Why do some people have a fantastic morning almost every day, while others often start their day feeling harried and disorganized?
The answer is found in their morning routine.
There are distinct habits among those who possess fantastic health and a joyful attitude.
Below, I share all nine tips on how you can adopt positive habits as part of a fantastic morning routine.
The motivational video located lower within this article will help you get started.
Lemon Water VS Apple Cider Vinegar in the Morning
Which is better for you first thing in the morning – lemon water or apple cider vinegar? The surprising answer is both.
Apple cider vinegar can be helpful because it’s acidic and helps to digest the fats in your stomach.
1. Have Apple Cider Vinegar to Balance Your Body’s Internal pH
By giving your body this acidic boost, you’re sending a signal that it doesn’t have to churn out extra acid – and therefore, you help prevent symptoms of over-acidity such as heartburn, esophageal acid reflux, or skin rosacea.
The most affordable solution is to dilute a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a small amount of water.
In my case, I prefer to have a capsule of apple cider vinegar each morning to keep the acidity off of my teeth (so that I don’t have to worry about any issues with tooth enamel erosion).
2. Hydrate with a Daily Glass of Lemon Water Each Morning
Later, in mid-morning – long after I’ve already had my capsule of apple cider vinegar – I have a glass of lemon water.
More scientific research needs to be done on lemons and their benefits, but anecdotally I can tell you that I’ve found it to be helpful.
In my case, I like to use fresh lemon. I squeeze a chunk of a lemon wedge over the glass until I get approximately half a teaspoon of juice into the water.
Lemon is a helpful food for humans. Even though lemon is acidic, it instantly converts to alkaline within the stomach.
Overall, your body doesn’t want to be too alkaline or too acidic for long periods. But the modern human is usually way too acidic, so lemon water might help balance pH (if you ever have hiccups caused by over-acidity, lemon water can often solve the problem within seconds).
Perhaps the most significant benefit of lemon water is that it’s hydrating. Many people wake in the morning dehydrated, and the routine of having a daily glass of lemon water is a lovely way to remedy that.
I’m astounded by the number of people who have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning before they’ve even had a tall glass of water.
If you’re listening carefully to how your body feels after consuming that first tall glass of water right after waking, you’ll likely notice an improvement. This is a terrific way to prime your body for an enjoyable and productive day.
Due to its citric-acid content, lemon water is probably helpful in preventing kidney stones‘ formation (and reducing their growth).
To protect your tooth enamel, I suggest rinsing your mouth out with water after having lemon juice.
3. Experience the Benefits of Drinking Olive Oil in Late Morning
Your hair and skin respond positively to healthy fats.
For those who eat lower-carbohydrate diets, olive oil is an easy way to stay topped up on the healthy fats that help make a low-carb diet sustainable – by suppressing appetite and providing ketones for energy.
I have a teaspoon of olive oil daily in the late morning.
Researchers are establishing several benefits of the compounds within olive oil (see sources at end of article):
- Oleic acid and squalene for their cancer prevention and cancer-reducing potential.
- Antimicrobial activity of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein.
- The overall positive impact on heart health includes reducing blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
4. Use Morning Journal Prompts to Guide Your First Thoughts of the Day toward Positivity
Everyone has an internal dialogue – the random chatter of thoughts that occur throughout the day.
There is a connection between what the dialogue sounds like inside your head and what happens to you in your external life.
The more positive the dialogue, the better you feel.
- When you wake up in the morning, are you incentivized?
- After opening your eyes, do you lunge out of bed with enthusiasm and joy?
The key to having a fantastic rest of your life is to have an abundance of fantastic days.
And the key to having a fantastic day is to have a fantastic morning.
The key to having a fantastic morning is to awaken within a primed body and attitude.
Morning journal prompts can help you with this process.
However you happen to define success, you can increase that success by guiding those thoughts that play inside your head toward only the most positive.
This is especially important in the morning, as the thoughts with which you begin your day have a way of creating momentum – they can determine that day’s experiences.
It’s not that you can’t create any success via the negative route: plenty of fortunes have been made – and power acquired – via bombastic methods.
But success is more than money and power; it’s also fantastic health.
My life experience has taught me that good health attracts positivity.
In his book The Law of Attraction, author Michael Losier tackles this notion in vibrational terms. He explains that a positive inner dialogue leads to a giving off of positive vibrations.
And positive vibrations attract positive outcomes.
The healthier the chatter is inside your mind, the healthier your outer life will become.
I encourage you to start paying attention to your inner dialogue.
Begin to focus on more positive thought processes. You might be amazed at its fantastic impact on your productivity, too.
