What is your morning ritual?

I am starting work on an e-book that will be called “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” (riffing off my old BNET post on that title which has now had something like 250,000 views… crazy). I am fascinated by the topic of morning rituals. How we start our day affects everything else. I had some people tell me on my “Get Out of the Starbucks Line” post that they considered Starbucks their morning ritual, but I generally think we can do better than that!

The past two mornings I’ve had a great time running with my sister-in-law who is here for Thanksgiving. It reminds me how much I want to get back into a morning running ritual. Right now that isn’t working so well because it’s dark and cold in the hours before the rest of my family gets up and Ruth’s feeding schedule isn’t set. Generally the first thing I do before breakfast is feed her, and I’m never sure exactly when that will be demanded. But by next spring/summer I hope to get back into it.

What are your morning rituals? What would a perfect morning (for a regular day) look like? How often do you manage to achieve that?

12 thoughts on “What is your morning ritual?

  1. Regular old filter coffee from my Krups machine, breakfast while reading the newspaper, then I make the kids’ lunches and get them up.
    On a perfect morning, I would have made the lunches the night before, but I rarely have the discipline to do that!
    On a perfect morning, I would also NOT be running up and down to the laundry room trying to sort out socks for the children, or end up wearing slightly damp jeans because I hadn’t planned what to wear.

  2. I wake up early and wash up to start fresh. After meditating I read for a while so my focus will be good for the day ahead. With the rest of my morning routine, with the normal stuff, I try be as calm as I can. This whole routine gives me extra time for truly efficient work in the beautiful and serene hours of morning, if there’s a need for that. I keep up with this even on weekends when I don’t usually work. Since I made this change, I’ve noticed such an improvement in myself and my life in these past 9 months.

  3. Definitely coffee, but no not starbucks… Also starting the day with fresh fruit has been shown to help the fruit sugars go right to your system.. (today I had coffee and a sweet roll so much for the fruit sugars!)

    yes a run for me with my tv show (not a big runner outside) — right now I pump with my tv show b/c like you my morning routine has not net recovered from the latest addition to the family !
    a shower — I don’t shower every day since I had kids but that is usually b/c I am waiting for exercise to happen. Ideally I’m up at 6 after 8 hours of sleep, and kids are not up until after 7:30, allowing for coffee and one hour of exercise, and a quick shower and dressed. I’d like to be coffeed, exercised and showered before any children are up. This way when I start work I feel like good limber etc. Right now that is not happening! I do think that a good morning can affect the rest of the day! I also love yoga and some strength training!

  4. I will buy your ebook as soon as it’s released. 🙂 My morning ritual is so important to me!

    I used to get up 2 hours before my kids, but then the time change messed it up some. Then my youngest started some wicked molar teething and is keeping me up, so it’s hard for me to get up early.

    But when I manage it, I LOVE the time I have to myself in the morning. I read, sip coffee, write for my blog, read books, exercise a little, it’s wonderful.

  5. I get up at 4:45, even on weekends. Exercise, pray, read and plan my day. Like Cara, I need to be showered before my kids are up. Since I’ve been working again the reading doesn’t happen at another part of the day, so I’m combining reading with the treadmill again. I’ve also added in shorter, but more intense workouts. Then I take homemade breakfast and filter coffee to go.

  6. Sex at dawn.
    Programmable coffee maker alarms at 6 w freshly made coffee.
    Uninterrupted shower.
    2 hot cups of coffee later, and I’m ready to get kids up by 7.

  7. Sex at dawn is definitely a guy but it is a good point! Marriage goes sooo much better if this and showering and coffee are done before children are up and screaming!
    I’m all for prayer but to be honest sex at dawn is as good at prayer for marriage!

  8. One of the things I find – and that I think is reflected in other comments here – is that for parents the morning ritual is a bit of a movable feast. Depending on the age and stage of my children I have had a variety of morning rituals. These have variously included exercise – indoor typically works best for me – work/study, quite time to plan the day or engage in spiritual practices, or even getting a jump-start on household chores. The challenge is that all of those things do not typically fit into the time available before the kids wake up and the other demands of the day intrude! The most consistent elements for me have typically been exercise and/or planning/quiet time and being up and showered before the kids get up because they seem to meet the biggest need for me. Of course, being an early riser helps.

    Love the sound of your e-book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    1. @Kylie – This is very true. My ideal morning would start with exercise, but right now with a newborn, that isn’t happening. I’m trying to start my workday focused on long-term projects, however. I can at least do that.

  9. Such a great topic for a book — I wrote a post a while back around this and it got a lot of energy from others… seems as though everyone has their habits and can always use more guidance/new ideas. Looking forward to the book Laura!

  10. Recently in a “clear the kitchen counters” moment, I moved my coffee maker upstairs to the bedroom. I have it on a tray on the corner of my desk with two canisters: one for coffee and one for creamer.

    Since we never drink coffee beyond the morning, this was a good move. I program it to come on a few minutes before I wake up, and I rarely need my alarm anymore. The coffee maker beeps and I jump up to enjoy my coffee in the shower.
    The tricky part is making sure my mug stays upstairs or makes it back upstairs before bed. I love not going downstairs twice in the morning to get and refill my coffee.

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