My Morning Routine – In Real Life (this is a ‘no aspirational high-achievers’ zone).


We read so much about morning routines and not much of that has sunk in for me – except for a couple of things. Who are these cray-cray get up at 5am for a cup of calming herbal tea, bum on cushion for meditation, then out for energising run types? I’ve never met one.

But I am really interested in other people’s routines, what works, what doesn’t – and I’m just a bit of a sticky beak for details really. I get my fix of other peoples routines through Madeleine Dore’s ‘Extraordinary Routines’ blog. She writes about all sorts of people’s routines and rituals – perfect for a sticky-nose like me.

This week she wrote about Ken Done’s routine, for The Design Files. I just find these tiny details about other people really fascinating. Who would have thought that Ken Done swims every day? Or that he has a gnome in his studio that farts when the door closes? I love that I know this about him.

But, if the truth be known, I get a bit depressed about other people’s routines because mine is just all over the shop. I have actually implemented a couple of lovely things that have made a significant difference to the way my day is framed. I’m going to share my morning routine, warts and all, so you know for sure that I am not one of those ommm-ing while the sun rises. 

5.30 – My husbands alarm goes off, snooze button goes on.

5.39 – repeat

5.45ish – my husband gets up. I roll over and go back to sleep (unless a particular small child crawls in with me)

6.20ish – my love brings me a cup of tea in bed. Well, it’s more like a bowl of tea. I need a lot of tea to face the world with a smile. He hops back in with his rather large cup of tea also, and he brings in his breakfast. We chat about the day ahead, or the day before, or just stuff. It’s a nice quiet time to connect.

cuppa image updated

These two are my not negotiables for the morning.

6.45 – 7.00 – My son usually wakes up and my husband leaves for work. My son and daughter have some sort of wrestle on the bed, I get annoyed so leave the bed and offer food to lure them away. (It works every time – boys are always hungry!)

7.15 – I do my Morning Pages. I’ve written about these before (you can read that here). But since writing about them a while ago, I’ve added something to it. I now write three things that I am thankful for at the very start. It can be so general, or so small (often I am just thankful that my three year old slept the whole night) but it doesn’t matter how small it is, because it sets the mood for the day. When I close that computer at the end of my Morning Pages, I close it knowing that I have at least three things to be thankful for in my life.

The other thing Morning Pages does for me is clear my mind of niggles. It irons out the creases in my head, if something has been bothering me it usually ends up on the page; and I usually walk away from it feeling it’s resolved. Sometimes, of course, it’s not that simple but more often than not, it is.

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The final BIG thing that Morning Pages has helped me see is that I could possibly, if I wanted to (and I do want to) write a book. I used to use the website 750words but if I missed a day I would get all angsty and felt like I was letting someone down – it just felt a bit too ‘Big Brother’ to me.

So now I just write in a word document with the date at the start of each entry. You are actually meant to write long-hand, but I’m too impatient for that. I started a new file for 2016 and I have written just under 29,000 words! In half a year, just ten or fifteen minutes a day – and not even everyday (kids’ weekend sport has killed Morning Pages on Saturdays and Sundays).

Imagine if I had a plan, and dedicated a bit more time than 10 or 15 minutes, four or five mornings a week. Imagine if I really committed to the idea of producing a book. Morning Pages showed me that this is entirely possible. I think that this is pretty powerful.

So my massive cup (bowl) of tea in bed with the love of my life, and my Morning Pages are the two things that make all the difference to my morning routine. Somewhere in amongst that my nine-year old wakes and (bless her) gets herself some food. After my Morning Pages are done – all I can say about the routine is that somehow all those who are present are fed, clean (mostly) and delivered to school or creche or playgroup, or wherever they need to be.

I want to wake earlier so I can fit other things in to the morning (like a bit of yoga or some time on my exercise bike). I just downloaded an app which is an alarm that goes off with birds singing and it emits a light that is meant to mimic the sun rising. Queensland readers wouldn’t need this because the sun really does rise so early there.

When I visited my brother in Currumbin the sun woke me up between five and half five, and even though I was on holiday (so didn’t have children to get off to school, or work looming) by 10am it felt like lunch time and I glimpsed the possibilities that a little extra time in the morning would afford.

So Madeline Dore’s work is most definitely having a positive impact on my life, but it’s still very much a work in progress. I’d love to hear about some of your morning routines. Is there something you do every morning that makes your life better?


