7 Life-changing morning rituals

Your morning routine sets the mood and tone for your entire day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if you started each and every day on a positive note?

How do you feel right after you open your eyes in the morning? Are you excited to start your day, or do you just want to roll over and go back to sleep? How you spend your mornings makes a big impact on your mood and stress levels. If you’re always running out the door late, in a rush, chances are that you’re under more stress than someone who takes their time, someone who is gentle and loving with themselves.


Getting an early start to your day has many advantages. You can have a few minutes just for yourself, you are never in a rush, you can get things done before your day officially starts. One of my favorite things about getting up early, is that peaceful, quiet time I get to enjoy during early hours. I love sipping on my tea or lemon water, while watching the sunrise through my window. To me, mornings also usually happen to be the most productive part of the day. I love writing early in the morning, editing or planning out my day. Every single successful person that I look up to, whether it be an entrepreneur, an author, or a motivational speaker, have one thing in common: they all rise early, every single day. If you want to become a morning person, you can see this post.


What do you do right after you open your eyes? If the first thing you do is reach for your phone, try this: right after you open your eyes, take a few deep breaths while still lying in bed and tell yourself: today is going to be an amazing day.  Tell yourself that you are going to be kind to others as well as yourself. Did you ever notice that if you stub your toe in the morning or are in a cranky mood when you wake up, everything else seems to be going wrong that day? That’s because that’s the intention you setting for yourself (by being in a bad mood, being in a hurry, you’re starting your day off with stress). What if you set  powerful, positive intentions, first thing in the morning, telling yourself that you’re going to have an amazing day?

Everyone knows that if you take your time and begin your day on a happy note, you’ll have a better start to day than someone who keeps hitting that snooze button and runs out of the house in a rush. Make sure that your thoughts are loving, peaceful, empowering. If you use your phone as your alarm, make sure that it’s peaceful music that wakes you up, not an annoying ring tone. Maybe set up a beautiful affirmation as your phone wall paper? To learn how to set powerful intentions, check out this article by Dr. Deepak Chopra.

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And I mean this literally. This is something that I learned from Gabby Bernstein and her book Miracles Now. In it, she discusses an old Kundalini technique that suggests you step out of your bed on your dominant foot. It might sound kind of weird, but I’ve been doing it for years and as I get up, my dominant foot is always the first one to touch the floor. As I walk to the bathroom I think “Thank you, thank you” with each step.


If you have enough time to get in a workout before you leave the house in the morning- awesome. If not, make sure to at least get in a little gentle stretch to energize your body and get ready for the day. Do some Sun Salutation, take a few deep breaths- it will reduce stress and prepare both your mind and your body for the day.


First thing in the morning, drink a cup of warm water with fresh, organic lemon. I’ve been doing this ever since I can remember and it really lets my body “know” that the day has started. Lemon juice flushes out toxins and other unwanted materials from your body and boosts your immune system. It also aids digestion and helps with bloating-big time. If you have problems with indigestion, you must try drinking this on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can add some honey and ginger to it, if you don’t like the taste of lemon, or you can also drink a glass or two of purified water. Sometimes I drink as much as 1 liter on an empty stomach and like to keep a big jug of water next to my bed so it’s the first thing I reach for, almost as soon as I wake up. When you think about it, your body just went an entire night without water, so it’s important to replenish those fluids and let your body rehydrate itself.



This is another thing that I mention quite a lot. It’s also life-changing. Most of the time, we talk, think and focus on things we don’t want. We’re scared of failing, getting sick, being alone.. How often do you celebrate what you have? How often do you take time to appreciate how far you’ve come? Every single day of your life can be amazing, and nothing out of the ordinary has to occur for that to happen.

When you stop and think about all the things you have in your life; from your health, your relationships, down to running water and electricity- you come to realize that you have quite a lot to be thankful for. Remember, that the only way to ensure that you get more of what you love, is to be thankful for what you already have. Start a gratitude journal and every day, list ten things that you’re thankful for. You can do it before you leave the house or on the train/bus while going to work. Do this every day for 30 days and watch your life change.


This is the best part about getting an early start to your day. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, you can still do something that brings you joy before you leave for work or school. It might be reading a magazine, a book (or listening to an audiobook, which is my favorite thing to do while I’m getting ready- you can get a free 30-day trial for Audible right here, if you don’t already use it), your favorite blog, writing, taking a walk with your dog- anything that brings you joy. How awesome would it be if instead of rushing out of the house because you’re running late, you could enjoy your morning tea or coffee, taking your time?


I say that all of these rituals are life-changing, because they truly changed my outlook on life- especially the gratitude practice. Do you have any morning rituals that help you start the day ahead?

