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Here’s something I’m curious about: Are you a morning person? Or a night owl? Does one of those groups dominate among knitters? I don’t even have a prediction about this! Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see what conclusions can be drawn.

Either way, whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, a morning routine can give you a good start to the day. And you know what they say: Start as you mean to go on. For morning people, a routine is a way to make the most of the best hours of the day. For the not-so-early inclined, a routine can dial down the impact a little, and ease you into the day with some bubble wrap for the sharp edges. 

Everyone likes a routine—except for a rebel. Rebels tell me they hate routine. And I believe them, but … everyone can benefit from a morning routine, even a rebel. If that’s you, invite your inner rebel to read along now. There’s something here for her, too. Let’s begin.

Suggestions for creating a morning routine

Step 1: Do not start by asking Senior Manager Google how to create a morning routine. 

See, already we have something for the rebels. It is so easy to create a morning routine that the first action we take is a non-action! 

If you Google for suggestions, it’s just going to get you a stack of job productivity hacks. This is self-care, not employer-care, so we’ll leave the career-oriented tips to another, less knitterly outlet. The morning routine I have in mind is primarily for your benefit, not your employer’s. 

Step 2: Ask yourself, what is this morning routine actually for

Is it for serenity? Is it for ease? Is it for getting organized? 

Is it to make sure that the best hours of the day are used for the highest good? Is it to make sure the worst hours of the day pass in relative painlessness? 

Is it, in fact, for productivity? That would be okay, too, if it’s productivity for you or if it pays well. Or both!

Depending on what would care for you, here are some candidates to consider:

  • anything that lifts your mood, that feels good while you’re doing it. Perhaps yoga or meditation. Perhaps kickboxing.
  • anything that will lift your mood and feel good when it’s done, even if not during. I don’t love cleaning the bathroom, but I love having a clean bathroom.
  • anything that’s simply got to be done every day and is better gotten out of the way first thing. See “bathroom, cleaning the” above.
  • anything that, if done every day, accumulates into a big result (could be an object, could be a skill …). Soooo many candidates. So many sweaters!
  • anything that’s going to get you well set up for later. Like a glance at the calendar. Nothing is more flustering than missing appointments, and nothing could be easier than checking. But we’ve all got things that actually have to be made part of a routine, or they won’t be remembered. The calendar check is mine.

Step 3: Trial your routine. 

There’s a thing that can happen with morning routines, and you’ve either spotted the problem here or run into it in real life: A routine can get kind of long. If you do even a fraction of what they tell you is good to do first thing in the morning, you’re going to run out of morning pretty quick and be well into the afternoon. Not the outcome we’re shooting for. 

So whether you’re starting from scratch, or your morning routine has gotten stale and is due for a refresh, start with a trial. 

A routine isn’t a routine until it is in fact, you know: routine. Until you can roll out of bed and just kind of do it. By definition, it’s not a routine on Day 1. 

So begin with something provisional and see what you think. Evaluate the routine before you evaluate your performance of it. If something isn’t performing, 86 it!

If the inner rebel is very activated right now …

One more thing for the rebels here. It’s a gnarly thing to talk about and it’s also your bonus goldmine. If the good people at MDK HQ trusted me with design matters, I would put a 90s style marquee of dancing butterflies around this paragraph. (You’re wondering right now why they don’t trust me with the design, aren’t you?) Okay so no marquee, but just know: BONUS GOLDMINE for you to dig here:

When we say things like I can’t be told what to do! I can’t be told what to do every day! I can’t be held to a routine! I need to be free!, we’re having a good healthy rebellious impulse. And yet. That impulse might be slightly misdirected. 

There are times we don’t want to do things that would be good for us because it might also be good for someone else. Someone who wants us to do things that are good for us, so they can say I told you so. That is a BIG DRAG and a BIG reason stopping people doing things that would make them happy.

I am the world’s oldest living Gen Xer and mother of some of the oldest living Millennials. As such, both I and even my very youngest kid are old enough to have had schoolteachers who were old enough to be those gloating told-ya-so types. Or maybe that person you never want to please is a parent or older sibling or the neighborhood busybody. That type of person is really not uncommon.  

But so what? Rebel friends, consider that doing what’s right for you is a very high form of rebellion indeed. Contemplate that.

Anyway, nobody has to know that you are winning Morning Routine.

Next time we’ll talk about creating an evening routine because as you might already know, morning begins at night.

