Strict Morning Rituals Are Bullshit

Where on earth did we get the notion that we have to adopt someone else’s morning routine to become a success?

I have read more articles than I would like to admit with titles along the lines of “5 Things Every Successful Woman Does Right When She Wakes Up,” “The Top 5 Routines You Need to Add to Your Morning” or “Top Executives Share Their Morning Schedules.”

Not only do I read these articles, but I have also tried quite a few of the recommendations that come out of them. Why?

  1. I’m curious.
  2. Hey, I want to be a success!
  3. I want my mornings to be amazing!

I have gotten up, made my bed, visualized my day, worked out, drank lemon water, cleaned, listed out my priorities for the day, disconnected from social media. (Which are all perfectly good routines to have, by the way).

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: those people sharing their habits? Yeah, they are a success because they have figured out what works for them. They know what is going to set them up to have a great day. Their routine is not a one size fits all remedy that will make you a success overnight (or in this case, a morning).

Don’t get me wrong – I am not arguing against a healthy morning routine. But the problem I have found with majority of those articles is:

  1. They don’t give you enough flexibility to find what works for you.
  2. The tasks I found myself doing were often so insignificant that they failed to impact the rest of my day
  3. After reading and trying out their advice, I often felt more stressed out and was left with a hectic feeling that I carried with me throughout the rest of the day.

Instead, I would advocate for finding your own set of routines – routines that make an impact. Routines that make a difference in your life and make you feel more grateful for the day that lies ahead.

A couple routines that move the needle for me include: meditation, walking the dog, reading, enjoying my coffee, writing and working out. On some days I find myself wanting to fit in all of these things. On others, all I want to do is snuggle up with a book. And I’m not going to beat myself up about that. Just because I didn’t squeeze in a morning meditation, doesn’t mean that time was spent wasted. Just because I didn’t take the 5 minutes suggested to visualize my day doesn’t mean I won’t be a success. Instead, I was taking the chance to listen to my heart. And I think that is even more valuable.


So tomorrow morning when you wake up, I challenge you to:

… stop being so darn rigid!

Identify what you want out of your morning. Take time to do the things that make your heart happy; take time for self-care. Don’t stress yourself out by feeling like you need to squeeze in absolutely everything.

…examine how your morning is really impacted by your actions.

I dare you to NOT make your bed right away in the morning (gasp!) and see how it affects you. Some days my life is so busy that making my bed makes me feel 100x better. On other days (*on most) it’s just filler activity, so I don’t even bother.

… do your own thing!

My mom watches the news and puts on her makeup. My college roommate listens to music as she gets ready for her day. Jared cooks himself a hearty breakfast.

As my sister always says, “you do you!”

…don’t be afraid to try something new!

Working out in the morning may work for you, it may not. Drinking tea while writing in your journal may work even better. You will never know unless you try it.

Now it’s your time to spill. What activities are a must-have for your morning?


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