Lifestyle SELF Self-Care

Let’s Talk Morning Routines

morning routine

A few weeks ago, I was really good about sharing pockets of my morning routine on IG Stories. I’ve since stopped because I found that even bringing my phone out during my routine was hindering it, but I did want to write a post and dive into the topic. We’ve all heard how amazing morning routines can be, and I’ve even touched on them on BTD before – but not until recently did I truly develop a routine. I actually have a friend slash accountability partner who I share my routines with daily which is helping!

But basically, instead of waking up and diving right into your day (OR your phone!), it’s pretty crazy what an intentional a.m. routine can do. And no it doesn’t have to mean a million things or meditating for an hour or even a big workout, it’s kinda up to you. Depending on where you’re at in life and your personality, the parts of your routine that you most need will look different. I wanted to focus on quiet time, faith, and no tech, so that’s kinda where my routine essentials started. But yours probably looks different! Which is fine!

And before starting my routine, I read a TON about successful people’s morning routines – which was pretty freaking fascinating. So, I thought it’d be fun to put together a post on different morning practices – all dependent on what you’re looking for or type of person you are. I hope it’s fun and helpful!

Practices for People Who Have a Hard Time Getting Started

Have a starting ritual: Best-selling author and productivity expert Charles Duhigg suggests having an area or a practice that means “go time”. Whether that’s grabbing a coffee or sitting in your desk or getting in your workout clothes – develop a habitualized response to starting. He thinks if people can make a habit out of the first step of their day, it’ll come easier.

Get an Accountability Partner: If you can’t help but hit that snooze button and usually spend your mornings rushing because you didn’t set a calming routine, ask a friend for help. Preferably, ask someone who is on top of their morning routine or a morning person (aka a good role model lol). Maybe you text them a picture of you out of bed and doing something that feels good to you and is productive to how you want to live. Or maybe it’s them calling you. But knowing that someone is relying on you should help!

Practices for People Who Are Constantly “On”

Have non-reactive time: Y’all know I love me some Tim Ferriss. He’s been quoted saying that he tries to spend the first 90 minutes of his day being non-reactive. Which sounds amazing! Not making decisions, not answering emails, not being “on.” Of course, a lot of people (ppl with kids come to mind, or CEOs and business owners), probably don’t always have this luxury, but according to Tim, you do! It just involves waking up before the chaos starts, and before you need to be reactive.

Airplane Mode: I’ve been using this trick in my own routine for a while and it’s honestly one of the best habits I’ve developed. If you have a hard time getting away from tech and are addicted to notifications, try sleeping with your phone on Airplane Mode. This leaves your phone on (for alarms and such), but blocks the ability to show notifications. Keep it in Airplane Mode until you’re ready to start your day – which might mean a couple hours after you wake up. It’s so nice having dedicated no-tech time to start your day, where you feel like you can’t be bothered.

Journal: My mind never seems to stop, so the practice of journaling has been a game-changer for me. Whether that means journaling about my to-do list, my dreams, how I’m feeling, or after reading the bible, simply getting thoughts OUT feels really good.

Practices for People Looking for More Health/Wellness

Hot lemon water + meditation: Jennifer Aniston swears by hot lemon water and some quiet meditation time in the morning, which sounds pretty great for busy weeks, doesn’t it? The lemon water is said to be good for digestion, energy and your skin, and the meditation is obviously for centering and quieting your mind. I still haven’t gotten on the meditation wagon, but I heard the app Headspace is cool for newbies.

Yoga: OK this might sound weird, but have y’all ever watched an animal get up in the morning? They always stretch! Which is kinda funny because I can’t remember the last time I stretched before getting out of bed, but doesn’t it sound good? Yoga is a nice way to get the body moving without anything too intense, and it’s supposedly very energizing – while also being peaceful. I’m definitely not a yoga person, but I’m really wanting to explore this in 2018.

Alone time being mindful: Not a lot of us get much alone time, and if you aren’t into the whole meditation thing, you can also just practice being mindful. Maybe that means getting up a little bit early, grabbing your coffee, and just sitting and staring out a window. It’s allowing your mind to be present, which is definitely something I could get better at.

Practices for People Wanting to Be More Productive

3 MIT: This is a long-standing tool for productivity, but it’s amazing to do first thing in the morning. Without letting life get in the way, list out the three things you must get done today – or three goals. Even with emails flying in all day, letting yourself focus on those three things up front will help you stay focused.