More on routines:

In Case of Emergency: Don’t Break Glass

Image: Flowers of a Hundred Worlds (Momoyogusa): Morning Glories (Asagao), 1909-10. Kamisaka Sekka. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund. Public domain.

About The Author

Max Daniels is a research-based life coach whose weekly emails make us laugh with recognition and rethink everything we thought we knew.

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  • Definitely morning person, it’s 5:15AM!

  • My intention is to ‘create before I consume’. So while my coffee is brewing, I sit in the rocking chair in my softly lit kitchen and I knit a few rounds or rows depending. This is typically between 5 and 5:30 am. I use this time to run my day through my mind. I read some emails, feel my surroundings, and say Thank you.

  • Interesting. I’m taking a free course through Yale on the Science and Practice of Happiness. I haven’t learned anything new, it hasn’t made me happier, but what I’ve recognized is that I was already doing the things that make me happy. So I’ve recently set a new routine to help me appreciate and truly see why I am so happy. It is the simple stuff.

  • Morning person, but not a 5am person like those first two comments! My preferred time is 6-7am.

  • Another Janet that is a morning person.

    My alarm goes off at 3am but I am already awake most of the time. I get dressed, pull my lunch and breakfast out of the fridge and drive to work. Since it is tax season, I start work at 4am and typically put in a 10 plus hour day, six days a week. I look forward to Sunday to have extended knitting time.

    • This is my first year without tax season in 42 years! The freedom is wonderful! But thank you for all you do.
      My morning still starts early but feeding my horses and walking my dog. It is the best start to the day for me. Once the barn is organized for the day, then coffee, knit and email. Everyday I am thankful.

  • Definitely a morning person. I start my day with some knitting, and work on more difficult knitting midmorning. By 4:00pm, anything more difficult has to put aside or frogged the next morning.

  • Morning person. My dogs have all been morning persons, and they’ve taught me the value of getting up and getting it done.

  • Must do NYT Spelling Bee every morning. Do not (usually) give myself permission to get out of bed until I reach the Genius level. Then I know the synapses are still connecting. Number 2 on the list: read MDK morning missive.

    • Is that an app?

    • HA! Me too but I strive for the Queen Bee status!! And I’ve learned so many new words.

      • Queen Bee status?????? I didn’t know there was such a thing! Meh to Genius, Queen Bee it is!

    • Another morning person here. I wait for first light to walk the dog – typically on the beach and watch the sun rise. Truly the best way to start the day – then I head to my favorite coffee shop for a vanilla latte. Depending on weather and schedule – I pull over and enjoy my coffee looking at the waves and listening to my audible – shower, feed dog, hit the home office to start the work day……my knitting is part of my evening routine – a reward!

  • I’ve had to have a morning routine for most on my life. Since retiring 5 years ago, I am blessedly free of routine.

  • Morning 🙂

  • I have always been a morning person. I am up before 5 and often up at 4. In the winter I light a scented candle and enjoy the”me” time. In the spring, summer, and fall I head into the garden at sunrise weather permitting. I try to unplug for a couple of hours every morning. I check my calendar before I head into the shower and if it is jam packed I block a couple of 15 minute breaks and look at emails and the news after my shower.

  • Morning person here. BTW, I love the bamboo-ivy-morning-glory print that accompanies this article, and wonder who the artist is.

    • I love it also. It is called Morning Glories (Asagao) and the artist and museum are listed at the end of the column below “More On Routines”.

      • Thank you!

  • definitely night owl. it’s after 3:30 am here and i’m still reading. but good night soon, see you around noon.

    • Night owl here, too. Usually get to sleep about 2 am, now that I’m an empty nester. I keep trying to dial it back, but it never happens. I only drink decaf coffee and cut it off at 1pm. Take melatonin and valerian root before bed just to be able to feel sleepy. I am reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and he says society is rather unfair to night owls, since it’s strongly determined by genetics.

    • Oh thank goodness! I’ve found my people! It’s 12:25am and I’m just settling onto the couch to knit and maybe watch something off the pvr. I’m an absolute night owl. It’s a struggle to fall asleep before 4-5am so why bother going to bed before that?

    • Seems us night owls are definitely in the minority!

    • Finally!! I am definitely a night owl and was wondering if anyone else would admit to it since our culture definitely ascribes a lot of virtue to getting up early.

  • I used to be a night owl and occasionally stay up very late, but I’ve definitely changed into a morning person. My routine is doing the NYT Spelling Bee followed by the Mini and daily crosswords, then Wordle and finally a scan of email, opening only those seem important or interesting. It all makes me happy and will continue to be my routine for a good while to come.

