My Morning Routine

By Leo Babauta

Today I start a new habit: my morning routine (to be honest, I started a couple days ago). All this month I will focus on making my morning routine a daily habit.

I’ve actually tried different versions of a morning routine in the past year, and have enjoyed them immensely. I just haven’t stuck with one for a whole month or more, and that is the goal this month.

The reason I like having a morning routine is that not only does it instill a sense of purpose, peace and ritual to my day, but it ensures that I’m getting certain things done every morning … namely, my goals. I’m setting aside morning time as a time of peace and quiet, and time to take small steps each day towards my goals.

Here’s my morning routine, at the moment (subject to tweaking later):

Morning Routine

  1. Wake at 4:30 a.m.
  2. Drink water.
  3. Set 3 Most Important Things (MITs) for today.
  4. Fix lunches for kids and myself.
  5. Eat breakfast, read.
  6. Exercise (run, bike, swim, strength, or yardwork) or meditate.
  7. Shower.
  8. Wake wife & kids at 6:30 a.m.

A couple of explanations: The MITs that I set for the day concern at least one item towards one of my goals, and probably the 1-2 things I MUST complete at work. There will be more that I do during the day, but my focus will be to finish at least these three MITs.

As for the exercise and meditate item, I have a schedule where I do one exercise each morning (with the exception of Fridays, where I plan to meditate for at least 10-15 minutes). Actually, I also often exercise in the evenings too, so on some days I’ll have two workouts – maybe a bike in the morning and swim in the evening, for example. My body is still getting used to this, so we’ll see how it works out.

As for waking up at 4:30 a.m., I only started doing that within the last few months — before that it was 5:00 or 5:30, and before last year I woke at 6:30, so I’ve really become an early riser just in the last year. I wrote more about that here.