Some days are good and some days are bad, but a lot of it has to do with how you start your mornings. You may have a basic routine of how you get ready each morning, but do you ever think about what you’re doing and why? Have you ever thought about things that are necessary to include? If you want your days to be consistently better, where you’re more positive, alert, and energetic, here are some basic things to include in your morning routine that will ensure you’re off to a successful day.
I’m not talking about your basics of brushing your teeth, showering, and getting dressed – those are obvious necessities. I’ll be sharing some common and uncommon actions that you can integrate into your morning routine. Go through them, try them out, and let me know if they help you out with your mornings.
1. Be Grateful for What You Have
You woke up this morning and you’re alive. That’s better than the roughly 150,000 people who died yesterday. For some reason you’ve been granted the gift of another day of life.
If you woke up in a home, you’re better off than 100 million people who don’t have one. If you ate or are planning to eat breakfast, you’re luckier than the 805 million people who will go hungry today. If you’re reading this blog post, you’re wealthier than 4.4 billion people who don’t have internet.
You get the point. Whatever difficulties you’re going through, you have it better than so many others. Look around your room and just start being thankful for what you see. Having that attitude is key to how your day will go – read about how impact starts with gratitude.
2. Pray or Meditate
Before your brain starts thinking through all the things you need to do today, take some time to quiet your mind. Whether it’s to talk to God or focus on positive thoughts, this sets your tone for the day.
Think or pray through what you have ahead of you. Think of your challenges. Think of the person you want to be and the things you want to accomplish by the end of the day. Envision yourself doing that successfully, or ask God to help you do that. Resolving in your mind to do something is a huge determining factor to actually doing it.
3. Drink Water
It’s simple, yet so easy to forget. Water is the first thing your body needs in morning. Think about it – unless you’ve woken up in the middle of the night to drink something, your body’s gone 5-8 straight hours without water. You’re dehydrated and don’t even realize it.
Drink a full glass and you’ll be energized quickly. Don’t reach for the coffee – it’ll only dehydrate you more. Grab that a little bit later. Read about how water can improve your energy in the morning and throughout the day.
4. Read (or Listen to) Something
I’m not talking about your Facebook News Feed or Twitter Feed. Read blogs, news articles, or books. Whether it’s self-improvement, world events, or information related to your specific industry or interest, get your mind stimulated.
If you’re really short on time, consider listening to a podcast of the same topic. Subscribe to a few stations, then just play through the episodes as you get ready in the morning or on your commute to work.
5. Get Your Body Moving
Some people like to workout for an hour at the gym or run a few miles. That’s not most people. You don’t need an intense workout to get a little exercise in the morning. Getting your body moving gets your heart pumping, loosens your muscles and gets blood moving to your brain. You’ll be more alert and energized for your day.
Stretch out for a little bit. Do some light home exercises, like jumping jacks, push-ups or sit-ups. I have a pull-up bar in the doorway that makes it super easy to do. I also take walks in the morning around the neighborhood. I’m not a walking/jogging type of person because I get bored easily, so I take my camera with me and take pictures along the way as a photography hobby.
6. Eat Breakfast
This seems simple, but so many people skip it, including me. It’s so easy to forget or just ignore breakfast for people who are busy or in a rush in the morning. Just after water, food is the next thing your body needs and has gone several hours without.
Food, and well-balanced food, is important for energy as well as your mind’s alertness. Even if it’s a granola bar you grab on the go, it’s better than nothing. Try to choose or prepare your breakfast the night before, or even better, have it planned out for the whole week.
7. Accomplish One Piece of Work
This is something that’s important to decide the night before. In the morning when you start your workday, focus on one piece of work that is easy to do and a major win for you. This item should take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete. It should be something you know you can do, is an important thing to get done, and has a definite amount of time it will take.
This is essential because being able to accomplish something important is a great start to your workday and a deterrent to procrastination or busy work. Don’t check your email or review your to-do list, they will only distract you. Get right to attacking this pre-determined task, get your first success of the day, then deal with the rest of the world.
8. Plan or Review Your Day
After you get your first task done, it’s a good time to check your emails and other notifications to plan out your day. You may have a plan already, though that can change depending on what you get sent. So either review, modify, or plan the things you need to do that day. Try to estimate the time it’ll take to do each task and plan it in chunks of 1-3 hours
You may or may not accomplish everything. Some things take longer than expected. Interruptions come up. But pick at least one item that you know you can and need to finish today, and will feel good about. Even if nothing else on your list gets accomplished that day, if you can finish this one thing, then your day is a win. Start with that.
I hope these were helpful to you. Try to do all these at once starting today or tomorrow, or implement them into your morning routine a little at a time. What’s important is to develop a healthy morning routine so all these healthy actions become good habits, so all your mornings can consistently start off good.
Do you have any things you do in the morning that are helpful for starting your day? Share it with me in the comments!