Your best morning routine is more than just the perfect start to the day. This is an opportunity to reboot; forget about what happened yesterday, develop a positive mindset about the day ahead, and take care of yourself before stressors hit.
While most of us want to get the same things out of our morning routine, we start our day differently. Some people like to get up early and exercise. Others are happy to lie in bed until the last minute. Someone drinks coffee, someone drinks only water, and someone immediately goes to breakfast.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these morning habits. So what's the best morning routine for you?
The key is to find out what works for your schedule, body and brain.
Your ideal morning routine could be three minutes or three hours long. The important thing is that it prepares you not only for a productive work day, but also for a calm and focused day from start to bed.
Only you can find the best morning routine for you. But you can build it by testing the ideas of some of the biggest names in the business:
1. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a big word, but it means something simple:
Pay attention to your thoughts without judging or trying to change them.
You can practice it while sitting, lying in bed, while exercising, or any time you feel stressed.
Mindfulness can take many forms. NuSkin President Ryan Napierski prefers to pray or meditate every morning before leaving the house. By honing his focus through mindfulness, Napiersky says he can be more productive and determined at work.
You can also easily start practicing mindfulness: how do you meditate? 8 meditation techniques for beginners
2. Take a walk
A great opportunity to practice mindfulness—and get a little exercise in addition—is to take a walk as part of your morning routine.
If you want to make time for a walk, you may need to start your morning routine earlier. As a general rule, plan to walk the mile in about 15 minutes. If your best morning routine includes walking three miles, for example, you'll need a 45-minute block of time.
3. Please contact
If you're having a hard time finding time to network, take this advice from Appointment.com CEO John Bradshaw:
Start your morning routine with an old acquaintance or make a new professional connection.
There are several ways to do this. Email while you wait for your morning coffee. Send a text message asking how the new job feels about your old colleague. Don't call people unexpectedly before 9 a.m.
4. Drink tea
If coffee isn't your style, why not try tea as part of your morning routine?
Google CEO Sundar Pichai drinks a steaming mug at breakfast every day. Green and black teas are popular, although Pichai does not specify what he drinks; alternatives include relaxing concoctions such as chamomile, mint, and lemon balm.
One of the most popular ways to wake up is light reading. Instead of scrolling through your Facebook feed, grab a newspaper. Make some progress on the library book you borrowed last week.
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett reads six different newspapers in the morning. However, after that, he does not stop reading: on average, he spends 80% of his day with a book; in general, Buffett aims for 500 pages a day.
6. Take a cold shower
Self-help guru and business consultant Tony Robbins advocates all sorts of non-traditional self-care methods. One of his most famous is his morning dip in a cold pool at 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Robbins does this to shock his system, which he says feels like "every organ, every nerve in your body is on fire." There are other benefits of cold showers that you should be aware of.
If you want to add cold cleansing to your morning routine, start by reducing your shower intensity by a few degrees. Lower your temperature by a few more each week, forcing yourself to spend more and more time underwater.
7. Talk to your partner
If you and your spouse have different work schedules, you may not see him or her until late at night. Why not spend time with your partner in the morning instead?
Tracey Grace, President and CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts, said she starts each day with a cup of coffee with her husband. Sipping, they sit on their terrace and discuss upcoming events, meetings and dinners.
8. Outline your goals
What could be better than planning what you want to achieve every day when you wake up?
One of the shortcuts to this morning habit is to write down one goal for the day. Maybe you want to reunite with your family, or maybe you have an offer to walk out the door. Then you can rest easy knowing that everything else can be pushed aside.
9. Ask yourself an important question
The morning routine is a time to think about what really matters. Steve Jobs, the late CEO and co-founder of Apple, asked himself every morning:
“If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am going to do today?”
Your question may be different:
If your goal in life is to provide for your family, you may be asking, “How can I help my family today?”
If you're struggling with self-care, "What does my body and mind need from me today?" might be a good option.
10. Do the hardest part
When you wake up, what worries you? Resolve it as part of your morning routine, mentions generational marketing expert Jeff Fromm in his book " Marketing for Generation Z: Rules for Reaching This Huge—and Very Different—Generation of Influencers . By getting to the hard stuff first, Fromm finds that the rest of his day falls into place.
Listeners to The Joe Rogan Experience will recognize this advice:
After a run or yoga session, the popular podcaster goes hungry for the rest of the morning.
Rogan claims that this practice improves his brain function and concentration.
As with cold bathing, add this step to your morning routine gradually. After you wake up, practice going without food for an hour, then two, then three. Soon you will be able to satisfy your hunger before lunch, when Rogan will eat.
When Craigslist founder Craig Newmark wakes up, he starts his day with other people in mind. After spending an hour providing customer service to the buying and selling platform, he works on projects that promote voting and support military families.
Whatever fires you up, incorporate it into your morning routine. Pick up trash. Write letters to your representatives or to the local newspaper. Stand up for a nonprofit organization that you believe in.
13. Listen to relaxing music
Every morning, Saagar Govil, CEO of industrial manufacturer Cemtrex, gets to work on his company's top five monthly releases. To keep calm and not be distracted from thoughts, Govil turns on classical music. 
If Bach and Beethoven are not your style, listen to what relaxes you. Who said 6am is too early for some headbang metal or hip hop?
14. Do yoga
According to media mogul Arianna Huffington, one of the best ways to sweat in the morning is to do yoga. After drinking a cup of coffee and riding a stationary bike, Huffington does yoga.
If you've never done yoga before, start with basic poses like down dog pose and baby pose. Once you've mastered them, challenge yourself to an online routine.
15. Sign up with your family
Almost none of us devotes as much time to the family as we would like. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, finds time in his morning routine by calling a family member — usually his mother, father, or sister — on his way to the office.
If your family members don't appreciate an early morning call, send a message. If you haven't signed up with multiple members in a while, send an email with information about what's new in your life.
Start your morning routine
Starting your morning routine depends on your mindset and perseverance. If you wake up thinking, "This is going to suck," then it probably won't. To create the kind of morning you want:
- Set an alarm: if you want to have time for your morning routine, you need to get up early. Give yourself at least an hour before work and understand that you may need more time.
- Get up at the same time every day: As tempting as it is to stay awake on weekends, don't do it. Make your morning routine a habit by doing it every single day.
- Tell others about your plans. If you tell your partner that you plan on getting up at 5am and exercising at 6am, you're much more likely to do so. Peer pressure doesn't have to be a bad thing.
- Reward yourself: humans, like other animals, are reward oriented. If you love shopping for shoes, make a chart for yourself: If you stick to your morning routine for a month, you might earn a shopping trip.
- Forgive yourself if you're wrong: Like it or not, there will be times when you hit snooze on your alarm clock. Don't beat yourself up; tell yourself that you will do better tomorrow.
Nothing matters more to your productivity or overall happiness than how you spend your mornings. Change your morning routine and you will literally change your life.