Listen to a podcast: I’ve become obsessed with podcasts, and one of my favorite times to consume them is when I’m feeling blah or unproductive. Because they are so freaking inspiring y’all! I love listening to The Goal Digger Podcast or Being Boss personally when I’m in a work slump.

Make your bed and spruce up your living space: Making your bed first thing leads to greater productivity throughout the day because it’s essentially starting your day with completing something. Then, to keep the productivity vibes going, clean up after yourself as you get ready and spruce up the house a bit. You’ll be able to get home from work and relax instantly since you’ve already done some housekeeping.

Practices for People Wanting More Positivity

Gratitude lists: I’m pretty sure we could all gain something from this practice, but some people swear by gratitude first thing. Which is pretty cool because it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you list everything you’re grateful for. Or, maybe it’s talking to your roommates, boyfriend, kids in the morning and sharing 3 things you’re thankful for over breakfast. The important part is realizing your blessings – a super easy way to add positivity to your day.

Do y’all have a morning routine currently?

What does it look like? If not, do any of the ideas above sound good?


Photo Details: Pajamas are old by Nordstrom Lingerie and you can find bedroom/bed details in this blog post.

Liked this post? You might also like my post on 3 Secrets to a Better Morning too!

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  • Reply
    Brittany Seiden
    February 7, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I had to come back and leave a comment on this post because after reading this one and your other morning routine one, I have mine DOWN! And it has seriously improved my life so much! Thank youuuu <3

    XX, Brittany

  • Reply
    Emma | Defined Designs
    January 25, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Wow I really needed this post! I’m so far from being a morning person and I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to work towards changing my snooze button habits. I’ll be re-reading this one for sure! I always love how motivational you are in your posts (and insta-stories) Don’t ever change!!
    xo, Emma

  • Reply
    Tarsha Williams
    January 19, 2018 at 12:57 am

    You are always an inspiration! Your love for God warms my heart. As always thank you for being a shining light for God. Lastly what planner or notebook are you using? The gold spiral? What do you use the different notebooks for? I’m trying to organize my thoughts, specific readings etc. Thank you for taking the time to share. Tarsha

  • Reply
    Alexis deZayas
    January 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Loved this post!! Just got myself an official accountability partner so we are going to send each other a picture tomorrow morning :-)

  • Reply
    January 18, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I definitely need to try putting my phone on airplane mode!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    This post is right on time! I have been working on forming a morning routine since November. I read “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, which was a BIG help. The most game-changing takeaway for me was to put my alarm clock (aka my phone) across the room so I have to get up to turn it off when I wake up in the morning. MAJOR GAME CHANGER. After turning it off, I am not allowed to get back into bed. It was a lot easier to get myself to my couch after adopting that practice.

  • Reply
    Deena Schencker
    January 18, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Basically I do everything on this list you suggested including the meditation, gratitude journal, make my bed, but I also pray and thank God. This comes before my feet hit the floor! When I get dressed in my work out clothes and before I go to yoga, I have to have my coffee! I also wake up an hour early if I want to listen to Podcasts which is at 5 AM, but I feel so productive on those days. I am with you; obsessed with Podcasts and lately Lewis Howes! Your content is awesome. Love your honesty and vulnerability.

  • Reply
    January 18, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    SO, I’ve tried to force myself to sleep with my phone in another room or off or on airplane mode, but it never lasts. Mainly, because I’ve psyched myself out that something awful will happen to a friend/family member and they’ll try to call me at 2AM and I won’t be able to help because I didn’t have my phone on. No, this is NOT something that’s happened before, so it’s not like I’ve got experience with this failing. It’s just some made up anxiety in my head.

    I know part of it because my husband works offshore (at random increments for random lengths of time), and when he’s offshore I’m GLUED to my phone because we can only communicate via email and he’s usually on a weird time zone halfway around the world, and I NEED to be able to talk to him regularly (for my sanity, God picked good with that man). So, I’ve constantly got an ear turned listening for his special email tone so I can read about his day and talk to him about mine.

