10 Morning Rituals That Will Drastically Change Your Day (for Better or for Worse)

Everyone has their morning routine. Some people rise before the sun is up, while others begrudgingly hit “snooze” until minutes before they need to run out the door. But hey, different strokes for different folks, especially when you’re comparing night owls to morning roosters. Either way, we all begin each and every morning with a routine, setting the tone for the rest of the day. Whether good or bad, here are 10 morning rituals that will drastically change your day.

1. Good: Waking up early

man stretching in bed waking up

Waking up early can be a real game-changer. | iStock.com

Waking up with enough time to tackle, or avoid, the following morning rituals is the first step in improving your chances of changing your day for the better. There’s just something special about the wee hours of the day — they’re hours you can definitely use to your advantage (more on that in a bit). If you’re not a morning person yet, don’t worry — there are some tips to help you change your ways.

2. Bad: Brushing your teeth right after breakfast

Woman brushing teeth

It’s better to brush your teeth right when you wake up, or wait 30 minutes until after you’ve eaten. | iStock.com/gpointstudio

Yes, you read that right. As it turns out, it’s actually better to brush those pearly whites before breakfast as opposed to immediately after. Everyone knows there’s no brushing your teeth prior to drinking a glass of orange juice, because, the taste is less than pleasant. But if you’re planning to down some OJ with just enough time to spare brushing before running out the door, you might want to reconsider.

According to RDH Magazine, it’s a good idea to brush when you wake up. It’s a bad idea, however, to brush right after you eat, especially if you’re consuming acidic foods or drinks. If you can’t fathom brushing before eating, just be sure to give yourself a solid 30 minutes before scrubbing those pearly whites.

3. Good: Having morning sex

couple in bed

Morning sex is pretty much the best. | iStock.com

Most people know how good sex is. Not only is it fun, but it comes with a slew of health benefits. It’s pretty tough to be in a bad mood after starting your day with this ritual, too. As Bustle points out, there’s a good reason to have sex in the morning, in particular. It relaxes you for the day ahead, turns your brain on, and sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. But we’re sure this one won’t take too much convincing.

4. Bad: Not drinking enough water

man drinking glass of water

Getting enough water in the morning is key. | iStock.com

It can be all too easy to skip out on chugging enough H2O first thing in the morning, but it’s an essential part of starting your day off on the right foot. According to Sunwarrior, you never want to break a fast with heavy carbs or the like alone, so filling your belly with water is key. Additionally, it’ll help keep your metabolism humming.

5. Good: Eating a healthy breakfast

Healthy breakfast of muesli, berries with yogurt

Kick your day off with a healthy breakfast (after you’ve exercised). | iStock.com/elena_hramowa

Swapping pancakes for superfoods is definitely one morning ritual you should get behind. And if you’re someone who skips substance for a cup of coffee, it’s time to consider incorporating a healthy meal into your morning routine. As it turns out, there’s reason to believe breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. In fact, it helps boost brain power and metabolism, stave off cravings, and can help with weight loss.

6. Bad: Eating right before you work out

man on an early morning run

An early morning workout does wonders, and you don’t have to eat before it. | iStock.com

Even if working out in the evening is your thing, consider switching up your sweat session schedule, as the pros just may outweigh the cons. According to The Huffington Post, there’s a handful of benefits to being a morning exerciser, including increased productivity and a boosted metabolism. And the perks don’t stop there.

Although only a handful of people were evaluated, research shows working out in the early morning resulted in sleeping more soundly at night. And another study showed exercise before breakfast proved more effective for burning fat. Although hitting the pavement in the morning can be tough, some clever tips can get you started.

7. Good: Meditating

woman meditating on the beach

Meditating gets your mind ready for the day. | iStock.com/kieferpix

Taking the time to meditate in the morning may just improve your entire outlook on life. There’s something to be said about waking up before the rest of the world — or at least before you connect with the rest of the world — and taking the time and energy to connect with yourself. Leave yourself alone with absolutely no distractions, and see what happens. The Huffington Post mentions sitting in silence and doing nothing can be tough, but the long-term payoff could be huge.

8. Bad: Failing to express gratitude

man breathing deeply outside

Focus on what you’re really thankful for before your day even begins. | iStock.com

It’s easy to forget this ritual, but it’s an important one, especially at the start of your day. Failing to acknowledge the things in your life you’re most thankful for is a great way to set a negative tone for the rest of your day. “The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life — what is in time with your being as a whole,” Lifehacker writes. “It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your every day living.” So, it’s clearly worth a shot.

9. Good: Working on your passion projects

Man working at home in robe in the morning

Work on your passion project before heading to work. | iStock.com

Everyone has at least one thing that makes them tick. Maybe you’re passionate about volunteering at your local animal shelter. Or, perhaps you’re putting together a book of personal essays. Whatever the case, it’s important to have interests, hobbies, and passions that fall outside the realm of work and home life.

Business Insider says your side hustle is that one passion project of yours that isn’t tied to your professional career, and it can easily fall by the wayside after a long day of meetings and having to figure out what’s for dinner. “That’s why many successful people put in an hour or so on their personal projects before they officially start their days,” the publication says. It may sound like a tall order, but waking up one or two hours earlier to dedicate time to your passion project will leave you feeling fulfilled.

10. Bad: Starting your day without knowing what’s ahead

Calendar Events Plan Planner Organization

If you don’t know what’s on your agenda, you may not be as productive as you’d hoped. | iStock.com/scyther5

You day is likely packed with meetings, deadlines, social gatherings, and the like, which is why being prepared ahead of time will prove beneficial in the long run. Before you step out the door, or sit down in your at-home office, give some thought to things you’d like to prioritize throughout the day. “Decide on the three things that you’d like to accomplish in the next 12 hours in order for you to feel like the day was a success,” Entrepreneur suggests. “Sure, not every day will be an epic win, but strategizing in this way will help to move the ball forward.”