How aware are you of your internal dialogue?
Though many of us can appreciate that positive thoughts tend to lead to more favorable circumstances, there remains the practice of increasing our mindfulness of those thoughts as they randomly occur.
In meditation, they call it “watching the watcher.”
By learning to objectively witness your self-talk as it occurs and giving it a label (“oh, that’s my inner-critic talking…” “that’s my rebel talking…”), you can start to switch to more encouraging types of self-talk.
The process becomes simple once you learn how to do it.
You can consciously:
- observe your negative thoughts only long enough to identify them
- then quickly guide your thoughts to what you are grateful for and admire most about yourself.
Does this mean you can improve your health by believing you can?
Even if you’re skeptical, let’s pretend that it does.
Act as if positive thoughts increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Look at it as an experiment and see what happens.
Positive thinking can even be helpful when it comes to getting fit – especially in midlife and post-midlife (when getting fit and changing long-entrenched habits can seem incredibly daunting).
If you are over 50 and are trying to get back into fantastic shape, know that it is challenging. But also know that, yes, it is possible. People do it all the time.
When you feel skeptical (or frustrated because you find yourself slipping into old habits), the inner affirmation can be, “I am in the process of becoming more fit because improving my health is important to me.”
This process will be more straightforward once you’ve had The Epiphany. There is a point in your life when it finally dawns on you that nothing is more important than your physical health.
At first, you might think your family is most important to you, but once you think it through more fully, you realize that you can’t take care of your loved ones if you have no energy for life.
You might already know that your good health is the foundation upon which you build everything else that truly matters. Before 50, many of us only realize this intellectually.
As we move past age 50, however, we realize it on a new level.
It hits us bone-deep.
What we say to ourselves – inside our minds – makes a difference.
Your success – including your health – increases exponentially when you eliminate negative self-talk and think more positive thoughts.
If you train your mind to do this, you will have unlocked one of the keys to how to be prosperous in every sense of the word.
Be Phone-Free for the First Hour
The first hour of your morning can be entirely free from your phone. Once you get sucked into that black hole, you’ve lost a prime opportunity to build easy momentum for the day ahead.
Take 15 Fantastic Minutes to Just ‘Be’
If you have children in your home, see if you can awaken before the rest of the household and sit somewhere comfortable and quiet.
While seated, you can meditate, read your bucket list, look at your vision board, write in your morning journal, pray – or any type of contemplative, silent endeavor that allows you to look objectively at your life and celebrate your own human experience (for those of you who walk your dogs in the morning, you can take the quietest route and do a walking meditation).
These 15 minutes of quiet contemplation will calm your mind and improve your focus for the entire day, especially if you do it each morning.
Morning Journal Prompts
During your quiet 15 minutes, you may want to sit down with a cup of tea and try these morning journal prompts to help you access positive thoughts and begin writing:
- What would I love to happen today?
- What’s one positive feeling I hope to experience today?
- What’s one thing I feel grateful for at this moment?
- What are three things I would love to accomplish today?
Establish Your Biggest Priorities for the Day
That last prompt was on priorities.
Determine which activities would give you the most favorable return if you completed them today and write them down. Try to make at least one of those items revenue-producing, if you can.
Part of your new, fantastic morning routine should include clarifying for yourself what your three biggest priorities are for your day ahead.
Helpful Tips for Morning Journal Prompts
As you use the above prompts to write in your morning journal:
- Try things that you didn’t write about yesterday.
- Try not to intellectualize; instead, actually feel the feelings that you’re imagining.
- If your mind wanders into a negative thought, do not shame yourself. Instead, gently guide your thoughts back into a more positive area.
This process of journal writing quiets the mind and improves focus.
5. Be Mindful of the Differences in How (and When) You Feel Fantastic
As you start experimenting with the first two steps, pay close attention to the short and long-term impact of these small changes that you’re making.
When I started improving my schedule, I could exercise more, and then I began noticing that I was sleeping more deeply.
I also felt like I was more focused while at my desk at work (so many of us have more or less sedentary jobs, and engaging in regular exercise helps bring balance to our lifestyle). I felt less stressed.
When we exercise, our minds shift their focus from the mental to the physical – allowing us to clear our heads of all the anxious information and emotions that often cloud them.
Many articles, videos, and podcasts I create for this site are designed specifically for your Stage 3, PREPARATION. This is the most crucial and overlooked stage of permanent change.
“…when people are not able to make changes stick, it has been proven that it’s most often because they skip stage 3: preparation”
6. Cultivate Your Relationship Garden
A productive place to begin increasing your awareness is in your tribe – the people in your life – and I encourage you to reflect objectively on your relationships.