PS If you don’t already, I’d love it if you followed me and Thirteen Thoughts on Facebook!

  • Sheridan Grady

    Such a nice post, I completely agree that if I get up early and get myself a good breakfast and a green tea and have a few minutes to myself my day goes sooo much better than if I wake up a bit later and have to rush x

  • My job has meant most of my days I have to be up at 3am, and now I don’t think I can’t not get up early. It really opens up the day!

    Jodie | Jodie Loue

  • Another great post. I featured you in my latest blog post ’30 blogs you need to follow’

  • I really need to start going to bed earlier so I could wake up that bit earlier than my little one, just so I could have a little bit of me time every morning. I also like the idea of keeping a gratitude journal, such a great idea! Loved this post x

    Beauty with charm

  • I love waking up early just to have the house to myself for an hour or two before it becomes hectic!

    Lovely post!

    becca | beccagiveslove

  • This was such a happy and motivational post. Rise early is super important and every time I do that I’m so happy the rest of the day. And the gratitude jornal is an important one too, I always read that the people who do that is more happier than the ones who doesn’t do it. Thank you for the post! it was really helpful

    • Thank you so much Paula, I’m so happy that you like this post! Practicing gratitude is definitely something that’s life-changing. :)

  • Paula, I truly love these posts of yours, they are so helpful and so positive! I love to do light stretching but I also like to do a 5 or 10 minute meditation to set a happy tone to my day. I do my gratitude journal at night but I actually like the idea of doing it in the morning before your day has started. Maybe writing about what you’re already grateful for and see if that changes to include more at night? Anyway, great post, love it! XO -Kim

    • Aww thanks so much Kim! I’m so happy that you’re enjoying these posts! I practice gratitude at night too, right before I go to sleep I always thank for the best that happened that given day :)

  • Good tips!! I will also start drinking hot water with lemon! And I love the silence of early mornings!

  • Really enjoyed this post Paula! Gratitude journaling has had such a positive impact on my life over the past few years — whenever I’m feeling down I immediately reach for my journal, and I know it will always make me feel better about myself and my situation. I also drink lots of water first thing when I wake up, but I’ve never tried putting lemon in it! Must pick up some lemon tonight and give it a go tomorrow.

    x Krista

  • I definitely need to try rising a bit earlier, though it’s hard when the boyfriend is a full on night owl! One thing to try and change this year :) x

    Jasmin Charlotte

  • Naďa Černá

    Amazing rituals ! :)
    please follow my blog : THE COLORFUL THOUGHTS

  • Lisa Kristin

    I literally get up hours before I actually have to leave the house. There’s nothing that stresses me more than having to rush or being on a tight schedule. I set my alarm an hour before I want to get out of bed, and I usually got about an hour or two after I’ve finished getting ready to relax, read or do whatever :)

    Lisa x

  • I love this post – so refreshing!

    I started a gratitude journal in 2016 that is already filling up so fast – it’s so nice to tangibly see things and put my thoughts in to pen and paper rather than just thinking about them. Makes a world of difference!

    I have also been getting up really early (mostly due to jetlag), but I find myself walking down to the river for a morning stroll, having time to have proper breakfast and getting ready with time – so I feel really good for the day – make a really big impact! Thanks so much for sharing, loved this post! x

    Margarita Chi | MARGARITACHI.CO

    • Thanks so much Margarita! Oh I wish I could enjoy a morning walk down the river, sounds so nice and relaxing! So happy you liked this post!

  • Such a fresh and insightful post!

    This year is the year that I focus on myself and my wellbeing, my more selfish year if you will. I think its so important to take a step back and remember that YOU are important too, and even implementing smaller things into your life like these rituals, can be a huge help.

    I’ll definitely be trying my best to follow some of these, thank you!

    Isabelle |

    • Very well-said Isabelle! There’s nothing wrong with being a little selfish and taking care of yourself first. Thanks so much!

  • Meredith Foley

    Love this post! And love the positivity. So many great ideas to add to my daily routine. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you for this post, I need to start waking up earlier. I also started journaling more now, it’s nice to look back at my thoughts.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • These are great tips! Mornings can totally set the tone for the whole day so it’s important to start each day off right. Really lovely post!

    xo, Liz

  • Adalias C

    I need to get better at getting up early, I’m always panicking and rushing because I keep pressing the snooze button instead of just getting up xxx

  • I’m not a morning person at all but the days I do make an effort to get up earlier I tend to feel better for it! This was such a lovely, inspiring post! xx

  • Danielle Beautyblog

    I am not a morning person at all! I really want to start the water and lemon though and drink it while I get ready! But I’m usually too busy hitting snooze…

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

  • The Sunday Mode

    Love how you’re into Deepak Chopra and you’re spreading the word about gratitude and setting intentions, feels like finally someone is on the same wave length as me!

