90-Minute Morning Routine Checklist

Woman waking up happy

A solid morning routine does wonders for your mind and body. And, it increases overall happiness. It not only decreases anxiety, but it can also boost productivity.

In this article, I’ll share a morning routine checklist of six rituals to incorporate the first ninety minutes after you wake to get you on your way to a productive mindful day.

What often happens without a morning routine checklist

I am a morning person. I haven’t always been a morning person. In fact, I used to be a hot mess in the mornings. It took no less than three rounds of snooze before I finally dragged myself from my bed, feeling sorry for myself as I shlept my way to the bathroom.

Those few extra moments in my bed pretty much sealed my fate of running late. Once I realized I was behind schedule, I’d go into speed mode. I’m not talking about speed with efficiency; I’m talking about frantic anything goes speed. Instead of being thoughtful about what kind of day I was feeling, I was forced to pull on the outfit closest to my door, throw minimal, uneven makeup on and pull my hair back in a ponytail before grabbing my bag, keys, coffee and toast as I scurried out the door. And, every day, as I quickly pulled out the driveway, I’d promise myself I was going to get up earlier the next day, which never happened.

But wait, there’s more… 

Then, I added a husband and kids into the mix. Let me tell you, if I thought my mornings were hectic before, I had no idea what hectic was. Not only were my mornings more demanding, life in general left me with little to no time for myself. As a mom, particularly with young kids, having “me” time is so far and few in between. Days, evenings and weekends are spent doing things for others. 

During the day I worked. Late afternoons and evenings were all about tending to the kids. My nights were dedicated to time spent with my husband. On the weekends, I was non-stop from kid’s practices to play dates.

The final straw

From the time I got up in the morning to when I went to bed, which was around 9 pm, I was like an Energizer Bunny. I wasn’t taking the time to re-energize myself. If I kept going at life like this, I realized I was going to be of no good to anyone, let alone myself. But there just weren’t enough hours in the day to find time for myself.  

And then one day, it suddenly dawned on me. I could get my “me” time back every single day. I needed to utilize my mornings. But how exactly? I spent a few months in trial and error mode before I found my groove. But over time, I dialed it in and found a routine that worked best for me. I now claim the time from 5 am to 6:30 am as “the mommy me hours.” This time strictly devoted to my mental, physical and emotional health has made me a happier person and overall better at life.

6 Rituals for your morning routine checklist

Here’s a list of things I do each morning during my “me” time:

Stretch (15 min)

Woman stretching

Once my alarm goes off, I slowly rise to my feet and head to the restroom. When finished there, I change into workout clothes. 

With that out of the way, I unroll the mat I keep on the floor next to my bed and begin stretching. 

Once I turned 40, just about every part of my body began to ache incessantly throughout the day every day. As I began working from home more often, my aches intensified. I decided enough was enough and started stretching every morning.   

My routine involves a number of standard yoga positions that target my neck, shoulders, back and legs. This regular practice has been the single most impactful ritual to positively affect my physical, emotional and mental health.

Open the House (5 min)

Woman gazing out window

Next, I head downstairs to “open the house.” Walking around my house sliding open the curtains and opening all of the blinds symbolizes the start of the day and is a process I hold near and dear. 

Though the sun has yet to rise depending on the time of year, I am spiritually welcoming it to luminate my house. Let the sun shine in!  

Meditate (10 min)

Woman meditating

One of my favorite books is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. In it, she shares her struggles and triumphs surrounding learning to meditate. I was intrigued. After watching Julia Roberts take on this practice in the movie adaptation, I was in. When she spoke about how it enabled her to connect her mind, body and soul together, I knew I had to incorporate a meditation practice into my morning routine.

Now, every day, as part of my morning routine checklist, after starting a fresh pot of coffee or turning on the kettle for tea, I find my way to my guest/multi-function room. I plant myself on my very comfortable meditation mat and sit, eyes closed, in a butterfly position with my forearms on my thighs for 10 minutes. My watch notifies me when my time is up.

Like Liz, or Julia in the movie, when I started meditating, I found it extremely difficult to quiet my mind. I still do from time to time. Some days I find it nearly impossible and spend the entire time telling my mind to stop thinking about things. Other days, everything melts away and time becomes nothing.  

