If you’re not a morning person, I’m with you. I LOVE my sleep, and have always had such a hard time forcing myself out of bed in the a.m. If you also struggle with getting up in the morning, I want to share my morning routine to help you become a morning person.
I’ve always been envious of people who have productive morning routines. For me, my warm bed has always been much more appealing than the cold, dark morning. Having said that, being someone who works for herself, with no designated start time to her day, sleeping in became all too common in my life…
Not ideal when you’re trying to get things done, build a business, and fit in a social life.
Within the last month or so I’ve been trying to develop a morning routine that works for me.
It’s taken some time and I haven’t fully perfected it yet (tbh I don’t think a perfect morning routine really exists for me), but if you’re also someone who is looking for ideas on how to set up a morning routine for a non-morning person, I think these tips should give you some inspiration.
Let’s dive into all things morning routines!
Please note: This post does contain affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission if you choose to purchase through one of my links. I only recommend products I love and believe in 🙂
First things first, if you’re not a morning person, it’s time to stop putting pressure on yourself to have the “perfect” morning
This is probably the biggest thing I’ve learned when trying to come up with my perfect morning routine.
I’ve realized when I put pressure on myself to have this very specific morning routine, and it doesn’t happen, I automatically label as not being a “morning person.” In other words, I give up on the idea of having a morning routine, end up sleeping in, and revert back to my old ways of starting my day at 10 a.m.
To combat this, I’ve stopped trying to have a specific morning routine.
If one morning I start the day by taking a shower and having my breakfast right away, that’s cool.
If the next morning I’m more inclined to work on the couch in my pjs, that’s also fine.
For me, it’s less about having a set routine, and it’s more about being up and productive in whatever way I want to be on that specific day.
Remember: If you’re anything like me, your mood and preferences are going to change day-to-day. Routines are nice, but when you have an all-or-nothing mindset about them, they’re not doing you any favours.
Recognizing that and just letting my morning routine be what it wants to be that day has made a big difference in getting me out of bed in the morning.
Second, if you’re not a morning person, start your morning slow
Also probably equally as important, whenever I try jumping out of bed and starting my day right away, it never works.
In particular, there was a point in time where I was trying to do my workout first thing in the morning…
Very bad idea for someone who doesn’t naturally rise with the sun.
This lasted for about a week, but by the second week, I was dreading the morning before I even went to bed…
For me, the key to actually wanting to get out of bed is all about starting my morning slow, and I suspect all you non-morning people will feel similarly.
Sometimes this means simply waking up, putting on my coziest sweats, pulling out a blanket, and answering emails, and that’s good enough for me.
It can also mean reading a chapter of a book, journaling, watching a Youtube video, or even just sitting quietly with your thoughts.
When I go to bed knowing I can start the day slow, in whatever way I please, I’m much more likely to hop out of bed, excited to tackle whatever comes my way!
Thirdly, set your intentions, goals, and “to-dos” the night before
The other most important component to a morning routine for a non-morning person is setting up the day the night before.
Wow, that sounds like a confusing sentence, but stick with me here…
By setting up my day the night before, I already know what my day is going to look like, which helps the day feel less overwhelming and more inviting to step into. In other words, I don’t have that all-to-familiar resistance to waking up in the morning. I generally feel energized and excited to tackle that To Do List that I’ve already set up.
In addition, I’ve become really big on writing little notes to myself the night before. It sounds kind of cheesy, but when I write myself encouraging messages for the morning, it sets my whole day off on the right foot. This is especially important because I don’t generally wake up very cheery. In fact, I’m definitely one of those people who wakes up cranky (for no particular reason). Reminding myself to be happy and grateful for all the great things I have going in my life shifts me from being a cranky “I hate the morning” person to being a sunny, happy, “I love the morning” person.
Just give it a try. Write out a To Do List, set an intention for your day the night before, and see how it affects your mood in the morning.
I do all of this in my bullet journal. You can read more about how I use my bullet journal for personal growth here.
Here are specific things I’ve started doing to make my morning more enjoyable:
1. Diffuse essential oils
I know not everyone is going to be into the idea of essential oils, and I’m not sure how legit the benefits of aromatherapy actually are, but there’s just something calming about the act of filling up my diffuser, picking my oil, and letting it diffuse in the morning.
I have a diffuser in the bedroom that’s actually on a timer so it starts diffusing before I even wake up (I use the Liquid Sunshine oil from Sage).
I also have a diffuser downstairs that I put on as soon as I’m up. I usually use a grounding oil or something calming.
This is the exact diffuser that I have downstairs. I’ve had it for over a year, and absolutely love it (plus you can get it on Amazon, which is always convenient).
2. Set your clothing out the night before
If you’re not a morning person, it’s important to make your life as easy as possible in the morning.
