Prevent skin cancer, promote anti-aging, and maintain a clearer complexion with this healthy skincare routine (+ product recs & supplements)!
| | |

7 Tips To Establish An Early Morning Routine

Share With A Friend

Increase productivity, improve mood, and achieve your goals with these 7 tips to establish an early morning routine.

YouTube player

I never liked getting up early. Even more horrifying than getting up early was the idea of getting up early to work out.

In fact, one of the most unpleasant memories I have from high school is early morning runs at my coach’s house during track season.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine
My dad was a cross country and track coach for years!

My dad (who also happened to be a coach) would have to drag me out of bed because never in a million years could I have gotten myself vertical of my own accord to do something as foolish as exercising before the sun was even up.

What my coach understood, however, was that in order to be the best you had to put in the work while everyone else was taking it easy.

That is probably why we won Leagues.

And then Districts.

And went to States.

And competed at the Penn Relays.

For several years in a row.

This same concept applies not only to sports, but to your relationships, your job, your health, and your general ability to feel satisfied in life.

More often than not you have to do the things you don’t feel like doing in order to get the thing you most want.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning routine

Let’s take a quick look at the reasons why becoming an early riser could help you get the life you want.

This research study found that early risers experienced greater professional success.

This research study found that early risers (those who routinely woke up between 4-7a) reported higher incomes, better health, and a greater sense of satisfaction with life than later risers.

Yet another research study found that early risers were significantly more proactive and productive.

And the encouraging news?

According to this report of successful early morning risers only 50% claimed to be a morning person by nature while the other half reported that they learned to become one.

I would fall in the later half of that report, and let me tell you, if I can do it then YOU can surely do it too.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine
And all Gods people said, “Amen.”

2 years ago when I started blogging I was still working in the emergency department as a nurse practitioner, the assistant medical director for the stroke program, and full-time mom to a kindergartner, a 4 year old, and a 1 year old.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine
Look at those sweet, crazy, busy babies.

Blogging started out as a fun hobby to share our family’s fixer upper adventures, and it was the creative outlet that I didn’t know I needed.

I fell in love with the world of digital scrap booking, but I quickly discovered that the only quiet time I had to write blog posts was first thing in the morning before my kids were up.

So instead of getting up at 7a to get Gracie ready for school I started setting my alarm to 6:20 am Monday – Friday.

Such a random time, but it carved out just enough of the day to make a cup of coffee in our Keurig machine, 10 minutes to read my Bible and chat with Jesus, and 20+ minutes of quiet productivity before the troops descended.

I was inconsistent at best, but imperfect progress is better than no progress at all.

This one is my early riser. Caleb’s body clock has been waking him up between 630-7 am every morning since he was a baby.

I loved my early morning routine so much that a couple months later I pushed the clock back even more. For about a year I got up Monday-Friday morning at 5:50am.

Fast forward to last summer. We were settled into our 3rd fixer upper, a novel virus shut down the world, and in the midst of it all I was seeing steady growth (and income) blogging and expanded my expertise into the world of virtual fitness and nutrition coaching.

During this time I was routinely working out in the afternoon as I had done for my whole life. After 8 years of sports, I was mentally conditioned to exercise in the afternoon, but between work and kids my workouts were becoming unpredictable and haphazard.

The FASTer Way to Fat Loss With Ahna

When I became a fitness coach I determined that if I was going to ask my clients and followers to embrace the struggle of transformation and new habits to cultivate a lifestyle of wellness, then I needed to do the same.

I pushed my alarm back even earlier to make exercise part of my morning routine and committed to sharing the unflattering, real-life hyper lapsed videos of said workouts Mon-Fri in IG stories because success should be emboldened by the day to day grind and not just the curated highlight reels.

Next to loving Jesus and drinking copious amounts of coffee, establishing an early morning routine is decidedly the best thing I have ever done for myself.

It took me two years of trial and error to get a productive and consistent routine figured out, but now I wake up at 5 am Monday – Saturday, and I have never felt better.

