Lifestyle
Comments 9

Setting Up a Good Morning, Good Habits Routine

Before I get started, I just want to say that this is a ‘life project’ that I’m still currently working on so it might seem a bit hypocritical of me to write such a post. However, I believe that being open, and writing more about the subject and the lifestyle habits surrounding it, will permit a smoother, positive thought-process that’ll allow me to succeed in the lifestyle that I want.

If there’s one thing to know, it’s that practice makes habit. Everyone has habits. Some quite unique, and others which we’re all truly guilty of. What we don’t want is that slump period where your bad habits truly outweigh the good ones – sleeping late, waking up late, no breakfast, meal-skipping, zero exercise…the list goes on. And if you hadn’t noticed, each habit is like a magnet, except it doesn’t attract the opposite!

In modern society in particular, I think there is a common excuse to say that we’re too busy to make what is otherwise known as positive change. But if we’re too busy for everything, when will we ever have enough time for something? Well, we just make time. Plan ahead. Schedule. And repeat.

Today I’ll be showing you an example routine and in turn, give you tips on how to adapt to it which you can subtly change to suit your needs in the morning! 

GoodMorning-GoodHabits-hoiyinli

Before you start – why, what, how

Perhaps the main thing you’d like to ask yourself is why you want to make changes to your current lifestyle. I know personally, I want to make a good morning routine into habit because I have never truly been a morning person. I am getting better at it but not at the level I want to be. Of course, if there’s somewhere I need to be early, then I will get there no problem but whether or not I had a good morning is usually another story. So, I think it’s time for change.

It may be possible that you’ve heard of the following statements:

  • The most successful people in the world wake up early to start their day (5/6am)
  • A good morning sets the mood or tone of the day for you
  • Productivity increases when you start your day early rather than late

But knowing such facts is not good enough – you need to implement them into your lifestyle [See: next few points]. If you think about it, children learn the basics of food groups in school yet grow up to become over-eating adults, dependable on fast food! (Obviously not all children but you get the picture.) So what happened? Well, their (bad) habit overtook their knowledge.

I didn’t realise it immediately but there’s so much to learn about health and fitness. I’ve found it best to read articles (although, be careful with what source you read) and watch YouTube videos of people’s morning routines (again, be careful because not all are authentic).

So far, I’ve found this video by heyclaire to be the most helpful:

She talks about how she’s successfully developed some new morning habits into this year and why. Hopefully it’ll give you some new ideas since it gave me a lot of inspiration!

I have also taken some joy in reading a few books that I’ve previously bought:

books-for-good-habits-hoiyinli

They’re not about morning routines per se but certainly leave a lot of food for thought.

Lastly, you can also check out an app called Fabulous. It’s a lifestyle app that’s actually in line with today’s topic: good habits. On the app, an unexpected journey awaits you, and thereon you start developing habits one-by-one. You’re able to tick habits off every morning and track them when you please, adding reminders if you wish to. There are also interactive letters per stage, so you end up learning some facts to do with the habit which is handy and motivating! Even better is the challenge the app sets you, in completing a habit for a number of days.

GoodHabits-Notebook-hoiyinli

Now, write it down

Okay, so you’ve gathered some ideas on what a good morning routine should look like. Next, you should write it down, listing both the activity and approximate time. Just begin the routine from when you wake up, to when you have to go out the door/officially start your day. It’s important that the routine is most beneficial to you and not tightly packed either. We want to feel good, not rushed!

You might decide to skip on certain activities that I mention in this routine, in favour of doing it later in the day e.g. a workout, and that’s completely fine! However, please don’t skip your breakfast as this fuels your day! [See: next point]

Example Routine

6AM | Alarm goes off. Wake up at first instance
Brush teeth, have a glass of water with lemon
6.15AM | Morning Stretch/Warm-Up
6.30AM | Pre-breakfast snack: banana
Morning workout, then shower*
7.15AM | Breakfast
7.45AM | Quick skincare and makeup routine
8.15AM | Get ready to leave the house and go to work**
8.50AM | Check e-mails and review schedule for the day!
9AM | Work shift starts

*It doesn’t have to be a hardcore workout…just something to get your blood flow moving. Hell, you can even have a little dance-out to your favourite music!
**Of course, you might leave a lot earlier than this for work, especially if you’re commuting via public transport!