  1. says

    I do the get up at 5am and go for a run!! LOL!
    I’m gonna check those websites out for sure. And yep you could totally write a book! 😃

    • collette says

      So you really do exist! Actually Edie, I was reading your blog yesterday and read the How to Start Running page – I’d like to do that. I’ve downloaded and deleted the C25K app a couple of times (and failed). I’ll definitely blog about getting up at 5 and going for a run, if I ever make it!

  2. jenny says

    Love this, tell me that app…sounds awesome! I spend way too much time in bed with my 3 kids in the morning…i love it but its then its a panic to get to school on time. We have just decided that we will keep it until weekends. My eldest daughter told me that she loves when the radio is on and there is activity in the kitchen when she gets up, then it made me remember the same feeling, when id come home from uni at the weekend and id wake up to the sound of my mam on the phone or listening to the radio while shouting out the door at the postman, it felt so lovely, i dont know why. So, as of next term im up early, before kids, with radio on and ill shout out to the postman from time to time!

    • collette says

      The app is called Light Wake – I’ve just used it once, but plan to set it up again. The device needs to be plugged in on charge as it used a lot of the battery. Those bed cuddles are so lovely I can see how it would make you late. How gorgeous about the kitchen noise – so lovely that she can articulate that. The radio on – it creates such an ambience doesn’t it. I might introduce that too.

  3. says

    I have just started morning pages (not always in the morning though) I am writing long hand and it feels so arduous. I might start using the computer. I also have relatives in Currumbin and I love it up there when I visit. The days start early and end early and the beach brings such lovely calmness to my days there.

    • collette says

      It took me a bit to get used to doing them, but now I find I rely on them. If I miss a few days in a row I get a bit tetchy! Doing them on the computer works just as well for me, better in fact because I was getting annoyed with how long it was taking me. Currumbin is the best, I love it – it’s like being in a little country town. I wish I could bring those sunrises down to Melbourne though.

  4. says

    I too have great plans – not realised often. I reckon you wake up very early as it is! I am more a 7am waker – occasionally 6.45 if I am super organised and get myself up for a 20 min run (which is the ideal but rarely the reality). I’m a sucker for long cuddles with my kids which does slow us down. I do manage my green smoothie which is the one thing I’ve maintained (six months now) You’ve got me thinking though – my husband gets up early because he starts at 7am. If he woke me, maybe I could fit these other steps in. Means going to bed early – and there’s the struggle!

    • collette says

      If you get up early, you’ll naturally go to bed early. You’ll just be ready. But if the truth be known, if there were no children and no responsibilities I’d sleep till 10 every day. Have always been a sleepy head, but just gave up on it. But now, I’m not sure I could waste the morning. Try that early wake up call – could mean a cuppa in bed!

  5. says

    I loved this post and have been meaning to come back and comment since I first saw it.

    My morning routine changed dramatically this year and is undergoing another major change now. I plan on creating a whole new routine and hope to have enough time to incorporate all the things I want to do in the morning… Meditation is something that’s been part of my morning for a huge part of my life but has been missing over the last 6 months so I plan on getting that back into my mornings firstly… I also hope to do some sort of movement like yoga/walk and also something creative, writing/craft. You’ve definitely inspired me to try the morning pages again, I did it for a short time but it never stuck. That’s the plan anyway, we’ll see how it turns out in reality!

    I’m so going to find that alarm app, sounds like the best alarm ever!

    • collette says

      The app is called Light Wake – it’s free on the app store. It’s pretty cool. I think I need to do a meditation course, I can’t seem to master it. I’d love to incorporate all the things you plan to but while my kids are so young I don’t think it will happen. One day though. I manage to squeeze in the Morning Pages as I get so much out of it so I make sure it happens (on most days). Establishing the routine took some time though so I’d say definitely persevere. x

  6. says

    Love this insight into your morning Collette and yes – it is SO possible to write a book with even just a short amount of time each day. That’s how I did it. I keep a daily dairy but I write it at the end of the day and by hand. I’d love to know how many words I’ve written in diary entries over the years! xx

    • collette says

      How is your book going? I admire you for having the impetus to write at the end of each day. I’m good for only tea and chocolate once my kids are asleep. When I first started doing Morning Pages I’d do them at night, and I kept either forgetting or not be able to muster the energy to do it. So morning it is for me!

What are you thoughts?