I am going to share with you 7 tried and true tips to establish an early morning routine to TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE.

Remember – imperfect progress is still progress.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

#1. Invest in a sunrise alarm


A sunrise alarm simulates the gradual light of a sunrise. The light turns on approximately 30 minutes prior to the alarm clock sounding and gets gradually brighter.

A practical advantage to a sunrise alarm is that when you tap the button to turn off the alarm the light remains on which makes it easier to get dressed without having to turn the overhead light on and wake a sleeping spouse.

Tap twice and the light turns off as well.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

#2. Place the alarm clock ACROSS the room.


You snooze you lose. Quite literally. The research studies that I mentioned above quoted several correlations to a person’s reported success to hitting the snooze button.

On average those who routinely hit the snooze button make less money and report less overall satisfaction in life.

I CANNOT stress the importance of this tip. Notice how the location of my alarm clock forces me to get out of bed and walk around said bed to turn it off.


Another vital tip to go along with the first two is stop sleeping with your phone in your room.

There are so many benefits of keeping technology out of the bedroom, but for the sake of this article, many people set their phone on a night stand and use the alarm to wake up, but it is way to easy to roll over and turn it off (been there).

If you must have your phone in the room at night, then set it across the room as I have done with my alarm clock.

Read this article on 13 Tips to Sleep Better at Night for more info.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

#3. Gradually and consistently wake up earlier.


The mistake that many make is they jump head first into an earlier wake up time instead of slowly and gradually letting the body adjust to this rude awakening.

Friends, if you are not a morning person by nature the struggle is real, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Even now every morning at 5 am my body goes into a state of shock as I extricate myself from my amazing Boll and Branch flannel sheets and our plush Kingsdown mattress that feels like you’re sinking into a big, squishy cloud.

<sigh> I love sleeping.

But this shocked state softens with time and practice as your body adjusts. Instead of turning back your alarm 1 hr earlier on Mondays and Wednesdays, turn it back 20 minutes earlier Monday – Friday.

If you are going to bed too late, then consider adding these minutes to bedtime the night before.

Gradually work your way back to the time of the morning that you can maintain and still feel rested.

Another reason for this is that the body’s circadian rhythm prefers a consistent bedtime and wake up time. I am not super consistent about my bedtime (usually 9-10p), but I am very consistent about my wake up time.

It makes a difference. If you want to get up early, then be as consistent as possible.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

#4. Set out clothes the night before.

These are my favorite workout pants in the world.

Remember how I mentioned that my alarm clock is on my dresser? Well, every night I set out my workout clothes beside my alarm clock.

I saw a direct correlation to the likelihood of successfully staying out of bed to whether or not I had to think about putting an outfit together.

Make the first couple minutes of your morning routine so robotic that consciousness remains optional.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

#5. Create some joy.

early morning routine tips

It is no secret that I have had a passionate love affair with coffee for years.

In fact, I just mentally counted, and we have 9 coffee machines in our coffee bar as we speak.

  1. Cuisinart Automatic Grind and Brew
  2. Nespresso Latissima Plus Automated Espresso Maker (see my full review here)
  3. Keurig Machine
  4. Coffee Urn for large groups
  5. 2 extra coffee machines (in case of the coffee maker apocalypse)
  6. Stove Top Italian Espresso Maker
  7. Milk Frothing Wand
  8. Immersion Blender for my Whipped Iced Coffee recipe (a summer staple)
  9. Electric Milk Frother (this is sitting in my cart as we speak)

[show_boutique_widget id=”1041766″]

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

If you love coffee, then we would be honored if you would consider buying coffee through Gobena Coffee to help us cover the costs of our adoption!

And Gobena Coffee has become our GO TO coffee not only because buying it raises money for our adoption, but also because it is truly some of the smoothest coffee I have ever tasted. So much so that I stopped using creamer because I didn’t need it.


The point is this.

Coming downstairs to my cold, dark kitchen at 5 am each morning is infinitely better when I am coming down to freshly ground and brewed coffee that I love.