  • Morning person

    • Reading this morning’s comments was a wake-up moment for me (pun intended ). I am often ready to start the day at a very early hour but I make myself stay in bed until 5. But many of you are up earlier than that and it feels like I have been given permission to join the 4 am crowd on those days when I’m awake before 5 and ready for the day.

  • Morning! I sit by the east window and watch the sun come up while doing the NYT crossword puzzle. It helps me feel like I have an abundance of time, before my very structured work day begins.

  • I’ve always been a morning person: I remember sneaking out of the house on a summer morning just after dawn; I was about six years old, watching the mist rise and hearing the bird chorus. Now I’m 71 and it’s still the same magic. Even in winter, up about 5 am, house quiet, dark for ages yet – and finally, watch the sunrise – from inside!

    • Me also, as a child sneaking out to watch the sunrise over the ocean when family was at the Jersey shore especially. And now at 73, I was lucky enough to have an early bird 6 yo granddaughter join me in that same ritual. Also start my morning w NYT Spelling Bee, Mini crossword, and MDK!

    • Me too, as a child,I would sneak out early on summer mornings to watch the sunrise. Now, though still a morning person through and through, I find that 70 some odd years later I am more seasonal…Summer up by five am and Winter up by seven am. I enjoy morning routines.

  • Always have been and always will be a morning person. I have a very definite morning routine.

  • I’m a morning person in the sense that I am more productive in the morning. I get up when my body tells me. I usually stay in bed reading emails and checking social media. I rarely sit once I get up, I have to empty the dishwasher before I leave the house! I have 2 cups of coffee and breakfast usually while I am making yogurt or bread and/ or lunch for my husband’s office (it’s in my house and it’s my job). Or I am off to tennis. The “morning “ papers rarely get read because by the time I sit down I want to knit.

    • Morning person here. Make tea, then it’s crazy party for 2 cats and dog–several tempties and a pounce de resistance. Email, crossword puzzle. Finally, launch the day.

  • I am a morning person, now retired. My morning routine begins with a quiet cup of coffee and loosely planning the day. I have a dog so her care is always part of the am. Then I start one chore (laundry, bathroom cleaning etc) treat myself to a leisurely breakfast. Only then do I check iPad for mail, news, etc. I try every day to begin with calm and peaceful thoughts and end with the same.

  • Farmer’s hours…4am or earlier!

    • Initially a night owl but married a morning person. 26 years ago we bought a 60 acre farm and I was forced into a pretty regimented morning routine. The alarm would go off at 4:45 am so the hubby and I could get barn chores done before getting the kiddos up and going so we could all get to school, work, daycare. We’re both retired now and our agreement is that it is not morning until the clock hands are straight up and down! (6am) Then if I’m still sleeping, he can wake me. There are days, especially in the cold, snowy winter that we sleep in til 7! Routine is similar, feed and turn out the animals then barn chores but then breakfast is leisurely, I guess I’ve been converted.

  • I believe work and routine have turned me into a morning person. Mon. through Fri. are seamless for me most mornings. I still have a young child so there are hiccups. I just need a better Weekend routine.

  • Definitely a night owl. At this hour it’s just coffee….

  • I’m a morning person, I used to get up early by 4:20 and head to the gym for an early morning weight class. Then Covid hit! Now my dog gets me up early 4:00 usually. I sit on the couch with my Sammy cuddled in my lap, coffee in hand reading the Bible and praying for family and friends, it’s my time and I cherish it deeply!

  • Definitely a night owl. I like to knit or read when the house is quiet and everyone else has gone to bed. But I also suffer from insomnia. My sleep doctor is helping me to get to sleep before midnight, so that I’m up around 7:30 or 8:00. Even so, I am a slow starter — no major appointments before 10.

    • Do you need to be up that early? I’m retired and so don’t have to get to work. I would certainly resent a sleep doctor who’s going against my normal circadian rhythm.

  • Morning person here! Feeding 5 cats is a morning must, but after coffee, cigs, and reading emails;)

  • So, if you have a dog, you have a beginning to your morning routine. And if you have a dog, taking care of that dog is part of your own self care, just because. I am happy to be up early in the morning – my dog, my coffee and only then lighting up the phone to see what MDK has sent me today. Just that one email and then my knitting. Good morning!

  • I’m definitely a morning person. I’m usually up between 5 and 5:30am. The first thing I do is make tea for myself and my husband. Then I pill the cat and make the bed.

