This is the hardest part about morning routines (that nobody tells you)

It won’t necessarily feel good at first.

Some days you might just go through the motions and think to yourself, ‘Why did I get up?’ That diminishes the likelihood of turning your idealized morning routine into a real habit from which you can benefit. 

The most effective way to overcome this is to get very clear about your ‘why’. 

A good morning routine’s super power is the ability to start your day on a trajectory of attention and intention. To paraphrase Deepak Chopra, attention energizes awareness for what you seek, and intention expands that awareness. Simply noticing this is often enough to make you feel excited with possibility.  

But most people start their day reactively, on autopilot, catering to someone else’s ideals of attention and intention. And when you start your day off course, it’s much harder to get back on track.

Remember: the point of a morning routine is not just to complete it. Only include those practices for which you are clear about your reasons why. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore prospective new habits that aren’t clear. Rather, leverage the tendency of a good habit to snowball into other good habits, then pick those up along the way once you’ve got some momentum.

How to create a morning routine you can actually stick to 

The best way to solve the hard problem of morning routines is actually a sweet spot between three best ways:

Make a plan so that it’s easy 

Turning routines into habits is a lot more about smart design than it is about willpower. If your morning routine involves journaling, keep a list of prompts in case you get stuck. If it involves meditating, create a designated spot that you know feels comfortable to sit in for the duration of your meditation. The idea is to reduce friction points that might detract you.

Start with just one thing

Morning routines often mix a few different practices. These are some of the most common ones: 

  • A gratitude practice
  • Meditation
  • Journaling 
  • Physical movement 
  • A cold shower
  • Organizing your space
  • Some nutritional component

If you’re new to morning routines, that can feel like a lot. Better to start with just one thing and add more once you’re established. Just as you wouldn’t scold a baby for not managing to run the first time it got up on two feet, don’t self-sabotage. Be your own cheerleader.

This short video, from best-selling author and entrepreneurial coach Marie Forleo, is a funny example of how an overly ambitious morning routine can go wrong:

Celebrate your gains

Make a point of mentally patting yourself on the back for every part of you routine that you manage to complete. Even if it’s just getting out of bed. This will give you juice to keep going!

One last thing to consider about morning routines

A smart morning routine actually starts the evening before with a good night’s sleep. So if you’re running on fumes, forego everything else and opt for proper rest and recovery. Just don’t turn that into a habit.

And if you’d like to experiment with an AI-powered morning routine that is built on science-backed foundations for optimal efficiency, sign up below below and try Kai for free.

More from our blog

Some days you might just go through the motions, unsure why you got up. Here's how to overcome that to build a morning routine you can stick to.

References

  • Death by Information Overload

    Harvard Business Review

  • 10 Steps to Conquering Information Overload

    Forbes

  • Cognitive Biases Cheat Sheet

    Medium

  • Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue?

    New York Times

  • Getting Things Done

    David Allen

  • Eat That Frog

    Brian Tracy

  • Personal Kanban

    Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry

Suggested
reading

  • Death by Information Overload

    Harvard Business Review

  • 10 Steps to Conquering Information Overload

    Forbes

  • Cognitive Biases Cheat Sheet

    Medium

  • Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue?

    New York Times

  • Getting Things Done

    David Allen

  • Eat That Frog

    Brian Tracy

  • Personal Kanban

    Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry

Mindful living articles

  • Death by Information Overload

    Harvard Business Review

  • 10 Steps to Conquering Information Overload

    Forbes

  • Cognitive Biases Cheat Sheet

    Medium

  • Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue?

    New York Times

  • Getting Things Done

    David Allen

  • Eat That Frog

    Brian Tracy

  • Personal Kanban

    Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry

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