So much so in fact that early on when I would forget to set up the coffee the night before, and I would come down to realize there was no coffee ready I would end up asleep on the couch until Caleb woke up.

Crap, there’s no coffee. What idiot gets up at 5 in the morning anyway. Good grief, it is cold in here. Whew I’m tired. Ah, this blanket is soft.

<me sound asleep on the couch>

Once in a rare while I still forget to set up coffee the night before, but now I am much more resilient in my unconscious phase and rarely ever fall back asleep on the couch.


Maybe it’s lighting a candle. Maybe it’s playing some music. Maybe it’s hot tea.

Whatever brings you that extra spark of joy in the morning to keep you up long enough to gain consciousness, then infuse it early on into your routine.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

#6. Designate phone free time.

I had to WORK at this one because it was breaking a habit that had been formed over years of waking up and scrolling through my phone first thing.

Even though I didn’t have any social media until I started blogging 2 years ago I would still open it and check my emails. Now with a job that is fully virtual I had to force myself to block time in the morning that wasn’t wasted falling down the hole of mindless social scrolling.

So here is what I did.

I used my phone to block schedule not just my work day but also my morning routine. My phone stays on my desk all night charging.

7 Tips to Establish an Early Morning Routine

After I pour myself coffee I sit down at my desk and light a candle.

Do NOT spend this time on a couch or somewhere you can lay back down. Make sure it is a CHAIR. Trust me on this one. Ha.

I spend time reading and praying.

I was recently interviewed by Authority Magazine (you can read it here), and in the interview I was asked to give my advice on how to optimize holistic well-being.

You better believe that phone free time was on the top of that list.

A simple strategy to maximize this quiet phone free time to prevent one from falling back asleep in the morning is to buy a blank journal and spend 15 minutes each morning writing down 5 things you are grateful for from the day before. Read religious texts. Pray. Meditate.

Be still.

In our technological world, we have lost the art of being still. My generation and those to come will have to fight for mental and emotional well-being like never before.

I have a phone alarm set for 5:25 am which is then my permission to open my phone and laptop.


I spend 20 minutes stacking that morning’s blog post to social media, answering DMs, comments etc until my next alarm goes off at 545a. That’s my cue to wrap it up and start my workout.

If your goal is to workout in the morning, take it slow and BUILD UP TO IT. Allow yourself some time to regain consciousness.


#7. Determine a clear purpose.

I have been journaling prayers and conversations with Jesus since I was 8. I have a plastic bin filled with journals detailing His incredible faithfulness in my life.

We have all heard the quote “Passion fuels purpose,” but I believe that more often than not it is purpose that more effectively fuels passion.

Passion, or feelings, come and go and make for a fickle master.

When your decisions are grounded in a clear purpose, centered on a purpose-driven “why,” you will be more resilient to the shifting sands of emotion.

What is it that you want in life? Be specific.

Now what is holding you back from that goal?

Strategically establish a morning routine that will get you closer to your goal. Your why.


For me it was twofold.

In my busyness, I was lacking quality quiet time with Jesus to support my emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, and I was lacking a consistent workout routine to support my physical well-being.

Coffee and this “why” is what made it happen.

I want my children to remember me as a woman who didn’t waste her life. Who was willing to do things she didn’t “feel” like doing in order to achieve something infinitely better.

I hope these tips are helpful to establish your own early morning routine as it is one of the single greatest strategies to reclaiming heart and home.

If you have any questions I would love to help you. Truly. Drop them in the comments below or shoot me a message.

What is your favorite early morning routine?

Ahna Fulmer Signature

Pin any of the images below for later


Shop my home

[show_boutique_widget id=”1041834″]

Share With A Friend

Similar Posts


  1. Hello! I found your blog via the WWbloghop. So inspiring to read about your adoption! Praying it all goes well ??.

    These tips are great and will definitely help me out! It’s been hard to get up and go on my days off! I also have had trouble not lying down on the couch and falling asleep every day when I get home from work ? . But I feel like a lot of these tips will translate well for that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *