Discover essential daily habits that will help you start your day off right every time. #dailyhabits #habits
Better Life,  Habits,  Intentional Living,  Personal Development,  Productivity,  Routines,  Self Improvement,  Self-Discipline

8 Daily Habits You Need to Start Your Day Off Right

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Early mornings are tough, but regardless of what time you wake up you probably already have a set of daily habits each morning that you run through without thinking about it.

If you can tweak a few of those habits and turn them into more productive habits, you can set yourself up to live each day more intentionally than ever before.

In this post we’re going to look at habit building, how to change your old habits into better habits, and a list of some of those better habits to start incorporating into your morning. Morning Habits Printable

This post may contain affiliate links. Here is my Affiliate Disclaimer.

Definition and Anatomy of a Habit

Before we dive into trying to change up our habits, it’s important to know what exactly we’re dealing with, the process of realizing a habit, and why it’s so tough to change them.

A habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” (

You know what a habit is because you have plenty of them.

Habits tend to be actions that are done almost involuntarily, or at least without much thought. They are the actions that form nearly every aspect of who you are – from your health to your mindset and happiness to your career.

The little actions that you perform daily literally craft your life into the person you currently are, which means the actions you perform from here on out will determine who you will be in the future.

Everything comes down to those daily actions. Success and failure are built upon them.

Each time you go through the process of actualizing a habit, you unconsciously go through four steps – the anatomy of a habit.

The Anatomy of a Habit

Cue > Craving > Response > Reward

The Cue

The cue is the trigger that causes you to begin a particular habit.

Examples of cues:

  • Waking up
  • Coming home from work
  • Crawling into bed
  • Turning on your favorite show

The Craving

Next, you experience the craving, which is the motivation for the following action (the habit).

Without a craving, a cue means nothing. There simply is no reason to commit an action (habit) without some sense of desire for change.

Examples of cravings:

  • A clean mouth after brushing your teeth
  • A full belly after eating a meal
  • A sense of pride after working out
  • To be entertained by watching a show

The Response

The response is the habit put into action.

This step is not a guaranteed thing, otherwise, building habits would be a cinch.

Whether or not you actually perform the action, or the habit, is dependent on your motivation (craving) and any opposition, such as a weakened mental or physical state.

The Reward

The reward is the goal. Everything about the cue, craving, and response are focused on obtaining the reward.

The reward reinforces the cues and cravings, making it likely that you will repeat the response again in the future.

For more information on how this process works, check out this article by James Clear.

Out With the Old…

We never actually get rid of old habits. We simply replace them with different habits.

Whether those habits are good or bad for you in the long run is entirely dependent on what you choose to do on a daily basis.

So, how do you “break a habit?”

Since there’s no getting rid of a habit, you need to think in terms of how to change your habit into something more aligned with the results you want.

Let’s go back to the anatomy of a habit.

Cue > Craving > Response > Reward

If you only change one aspect of the process, the new habit isn’t going to stick. You must look at each part of the process.

First, you need to get rid of the trigger for your old habit. (I know, easier said than done, right?)

I like the table that James Clear uses:

CueMake it invisible.
Make it unattractive.
ResponseMake it difficult.
RewardMake it unsatisfying.

… In With the New

As you work to make your old habits unattractive, difficult, and unsatisfying, you can begin replacing them with the new habits you want to pursue.

Take some time to consider what your end goal is.

Do you want to be healthier? More productive? Calmer? Happier?

What habits are going to take you from where you are to your goal?

Work on each part of the process to start grafting your new habits into your daily routine.

Again, I love the table James Clear presents on this subject:

CueMake it obvious.
CravingMake it attractive.
ResponseMake it easy.
RewardMake it satisfying.

Why Start in the Morning?

When you wake up in the morning, your decision making capabilities are at their strongest.

As you progress throughout your day, each decision you make chips away at your capability to make good decisions.

Think of it as a muscle. The more you use it, the more tired it gets.

So when you make the decision to be more intentional about your day, the best place to start is first thing in the morning.

Related: How to Create the Perfect Morning Routine

10 Simple and Powerful Ways to Cultivate Self-Discipline

Additional Reasons to Start in the Morning

What you do in the morning sets the tone for your entire day.

If you’ve ever rushed around and arrived at work late, you know what I’m talking about. Those days rarely turn out amazing.

On the flip side, if you’ve ever intentionally woken early to make sure you had plenty of time to do some stretches, enjoy your cup of coffee, and read a good book, you know how good that feels. That glow seems to follow you the rest of the day.

Your early morning decisions affect the nature of your decision making.

When you start your day full of healthy and productive decisions, it’s easy to carry those positive decisions throughout your day.

If you start your day with 5 donuts and a piece of cake, well… is there really even a reason to work out anymore? (While the answer is yes, absolutely, sometimes our minds fight us on that pretty hard.)

Starting your day by keeping a commitment to yourself builds a sense of confidence and pride.

You do your best to keep appointments with other people, so why not try even harder to keep appointments with yourself?

As you commit to and build new habits, your confidence and mindset will start to shift and you’ll find a pride that wasn’t there before.

Why You Need to Track Your New Habits

What gets measured gets done.

I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but let’s dive into it a bit, shall we?

When you try to build a new habit without tracking, it’s easy to let yourself off the hook for a day or two, which easily turns into a week or two. Before you know it, you haven’t actually performed the new habit in months.

When you track a habit, you get to literally see yourself completing (or not completing) the task each day.

It creates a sense of competition with yourself to see if you complete a goal or change an action over a set amount of time.

You’re also giving yourself a sense of accountability. You will have concrete data to show whether you are actually following through on your new habit or not.

Pavlov your mind.

