Six Things to do Before Breakfast

When I lived at home with my parents, I practiced the piano every morning. I’d start with scales or Czerny around 5:30, work through a Chopin etude, then play the last few chords of a Beethoven sonata around 6:30 or 7:00. In college, I rolled out of bed at seven, started jogging, and woke up to admire the sunrise half a mile later. These days, I use the time for writing and running. If I have something major to accomplish, it usually gets done before breakfast.

I adhere to the practice of doing something significant before breakfast every morning because it is the best way to achieve long term goals. Building a blog, writing a thesis, learning an instrument, or training your body requires steady practice. Practicing before breakfast yields steady progress.

Knowing that you have done something worthwhile before nine o’clock in the morning is tremendously powerful. It is the ultimate confidence booster.

And besides, there are so many delightful things you can do before breakfast! Here are six things you might try:

1. Go running and admire the sunrise.

2. Write 500 words. Make steady progress on your dissertation, start your novel, or finish your thank-you notes.

3. Draw a self-portrait. If it’s nice outside, go out to your garden or a park and draw the ducks or the day lilies.

4. Sing or practice an instrument.

5. Practice yoga on your rooftop.

6. Go outside with your camera, and take five beautiful photographs before breakfast.

6 Responses to Six Things to do Before Breakfast

  1. Kathleen says:

    And there’s always making a delicious, nutritious, homemade breakfast for yourself as a pre-9 AM accomplishment.

  2. localizing says:


  3. What an inspiring post! Thank you!

  4. […] to Eat for Breakfast Eating four or five fruits and vegetables for breakfast is kind of like working on your dissertation in the morning. In both cases, you’ve knocked out one of your top priorities before 9 A.M. and this clears […]

  5. Nice post. I find early morning it’s much easier to get into that kind of work “flow” zone.

  6. Gabrielle R. says:

    Oh, Carolyn, I have always admired your early morning productivity (even when it caused me to also get up early in order to let you back into the apartment after your early morning run). This is a lifestyle change that I often think of making but just haven’t done yet…

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