  • I have enjoyed reading this post. I am definitely not a morning person but ide like to be so that I can get things done and tick them off my list. x

  • My only morning ritual to start the day ahead is drinking a cup of hot coffee! Thanks for this inspiring post, I have a lot of work to do! ;)

  • The thing that makes me feel better is having a cup of green tea with my breakfast.

    Jenna | Beauty And The Style

  • Morning cuddles with my daughter while she talks and drinks a bottle of milk and I can get awake without a rush. This is so precious to me!

    Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Jenny M

    Every morning when I get up I make a big smoothie immediately, I then sit at my dressing table put on whatever series I’m currently watching and do my makeup. It encourages my to get up earlier so I have enough time to watch the full episode and I then have plenty of time get ready and drink my smoothie. A stress free, enjoyable way to get ready in the morning! xx

  • life is a shoe

    What a great post! I like the idea of a gratitude journal! thanks for sharing!


  • Gina Daily

    These are great suggestions! I just started doing water with lemon every day recently. I fall off the wagon when warm weather hits, though. I suppose I should just do it with iced water and lemon, but for some reason that doesn’t feel/taste as good to me!

    Gina || On the Daily Express

    • Thanks so much Gina! I definitely prefer the warm water version too, I don’t think that it works as well with cold water.

  • Samantha Frances

    Love this post! I am definitely not a morning person I hit snooze almost every day so I definitely need to apply some of these to my life! :) xxx

  • Love these tips, I already do a couple so I will be trying the new ones from tomorrow

  • love these rituals! I’m definitely not a morning person, so i could use these tips! I feel like to be successful you need to rise up early. And it’s definitely one of the new year resolutions!

  • Your rituals are so motivating. My days are kind of cranky. I sleep all day and wake up at night. I am a freelancer and building a proper routine is so hard for me. Dunno, what to do but yes, I do keep my fluids at level best with water. :)

    Chaste &

  • Deepti Karulkar

    This is such a great post! I really like all your posts!

    Deepti x

  • This is such a lovely post, Paula! I agree that getting up earlier with a positive mind makes a huge difference. Although having two small kids will never make the morning very peaceful but if I manage to shower and do my makeup when they’re still asleep I feel so much better. I also have been drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning and it definitely makes me feel more awake and feel better. x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  • Oh i need to try to get a more positive mind sight in the morning! I’m always so grumpy in the morning!!

  • amelousden

    Love this. I’ve adopted the daily gratitude this year. It’s so easy to dismiss what you have and focus on the negatives. Let’s hope I stick with it!

  • Blossom Onunekwu

    Gonna try the stepping on your dominant foot trick. I think I wake up early (9 is early, right?), but there’s always more things I can do to make the most out of mornings. Thanks!

  • I am not a morning person Paula, but I’m trying. The hot water and lemon thing almost made me puke (I hate hot/warm water) but I hear it’s so good for you.

    Nereyda│ This Girl Is Obsessed

  • I love this. I have convinced myself that I am not a morning person most of my life but actually I just didn’t have a productive morning routine. I’ve recently taken steps to remedy that and now I look forward to my alarm.

  • Optimistic Positive

    I really like it! How to define your dreams in order to make them come true? Check it out:

  • Love this! Being in school all week makes it soooo easy to sleep all weekend, however then I never get anything done and feel like I waste my weekends!

    Cloe X

  • The gratitude journal for me was a life changer, really turns your mindset around from focusing on the bad to focusing on the good things in your life. Great tips!
    Lisa x

  • I started listing down my happy things on a planner this year and it’s really a life changer. It makes me remind that there were good things that happened to me throughout the week. It makes me think that despite how shitty life can be sometimes, there will always be a lot of reasons to be happy and thankful for.

    I also think since I was in highschool that waking up early makes me feel that I’m going to do great things and it makes me think that I will be productive. :) I also drink water when I wake up with an empty stomach because of its benefits and since I’ve read this post, I’m planning to buy lemons for my water. Hihi :)

    Augustin Ra

  • Aimee

    A lovely read!! I’m really not a morning person but am trying to learn to be one as I have a 3 year old daughter who’s just started preschool and another on the way!! I hate being stressed and in a rush in the mornings. I’m definitely going to practice some of these tips!!

  • Wonderful ideas. I love it! Thank you so much.