    • Yep, the cat care is first priority here! Our kitty is diabetic and needs food and insulin at 12 hr intervals. So I am up early to fill the dish and the syringe. Then it’s cereal and coffee and MDK for me!

  • Early to rise for me. Routine is more seasonal for me. Daylight, warmth, weather play a role in scrambling my routine.

  • A few years ago, in my mid-fifties, while Co-director of a human rights non- profit, sitting on the executive board of a National women’s org, running an active local chapter of the same org, & volunteering for an international medical org, I had a stroke. It was relatively minor, but given that I was theoretically already retired, it was a loud wake-up call. If I want to save the world, I have to save myself first (Good advice from a friend, that I completely ignored). Thus was born, among other things (I stepped down from everything except the directorship), my morning routine. My phone automatically switches to DND at 10pm & does not come back on until 10am (Sons & Hubby ring through). I wake up, when I wake up (Usually 8-ish, but I’ve been known to sleep until my 10am medicine alarm). The time between when I wake up is mine. It always starts with a good cup of coffee, often outside. I love to read, knit, catch up on non-work news. My morning routine my have saved my life. It certainly saved my sanity.

    • My wake-up call was a closed head injury that ended my work life abruptly. Kate Davies, the West Highland Scotland knitter, designer, and writer had a stroke and wrote about it. You might like to check out her website

      • Kate Davies’s memoir about her recovery, including the important role knitting played in it, was really interesting. Yay knitting – a super power in so many ways!

        Also recommend Jill Bolte Taylor’s book “My Stroke of Insight” for those interested in this topic. She is a neuroscientist who recognized she was having a massive stroke in the shower one morning. Fascinating read of how she used her scientific knowledge to manage her response, get help, and recover. (Sorry for the digression. I’m a retired psychologist and fascinated by the brain.)

  • Being long retired my wake up time is varied = start by opening the front door to see what, if anything, has changed since bedtime last night. Put the coffee on, check incoming emails. Thank God that I woke up to see another day and ask blessings on my family and friends. This morning everything is covered in ice. Good excuse to go back to bed or start knitting my in process Snowflake scarf. Always check the sunrise (none today) and sunset because of their beauty. So enjoy your emails each day and love to read everyone’s comments.

  • I wake up a few minutes before six. If my husband is still asleep I knit until he wakes up. We have coffee together; I read the top of the news and check my email. I plan my exercise for the day based on my schedule and the weather.

  • Morning person, for sure. At the risk of invoking semantics, I think of my
    “routine” activities as “ritual.” Every morning I make my bed and open all the drapes and shades in the house. I use this time to think of my blessings and challenges and to get ready for whatever the day will bring. The day has begun. In the evening, I close all the drapes and shades and prepare the bed for sleeping. This is a time to put the day’s events in their place and to be grateful for joys and lessons learned. The day has ended.

  • Definitely a morning person!

  • “morning begins at night”, that should be carved in stone.

    • It is from Andrey Lappa. V useful!

    • Indeed!

  • Although my name might hint otherwise, I am a night owl. 😉

    • Very nice! 🙂

    • Thanks for making me smile this morning, Dawn. 🙂 I too am a night owl.

  • I am neither morning person nor night owl but I am most certainly a nap person!

    • Yes! One good thing (the only good thing?) about getting up early is I can take a nap guilt free (schedule permitting, of course).

    • I totally agree with this!

  • I used to be a morning person. Now I gift myself the joy of coffee in bed while reading the news and MDK letter.

    • I am with you, except there is tea in a beautiful white ceramic cup purchased from MDK a few years back.

    • Definitely a morning person. This informal survey shows that most of us are. Coffee, knitting meditation with candles and sunrise. Yes, I’m retired now.

  • Definitely a lark. Writing this at 5:20 AM. I like to ease slowly into the day with a good breakfast, (Groats, clementines, cup of tea) and a careful surveillance of my surroundings, (E-mail and facebook)

  • Morning person here – recently retired and knit on and off or not at all throughout the day and evening.

    I believe we all have “routines”, it is just that some of us routinely make the bed others do not, etc etc. The takeaway of this piece is to stop to examine what I do, be aware of whether and/or why any of my routines are helpful to me and make adjustments accordingly!

    Case in point, I am a grateful person but recognize from this conversation that I could up my game in this area and be more intentional.

    Thank you all.

  • Morning person. Really enjoy reading the comments about this article.

  • Total morning person, even more so as the days get longer and I get up earlier. If I don’t do it in the morning (exercise, cleaning) it most likely won’t get done.