    I just wish I could turn that addiction/anxiety off when he’s home. Ugh. Fingers crossed for RE-setting intentions ;)

    • Reply
      January 18, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      On the IPhone there is a DND mode (in the Settings Menu), where you can either manually turn it on or set it to automatically turn on and off at the same time each day (I do 9:30 pm till 6:30 AM).
      The best part about it, is while it does stop all norifications, texts, and calls from coming through, it gives you the option to allow calls from people on your favorites and/or anyone that calls multiple times within a short time.
      I love it because it automatically helps me unwind/ignore my phone more at night and first thing in the morning, but I still know my husband or anyone else could reach me if there is a need!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I used to get up at 5 or 5:30 for over 20 years and even ran at 5:30am for a while. Once I became an empty nester, well, my body revolted and I need some sleep! Getting up early is a real struggle at the moment. Right now it is cold here in Texas but as soon as it warms up I am looking forward to actively working to shift my start time. Last summer, when I could get up early enough, I would go sit outside with my breakfast, journal, pray and greet the day. It was the best way to start before going to work.
    Great blog BTW. Just found you!

  • Reply
    January 18, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Love love love this! I’m definitely not a morning person and am trying to become a morning person. I have 8 am physics which is a real struggle for me. If I’m tired or groggy I can’t focus in class. I hope one of these suggestions will help me be more focused!

  • Reply
    Lyndsey Amen Ribble
    January 17, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    A couple of things:
    1) can I just say how refreshing it is for a blogger to be up front about her faith (I know this post wasn’t specific to faith but it’s one of my favorite things about you)
    2) loved this post and how you categorized different tactics for different outcomes-super original content
    3) I feel like if you lived in San Antonio we would be best friends. You’re awesome!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I love my morning routine! I get up at 4 am M-F and start with a shower immediately! and a cup of coffee. My hubby isn’t up yet and my cats and I sit and watch the weather channel. It’s an “ease” into the day. My commute always has NPR (to get me thinking and up to date with the news) and the office is SO QUIET when I get in, I do my Bible study and/or (if during semester for grad school) studying/homework. It seems a little boring/basic but when anything is interrupted (hello snow days) I just feel “off” and unproductive. Airplane mode is a MUST!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I need a better after-lunch routine! I feel like my mornings are very “let’s get ’em” and my afternoons are so much slower. Do you have an accountability partner? I think I need one!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Def NOT a morning person, so I’ll take some of these into account. I love the airplane mode and gratitude ideas! Sometimes I think life gets so hectic that we think we’re not doing enough, when in reality, if we take 5 min to stop and observe…maybe we’re doing better than we think?!

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      January 17, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Airplane mode is genius! Probably not what it was designed for (lol) but I love the ability to shut off notifications

  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Love the detail you went into and the different ideas for different types of people. I am a morning person and it’s so hard to find a morning routine guide that actually has tips for morning people. 99% of the time it is all about how to be a morning person. So thank you for filling the blank space!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I’ve been trying to meditate for 5 min once I wake up, but I’m still getting into a routine. I actually host a podcast called Day in the Life where I interview people from all different industries and they talk about their morning routines…everyone is so different and it’s fascinating!!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    I also love having some warm lemon water in the morning before my bulletproof coffee. When it comes to mornings I have a strict schedule and tend to get a little annoyed when knocked off it… lol

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      January 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

      Good for you for having a schedule though! And being committed!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    OOh, I love this breakdown. One of my resolutions was to create a mindful morning routine, and I’m still trying to figure out what that’s going to be! This post is very helpful, thank you!


  • Reply
    Fortune Dushey
    January 16, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Lovely post! I never heard of MIT…listing 3 goals for each day. Great idea.
    I drink hot water with lemon everyday and I also add a bit of honey for sweetness. Its sooo good and I do get lots of compliments on my skin – perhaps it is bc of the hot water and lemon:)

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      January 17, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Could be! I’m excited to be introducing that into my morning routine. I’ve heard it’s really great to jump start your body

  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I love the lemon and water and meditation idea! I am so going to start doing this!


  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Brighton!

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I struggle in the mornings and have been needing some inspiration to start off the year.

    Also, just a word of encouragement for your blog- you have been KILLING it on content lately. Thank you for your honesty. Your blog shows so much depth and it’s definitely one of the most helpful that I read daily. Keep being real, girl!

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      January 17, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Thank you Allie! It’s so encouraging to hear feedback from you all. I love to find new ways to serve you and I hope this year has started off in the right direction.

  • Reply
    Kelly Holbrook
    January 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

    No email, IG, etc until I’ve spent time with God. Even if it’s 5 min, it’s a great (new and needed) routine for me. Then it’s off to the races with my 10 and 13 year olds!

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      January 17, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Keep at it girl! Do not be discouraged, your time with the Lord is so important. What a great example for your kids.

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