What I’ve learned first-hand is that prosperity springs from relationships. The more people you know and like, the more potential for money to enter your life.
Beware of counterfeit intimacy.
Superficiality and isolation are two of our most discouraging and harmful habits.
Reconnecting with others improves health and prosperity.
It’s in our best interests to make the effort to reach out and connect with others, to be genuinely curious about others’ feelings, thoughts, and experiences.
In my case, when my relationships improved, my net worth significantly increased. Also, my physical health improved dramatically.
Quality social connections are a verified component of a long life expectancy. Healthy relationships are a fantastic investment.
Send a friend a text to let them know you’re thinking about them.
7. Take a Fresh Look at Your Vegetable Intake
Nutrition remains the easiest and most effective way to overhaul your health.
More specifically, increasing your daily intake of vegetables can be transforming.
I know no better way of consistently getting more of the right kind of vegetables into your body than freshly made green smoothies.
The right recipes can help to take you from beginner to intermediate to advanced smoothie-making.
I recommend nutrient-dense, delicious recipes comprised of ingredients that are uniquely beneficial to your own body’s chemistry.
Though smoothie ingredients cost a bit upfront, many last a long time; ultimately, green smoothies help me save money because I rarely eat out.
And I no longer have to grab “emergency” food on the go when my blood sugar drops because my blood sugar rarely drops unexpectedly anymore. Green smoothies are fantastic at providing me with sustained energy.
It requires less time to make a green smoothie than eggs or oatmeal, especially when you factor in clean-up.
Also, I don’t spend as much money on nutritional supplements because I get many of them naturally from whole-food sources within my green smoothies.
One of the critical tricks to unlocking your longevity potential is consuming high amounts of dark leafy greens daily. Green smoothies provide an easy and delicious solution.
8. Listen to the Best Morning Podcasts
Each person’s day is unique, but most of us must complete certain household chores daily. To make that time more productive and enjoyable, I like to listen to the best morning podcasts I can find.
I especially like podcasts that make me laugh.
I do a lot of meal preparation each day. I’m careful with my daily diet, so I don’t usually eat takeout or at restaurants. Listening to podcasts while I do meal prep, chores, or driving helps make my day more enjoyable.
Here are some podcasts that make me laugh:
- Did You Get My Text? with Meredith and Patton Oswalt. This funny husband and wife team learns to laugh at couples’ struggles during modern life.
- Social Studies with Joe Dombrowski. This kindergarten teacher tells funny stories about how kids like to tell the truth.
- Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald. I listen to this show because I don’t follow current events, and the host is so enthusiastic about pop culture that it makes me feel like I’m participating in society even though I don’t watch the Housewives tv franchise or follow celebrity gossip.
- The Flex Success Podcast. Dean and Lizzy are a funny, married Australian fitness couple who speak frankly about what’s required to stay in stellar shape.
You likely have your favorite podcasts, my only recommendation is that you stay away from anything political or contentious. Keep it light and positive so that the rest of your day proceeds with good mental health.
9. Make Improvements to How You Allocate Your Time and Energy
Taking a fresh and honest look at your typical morning routine is worthwhile and challenging you to make minor improvements.
There are enough hours in the week to do what you need to do.
There are 168 hours each week, meaning you probably have more time than you think.
Yes, it can be done. However, it requires one thing: preparation.
If you’d like to try optimizing your schedule, the first – and perhaps most helpful – question to ask yourself is: am I a morning person or a night person?
First, you must know what your “peak” time of day is, that way, you can leverage it to your maximum benefit.
“Reading Dane’s Quality of Life Newsletter has become part of my weekly routine. It helps me to focus on managing my time, energy and nutrition. It’s like my ‘reset’ button. I can tell you that it’s changed the quality of my life in ways I never imagined and I’m certain it will do the same for you.” — Angela Porisky-Khan
One of my primary goals during my recent 4:15 Experiment (30 consecutive days of waking up super early) was to consistently integrate strength conditioning into my weekly schedule. I found early mornings are advantageous to accomplishing this goal.
On days I traveled to the gym, early hours helped me avoid much of the car traffic, reducing my round trip drive time from 2 hours to only 30 minutes.
I saved time by getting my muscles trained before work. I used to slip out of the office in the early afternoon for a quick lunch-hour workout, but I was showering, dressing, and prepping for work two times instead of one, which was inefficient.
An excellent way to optimize your schedule is to create a time budget – by doing a mock-up of your “ideal” calendar:
- First, just scribble down on paper – quickly, without overthinking it – everything that you would fit into a perfect week. Let’s say that your fantasy is to do one yoga class a week, one outdoor run, one CrossFit class – any appointment you can think of that you want to do each week.