    Greetings & Love

  • Sharon

    Great post! My morning ritual involves coffee. When I visit someplace wonderful, see a play I enjoy, or experience something great, I buy a coffee mug. I have quite a collection and when I open the cupboard first thing in the morning and see all the best experiences of my life, it’s a terrific way to start the day.

  • This is a great post! And the “foot” technique is very interesting…

  • This is such a great post, definitely going to try out some of these tips. Thank you for sharing. xx

  • Such a great post! I certainly should make a “morning routine” and this has given me some inspiration!

    Eva Ann ||

  • dawn@joyfulscribblings

    I love all of these ideas. I journal every morning and ready a little book called the Daily Word to help set the tone of my day. I also drink lemon water, but I like it cold better than hot followed by a hot cup of coffee.

  • Muslims also believe in starting anything with the right foot, we lean towards the right in eveyrthing, eating, sleeping, etc.

  • Amazing post Paula and very inspirational. I love mornings, fresh start to a new day, new beginnings, a chance to make a difference in my life and others. I’ve heard that hot water with lemon is very good for you and I absolutely need to start doing it. I’m pretty sure my body will thank me for it. This year, I decided to keep a jar and make notes of little and big things I’m thankful for each day. Can’t wait to read it at the end of the year ♡

    Alina |

    • Thank you so much Alina! I love mornings too- it’s probably my favorite time of day :) Gratitude jar sounds like an amazing idea! I might have to steal this one! :)

  • I love the idea of starting each day by thinking that it is going to be an amazing day! I totally agree that your morning can totally affect the rest of your day so why not have it be positive :)

  • #2, seriously needs to be tried! I always grab my phone for early day twitter XD

  • Wonderful post!! My morning ritual involves stretching; breathing; thinking of things I am grateful for; mixing up an almond milk, banana, tumeric, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla essence smoothie; and feeding/chatting to my cat after a lovely shower! If my partner is on ‘lates’ we also get to chat over a cup of tea/coffee before I leave for work!

  • These are all such great points! I’m working towards becoming a “morning person” myself this year, and am already noticing a huge difference. I’m also a fan of a “gratitude journal” of sorts – I keep a “happy moments” journal which is similar. Every single day I try to write down at least one thing that made me happy / something that I was grateful for on that particular day, and whenever I’m having a “down day” it can be so reinvigorating to go back and reread entries!

  • I love reading peoples morning rituals! I just started the hot lemon water a few days ago and love it :]

    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  • Emily

    I really need to try the hot water with lemon! I hear that so much. My morning ritual consists of COFFEE. ;)

    • If I don’t have my hot lemon water in the morning, I definitely feel like there’s something missing haha ;)

  • Great Post! I used to be a morning person back when I enjoyed starting my day…but I’ve come to realize that when you’re starting your day doing something you don’t love it’s hard to not press that snooze button to get a few extra minutes of sleep.

    I want to start my mornings on a good note being that I do want my days to go smoothly and more positive! I definitely want to start practicing a few of your morning rituals like the lemon water and setting my intentions for the day. Motivation and gratitude are key to accomplishing your goals and striving for something great!



  • I love your posts they’re so motivational, I really need to get my act together in the morning I’m like a slug!

  • Zara

    I am terrible in the mornings. I snooze several times because I always get to bed late then I jump out of bed with minutes to spare, jump in the shower, throw on some clothes and race to work with no makeup on. The start to my days are always so stressful and I am desperate to change this! Thanks for this post. I am going to try and change one thing per week and hope it makes a slow gradual difference.

    • I used to do the same thing haha :) I love early mornings now, it just makes me feel so happy and ready for the day.

  • I loved this post. The ‘right foot’ part got to me, since I’ve practiced ‘Kundalini awakening’ when I did yoga back in the day (need to start adding that to my daily routine again…)

    One thing though, I am so NOT a morning person *silent sob* how do you get yourself to wake up early and feel good…I just feel drowsy and sleepy, and usually end up napping in the middle of the day ;_;

    • Thank you Catherina! Above I linked to a post where I explained how I went from getting up very late to becoming a morning person :) It’s definitely doable :D

  • Abbigayle Warner

    love all these tips! . The first thing I do when i wake up is DRINK COFFEE :-)

    Abbigayle Warner

  • Tash

    I’m giving mornings a shot. After nearly 30 years of absolutely hating them, today I realised that (apart from the whole waking up bit) they’re pretty great! I got so much done in 2 hours before going to work I couldn’t believe it!

  • I really like to start my day with a cup of warm water with lemon. It helps to wake me up and I feel much healthier after that ;)

  • Mariana Vaz

    Starting the day with a good background music is also great, to see some positive quotes and photos on insta while taking our breakfast …..