But no matter how it goes, when my watch notifies me that 10 minutes are up, an overwhelming sense of calm and focus comes over my body. Like a runner’s high, it’s addictive and keeps me coming back to my mat day after day. 

Coffee & Journaling (10 min)

Woman journaling

After meditating, I prepare a cup of coffee with oat milk, an herbal tea or a matcha—depending on how I’m feeling that day. I grab my journal, sit down and write.  

If you’ve been following me, you know that writing is a passion of mine, and I love to reach others through it, hence this blog. But my journal is for me. I use it to write about anything and everything that’s on my mind. I also take time to focus on and write about what I’m grateful for. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day things that can trip us up and push us to lose focus on all the good we have. It’s important to remind oneself of the goodness of life.

There are big and more obvious things like having a home with a family I love to share it with. And there are the smaller, less apparent things like the green light that helped me get to my meeting on time. There is so much to be grateful for. I find that taking the time to remind myself and document how thankful I am keeps me grounded and puts a smile on my face.

For tips on how to journal, read “Beginner’s Guide: How to Journal.”

Through the years I’ve used various guided journals on gratitude and self-improvement and have found them helpful to start journaling. 

Here are a few of my favorite journals:

Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice

Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal (90 Days

Planning (15 min)

Woman planning

After I journal, I turn to my daily planner. For me, my daily planner is an experience. In addition to it being highly functional and keeping me on track, it is a reflection of my personal style—just like a handbag or jewelry. I’ve customized it into a fun and inspirational flip book that gets me excited and giddy every time I open it. 

I start by reviewing the journaling cards I’ve strategically placed along the inside front pockets. These cards help reinforce the messages I’ve selected for the month to keep me inspired. One of my favorite cards is from Cloth & Paper, which says “See the beauty in everything and begin with yourself.”

I then flip through the dashboards that I’ve peppered through the planner. These never fail to make me smile and feel glam. My favorite claims space at the front with my name on it and says “take a little time to fill your own cup.”

Finally, I review the plan for my day that I wrote the night before. I review my to-do list and meetings scheduled. I jot down notes and make any needed adjustments. This is where an erasable pen comes in handy to keep my pages clean and neat. 

Like a CEO who has just been briefed by her executive assistant, I am now ready to slay my day.

If you don’t yet have a daily planner, or your current daily planner doesn’t get you inspired, don’t worry I’ve got you covered.

Shop my planning essentials

Exercise (35 min)

Woman jogging outdoors

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that exercising regularly is important at any age.  I’ve found the best schedule for me is to exercise daily to benefit my mental and physical health. I admit there are days I’m not exactly feeling it, but I know my day will be exponentially better when I push past any hesitations and get my sweat on. I never regret it and feel energized and clear-headed afterward. 

To make it as easy and time efficient as possible, I built a mini home gym in my basement equipped with an elliptical, rower, treadmill, bike and free weights. My home gym is one of the best investments I’ve ever made. Not only does it streamline my day and save me the time of getting to the gym, but it’s a direct investment in my health and well-being. I may not work out as long or as intense as Serena Williams or Russell Wilson, but I get my heart rate up and sweat. When it’s nice outside, I sometimes get out for a brisk walk around my neighborhood to add some fresh air to my morning.

After a 30-minute workout, I cool down for 5 minutes before I’m off to shower and get the kids up for school as the sun is rising. Good morning sunshine!

Putting Your Morning Routine Checklist Altogether

I have perfected my morning routine throughout the years to work best for me, and my life is so much better for it. Dedicating 1.5 of the 24 hours in a day to self-love and preservation is not something you will regret.

If you’re struggling to find “me” time in your day, consider the morning routine checklist provided in this article. Try to make it your own by incorporating rituals that work best for you.

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below on your morning routine checklist.

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  1. Farrah, I love your daily 1 and 1/2 hour of me time. You are spot on that me time is so important. I started getting good at this when Covid hit but I have to say that I really am perfecting it in retirement.

    I get up and stretch, then read before going out for a 5 mile walk. My favorite walks are on the beach. The sunrises are magnificent. On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I do an hour of Yoga following my walk (Tuesdays, and Thursdays includes weights). On Wednesday and Friday we do Tai Chi.

    I start my walk at 6 and are done by 9 each day. I absolutely love the time that I am focusing on me. It is great way to start every day.

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