Hack Your Morning Routine

Jasmine El Nabli
8 min readOct 27, 2020


Let’s talk morning routines.

I’ll be the first one to admit that when growing up I was not a morning person. I was the one staying up until 2:00–3:00 am…waking at 11:00 or 12:00 pm, then finally starting my day. The funny part about this cycle was that I actually thought I was living my best life…boy was I wrong.

As I got older, so did my responsibilities, obligations, and commitments. Then time kept seeming to slip right through my fingers.

I knew something had to change…

Enough was Enough

I was fed-up of the feeling that by the time I woke up, everyone else was already ten steps ahead of me. It was like I was always showing up late to my own party and by the time I got there, everyone had already left. It even got to the point where I would have anxiety because it felt like the day had more control over me than I had over it.

Translation: The morning routine I had inadvertently created for myself was clearly not working.

I finally said “enough was enough” and made the decision to change how I started my days to create a more productive, more empowered, and more energized me.

Morning Routines

Developing a morning routine is a form of self-care.

In our lives, we often prioritize work, friends, and social media, finding ourselves trying to squeeze our own life in between the cracks.

But this is doing ourselves a disservice.

I believe that in order for us to truly be our best, we must first take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Only then can we take on the challenges of life, best help others, and live more intentional, productive, and meaningful lives.

This is where having an optimal morning routine that’s specific to you and your lifestyle comes into play.

Morning Routine Benefits

An optimal morning routine can:

  • Increase productivity
  • Optimize performance
  • Enhance energy
  • Improve mood
  • Reduce stress, and
  • Provide a sense of control over the day

Building a Morning Routine

A successful morning routine is one you can do consistently, that is sustainable, and makes you feel your best.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s optimal morning routine is going to look different. For example, the morning routine of a college student will look very different than the morning routine of a mother with three children, and that’s okay!

There is no one-size-fits all formula.

So, what morning habits might you want to add to your morning routine?

Here are 10 morning habits you can begin to experiment with to eventually build your optimal morning routine.

Tip: Start with one habit. Once you have been able to consistently implement that habit on a daily basis, then add another.

10 Morning Habits

1. Wake-up an Hour Early

We all have the same 24-hours in a day, but how you choose to optimize those hours will determine how you live your life. Research shows that early rises help you be more conscientious, optimistic, and better able to handle the problems of the day.

I recommend setting your alarm clock one-hour earlier than normal.


This additional hour in the morning will allow you to begin creating what you want your morning routine to look like as well as give you the opportunity to set the tone for your day.

2. Make Your Bed

Making your bed may seem like a monotonous chore, but if you are able to successfully accomplish this habit, then you have already won your first task of the day. Making your bed instills in us the idea that the little things matter and you are starting the day feeling accomplished. Additionally, having a clean and organized room lends itself to a more clear and organized mind.

3. Visualize Your Day

Visualization is a technique that involves using your mind and visual imagery to enhance performance, create desired emotional states, and manifest life goals.

Examples of visualization can include thinking about what you are planning on saying during a meeting, predicting questions that may arise following a presentation, or even thinking about how you want to feel during an event.

You can think of it as a mental dress rehearsal.

Examples of visualization can include thinking about what you are planning on saying during a meeting, predicting questions that may arise following a presentation, or even thinking about how you want to feel during an event.

Visualization can help you prepare for you day both mentally and emotionally. Additionally, visualization can actually our creative subconscious, the law of attraction, and build internal motivation to help us reach our life goals.

4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Quite literally, “breakfast,” or “breaking the overnight fast,” whether at 5:00 am or 9:00 am, is your first meal of the day.

It is the first thing you put into your body and influences how you fuel your body and mind for the rest of the day.

A well-balanced breakfast, consisting of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and carbohydrates has been shown to have beneficial effects on memory, attention, the speed of processing information, reasoning, creativity, learning, and verbal abilities.

Additionally, properly fueling our bodies can improve digestion, stabilize blood sugar, aid in weight maintenance, promote healthy food choices throughout the day, and provide you with the nutrients that your body needs to function optimally.

5. Move your body

Getting your body moving first thing in the morning can not only improve our mood, energy and focus, but can also lead to better circulation, improved digestion, and increased strength.

Movement does not have to mean running 10 miles first thing in the morning. It can be as simple as going for a brisk walk, a bike ride, or even a stretching and yoga.

When choosing how you want to move your body, my biggest advice is to find a form of exercise or movement you genuinely enjoy doing. The movement you most look forward to will be the one you are most likely to continue to do consistently.

Note: When it comes to longevity and lifelong physical health, consistency is key.

6. Express Gratitude

We often get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of life that we forget to acknowledge the positivity in life.

Research shows that expressing gratitude can help improve relationships, mental stamina, physical and emotional health, and overall happiness.

Gratitude, or thankfulness, can be shown through a multitude of ways:

  • Active listening
  • Being gracious when challenged
  • Volunteering your time
  • Sharing words of appreciation.

One way I like to express gratitude is by writing down three things I am grateful for every morning.

7. Drink Water

Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can improve digestion, increase vitamin C intake, and enhance alertness.

Did you know that we lose water through our skin as sweat and as we breathe through the process of respiration as we sleep? Upon waking, it is important to rehydrate our bodies to prevent dehydration.

Dietitian Tip: I recommend adding the juice of half a lemon to your water to improve your digestion. Many individuals avoid lemon water if they experience acid reflux, but contrary to common belief, introducing a small amount of diluted lemon juice with water first thing in the morning can actually decrease acid reflux symptoms.

Although lemon is an acid, when digested it creates alkalizing byproducts and in turn can help alkalize your stomach acid resulting decreased acid reflux symptoms.

8. Do Something Creative or Mentally Stimulating

Read, write, draw, imagine, or play with your dog!

Morning routines do not have to be boring, remember this is a time for self-care.

One thing I love to do every morning is draw. Drawing is a creative outlet for me and it gets my day started off on the right foot because I am able to do something that brings me joy.

Whether I have 5 minutes or 30 minutes, I always try to get in a little bit of doodle time for myself.

9. Avoid Checking Your Phone

Checking you phone first thing in the morning can create a flood of stressors whether it be e-mails from your boss, texts that demand your attention, or notifications from your bank account.

Inste­ad of taking a reactive start to the day, take a proactive start by being the one to determine when, where, and how you choose to respond the needs and demands of the day.

Tip: Set your phone on do-not-disturb so that it doesn’t derail your morning routine

10. Take a Shower

Taking a shower first thing in the morning is not only a refreshing way to kickstart the day, but it also provides many health benefits such as:

  • Increased blood circulation
  • Decreased stress levels
  • Increased immunity through white blood cell stimulation
  • Relief of muscle aches and pains
  • Improved skin health through balancing the skins natural oil and washing away toxins discarded through sweat

Jasmine El Nabli MS, RD

Creating healthy eating and lifestyle habits without the right tools, skills, and knowledge is often seen as a daunting task, but that’s where I come in. I am here to show you that becoming the happiest and healthiest version of yourself can be done!

Through the combination of a whole-body approach and scientific research, I empower and educate individuals on how to implement small changes into their daily life that in turn lead to sustainable and lifelong healthy habits.

#morning #goodmorning #routine #breakfast #gratitude #fitness #exercise #visualize#nutrition #health #wellness #mindset #life #lifestyle #habits #health #happiness#selfcare #professional #business #work #motivation #progress