Sarajane Case is the author of The Honest Enneagram andThe Enneagram Letters and hosts the daily podcast Enneagram & Coffee. For Case, the Enneagram is a valuable tool for self-compassion and personal growth. Learn to hack your morning routine with Sarajane’s advice for each Enneagram type–and if you don’t know yours yet, she’ll help you discover that too…
We’ve all been there. Scrolling through social media, seeing perfect morning routines being prescribed like medicine. Many of us copy and paste these routines right into our own lives only to feel like we are failures when they’re not a fit. Before we absorb one more routine, be mindful: sometimes we are solving problems we don’t even have, taking up the precious time that could go to habits that would actually support us. We’re done with cutting and pasting the routines of others; it’s time to make your own recipe for a beautiful morning!
Tailor Your Morning Routine To Your Enneagram Type
Start with your unique personality and growth goals before implementing any new routines and use your Enneagram as a guide.
The Enneagram is a personality system that categorizes individuals into nine distinct types, each characterized by specific traits, motivations, fears, and behaviors. The nine types represent who you felt you had to be to get your needs met. The types are The Perfectionist, The Helper, The Achiever, The Individualist, The Investigator, The Loyalist, The Enthusiast, The Challenger and The Peacemaker. If you are unsure of your type, I have a free Self-Typing Workshop on my website.
I put together a list of AM routines for each Enneagram type. Take what works and leave what doesn’t. If you’re new to the Enneagram, I included a description for each type. If you want more information, check out my book, The Honest Enneagram.
Type 1 | The Perfectionist
Motivation: Striving for perfection and correctness.
Fear: Fear of making mistakes and being morally wrong.
Traits: Principled, responsible, self-disciplined.
Growth Opportunity: Releasing control and judgment.
Morning habit to try: Circle of Control Meditation
Imagine yourself encapsulated in a circular glowing light. Everything within the light is within your control. You. Your thoughts, your feelings, your actions. Everything outside of the light is beyond your control. Notice what you want to bring into the circle that cannot come in. Coworkers? Family? The political landscape? Practice breathing in and releasing when you are tempted to reach out. Reconnect to loving compassion for what is in the circle. You.
Type 2 | The Helper
Motivation: Seeking love and approval by helping others.
Fear: Fear of being unloved or unworthy of love.
Traits: Supportive, generous, empathetic.
Growth Opportunity: Allowing others to care for themselves so you can care for yourself.
Morning habit to try: Wake up an hour earlier than everyone else.
More than any other type, it’s important that you find time when you can only care for yourself. Often, when I work with an Enneagram two as a coaching client, I will recommend taking at least an hour a week for themselves. This starts out feeling like an impossible task. But we ultimately end up with at least an hour a day by the time we stop working together. You need to have a strong relationship with who you are outside of your relationships. Make time for yourself where you are not needed by anyone, and find out what’s there.
Type 3 | The Achiever
Motivation: Pursuing success and accomplishment.
Fear: Fear of failure and being seen as worthless.
Traits: Ambitious, confident, adaptable.
Growth Opportunity: Work-life balance.
Morning habit to try: Time Blocking
If you aren’t familiar with time blocking, it’s essentially using your calendar to block out time for your tasks throughout the day. The goal is to have every hour of your day accounted for. The key here for Enneagram threes is that the goal is not to be as full as possible, it’s to be as balanced as possible. I recommend color coding your work between projects, meetings, home chore, relationship, rest and fun. When you fill out your calendar for the day are all colors represented? What would need to shift in order to have room for every color to be present?
Type 4 | The Individualist
Motivation: Expressing uniqueness and authenticity.
Fear: Fear of being without identity or significance.
Traits: Creative, sensitive, introspective.
Growth Opportunity: Taking action on your dreams.
Morning habit to try: Make Bad Art
Fours can get caught up in the fear of being average. Taking the time to make something everyday without the intention of sharing it or even making it good can help to build resilience to your fear of insignificance. Write a poem, take a photo, draw a picture, knit a scarf. It doesn’t matter what you’re making, just make it every day and as imperfectly as you please.
Type 5 | The Investigator
Motivation: Gaining knowledge and understanding.
Fear: Fear of incompetence and being overwhelmed.
Traits: Analytical, observant, independent.
Growth Opportunity: Embodiment.
Morning habit to try: Yoga Nidra Meditation
Type fives can get lost in their heads and forget to check in with their body or their needs. Taking a moment each morning to pay focused attention on each unique part of your body can help you to notice and honor sensation and set you up for a day with more energy and more internal connection.
Type 6 | The Loyalist
Motivation: Seeking security and guidance.
Fear: Fear of uncertainty and lack of support.
Traits: Loyal, responsible, cautious.
Opportunity for Growth: Building self-trust.
Morning habit to try: Future Self Journaling
Sixes can often have a hard time accessing their intuition. They can be overrun with fear of what could go wrong and even doubt themselves in areas where they are a clear expert. As you start to build self-trust it can be helpful to build a relationship to your intuition or your inner knowing. One way to do this is through future self journaling. Imagine yourself a certain time down the road. This can be 50 years, 1 year or even two weeks from now and ask yourself for advice. What do they wish you knew about the decisions you are making?
Type 7 | The Enthusiast
Motivation: Pursuing new experiences and avoiding pain.
Fear: Fear of being deprived or trapped in negative emotions.
Traits: Optimistic, spontaneous, adventurous.
Opportunity for growth: Focus and clarity.
Morning habit to try: Morning Pages
Morning pages is a fancy term coined by Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron simply meaning write without stopping. She suggests writing three full pages. I’m not attached to that. Maybe you want to write one page, that can work too. Just decide ahead of time and commit to the length that works for you. Write without stopping, without judgment and without motivation. Let your mind wander all over the page and see what comes through. This can help clear your mind of anxieties, release ideas and allow you to start the day with a clear head.
Type 8 | The Challenger
Motivation: Exerting control and avoiding vulnerability.
Fear: Fear of being controlled or manipulated.
Traits: Assertive, confident, protective.
Growth Opportunity: Being more proactive and less reactive.
Morning habit to try: Plan Ahead
Eights can find themselves in constant reaction mode. Jumping to put out one fire after another and struggling to stay focused on the true priorities at hand. That’s why I’m starting your morning routine the day before. At the end of each work day, plan out the next day’s tasks. Get ahead so you aren’t finding yourself behind. Each morning your list will be waiting for you and all you have to do is determine what the order of priorities are and get to work!
Type 9 | The Peacemaker
Motivation: Maintaining peace and avoiding conflict.
Fear: Fear of loss, separation, or disconnection.
Traits: Easygoing, receptive, harmonious.
Growth Opportunity: Prioritization.
Morning habit to try: Win the Day List
Nines can struggle to prioritize their tasks. Any systems that are too complicated can be demotivating. So, I recommend a simple win the day list. What are the 3-5 tasks that have to get done today in order to call the day successful? Identify them, do the hardest task first and it’s all downhill from there!
As we’ve explored the personalized morning habits for each Enneagram type, it becomes clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to starting our days. Instead, it’s about cultivating practices that honor our individuality, embracing both our strengths and areas for growth. Your morning routine’s sole purpose is to support you, so why wouldn’t you make it customized to your specific needs?
Connect with Sarajane and take the free self-typing workshop. Sarajane is a member of We Shine Well, the first-ever community membership and dot connecting concierge for established female entrepreneurs in the wellness space.