“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. Here are 10 simple habits that you can use to create a morning routine that will set you up for success.
Have you ever noticed when your morning starts in a frenzy—snoozing your alarm, skipping breakfast, and rushing yourself out the door—the rest of your day seems to reflect that mood of chaos as well?
The tone of your morning will determine the tone of your day, so it’s time to start planning accordingly. When you form healthy habitual behaviors for the morning, you set your day up for success.
Whether you are aware of them or not, you operate under habits (both good and bad) all the time—they are an integral part of your daily existence. Part of developing a healthy habit, is to become intentional with it. Most habits are formed because they are easy or along the path of least resistance. If you want to cultivate positive habits, then you may need to put some intentional effort into forming them until they become second nature.
This is particularly true with morning habits. What you cultivate in the morning influences how you feel, act, and think during the rest of your day.
Here are 10 simple habits that you can add into your morning routine now, to ensure you are feeling, acting, and thinking at your highest potential for the rest of your day—and days—ahead.
1. Snooze Your Smartphone
If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your smartphone for messages or work email, you are doing yourself a disservice. You are immediately cultivating a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one, which will cause you to start your day in a defensive state, rather than a place of inner peace and control.
Instead, try remaining detached from technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with present-moment awareness and a positive focus.
2. Warm Water, Fresh Start
Drinking a glass of water in the morning after going hours without a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. The Ayurvedic technique of adding lemon to a warm glass of water helps remove toxins from your digestive tract that may have built up overnight, provides a good source of vitamin C, freshens your breath, supports weight loss, and stimulates metabolism and digestion. Bottoms up first thing in the a.m. for a healthy—and refreshing—start to your day.
3. What Are You Grateful For?
Before you even get out of bed, give yourself a few minutes to smile and practice gratitude. When you smile, it signals your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin), which lift your mood, relax your body, and lower your heart rate. Who wouldn’t want to start their day on this positive note?
As you smile, start to reflect upon what you’re grateful for. Studies have shown practicing gratitude reduces stress hormones and improves mood, among other benefits. So, adding a simple daily gratitude practice is a great way to kick-start your morning.
Begin by taking one minute in bed before you rise to reflect on one person and one opportunity you are grateful for in your life.
4. Make Your Bed
Tim Ferriss, author and podcast host (The Tim Ferriss Show) has interviewed more than a hundred highly successful people with diverse backgrounds and skillsets, and in a variety of industries. He always asks, “What’s your morning routine?” Along the way, he has collected five habits that he has incorporated into his morning routine, and one of them is making his bed.
It may seem like a waste of time, unimportant, or unnecessary (you’re just going to use it again at night), but making your bed is a simple action you can take in the morning that makes you start your day feeling accomplished—and what better tone to set than a sense of pride and accomplishment? Taking charge and completing simple tasks will give you the foundation to take on more and more throughout the day.
Incorporating some type of mindfulness practice like meditation into your daily morning routine can help ground you and train your mind and emotions, which then influences how you react to challenges throughout your day.
During your meditation is also a great time to set your intention for the day. When you get clear on how you want your day to go or what you want to feel or accomplish, you can make clear decisions that create the life you truly want to live.
Note sure where to get started? Here is a simple meditation you can do in the morning:
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