- Next, start with a blank 7-day calendar and block out the times you work and the times you sleep. This calendar represents your “typical week” (just use any calendar app to do the mock-up). Remember: it’s for standing, reoccurring appointments only – don’t use your actual calendar.
- Then fit in any other standing appointments, such as helping your kids with homework, your weekly farmers’ market, etc.
- Finally, start taking those exercise sessions from your wish list and dropping them into available time slots within your 7-day standing appointments calendar.
This calendar represents your time budget.
Any blank spaces left available means you can create even more self-care appointments (“meet John at the stadium steps for our weekly climbing workout,” etc.).
On the other hand, if you have more appointments than blank spaces, then you’ll need to prioritize (If you want to dive even more deeply into optimizing your schedule, check out Laura Vanderkam’s book You Have More Time Than You Think).
Take a Fresh Look at Your Productivity Style
The bottom line is this: longevity requires self-care.
And self-care requires time and energy.
Efficiency systems – or productivity tools – are fantastic at freeing up the time and energy necessary for self-care.
Efficiency can also be integrated into the self-care protocols, freeing up even more time to spend with your friends and loved ones.
You can use productivity systems to leverage your success in these two ways:
- be more professionally competitive and get more done in a day than other professionals do, on average
- get more done in less time, create more free time that you will then spend with your loved ones, or do good-for-you stuff… like exercising.
Finding clever ways to improve your productivity is a wise investment of your time.
Go to Bed Early Each Night Whenever Possible
Each evening, the feeling of sleepiness tends to come in intermittent waves.
For most people, the first wave of sleepiness washes through sometime between 8:00-9:30 pm.
Most people ignore this first wave – but what would happen if you honored it and used it to retire early?
I’ll tell you what would happen: you’d wake up early the next morning feeling fantastic and have more time to enjoy your morning routine and jump on your day.
For this to work, it’s best not to have any more coffee after 3 pm (I’m not saying you wouldn’t fall asleep anyway, but would the quality of your sleep be as restful and restorative?).
Use a Quotidian Checklist for Your Morning Routine
While most checklists are used for “one-offs” (tasks that need doing only once), a quotidian checklist is a roster of your daily rituals.
Included on this list are the items that, when feeling rushed, you might be tempted to skip, forget, or do out of their ideal sequence.
Tasks already built into your muscle memory (“brush teeth”) are not included on this list.
IDEA: this list can be written in a Google Drive document that you keep on your computer and can print up a fresh copy each Sunday night for the week ahead, yet can also access it on the phone app.
EXCEPTION: if you have children in your household under the age of 6, this perhaps will not work well. Though small children benefit from some structure, they are too soulful and in-the-moment to thrive under a strictly linear regimen. Instead, just enjoy your time with them, be present and take comfort knowing that when they’re a bit older, you’ll be able to implement more organization into your family’s daily life.
Instead, for households with very young children, an Accomplishment Whiteboard might be more appropriate. That’s where you write down your day’s highlights. You can look at something at the end of the day and feel fantastic – like you’re winning!
Haven’t Been Successful Using a Checklist? Try Again
Everyone knows what it feels like to start a list and then set it aside and not use it.
But that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t significant value in creating the list in the first place.
And it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a fresh attempt.
Many of us have complicated relationships with our daily checklist of tasks – we ignore it, resent it, or can’t find it.
You don’t have to use a checklist every single day for the rest of your life; however, it’s wise for everyone to have a favorite productivity system that they’re playing with and fine-tuning.
Summary: Trust Your Fantastic Morning Routine Process
Mornings set the tone for the entire day:
- a beautifully organized morning creates a fantastic day of high productivity and abundant joy.
- a harried and frazzled morning tends to create a day of rushed appointments and higher stress.
Ultimately, when personal productivity is improved, relationships are deepened, and prosperity is increased.
Why? Because it’s all about energy.
Few dynamics are more energy-depleting than habitual chaos.
On the other hand, the more organized a person becomes and the more smoothly their morning routine flows, the more energy they will have left to devote to relationships, health and healing, and their highest-value and highest-return activities.
When you install these nine habits, you, too, will begin to feel fantastic in your own body when you wake up and start each day.
Additional Sources for a Fantastic Morning Routine:
Citric Acid for Kidney Stones – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26439475/
Clinical Applications of Olive Oil – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18069902/
Functional Properties of Vinegar – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24811350/
Rosacea and Diet pH – https://www.hmpgloballearningnetwork.com/site/thederm/content/examining-rosacea-comorbidities