How to Establish a Morning Routine & Night Routine

morning routine

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – ever heard this expression? Although it’s suggesting the important eating apples, another takeaway is the importance of eating nutritious foods regularly. When you implement a lifestyle change it normally implies that routine is followed and habits are formed. For instance, a healthy lifestyle includes habitual consumption of nutritious foods, regular physical activity, and consistent sleep. 
 
When it comes to setting a morning routine – having one in the morning and one in the evening primes you for success. They actually help you achieve more and think more clearly – ensuring you are not stumbling through your day and maximising your productivity. All it takes is a bit of discipline! 
 

What exactly is a routine?

A routine is a sequence of actions that you do repeatedly. For example, brushing your teeth everyday and getting ready for bed is a routine. Waking up at 6am and exercising every morning is a routine. Purchasing a bagel and reading the newspaper before you head to work every morning is a routine. They’re all actions that happen again and again, a rhythm in your daily life.
 
High achievers tend to find routines that work for them and often credit these routines as a core to their success. Productivity guru Tim Ferris has 5 morning rituals which he swears by – making his bed, meditating, exercise, drinking tea and journaling. Similarly, Tony Robbins has a cold shower, does breathing exercises and meditates before the start of each day. 
 

What’s the difference between a habit and routine? 

Habits are things that we do automatically – like checking your emails once you wake up or putting your car keys on a hook when you get home. 
 
Routines are a collection of habits or actions you do on a regular basis to bring order to your day like checking your email, then marking things off your to-do list. 
 
Here are a few morning routines to help you win each day: 
  1. Rise early – even if they aren’t naturally early birds – high achievers have trained themselves to wake up early. This appears to bring them increased productivity, less distractions and greater creativity when their mind is fresh and less stressed.
  2. Make your bed – this makes you feel a sense of accomplishment straight away. There’s something also to say about the discipline it fosters which gets carried with you throughout adulthood if this is something you’ve learnt to do as a child.
  3. Eat breakfast and exercise regularly – these seem like a give-in. Having the right fuel for your day and getting the endorphins from exercise in early allows you to stay focused and clear headed for the remainder of the day. 
When it comes to evening routines, it’s about setting the tone for the next day. You’re setting yourself up for the next morning and gearing up for a restful nights sleep. Implement some of these strategies into your nightly routine:
  1. Clear your head – doing this before you sleep allows you to put aside the challenges of the day and gets your mind to shut down. Do this however way you feel suits you best whether it be meditating, reading or journaling.
  2. Practice proper sleep hygiene – stick to the same sleep/wake schedule, minimise blue light and screens, ensure your bedroom is the right temperature and is as dark as possible.
 

References:

  1. Arlinghaus, K.R. and Johnston, C.A. (2019). The Importance of Creating Habits and routine. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 13(2), 142-144. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6378489/
  2. Clean Health Fitness Institute. (2020). Performance Nutrition Coach Level 1. CHFI.
  3. Mindell, J.A, Leichman E.S, Lee C, Williamson A.A, Walters R.M.(2017). Implementation of a nightly bedtime routine: how quickly do things improve? Infant Behavioral Development. 49, 220-227.

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