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10 morning habits geniuses use to jump-start their day—and how you can, too

Woman writing in her journal as part of her morning habits

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Summary: Your morning habits can make or break anything. Explore these 10 simple practices to help you unlock your full potential for a more productive life.

Are you tired of starting your day feeling rushed and unprepared? We’ve all been there—hitting snooze on 10 alarms, rushing through the shower, and barely making it out the door with our shoes tied.

But what if you could transform the start of your days? The secret: it all starts with your morning habits. 

As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” And with the right morning habits, you can start your day off on the right foot every single day.

Why are good habits important in the morning?

From your thoughts to your interactions, your morning routine could set the tone for the rest of your day. In fact, studies show that doing so can help you feel less anxious and stressed. And by creating good habits, you can gain control over your life and become more focused and productive.

As Jim Kwik, a brain performance expert and trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest, says, “First you make your habits, then your habits make you.” So why not use your morning to build the best version of yourself?

Adding a few good habits after waking can even help you improve your sleep schedule. According to a 2020 statistic, more than 60% of Americans rarely wake up feeling energized and ready to go.

So if you feel like you’re always waking up on the wrong side of the bed, it might be time to start developing some healthy morning habits.

Tips to develop morning habits

When it comes to creating morning habits that work for you, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s like trying on clothes; what looks good on one person may not flatter another.

But don’t let that discourage you. Finding the right morning routine is a journey worth taking. And as with any journey, it helps to have a few landmarks along the way to guide you in the right direction.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Get to know your chronotype. Are you a bear? Or a dolphin? Maybe a wolf? Or a lion? You can take a quiz to understand your body’s natural rhythms. By doing so, it’ll help you determine the best time to set your alarm, so you can wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
  • Make sure you’re getting deep sleep. It’s easy to think that the more hours you spend in bed, the better. But quality matters, too. Deep sleep is where the magic happens, so prioritize getting enough of it to wake up feeling like a superhero.
  • Decide your goals. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” and “What can I do each morning to move closer to my dreams?” When you start your day with intention, you’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make.
  • Introduce one habit at a time. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Don’t try to change everything at once, but take it one step at a time. Give yourself a few weeks to see how it works for you. It’s better to do a few things consistently than to try to do too much and get overwhelmed.

Now, if you’re interested in getting more ideas for your morning habits, Jim has a regimen that can give you a serious boost. And it’s definitely worth taking a look to get a taste of his morning magic.

10 morning habits to power up your day

Jim’s got some great ideas to help you level up your morning game. Here are 10 habits that he recommends including in your daily routine to get you started.

Infographic of morning habits

1. Remember your dreams

Writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up is a habit that Jim highly encourages. It’s such a simple practice, yet it has a significant impact on your life. 

When you’re working all day and learning all day, your brain doesn’t shut off at night. It’s actually more active, and it’s coming up with solutions and integrating stuff in the form of dreams.

— Jim Kwik, trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest

Your dreams can reveal your deepest desires, fears, and concerns. Sometimes, they may even provide you with solutions to problems that you’re struggling with in your waking life.

This habit can help unlock the hidden messages that your subconscious mind may be trying to convey to you. And that’s why it’s important to pay attention to it.

2. Make your bed

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” That’s the advice of U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven in a 2014 commencement address at the University of Texas, Austin. 

Granted, it might seem like a mundane task, but making your bed is one of the morning habits of successful people for a reason. By doing so, you’re starting the day with a small accomplishment, which sets the tone for the rest of the day. 

It’s an easy way to begin your day with a positive mindset and feel more put together. As Jim says, “How you do anything is how you do everything.

In fact, studies have shown that people who make their beds are more productive, more likely to exercise regularly, and better at sticking to a budget. This is because when you create a clean and tidy environment, your brain perceives it as a signal to focus on the task at hand, which helps with productivity.

But wait, there’s more. A made bed can give you a sense of calm and relaxation, which can help reduce stress levels. It’s also a simple way to show respect for your living space and take responsibility for your environment.

3. Drink water

Your brain is made up of 80% water, and during the night, it gets dehydrated. Drinking water first thing in the morning can help rehydrate the organ and improve your cognitive function, memory, and energy levels.

Jim suggests drinking one or two glasses of water when you wake up to kickstart your day. You can even add some lemon or cucumber slices to make it more refreshing and flavorful.

This habit can help you feel more alert and focused throughout the day. It’s a super simple way to set yourself up for some morning inspiration and success.

4. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand

Brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand may seem like an odd habit, but according to Jim, it can actually have some benefits beyond just clean teeth. It helps activate the opposite side of your brain, which can then help create new neural pathways and connections.

These new connections can enhance your brain’s ability to process information and help you become more coordinated and ambidextrous over time. Additionally, it can be a fun and playful way to start your day, as it challenges you to think differently and try something new.

It’s important to note that this habit may take some getting used to and may feel awkward at first. However, with practice, it can become a natural part of your morning habit and a small step towards greater brain plasticity and development.