  • Definitely a night owl, but kids and jobs have been getting me up at 6 for many years. I love staying up late whenever I can, but then getting enough sleep is a challenge. On weekends I get to sleep until 8 and it’s bliss!

    • You will really enjoy retirement! Though my night owl-ness has swung toward 4-5 AM sometimes, which is a tad too late to do much the next day!

  • I have always been a morning person and a knitter forever. My mornings as a retiree are not that different than those when I was a working nurse practitioner other than the time it starts! ha I created a most pleasant ritual a long time ago that I repeat each morning in that I eat cereal with fruit as soon as I wake up, followed with cappuccino, reading email starting with MDK, Wordle and then knitting. I use the prettiest placements and best dishes for breakfast as I see this beautiful time as a celebration of life and daylight. I’m so very grateful to be alive to enjoy these pleasures with someone I love, my husband. Yes, the world is a mess right now, but inside my little corner I want to protect and preserve these morning moments with love and kindness and gratitude, because in the end the “little” things are actually the big things.

    • Love this!

  • Second oldest GenXer here, and a night person. COVID has baked in my night owl tendencies and I like the quiet of the night to pursue my thinky thoughts and knitting challenges. No voluntary appointments before 10 am, like ever. Maybe I can handle a 9:30 on a good day.

  • Morning! I’m retired, so morning doesn’t come as early as it once did.

  • I’m writing at 6:15 am so you’d think – but I am NOT a morning person. But I have a meeting at 8 and I wake up slowly. So here I am.

  • definitely night owl. But have to get kiddo up for school, so set my alarm for 6am, 6:15am, and 6:30am.

  • Morning is the best part of the day. I just hate to miss a sunrise.

  • Morning person, occasionally a late nighter, but that throws me off for a couple of days. Knitting is part of my morning and evening routine. Something I’m working on is to unplug earlier in the evenings and then plug in later in the mornings. Thanks for the great article Max!

  • Early bird here. Also rebel. Really appreciate the wisdom of your advice for us rebels!!

  • For more than 10 years my morning routine is to go for a walk with my friends. Our only rule is we don’t walk in the rain. Some days I don’t feel like it but with a routine I don’t think about it. I just show up. Because they’ll be there. And so we get in a good walk to start the day.

  • Definitely morning!

  • I am semi-retired and more of a mid-morning person. I wake up make tea and write a to-do list. The follows more tea, the mini-crossword and Wordle. My to-do list is pretty simple but it keeps me Knitting, reading and games are always on the list.

  • I like it when I get up early, but I am night person. Snooze until 11, read emails in bed until 1? Perfect!
    I’ve been listing, out loud, 5 things I’m grateful for. In the quiet of my room. Around 11:30

  • Night person…yes, eyes are still half closed and it’s after 9am.

  • Morning person.
    Up with the first light. Walking, meditating.
    Same morning routine for years now. I love it

  • Morning. Definitely morning.

  • Definitely a morning person! And my biggest wish upon retiring a few months ago, was to get into a routine of walking every day. Trying to repair too many years of working at a computer all day. My feet hit the floor and I go out the door, no matter the weather. (Except ice). The feeling of accomplishment when I get home is my reward. And coffee.

  • Morning person! I have always rebelled at the notion of routine but now that I have several I recognize their importance. Morning: make coffee, drink coffee, do yoga – always. Afternoon after all the chores: sit down for 10-15 minutes with a stitching project (embroidery, sashiko, mending). I love these two routines!

  • Morning person but each morning varies. Sometimes I go exercise at the gym. Sometimes I play music with friends. Since I retired, I get to decide. Oh joy!

  • I have recently changed my routine to try to be more like my single mom self was. I used to get up at four or five, workout, do some projects, then get myself and daughter ready for work and school. Being married for almost four years, I got into my husbands late sleeping habits and would try and be super quiet as to not wake him and my stepdaughter. Now I get up, do dishes, a load of laundry, check on dinner (what I’ll make later), start knitting projects for my first community fair, get my stepdaughter to school and see my husband off, then shower and get ready for my WFH day.

  • Left to my own devices, definitely a night owl!

  • Morning person here. Up between 6 and 6:30 (in winter, earlier in summer — I live in the desert southwest), have a cup of coffee and walk for at least an hour. Back home eat breakfast and proceed with whatever chores are scheduled for that day. Even through I’m retired I still have a schedule. Helps to keep me productive. Knitting and sewing come in the afternoon.

