My Morning Routine + How Waking Up Early Has Changed My Life

Today I wanted to share my morning routine, including the ways that waking up at 5:00 am has changed my life. Last week I went through my entire daily routine with kids (which you can find here). I also have a Daily & Weekly toddler routine for quarantine (which you can read here). If I had to single out one thing that impacts my day the most, it would be the routine that I do between 5:00 – 7:00 am to get my mind + body in a healthy state. These two hours are key to setting me up for success and I want that for you too!


Before we start, I’m admittedly a morning person. I have always loved getting up early before the rush of the day begins. So it was not a huge stretch for me to set my alarm for 5:00 am. But even for my early morning tendencies that alarm was still a shock to the system for a few weeks. 5:00 am is early, y’all.  So like a lot of things that I recommend for you – I started small. Little by little increments of waking up 10-15 minutes earlier until my body got adjusted.


Finally, I want to preface this by saying that not everyone can wake up super early. Maybe you just had a baby and you are barely sleeping. This is not your season. Or maybe you work the night shift and your better time of day is the afternoon. The point is that this routine will look different for everyone depending on life circumstances but the premise is the same. You need to make time for you. If you can’t make mornings happen then figure out when you can squeeze it in. And perhaps two hours doesn’t seem possible right now either. That’s okay. Start small – even 10 mins of prayer/meditation is wonderful – and work your way up to that two-hour goal.


So here is what my morning routine looks like:


5:00 am – my alarm wakes me up. I try not to snooze by using the 5 second rule from Mel Robbins. It seems cheesy but it works.  Once I’m out of bed I immediately put on the workout clothes that I (hopefully) laid out the night before and get myself ready to hit the gym.


5:15 am – I head downstairs to chug a glass of water & then pour myself a big cup of coffee. I always set the coffee maker the night before because one less step in the morning really does make all the difference. Trust me.


5:20 am – I spend 15-20 minutes journaling and doing a daily gratitude practice. I love Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal for this.


5:40 am – I read my current book for 15-20 mins. On a side note: If you want to follow along with what I’m reading, here is a link to my Good Reads account.


6:00 am – I head to the gym. It’s a 10 min drive for me. Once I’m there I do 15 mins of cardio / warm-up and 25 minutes of weights. Two days per week I skip the gym completely and do an outside run using the Peloton Outdoor Run app.


7:00 am – Back home. The first thing I do when I walk in the door is to make my morning smoothie (recipe here) and start one load of laundry on the quick cycle.


That’s it! I’m energized and mentally ready to tackle my day.


Tips that have helped me:

  • Read The Miracle Morning. This is a great jumping-off point. It details how to wake up earlier & what to do once you are up.
  • Get a real alarm clock. We use this one and it is peaceful now. I used to feel so guilty about my alarm going off and waking up David.
  • Prep as much as possible the night before. Lay your gym clothes out. Start the coffee maker. Set out your journal and a cup of water. These small prep steps make all the difference the next morning.
  • Go to bed earlier. It’s not exciting, but it makes that early morning wake up so much easier. I try to be in bed by 9:00 pm.
  • My alarm goes off at 5:00 am every. single. day. Yes, even including weekends. I used to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday but I surprisingly found that it would throw off my body more to get out of the rhythm even for 2 days.

Action item:

  • Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier tonight. When you wake up, use that time for one self-care item. Read a book, pray, or do a little stretching.


I hope that if nothing else, this inspires you to create your own morning routine. It took me a few different iterations to come up with my current plan. So be patient with yourself. Try new things. If something doesn’t feel right, change it.  And as always, let me know if you have questions by dropping me an email or commenting below. You’ve got this! XO


    March 17, 2020 / 12:13 pm

    Wonderful web site. A lot of helpful information here.
    I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious.

    And certainly, thank you in your sweat!

  2. RaMona Boswell
    September 20, 2020 / 7:31 pm

    I love this website!!! So much great information.

    • valeriesmcfarland
      September 21, 2020 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoy it.

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