Set your clothing out the night before, so you can slip into something comfy to start the day off on the right foot. And, if you do want to put some makeup on in the morning, here’s a quick and easy guide to make for hectic mornings.
Or hey, if it’s one of those days, stay in your pjs for an hour or two. Like I mentioned above, sometimes when you’re not a morning person, you just have to start the day nice and slow.
3. Work on things you’re excited about
For some people, getting the important things out of the way first thing in the morning is the way to go.
For me, if I’m starting with the tasks I don’t enjoy, I’m much more likely to procrastinate.
I NEED to start with the tasks I like. It gives me momentum for the day, and it makes it much easier for me to start the day on the right foot.
Not to mention, you’re also going to be motivated to get out of bed if you’re excited by the things you’re doing.
4. Take the time to think about your day
This might sound a little hippy dippy, but thinking about how I want my day to go before I start it always results in a more productive day.
For example, remember how I mentioned I write my To Do list/intentions the night before?
Well, I also always take 5 minutes or so to open my bullet journal and review the day before I even open my laptop.
Not only does this help ensure that I know what I have to do for the day, it also reminds me how I want to FEEL. It reduces my anxiety, it keeps me focused, and it reminds me not to put so much pressure on myself.
5. Have an easy/healthy breakfast
Again, when it comes to a morning routine for a person who doesn’t like the morning, I highly recommend having breakfast.
I know intermittent fasting is all the rage right now, and I’m sure it works well for a lot of people, but for people who hate the morning, having a delicious (healthy) breakfast to look forward to is just one more component you can add to your morning to make it more appealing and enjoyable.
I also recommend keeping your breakfast pretty easy. If you’re a low-energy morning person like me, you’ll be much more likely to have your breakfast if it’s something easy.
6. Listen to a podcast during breakfast
I also find taking my time to eat breakfast is nice for a non-morning person like myself. Like I’ve said, I’m all about that slow morning routine, and if that means listening to a really good podcast for 20 minutes in the morning, I always go for it.
Some of my favorite podcasts include:
1. The Joe Rogan Experience
2. The Skinny Confidential Him and Her Podcast
3. The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
4. Deliciously Ella
5. The Tim Ferris Show
6. The Influencer Podcast
7. The Goal Digger Podcast
And, for those that are interested, here’s my (general) morning routine
Remember, as I’ve mentioned a couple times now, I don’t hold myself accountable to having a specific morning routine. As someone who works for herself, my mornings really fluctuate depending on what I have going on for the day. For example, today I wasn’t able to use my kitchen, so I went out for breakfast and then to Starbucks to work with my boyfriend.
I always give myself flexibility with my mornings (here’s what I was doing with my morning routine in 2017), but here’s how I’ve been liking my mornings to go as of right now:
6:30 a.m. –> Wake up
I’ll set my alarm, but it’s even better when I just wake up naturally (the more I try to get up early, the more likely it is that I wake up without the alarm).
7:00 –> Be up and “getting ready”
I’m not one of those people who hops out of bed right when I wake up (at all).
Generally, if I’m up and brushing my teeth by 7am, I’m happy.
Also, by “getting ready,” for me, all this really means is I’m putting on comfy clothes, brushing my hair, brushing my teeth, and splashing some water on my face. I keep it pretty simple first thing in morning.
7:15 –> Coffee, bullet journal, couch, blanket
I like starting my day on the couch, with a blanket and my bullet journal, especially as the weather gets colder.
This is where I review my day, read those little notes to myself that I like to write, and do basic work things like answering clients/emails.
I keep these first 45 minutes of “work” really basic and easy. Sometimes I might not even work necessarily, and I’ll just read some of my favorite blogs. As a non-morning person, I don’t force myself to be super productive in these early hours. Just being up and doing something is an accomplishment for me.
8:00 –> Breakfast
By this point I usually get off the couch and move over to the dining room table.
Before diving into any hardcore work, I have my breakfast, which lately has just been a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter.
I also generally listen to a podcast at this point, and I try my best not to do any scrolling on my phone. I try to just be present to help calm my mind and get ready for the day.
8:30-9:00 –> Work starts (blog post)
Sometimes I’m working by 8:30, and sometimes it’s closer to 9, depending on how I’m feeling, and that’s okay.
Generally, I start my mornings by writing blog posts. This is usually the thing I’m most excited to do, so I find it’s best to start with something that I’m excited about. I also always know that my client work is stuff I have to do, so if I leave it until later it guarantees that I’ll continue working further into the day.
Of course this morning routine might be different if you don’t work for yourself, but I think those first three points I made about not having a “perfect’ routine, starting the morning slow, and setting your intentions for the day are things every non-morning person should do, whether you work for yourself or not.
Sure, it might mean you have to get up 30 minutes earlier, but not rushing into the day and actually enjoying the morning might just change how you feel about this time of day completely.
I know it’s made a difference for me!