5. Deep breathing exercise

Imagine waking up, feeling energized, and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. You take a deep breath, and… wait, why is it so hard to catch your breath?

You might be experiencing a lack of oxygen in your brain. When the organ doesn’t get its beloved O2, it can lead to mental fatigue and brain fog, which can make it difficult to focus and think clearly. 

There is, thankfully, a simple solution to this problem: breathwork. By taking a few minutes each morning to do some deep breathing exercises, you can supply your brain with the oxygen it needs to function at its best.

6. Make tea

Taking a few minutes in the morning to prepare a warm and nourishing cup of tea, just like Jim does, can be a great way to start your day. 

He says, “I make what I call a ‘brain tea’,” which has gotu kola, ginkgo biloba, and lion’s mane. “It has some essential fatty acids that are there, really good ingredients that boost my focus and my memory.

But it’s not just about the nutritional benefits of tea. Taking some time to prepare and enjoy it can also be a moment of mindfulness and relaxation—an act of self-love, if you will.

7. Journaling

As the saying goes, “count your blessings.” And what better time to do so than right in the morning, when your heart is open and your mind is calm? 

Jim takes advantage of his tea time to reflect on what he’s grateful for. But it’s not just Jim who benefits from this practice; studies have shown that regularly expressing gratitude can lead to lower levels of stress, greater happiness, and improved relationships.

And if you’re having difficulty finding things to be grateful for (let’s face it, it happens), morning motivation quotes may give you the burst of wisdom you need to get your focus back.

8. Morning exercise

Ah, morning exercise—it’s one of those things that we know we should do but often have trouble finding the motivation to actually get it done. Here’s the truth, though: even just a few minutes of movement can make a difference in how you feel throughout the day.

And you don’t have to be a fitness guru to do it. In fact, Jim recommends just three to four minutes of exercise every morning. That’s it!

Now, you might be thinking, “Three to four minutes? That’s nothing.” Some jumping jacks, push-ups, or yoga are enough to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. And as Jim likes to say, “What is good for your heart is also good for your head.”

That’s right—as your heart rate goes up, it sends more blood to your brain and all your other organs. This means you’ll have more energy and focus to tackle whatever the day throws your way.

9. Brain power smoothie

If you really want to give your brain a boost, try out what Jim likes to call a “brain power smoothie.” 

There are certain foods that are really great for your brain,” he explains. And the ingredients he throws into the smoothie can do wonders for your cognitive function.

  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 handful of green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale)
  • A small handful of walnuts (soaked overnight)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1-2 cups of nut milk of choice or coconut water

It’s a pretty simple (and delicious!) way to level up your morning habits and give your brain the nutrients it needs to function at its best. 

What’s more, you can customize it to your liking by using different fruits, vegetables, or superfoods. Just be sure to use a high-powered blender so that all the ingredients are fully blended and smooth.

10. Daily reading

Leaders are readers,” according to Jim, and he’s got a point. Reading is not only a great way to start the day, but it’s also an essential ingredient for personal growth and development.

Jim knows it well. He’s been a voracious reader for as long as he can remember. In fact, he attributes much of his success to the books he’s read over the years. 

But reading isn’t just about gaining knowledge; it’s also a great way to “travel” to different worlds and universes. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to start their day by visiting Hogwarts or taking a journey through Middle-earth?

Whether you prefer fiction or nonfiction, taking some time every morning to read a few pages of a book can do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being. It can also help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.

If you’re not sure where to start, you can start with the must-read personal development books. Or articles, especially those on the perfect morning routine.

Great transformation starts with a great morning routine

Rise and shine! It’s time to take charge of your life and make the most of your potential. And what better way to start than with a killer morning routine?

But if you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, don’t worry—Mindvalley has got your back. With transformational quests like Superbrain with Jim Kwik, you can: 

  • Tap into a wealth of knowledge,
  • Take care of your brain,
  • Read faster and retain more, and
  • Unlock your unlimited potential.

But that’s not all. By signing up for a free account, you’ll also have access to selected daily meditations. These powerful practices can help you cultivate calm, focus, and clarity and make meditation a natural part of your everyday routine.

So why wait? Your transformation doesn’t have to start tomorrow, next week, or next year. It can start today, and your future self will thank you for it.

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Written by

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.
Picture of Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.
Jim Kwik, brain performance coach
Expertise by

Jim Kwik is a brain coach and a world expert in speed reading, memory improvement, and optimal brain performance.

Known as the “boy with the broken brain” due to a childhood injury, Jim discovered strategies to dramatically enhance his mental performance.

He is now committed, through programs like Mindvalley’s Superbrain and Speed Reading Quest, to helping people improve their memory, learn to speed-read, increase their decision-making skills, and turn on their superbrain.

He has also shared his techniques with Hollywood actors, Fortune 500 companies, and trailblazing entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Richard Branson to reach their highest level of mental performance. He is also one of the most sought-after trainers for top organizations like Harvard University, Nike, Virgin, and GE.

How we reviewed this article
Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.


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Fact-Checking: Our Process

Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.