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[16] How to change your life by changing your morning routine

How can changing your morning routine change your life?

Do you start your morning feeling relaxed and under control or do you start it feeling tired and frustrated?

By crafting a morning routine that enables you to take care of YOU before you take care of everyone else, you can overhaul your entire experience of life and business.

In this episode, I share my own 3 hour morning routine, which includes things like yoga, reading, and spending quality non-work time with Nick, my husband, before we start the day’s work. I explain why I do the things I do each morning – and give you some suggestions for things you might like to consider incorporating into your own morning routine.

This is my routine – yours will look different. It all comes down to what you know you need to incorporate to help you start the day relaxed, and from a place of power and calm instead of stress. And the key element of this is the word ‘routine’ – I talk about the power of crafting positive habits, and how to grow your routine incrementally over time.

Overhauling my morning routine changed my life – I now start my days from a place of power – knowing I’ve done all my vital self-care activities, and can launch into my workday from a place of energised calm. Of course – some days it all falls apart, and that’s okay! It’s what you do most of the time that matters – and the longer you work at crafting your routine, the more powerful it will become.


Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

  • Make time for the most important things in your life for your own personal happiness and health
  • Doing things which are for relaxation and for exercise will always make you feel better
  • “I read a book, blog or at least something which will get me energised and inspired for the day.”
  • Look for reading in the morning which will get your business brain churning and ready for you work day
  • Making space for your morning and all the rituals you would like to complete before your day starts is really important
  • “If I get on the exercise bike, I’ll listen to a Podcast.”
  • There are heaps of great apps and websites you can find which give you exercise ideas and which can do within the time you have available for your morning.
  • APP: 7 Minute Workout
  • Leave yourself as much time as you can for your morning routine.
  • “The key is to have a flow and a set of triggers which will help craft your morning routine.”
  • BOOK: The Sweet Spot by Christine Carter
  • Changing one thing in your morning routine is actually about changing a whole bunch of habits.
  • All your habits are triggered by something which precedes them.
  • Understand the reward for changing your habit – why do you want to change your habits?
  • You will find that overhauling your morning routine will bring about ‘Energised Calm’.
  • If you feel that you’re putting your needs above other people, you are! But that’s OK as you need to look after yourself before you can look after other people.
  • “You’re like a well. If water is being taken out of the well but there’s never any rain, that’s when everything falls apart and you feel stressed and depleted.”
  • Morning routines start the night before.
  • Set a bedtime alarm so you get to bed with enough time to get ready and get enough sleep to get in gear for your morning routine.
  • “I find and set out my exercise clothes for the next morning so it’s easy in the morning and I don’t have to spend Will Power. I set myself up for success the next morning.”
  • Getting more sleep is the number one way to boost your mental ability and mood.
  • Make a plan – brainstorm everything you want in your morning routine and do a timeline.
  • “Intellectually I want to get straight out of bed and go for a walk but it just doesn’t work for me. I need that time to sit and drink a cup of coffee and a glass of water and read a book before I’m ready.”
  • Have a shower and get dressed even if you are working from home that day.
  • “If you’re relying on an external reward, it’s not going to work as well. It’s got to be linked in the moment. There needs to be an intrinsic reward otherwise you will deplete your willpower.”
  • BOOK: Habit by William James
  • BOOK: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • WEBSITE: Zen Habits by Leo Babauta

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Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.


Naomi Rose Johnson

Wow this was great to listen to! Thank you so much, I feel very inspired 🙂
I’m currently trying to get into a better routine and include exercise into my day so that I don’t feel guilty for sitting on my bum at the end of the day as well as lose weight – I’m so glad I came across Create &Thrive, keep up the amazing work

Naomi Rose


Naomi – I can’t say how awesome that is to hear – a regular exercise routine really worked wonders for my mental and physical health – good luck!

Debby S

What a great post!

I’ve struggled with time management and life balance forever. Who hasn’t? I once went to a panel discussion for working women in Chicago on this very subject. At one point, I asked one of the speakers, how she lived on 3 hours of sleep (I did the math), working full time and having 3 kids under 10 (yeah, right!). She said she would go out with friends twice a week to chill. The other speakers were less extreme, but just as unrealistic. I quit that women’s group afterwards.

I know I need sleep, relaxation and exercise. Your talk is what I’ve been wanting to hear for the last 10-15 years. Sure, I know to put on my oxygen mask first, but no one offered a realistic way of making it happen.

The first thing that I will implement is going back to the “Artist’s Way” habit of 3 pages of journaling first thing in the morning.


Debby – I’m honoured. I truly believe that pushing too hard is pretty much a disease in our culture – sure, we all want to achieve, but at what cost? Quality of life, making time for joy, relaxation, passions, and family and friends is the most important thing in life, and I love your idea of doing the Artist’s Way morning pages. Best of luck implementing that!

Michelle from Atman Art Studio

Good one Jess. I’ve recently started using an app called 7 to track my habits, because of health issues I have to add new habits and break old habits at the moment. I’m adding three or so per week. Once I feel that the habits are in place, then I add a few more, generally once per week. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much expectation to change all at once. The app helps to see a track of how you are going. So that even on a day where you skip something, you can see that you did it all the other days and its just a blip, s just keep on going.

What say you?