  • Definitely a night owl. One of the unexpected upsides of covid was eliminating my commute, which means that I could wake up at 8:30-8:50 instead of 7:00. It’s made a notable improvement in my life, and I’m once again realizing how important getting enough sleep is. One of my 2022 goals is going to bed at 11:00 PM, which is about three hours earlier than I would naturally want to.

  • 5 a.m. is the beginning of my second REM cycle! Those of us who love to read in bed until 1 a.m. while eating crackers simply cannot fathom the idea of 1) being up before the sun and 2) having to go to bed when the best TV shows are on to watch before heading to bed to read.

    I do feel that this question of what kind of circadian cycle you have is a MUST ASK before getting married!

  • A confirmed night owl here. And now that I’m retired I can blissfully stay up all night reading or knitting without suffering any consequences!

  • wow, all these morning people and night owls, am I the only mid- day person? I wake slowly, up around 7, since being retired I dawdle until 9… I’m really not good for much until about 11, then I’m off to the races so to speak until about 6, after dinner is knitting in front of the tv and in bed for reading by 9…. what a sloth!

  • I’m a night owl. That’s the only time I can count on when it is quiet enough (TV is off) for me to read or concentrate on a complicated knitting pattern.

  • I’m an evening person. I feel most productive in the late afternoon through very late at night/ after midnight. It helps that I’m retired! But I have felt this way all of my life.

  • Morning person and I’ve finally been able to establish a routine of 30 min of exercise each morning which I am loving. That took years of motivating self talk to establish, so glad I persisted until it became second nature.

  • I am a night owl and always have been. When I was a little girl, maybe eight years old, I switched upstairs bedrooms with my brothers. I moved into the bedroom that was directly above my parents” room. I used to be up at all hours and sometimes I rearranged my furniture or vacuumed my bedroom in the middle of the night. My dad, who was up at 4:30 every morning was not appreciative of my industriousness.

    • Ok it’s pretty clear over 90% of respondents are Morning People. And a high percentage also describe what seems to me very functional/enjoyable routines! Many are retired & congrats & good on you.

      Meaning the rest of the MP are not really in need of this article! Oy vey folks! I’m gonna be 60 this year, & I swear just a few days ago I told myself I really need to get a morning routine! Love this blog so much for such great timing. And thanks Max, from those of us who very much need something to look forward to when getting out of the warm, soft bed is…ugh. So much kindness in your words, “Is it to make sure the worst hours of the day pass in relative painlessness?” YES! Exactly & I never thought to put it that way.

      For the record, I was always a night owl, even worked night shift as an entry level young nurse. As I got older, my roles moved away from shift work, & more toward “regular daytime hours,” like starting at 8 am—which is still a stretch for me! True confession: secretly I have always wanted to want to get up early, so maybe that’s something to look forward to in retirement.

  • I was a night hawk by nature for years. But as I have gotten older, I don’t sleep in like I used to. I go outside with the dogs first thing in the morning and begin by appreciating the day. Then coffee, breakfast etc. We are retired, hallelujah!

  • I’m retired, but have never been a morning person. So now i have a morning routine- but it starts about 9:30 am!

  • See…I’m trouble. I’m neither a morning nor a night person. I shift with the vagaries of my days. I guess I’m a chaos person

  • Neither morning or night. I’m retired and an insomniac. Just waking up at 11:15ish after being awake until after 3. Go to bed at midnight hoping to sleep before 1:30. Once told people I was best between 2 and 2:30…

  • Morning! Noticed with interest that crosswords, Wordle and other word games are mentioned frequently.

  • Morning, but not 5:30 AM when I taught elementary school. It’s usually around 7 AM for morning readings and prayers. Then exercise for at least 15 minutes. Then I’m ready for the day. Breakfast, emails (MDK), chores, reading, piano playing, and knitting after dinner for several hours.

  • I love mornings! When I was working I was energized to get ready to go to work so my routine was fast-paced. I’m retired now and my morning is more leisurely. I start with a cup of tea and sit in a room in my house that is flooded with the morning light and knit and catch up on emails. Next is a walk, yoga or both depending on the day. After 40 years of full-trine work and raising a family, this a reward that I gratefully look forward to each day.

  • Night owl here. Always have been, but getting my daughter to school and getting to work by 8:00 necessitated a change from my college days. Now I’m retired and am enjoying my freedom to sleep when I’m tired and get out of bed when I’m awake. The closest thing I have to a routine is on days when I’m going for a hike, I get up, order McDonald’s with my app, get on the road to my beloved Hubbard Park in Montpelier VT and get my steps in. My night routine is Wordle (though I’m getting bored with it), tomorrow’s NYT crossword, Spelling Bee, and remembering to submit that day’s LearnedLeague answers before 1:00 AM. I generally knit while I watch Scandi noir series or Bake Off. I do try to read my Tarot on the mornings when I don’t hike and have recently taken up making watercolor marks to see how I like painting. I get to be the kid I never was.