It’s up to you to train yourself by setting goals and following through on them.

Related: Small Goals for a Big Life

Start by tracking your new daily habits with a habit tracker and rewarding yourself in an appropriate way. Habit Tracker Printable

Habits to Start Your Day Off Right

Make Your Bed

For some people, this is a no brainer. For others, it’s a pointless activity.

I mean, you’re just going to crawl right back into bed later, right?

While that may be true, each morning that you start by making your bed is a day begun with one task accomplished.

Seeing your bed made will give you a sense of pride.

It sets the tone of your bedroom and home. Whether you work outside of the home or stay home all day, everyone loves climbing into a neat bed at the end of the day.

This idea comes from Admiral William H. McRaven’s book Make Your Bed. It’s an excellent short read with some fantastic actionable tips you can start incorporating into your life today. Check it out on Amazon here.

Move Your Body

Next, take a few minutes each morning to move your body.

Go for a run, take a walk, fit in a workout, or simply do a few stretches before you hop in the shower.

Intentionally moving your body wakes your body and mind.

“Don’t think. Just execute the plan. The plan is the alarm clock goes off, you get up, you go work out. Get some.”

Jocko Willink

If you can commit to moving your body every day, it WILL affect other areas of your day and life.

For more from Jocko Willink, check out Extreme Ownership. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin explore leadership principles and how proactivity can change every aspect of your life. Check it out on Amazon here.

Need a great workout to get you started? PiYo is my personal favorite. It’s low impact, customizable, and last 25-45 minutes. Check it out on Amazon here.

Nourish Your Body

So many people skip breakfast, and I used to be one of them.

fter fasting for 6-10 hours (give or take), your body and metabolism need a bit of a nudge to wake up and get back to work.

According to this article on The Nutritional Effects on Skipping Breakfast, skipping your first meal of the day can have a pretty negative effect on your body, such as:

  • Your blood sugar levels drop
  • Your metabolism slows down
  • Stress hormone levels increase
  • Increased risk of heart disease

Read more at: The Nutritional Effects on Skipping Breakfast

And according to, you should drink 16 oz of water when you wake up because:

  • It fires up your metabolism
  • You’re dehydrated when you wake up
  • Water helps your body flush out toxins
  • Your brain tissue is 75% water
  • You’ll eat less

Read More at: Killer Morning Habit – Drink 16oz of water right after you wake up

Review Your Priorities and Schedule

Have your schedule and priorities set the night before so that you don’t have to get up and wonder what the day is going to look like.

If you’re overwhelmed, start by using a brain dump to help you organize your thoughts.

Review your schedule and priorities, and start knocking things off your list!

Get Dressed

This is my personal least favorite because I just don’t see what could possibly be better than wearing jammies all day.

Regardless, I always have a calmer, more productive and more proactive day when I take the time to get out of my jammies and into something “real,” even if that just means a pair of leggings instead of my favorite sweats.

There are a few good reasons to ditch the sweats and don some real clothes:

  • You can be ready at a moments notice for emergencies, errands, visitors, or last minute play dates
  • You’re more likely to actually leave the house for errands or playtime at the park
  • It’s an act of self-care
  • It will increase your productivity and reduce laziness
  • It teaches your children that taking care of themselves is important

Ready for some new clothes that will make you feel amazing? Here’s $25 off your first Stitch Fix order! The clothes are shipped to your door where you can try them on in the comfort of your own home. Keep what you love, send back the rest. Easy peasy. Click here for $25 off your first order.

Practice Gratitude

Starting your day with a sense of gratitude only brings good into your life, such as:

  • Improves your health by making you more aware of your body and health choices
  • Improves your relationships by making you more aware of the good in the people in your life
  • Improves your mental health by increasing happiness and reducing depression
  • Enhances empathy and reduces aggression
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Improves mental strength

Read more at: 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude That Will Motivate You to Give Thanks Year-Round

Keep track of your gratitude journal in a fully customizable Leuchtturm 1917 Journal. The dotted pages allow your creativity to blossom while keeping things organized. Check it out on Amazon here.

Read Something

Feed your mind a little bit each morning, and no, I don’t mean by reading your Facebook feed. In fact, I encourage you to keep phone use to a minimum in the morning.

Related: Phone Detox

Read a book, devotional, your bible, the newspaper… just read a page or two of something to get your brain juices flowing.

This is also a form of self-care. You’re feeding your intellect, and if you really enjoy reading you’re filling a need to do something enjoyable each day.

Fill Your Motivation Cup

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar

Motivation is something you need to refill every single day.

You can find it through reading, podcasts, meditation, or even a vision board.

Regardless of where you find your motivation, make sure you get a bit in each morning. Morning Planner Printable

Start the Night Before

At the end of each day, prep for the following day.

Create your meal plan, pre-pack lunches, set your coffee maker to brew at the right time, use a brain dump to schedule your priorities… Do everything you can ahead of time to make your morning run smoother.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning for Beginners on a Budget

The 4-Step Brain Dump Method That Will Change Your Life

7 Reasons Why You’re Late Every Day

Turn off the tech to prep your mind and body for rest.

Catch up on that book that’s been on your shelf or pick up a soothing craft such as knitting.

Create an evening ritual to prep yourself for bed.

Ensure that you go to bed early enough to get enough rest for the following day.

And then look forward to your next morning will gratitude and excitement.

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Discover vital habits you need to incorporate into your morning routine in order to start your day off right. #dailyhabits #morninghabits

What are your favorite daily habits to get your day started on the right foot?

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  • Sajjad Sohail

    Very informative and useful information. I have enjoyed the article. Thank you so much for gathering the information and sharing with us. Keep up the good work 🙂

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