to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine. Why?
While doodling might seem like just a distraction, studies have shown that it can in fact aid concentration and focus, and improve memory recall.
Beyond this, doodling is also a great way to release stress and calm nerves- a great tool if you suffer from anxiety.
Doodling exercises your creativity and may even enhance problem-solving ability. So why not start doodling as part of your daily morning routine.
21. Reconnect with a childhood hobby
There’s more to life than work, but sometimes it feels like there’s just no time to fit much else in, let alone something as seemingly frivolous as reconnecting with your inner child.
But you’d be wrong. There’s a lot of value that can come from this simple act. Which is why it’s on this list of things to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine.
Spend a little time each morning doing something that you used to enjoy, just for the fun of it. We often stop doing things because other tasks take over or take priority, but you never know, this could lead to some great inspiration. Who knows, it might even help you figure out your next career move!
22. Listen to music
You can’t argue with the fact that music affects our emotions.
If you want to start your day on a high note then listening to music is a must. Happy music that is-
Studies have shown that listening to music not only changes your brain physiology but listening to happy music will make you more likely to see neutral faces as happy while listening to sad music will make you likely to see neutral faces as sad. So, if you want to have a positive outlook, start your day by listening to music that puts you in the best mood and mindset.
What’s more, if you’re trying to do something creative first thing then listening to ambient music might be a good idea. Apparently, moderate noise levels increase processing difficulty which promotes abstract processing, leading to higher creativity. According to an article in Fast Company.
23. Make a connection
We know how important relationships and connections are, but keeping up with our relationships and everyone in our lives can be hard.
Sending that quick follow up email after a conference or sending a quick note to check how someone’s doing won’t take you long but it could make all the difference to your relationships and your life.
24. Do the most important task on your list that you know you’ve been putting off.
According to Mark Twain, you should “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”
The concept of eating that frog is something that many of us are aware of. But do you ever put it into action?
The book Eat That Frog – by Brian Tracy, uses this phrase as a metaphor for how we should manage our time. Basically, following this principle means doing the single most important task on your list – because once you’ve done this, the rest of your day will seem like smooth sailing, whatever else happens.
So, before you start doing any other tasks from that to-do list eating that frog is definitely one of the things to before 9am for an incredible morning routine.
25. Decide on your top 3 priorities for the day- The thing to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine that you can do the night before!
Finally, one of the most important things to do before 9 am for an incredible morning routine, or the night before for that matter is to get clear on your priorities.
The problem with to-do lists is that they can go on endlessly. That’s why it’s important to prioritize – and when it comes to priorities, the more of them you have the less of a priority each item on the list becomes.
So you need to get crystal clear on what’s really a priority and what isn’t. And be brutal. If you’re not sure how to figure out what goes on the priority list then try one of the methods below:
Use the Eisenhower Matrix
You can use the Eisenhower matrix to separate tasks based on importance and urgency
- Urgent and Important: Do these tasks as soon as possible
- Important, but not urgent: Decide and schedule when you’ll do these tasks
- Urgent, but not important: Delegate these tasks to someone else
- Neither urgent nor important: Drop these from your schedule
Follow the Ivy Lee method
The Ivy Lee method was a productivity method taught by PR pioneer and business Consultant, Ivy Lee, to his clients.
This simple method is as follows:
- At the end of each day write down no more than 6 of the most important things that you must do the following day
- Prioritize just those 6 tasks in order of their importance
- At the start of the day, work from this list of 6 from the previous day.
- Focus ONLY on the first task on the list until it is completed and do nothing else until it’s done.
- Move anything from the list that is not completed onto tomorrow’s list.
Ask yourself one simple question
If I can only accomplish ONE thing today, what does that need to be?
What is the single most important thing that I need to complete right now?
Asking yourself this question can help you get clarity at times when everything seems critical.
Of course, there are other ways to prioritize. The important thing is to find a way that works for you and to do it.
Now you have 25 ideas for things to do before 9am for an incredible morning routine, how will you make your mornings count?