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Breakfast found here

Action: Start a new habit or swap habits around

The first common mistake that I think everyone commits when they first begin a new routine is to try and do it all. Sorry to be that person but it doesn’t work like that! Implementing a new habit takes anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months depending on your current situation. You might not even have a morning routine at all, in which case you should start building habits one-by-one whether it’s waking up early in the first place, or having a good breakfast.

I actually never used to have breakfast. It was just wake up, get changed, have a cup of tea and then off to school I went. Breakfast was honestly not a thing in my household back then (except on weekends) but you can bet that by some days at 11AM, my body would be craving nutrients. I just didn’t understand my body at that time. It wasn’t until university that I discovered breakfast (that actually sounds so bizarre) and now I can’t not have it!

Let’s just say you’re training yourself up to actually have breakfast in the first place. In turn, you will need to wake up earlier, leaving enough time to make breakfast and have breakfast. Waking up half an hour earlier should give you enough time for that.

But okay, there’s another problem. It’s likely that you’ve gotten so accustomed to not eating in the morning, that you don’t feel hungry. Was it because you had a late dinner? (Those two normally go hand-in-hand.) It’s still best to eat a small amount than nothing at all, because before you know it, your body ends up going into starvation mode and we don’t want that. Just because your body ‘got used to it’ does not make it healthier or correct. In fact, it’s probably one of the worst things you can do to your body.

On the contrary, maybe you have breakfast anyway. Well, good for you! But what exactly is it that you’re having? This could be something that you might decide to swap and play around with.

Example Breakfast Habit Swap

Traditional English breakfast | Fried egg and smashed avocado on toast
Sugary cereal w/ dairy milk | Oatmeal (plant-based milk, honey)

Once you make these new habits and swaps, take note of how you truly feel after you have completed them, the next day and the week after.

“But I find it difficult to wake up that early!”

Remember what I said? No excuses.

If you truly wanted to make a lifestyle change, why wouldn’t you work for it?

Despite me here writing more or less a guide, everything has to come from within yourself. There’s really no shortcuts to gaining a better lifestyle and if anything, life is extremely fair when it comes to something like this. If you work for it, there will be results. If there’s no work done, then already you’re setting yourself up for failure. (Trust me, I’ve been there.)

What’s even worse is if you take with you a negative mindset into the process. Because almost always, there is little to no result unless you change your mindset into something more open and positive. So don’t complain about waking up early. Don’t whinge and whine. Rather, look forward to waking up early and having a nice breakfast. If it helps, set your alarm half an hour earlier than usual, practice a habit or two for some time and then set the alarm earlier again until you reach your desired wake-up time.

“But there’s so many habits!”

So you might have gotten a bit overwhelmed with the example routine above. However, I am sure that there are habits that you must already do such as brushing your teeth or getting dressed. With that in mind, you can create some compound habits. (I just made that term up, but essentially, doing two habits together or one after the other.)

Compound Habits

Wake up | Make bed (so that you don’t go back into it)
Brush teeth | Kettle is boiling in kitchen for coffee/tea
Have a nice breakfast | listen to a podcast/your favourite music
Get dressed | Quick skincare and makeup routine

By creating compound habits, you’ll remember to do two habits around the same time rather than one. It’ll also make your routine feel exactly like that – a routine.

Although the example routine might seem a bit long initially, you’ll find that some of the habits don’t take very long to do at all. Try and take some joy in doing them too. Maybe it seems mundane but I promise you, that once you complete a decent morning routine, you’ll feel great!

As mentioned in the last point, attempt to wake up half an hour earlier so that you can fit in 2 or 3 new habits. Waking up early, drinking a glass of water and having a good breakfast are good habits to group together to start you off on your journey. 🙂

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Mick Jagger by Patrick Lichfield | found here

The night before is just as important

It goes without saying that if you’re looking to wake up early, you should look to sleep early, getting as much rest as possible. 7/8 hours sleep is what I’d aim for on average to avoid morning grouchiness or sleeping past my alarm, or even worst, not waking up early at all!

