Several months ago I wrote about the importance of creating a great night routine (if you missed it, click here to read). Today, I’d like to discuss some ways to start your day that will set you up for success. Your first few hours after waking set the tone for what's to come, so crafting a great morning routine can help you feel more productive and energized. Here are five ideas to make the most of your mornings.
1. Give yourself time - Many of us set our alarms as late as possible to maximize sleep and then end up rushing through our morning to get out the door on time. Instead of starting your day stressed out, think about how much time you need to move through your morning tasks at a relaxed pace, and get up early enough to make them happen. The key to this step is getting to bed on time - a great morning routine actually begins the night before!
2. Positive thoughts and gratitude - Do you greet the day by scrolling through social media or the news? Be intentional about what you fill your mind with first thing and avoid content that makes you feel anxious, hopeless, or insecure. Instead of automatically reaching for your phone upon waking, take a few minutes to practice gratitude for the good things in your life. Steve Jobs asked himself each day "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" While that might be a bit heavy for you, keeping your most important priorities front-and-center will help start your day with purpose.
3. Let there be light - Starting the day by opening the shades in your home signals to your body that it’s time to wake up. Research suggests exposure to morning light can also help set your circadian rhythm and ensure a better night’s sleep. If you have a hard time feeling awake in the morning, try exposing yourself to bright natural or artificial light.
4. Get moving - Many highly successful people swear by morning exercise. The key to my own regular workout schedule is getting it done before I get bogged down by my email and my to do list. If you struggle with sluggishness in the morning, a quick workout will provide an energy boost.
5. Streamline necessary tasks - Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit everyday to save his decision-making energies for more important tasks. Think about how many small choices you have to make before you even begin your workday, and try to streamline your options for clothing, grooming, and eating so that you have some brain power left for the critical tasks to come.
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Make it fab!