Morning Routine Checklist for Daily Success

Meet Gregory, a writer and the brains behind Face Dragons. He's the go-to guy for getting things done. Gregory's been living the digital nomad life in Asia for as long as anyone can remember, helping clients smash their goals. He writes on topics like software, personal knowledge management (PKM), and personal development. When he's not writing, you'll catch him at the local MMA gym, nose buried in a book, or just chilling with the family.

Are you looking for a morning routine checklist you can use every morning to achieve your goals and set yourself up for daily success? Whether you want checklist ideas or a template to design your own, find them all here, free to download and print off instantly.

There is a Printable Free Morning Routine Checklists to download on this page:

  • Adult Morning Routine Checklist Template

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Table of Contents

What is a Morning Routine?

Even if you don’t know it, we all have a daily morning routine. Of course, it may just be getting a bowl of cornflakes and a cup of tea and reading the news while you are around the dining table having breakfast. But, that’s all a morning routine: the things you do in the morning.

It’s when you realize that you don’t have to do those things and can actually optimize your routine in any way you want that things start to get interesting. For example, maybe you want to learn a foreign language or wish you spent more time reading to your kids. A small change in your daily morning routine could give these things to you.

Imagine if, for the last five years, you had spent 15 minutes practicing yoga every morning or drawing; you’d be so advanced by now! It’s never too late to start a new morning routine and start reaping those benefits down the line.

What’s the Ultimate Morning Routine?

It can be tempting to spend time searching for the ultimate morning routine, but the truth is there isn’t one. You can only find the best routine for you, and even that will change over time. So if you find a fantastic morning routine used by Tony Robbins or David Allen, it’s not necessarily going to be suitable for you.

You probably can’t do as much as an experienced morning routiner if you’re just starting. So start slow, give yourself somewhere to progress towards. Make your first daily morning routine easy so you can complete it every day; after a couple of weeks, add something else to challenge yourself. If you keep going like this, you will have your ultimate daily routine reasonably soon.

Why Do I Need a Checklist?

Keeping a checklist makes your new routine so much easier to follow. Whenever you start a new habit, it can be challenging to stay consistent no matter how easy the habit is. If you’re not used to doing it every day, there is always a certain amount of mental resistance.

Maintaining a checklist somewhere you will see each morning will keep the new routine in your mind and help push you to complete it each day. It’s also really motivating to check items off, knowing you’re getting closer and closer to the end.

A checklist makes it much easier for kids to follow too. Knowing what they need to do is half the battle in the morning. When they have their own checklist on the wall, especially if they fill the items in themselves, they will be much more motivated to do them.

How to Motivate a Child to Follow a Checklist

Trying to instill good habits into a child is a lifelong journey, and it will not happen overnight. This means that patience is the most important thing to remember when trying to teach a child a new habit. They’re going to forget, argue and avoid doing what you want.

Consistency is critical too. If you allow the child to skip some days, they will want to skip every day, so you must be consistent. Being consistent with your expectations shows the child that this is important, whereas if you only expect them to check off their list somedays, they will know it doesn’t matter.

Model the behavior you want them to follow.

Modeling Behavior for Children Has Long-Lasting Effects

If you want a child to clean their teeth for at least 2 minutes each morning, you need to clean yours for two minutes. Clean your teeth together; that way, the child can see the behavior you expect them to follow. “If Mom does it, it must be important.”

Let them Make Their Checklist.

We all know it’s true that we’re happier to do something when we choose it, but when someone makes you do something, it becomes a chore. So use this to your advantage!

“What do you think you need to do each morning?”
“Make my bed, clean my teeth, make my breakfast…”
“OK, write those on your new morning checklist!”

If your child writes their own checklist, they will feel responsible for the actions they added to their list. This sense of responsibility will turn into a sense of pride when they check them off.

Use Rewards

If nothing else has worked, use a reward to get them motivated. “If you check off everything on your list for the next week….”

Use small rewards that they can get quickly, like a favorite snack if they check off everything this morning, and more significant rewards that they can work towards over a week or month. The smaller rewards seem more attainable, creating a quick burst of motivation, while the long-term rewards give them something to aim for.

How to Create Your Own Morning Routine

The first step to creating your healthy morning routine is knowing your goals. Ask yourself:

  1. How do you wish you were different?
  2. What do you want to achieve in the next few years?

Use these topics to help you.

  • Health
  • Finance & Work
  • Family
  • Productivity
  • Creativity
  • Hobbies & Fun

Turn the answers into items for your morning checklist!

  1. What habit would help you make that change?
  2. What daily morning action would get you closer to that goal?

If you’re still having trouble coming up with your morning checklist ideas, look at the list below.

Top 10 Morning Checklist Ideas

1. Wake Up Early

It took me years to finally admit that waking up early is a best practice. I was always convinced I was a late owl but that time before everyone else is awake quickly became my favorite (and most productive) time of day.

2. Exercise

We all know it’s super important and working out soon after waking has the added benefit of waking you up, but how many of us actually do exercise in the morning? So why not try it for a week and see if it works for you?

  • Yoga
  • Lift Weights
  • Run
  • Tai Chi
  • Calisthenics

3. Water

Dehydration is usually most significant in the morning, not because you haven’t drank anything all night. It’s because you breathe out so much moisture while sleeping. That moisture needs to be replaced soon after waking, else, dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue and reduce your concentration.

4. Coffee

I can’t start my day without coffee. I love the smell, the taste, and the focus it gives my mind – which I desperately need in the mornings! So maybe you prefer tea, or perhaps you don’t need any caffeine at all in the morning, but I’m sticking with my coffee!