  • I LOVE the statement, “doing what’s right for you is a very high form of rebellion indeed”! That’s the kind of affirmation I need to put on repeat between my ears. Thank you!

  • Not a morning person. I used to force myself to get up a 6:00 am. Didn’t work. It must be said I work at home. So now, I sleep till whenever I wake up naturally, usually 9 or 9:30. Then I roll into my workout wear I laid out for myself the night before. Then I workout. Then shower, or not depending on the workout. Then makeup. Then I go downstairs with a coffee to get to work. Works for me!

  • Night owl here, currently on the part of my “morning” routine that’s catching up on online life – It’s 2:45pm. I’m hoping to get back on overnight shifts at work, but in the meantime, I work evenings, so have a couple of hours in the afternoon for cuddles with the kitties, social media, and yarny fun before work.

  • OMG, I can’t wait for the evening routine! I would say I am about 84% successful with the morning routine. I haul my butt out of bed and grudgingly do yoga for reason 2. I don’t like yoga and I don’t like doing it, but when it is done I like knowing that I did the damn yoga. My evening routine is totally screwy! It is kind of like my end of the work day routine…drop everything, walk away and try to force my brain and body into the next expected role/task (financial analyst to wife making dinner to woman going to sleep) with no transition. As you can imagine everything is kind of a frazzled mess.

  • Morning person 100%

  • I am a night owl. My parents said I was the only one (of the 5 children) who, as a newborn, loved to play all night and sleep all day. For most of my life I have had to rise early and go to work. Now that I am retired, I only get up early (8 am ish) when I absolutely have to. No matter what time I go to bed, my best sleeping seems to start just before dawn.

    • Best sleeping starts just before dawn.
      Amen to that!

  • So far I am seeing many (very early!) morning people. I admit to being in awe and slightly envious of you but I need to speak up for the not-morning people, of which I am one. Getting up when it is still dark is the worst to me – absolutely hate it. 9 o’clock is ideal and a very civilized hour to get up – still with a few hours of morning left but the day is no longer embryonic. I look forward to retirement when that can be my regular wake up time!

    • Fellow evening person here, I have a routine to get me through arriving to work with a morning person well before my brain is awake. I look forward to a different routine one day.

    • Amen to light in the morning! I live in Northern Alberta, and hate feeding horses in the dark so avoid it if I can (pretty hard to avoid for Nov. – Feb.), and I love being out at sunset. Not unusual for me to head out riding or walking at 9 or 10:00 pm in the summer. My morning and evening routines stay pretty much the same and revolve around animal care and work, but the evening routine gets pushed back as the day light lengthens. Love this time of year when the days are rapidly getting longer!

  • Morning person. 5:30. 1st item in the routine: let the dogs out.

  • I’m definitely a morning person and I have a very set routine that my husband knows not to disrupt!

  • Morning, when the sun comes up.

  • Definitely a night owl. Monday to Friday my alarm goes off at 6:30 and is met with some less than ladylike language. Then it’s let the dog out, go myself, kettle on, feed dog, make pot of tea, shower, get work clothes out, drink tea while reading MDK email and play a couple of games of solitaire on the computer. Then it’s time to brush hair and teeth, get dressed and out the door at 7:50. Lucky for me my office is a 6 minute walk from home. On the weekends I get up when the dog does and not until.

  • Always a night owl.

  • Morning person! Coffee and the paper…or calling the paper to say it has not been delivered!

  • Definitely a morning person! I get up anywhere between 430-6, but I go to bed early as well. I am most productive and have more brain power in the morning. Definitely diminishes as day goes by. My adult children know I can’t discuss anything of “substance” in the evening 🙂

  • I’m not confident that it’s my natural inclination, but the realities of work and parenting have me on a morning person schedule. Up at 5:15, take out and feed the dog, unload the dishwasher, quick workout, wake up my daughter, get her fed/dressed/groomed, make lunch and snack and ensure all is set for pre-K, get myself ready, and off to work at 7:15. On weekends I sleep in until 6 or 6:30 and relax with a cup of tea while I catch up on the internet or read or just enjoy a bit of peace and quite and alone time while everyone else is still in bed. (If I don’t get that, I have a tendency to stay up really late after the rest of my family is in bed because I’m so desperate to be alone with no one needing anything from me. Which means I don’t always have the energy for a workout the next morning, but still worth it.) We’ll see how things change when my twins are born this summer – then it’ll be a whole new level of chaos until we can get the new routines figured out!

