woman in gym clothes drinking water in a sunny kitchen
woman in gym clothes drinking water in a sunny kitchen
19th Apr 2023

Learn the health benefits of a morning routine, with expert ideas and examples to help maintain good habits.

Starting your day with purpose and intent can have a profound impact on your success at work and in your personal life. A consistent morning routine that includes getting enough sleep, hydrating your body, and getting exposure to natural light can help set the tone for a productive and energised day.

Dr Leah Jones, Head of Behavioural Insights at Bupa Global & UK, explains: “By establishing a personal and effective morning routine, you will be better equipped to tackle daily demands with energy and clarity."

Understanding the benefits of a good morning routine

One of the biggest benefits of a good morning routine is that it can help you to start your day feeling energised and focused. When you wake up at the same time each day and establish a consistent routine, your body will become accustomed to this schedule and you're likely to feel more alert and awake in the morning. This can make it easier to tackle the tasks of the day with a positive attitude and a clear mind.

Another benefit to consider is that establishing consistent daily habits can help you to take care of your physical and mental health. For example, incorporating exercise into your morning routine can help to improve your cardiovascular health, boost your energy levels, and improve your mood. In addition, taking time to meditate or practice mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.

You may also benefit from increased productivity and focus throughout the day. When you establish a routine that includes time for planning, organising, and setting goals, you'll be better equipped to stay on track and achieve your objectives. And by starting your day with activities that are important to you, you'll be more likely to maintain a positive mindset and a sense of purpose throughout the day.

Ideas for creating a good morning routine

According to research from Private Client by Bupa1, business leaders and wealth creators across the world are already taking steps to improve their good health by establishing an effective daily routine. Almost a third of respondents to the survey report that they’re careful to ‘eat well’ and the same number say they stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Almost a third engage in mindfulness exercises or meditation, while a quarter prioritises sleeping well, and also ensures they set aside time for themselves.

However, despite positive intentions, it can be tricky to make – and keep – a morning routine that is achievable as part of a busy, and often pressured, lifestyle. To help, here are some morning routine ideas to get you started:

  1. Wake up at the same time each day: This helps to regulate your body's internal clock and makes it easier to wake up feeling refreshed and energised.
  2. Incorporate exercise into your routine: Whether it's a short walk, a yoga class, or a full workout, if you are able to add physical activity to your morning routine, you may see a benefit in your overall health.
  3. Take time for yourself: Whether it's meditation, journaling, or reading; taking time to do something you enjoy can help to reduce stress and boost your mood.
  4. Plan your day in advance: Take a few minutes to plan out your day and set goals for what you want to accomplish. This will help you to stay focused and on track throughout the day.
  5. Be flexible: Remember that everyone's morning routine will look different. What works for one person may not work for another. Be open to trying new things and adjust your routine as needed.
  6. Keep to your routine as much as possible when travelling: When you're away from home, it can be tempting to let go of your good habits, but maintaining your morning routine while travelling is essential for staying on track.

Setting goals and being accountable

When it comes to achieving your desired habits and behaviours, setting specific and achievable goals is key.

Dr. Leah mentions that “setting goals is a great way to affect behaviour change. When setting a goal, it's crucial to be specific; for instance, 'my goal is to eat a healthy breakfast' isn't specific enough. A better goal would be 'my goal is to set aside 15 minutes at 7:30 am to eat some fruit and a bowl of porridge'.

It may also help to have a system in place for tracking your progress and celebrating any small wins, which, in turn, can help keep you motivated and driven. Whether you keep a journal, use a habit-tracking app, or schedule regular check-ins with a coach, having a sense of accountability can make all the difference in sticking to your routine.

Experimenting to find what works for you

In addition to goal setting, it's important to be realistic and find what works best for you as an individual. While one person may thrive by doing exercise in the morning, others may prefer a lunchtime trip to the gym or an evening walk. Experimentation is key, and it's okay if some methods don't work out. Work on finding what works best for you.

Dr. Leah reiterates this: “Everyone is different and what works well for one person may not work well for another. It's important to try different things and see what works best for you. If something doesn't work, don't be discouraged. Personally, exercise is the best thing for me in the morning, even if it's just a 10-minute jog. It gives me energy and clears my head, which is particularly helpful as I work from home most of the time. Having a 'fake commute' by going for a walk can also help get you into the work headspace."

However, she reminds us too, that it’s important to be kind to ourselves. “We all have mornings where we feel unmotivated or uninspired. On those days, I try to do some form of exercise, even if it's just taking the dogs for a walk. However, if I don't do any exercise, I don't beat myself up about it. It's important to remember that missing a behaviour occasionally isn't going to undo all your efforts to date. Instead of feeling guilty, celebrate all the times you have successfully incorporated your morning routine."

How to make good habits stick for the long term

If you're looking to create a healthier morning routine, it's important to not only implement good habits but also to make sure they become a consistent part of your daily routine. Some of the ways that you can make this happen include:

  1. Starting small and being consistent: Rather than trying to implement a lot of changes all at once, start with one or two habits and be consistent in practising them daily.
  2. Setting clear and specific goals: Define your habits with clear and specific goals so that you can track your progress and know when you have achieved them.
  3. Creating an action plan: Break your goals down into smaller actionable steps and create a plan that will help you stay on track.
  4. Practicing self-compassion: It's important to be kind to yourself and don’t worry if you miss a day. Recognise that building habits is a journey and that setbacks are normal.
  5. Using positive reinforcement: Reward yourself for achieving your goals. This will reinforce the positive behaviour and make it more likely to stick.
  6. Being patient: Remember that building new habits takes time, so be patient and persistent in your efforts.

1 Private Client by Bupa research – conducted by Censuswide in July 2021

2 According to research conducted by Censuswide in July 2021 among 252 high net worth individuals with assets/ income of £1 million + (excluding main home).