To be honest, I have always been a late-night person since high school and it’s probably one of my worst habits. Whilst I don’t think sleeping at 10PM is the lifestyle for me, I always look to tame my late night just a bit so that I can wake up fresh and get going once the alarm sounds. Sleeping an hour earlier can do wonders!

I also think it’s a great idea to sleep around the same time every night so that your body clock gets into routine itself. Sleeping ‘whenever you feel like it’ is another really bad habit that just makes you feel restless, and quite frankly undisciplined.

I’ll talk more on this area in a future Setting Up an Evening Routine post.

After all, the first step to having a good morning is the preparation you set yourself up with, not just on paper but the night before.


A different post to my usual beauty-related posts! As already mentioned, I am still working on my own morning routine and whilst it isn’t 100%, I am definitely seeing the benefits it is bringing to my lifestyle. If there are any questions, you can just feel free to ask below. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Thanks for reading! 😊

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9 Comments

  1. I do agree with you about having a morning routine to start the day, BUT IT’S SO DIFFICULT. And that’s coming from someone who is neutral about mornings. Having a full fledged routine with a stretch, a workout, a snack, etc is a lot harder said than done! I have to be a work AT 8, which means I have to leave the house at 7:15. I get up at 6, which is enough time only for a shower, makeup/clothes, and breakfast before we’re rushing out the door.

    We did try waking up at 5 to work out around October-November, but that got old fast – we’re so busy at night that we never went to bed earlier in order to wake up earlier, so essentially we were losing an hour of sleep every day. We might try it again in the summer when it gets bright out earlier, because it’s less of a struggle to get up when it’s naturally light outside, haha.

    I think there are some simple things I can incorporate, though – like drinking a glass of water as soon as I get out of bed. My husband’s really good at doing that – I don’t drink anything until I get to work. Ooops!

    • I admit that I don’t workout/have never worked out in the morning! I admire people that do because they get it out of the way but I think the thing that puts me off the most is the sweat – which means you have to shower. I think something like a stretch or morning yoga session is quite nice though because it opens you up. I also try not to watch morning routines (it was a trend on YouTube at some point?) because they have such a flexible schedule that it’s not relatable to the average person who does a 9-5 or otherwise. It’s all about finding the perfect balance for yourself to have a good morning. 🙂

      • LOL I totally thought your “sample routine” was yours and I was super impressed by how much you got done in two hours! I definitely shower right after I work out, whether that’s in the morning or evening. But yes, you’re right, it’s definitely finding a balance in the morning! I should probably try to throw in a stretch or two – it would probably make me less grumpy in the mornings.

        YESS, beauty youtuber routines are so unrealistic to the rest of the world! Sorry, I don’t have enough time to catch up on social media while eating my carefully curated, Instagram-worthy breakfast 😛

  2. Oh god…. this post is absolutely brilliant and I wish I had the time for a morning routine, but unless I get up at like 6 (which would mean going to bed at 10, which would mean having literally 1.5 hours of free time per day) it’s not possible xx

    • In all fairness, I think London is way more hectic to commute to and from work. For one way, it could be anywhere between 45 minutes to hour and a half depending. I think waking at 6 is nuts yet there’s people who wake up at 5 and that’s normal for them!! I can never imagine sleeping at 10pm…that was like my bedtime before high school 😂 I do think it’s important to have a good body clock and routine going though. Thanks for reading xx

  3. A lovely and informative post. I find that baby steps are key to make any physical life changes. You have a great variety of resources – apps, notebooks, books etc, and I like that you are so organised with how you write down your routine.
    It really helps and I think there’s a guilt involved in writing something down and not completing. So it just pushes you further to want to tick everything on your list.

    • Thank you! 😊 I try to be organised! I am a bit of a neat freak in the sense that I like to know the structure of what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it. Writing definitely helps which is why as much as I can do some note-taking on an app, I prefer to write on paper 100%. Even better when you can physically tick or cross something off!

  4. Pingback: How I Motivate Myself to be Active

  5. it can definitely help to have a routine, so much less stressful! and breakfast is so important!! I would definitely have a hard time changing my sleep schedule to go to bed earlier.

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