  • I am a night owl. Always have been. Has been very frustrating at times for both me and those around me. It seems I am a somewhat rebellious night owl as well. When I was working it was difficult to get to sleep so I could get moving in the morning and get to work on time.I say it is all because I was born in the morning; 8-9 am. I had already worked all night! Who knows??? I’m going to seriously think about what you said: do what is right for me. Looking forward to the evening routine, too.

    • I’m not up early today. I’m ready for some sleep.

  • Early Bird here! I love the quiet of the morning. Watching the sun come up and the birds waking for their breakfasts at our feeders. Best time of the day for me!

  • Lovely article, thank you Max! I listen to “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod several times a year on Audble. Love his true experiences and research and salesmanship…he used to be a Cutco exec and got in a life-changing accident.

  • Night owl here who is forced to hoot during the day. To lessen the impact of the rudeness of mornings, I savor a snuggle with my Chihuahua mutts. The pandemic “puppy” who is now full grown always gives me a dose of love and joy to start my day. Then a little NYT and email before brewing my daily decaf coffee.

  • Absolutely a night owl, and in fact, when there aren’t sufficient outside pressures? Downright nocturnal. I fall asleep around sunrise, and wake up between 1 and 2 in the afternoon. No alarm needed. But even when I was getting up at 7 am for work, my best hours were in the late, late evening.

  • Night owl. Since retiring, I’ve developed a bit of a morning routine, but my best energy and clarity starts at around 4PM.

  • I am definitely a morning person, and I already have a strong routine to get me up and moving efficiently (left over from the years of commuting).
    But I think you’re onto something important here—we so often refuse to do things that are good for us and/or would make us happy because of what others will say or do. In doing that, we let others control how we live.

  • Morning person

  • Have convinced myself that 7 am is an ok wake up time…first things first I must have coffee… knit some, review upcoming day, phone sister-in-law, then on to the obligations for the day… knit all I can in evening

  • I try to go to bed early 11:30 (usually end up later), because I like to be awake by 8 when my husband brings me my coffee.
    No routine except for hygiene since I’m retired I do what I want when I want unless it’s necessary to do.

  • I’m a night owl. I just rolled out of bed about 20 minutes ago. It’s currently 12:19 pm. And I hate that I’ve lost all those hours…. But I was up past 2:00 am and I’m the person who doesn’t go to sleep right away after hitting the sack. Admittedly, today was a bit of a sleep-in for me, as I typically want to get out of bed at least by 9:00 am, even if my bedtime didn’t start until 2:00 am. Who needs more than 7 hours of sleep, right?

  • I am not a morning person. It takes me 2 hours to be functional in the morning. There is no point in drinking my cup of coffee without sitting down, preferably with my feet up. I do feed the cat, read a bit of news, sometimes knit etc. A light that slowly comes on and turns on the radio to classical music has helped me wake up a bit faster, but I need a regular alarm clock as well. I think I am even slower now that I telework full-time. I have added morning exercise some days and get distracted to other activities such as cooking or planning a knitting project or writing a grocery list. I’m always trying to “do better”.

  • I am definitely a night owl. I worked nights as an ICU nurse for many years. Later I had day jobs and children to get off to school. Those things required me to be up and going early, but I never really adjusted.
    Now I’m retired and rarely in bed before 1am. Then I like to read in bed for an hour or two. I love to sleep until I’m ready to get up.
    My (late) morning routine is to sit and drink a cup of coffee while visiting with my husband followed by a 30 minute walk, and then moving on with my day.

  • No mornings for me! My energy peaks at 10 or 11 pm. Best time to knit.

  • Night owl here. It’s past 3am right now.

  • I used to be a morning person, but then we went several years with my husband working a late swing shift. We only had one car, so I often had to pick him up from a bus stop if I needed the car while he was at work.

    Currently we’re in a place where I start work at 7:30am, so my morning routine is limited to getting dressed, feeding the cats, and making myself an actual breakfast. (Mostly I have fried eggs on toast with a side of fruit, and I can make it all while still half asleep while my tea is steeping.)

    I thought about replacing breakfast with something faster and giving myself a little more time for something else, but bedtime is hard and my body is much happier with a more full breakfast.

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