5. Plan Your Day

This is the key to having a productive day! Studies have shown that every minute spent planning will save you 10 minutes in execution. That’s a 1000% return on investment! So spend a few minutes planning your day this morning. A simple daily to-do list is enough to have a significant impact.

6. Read

Some people can’t start their day without reading the news, some spend their morning reading classic literature, and some read their favorite bloggers. As long as you’re reading something you care about and not just reading mindlessly, reading is a great way to start your day.

7. Prayer/Meditation

Before the pressures of the day get to you and send your mind flying in all directions, spend some time in quiet reflection, prayer or meditation. This is a habit that so many swear by, try it for a few days and see if it’s right for you.

8. Healthy Breakfast

Of course, you’ve got to eat! It’s easy to slip into the habit of eating an unhealthy breakfast every morning. Not because it tastes good, but more because it’s just easier to make. Cooking a healthy breakfast can seem like a task you just don’t need in the morning. There are easy-to-make healthy choices, though:

  • Fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Quick Oats
  • Eggs

9. Write

Writing is excellent for producing a clear mind. It can be a journal or diary; it can be a letter or a blog post (even if you don’t intend to publish it.) Get your ideas down on paper, and you will solidify your thinking on that particular topic.

10. Time with Family

Making my son breakfast and my wife coffee each morning could easily be seen as a chore, but it gives me a real sense of joy. I love that I get to spend time with them around the breakfast table and that I make their mornings better each day.

Bonus 11. Sunlight

There’s something primal about getting sunlight on your skin in the morning. It’s like the body doesn’t know it’s morning time until the sun hits it. Of course, now we know that vitamin D comes from sunlight which has a whole host of benefits; there’s even more reason to go outside and catch some rays.

More Healthy Morning Routine Checklist Ideas

Are you looking for more morning routine ideas? I made a post with 62 Morning Routine Checklist Ideas. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, check that post out!

Monday Morning Checklist

Monday mornings can be brutal. After a relaxing weekend, getting back into the daily grind can be challenging, and Mondays mean one more thing – school. Even though I homeschool my son, we still have the same Monday morning checklist tasks to get ready for another week of work and (home)school.

  • Brush Teeth
  • Breakfast
  • Shower
  • Empty Bookbag (there are always things to be thrown out or put away in there)
  • Pack Bookbag Starting from an empty bag makes it easier to fill it with the right things for the day
  • Stationary, Books, Projects, Folders, etc

Healthy Morning Ideas for Kids Routines

  • Make Bed
  • Brush Teeth
  • Shower
  • Wash Face
  • Comb/Brush Hair
  • Get Dressed
  • Drink Water
  • Make Breakfast
  • Take breakfast bowl to sink/dishwasher
  • Say prayers
  • Open Curtains
  • Do Homework
  • Practice Instrument/other skill
  • Pick up toys
  • Tidy Room
  • Say Good morning to everyone
  • Pack Backpack
  • Pack a Snack
  • Feed Pet

My Daily Morning Routine

I’ve been using the same morning routine daily for a while now, and it’s still serving me well.

  • Water – The first thing I do after waking is to drink a big glass of water
  • Coffee with the family – Then I make coffee for my wife and me
  • Read my RSS Feed – These are the blogs and updates that I want to see (instead of social media, news, or email, which is what someone else wants me to see)
  • Plan my day – I have used GTD for over 15 years every morning I process and create a daily list
  • Affirm my goals – I have a long list of completed goals that used to be part of this affirmation habit
  • Write a blog post – I find writing so much easier when I’m fresh in the morning

Biggest Routine Checklist Mistakes

If you’re finding it hard to get started or stay consistent day in and day out with morning routines, you may be making one of these mistakes

1. Doing too much

I totally get this! You’re starting a new morning routine because you want to create a new you. A you that is healthier, more productive, more spiritual, and an intellectual powerhouse! The problem is that trying to add a fresh breakfast and workout, a new time management system, meditation practice, and a classic novel into your mornings is too overwhelming!

Trying to do too much will only result in burnout and overwhelm and will ultimately set you back. Instead, aim for a tiny increase to make your day just a little better. It may not seem like much, but after a few days, you can add something else to your checklist.

2. Not Being Strict With Yourself

There are days when you’re just not feeling it; I get that too. But those are the days when you need your morning routine the most! It’s easy to breeze through your morning routine checklist on the days when you’re feeling good and motivated, and sure, completing your morning routine will make you feel better and keep you making progress on your goals.

But on the days when you want to throw in the towel and give yourself a break, you have a choice. You can break your winning streak, or you can go through the motions. Even if you don’t give it 100%, go through the motions and get that list checked off! Tell yourself that you get things done even on days when you’re not feeling it.

That’s the true benefit of having a morning checklist so that you can still make progress in everything important to you on the days you would typically take a step back.

3. Letting your Morning Routine Go Stale

As with everything in life, following the same checklist too long will get stale and boring. Usually, that’s a sign it’s time to level up! So find some good morning routine ideas that are more of a challenge and will push you into becoming a better you.

Or swap your morning routine for something minimalist and fun for a change!

4. Always Chasing Something New

This is the complete opposite of the previous problem; it’s when you never stick with a morning routine long enough. You try out a millionaire’s morning routine, then an olympian morning routine, then the genius morning routine.

The problem is that you don’t stick with it long enough to see any benefits. Sure doing a new morning routine for a week or two will be good for you, but you won’t see real benefits unless you give it some time.

I reassess my morning routine every six weeks or so. If I find something I want to change, I might make a minor tweak; if not, I just keep going with it. I do a complete re-haul every year if I want a significant change.

Use My Morning Routine Checklist

Use this Morning Routine Checklist Template. Please print it out and fill it in to have the best morning routine for you!