Do you have a morning routine? I never gave much thought to it, but someone recently asked me about this subject and upon reflection, I definitely have one. I remember a time, not so long ago, when I decidedly did not have one and when I look back and compare those two phases of my life I started to realize just how much a simple routine has vastly improved the morning situation in my house. So today, I want to share with you a few things that I do every single morning that sets the tone for my day.
I’m not going to tell you that my tips are going to solve all of your daily struggles or make your mornings completely stress and hassle free for the entirety of your days on earth, but I guarantee that instituting only a few of the steps will make a big difference in getting your day going in the right direction.
Let me share with you what a morning without a routine probably looks like for most of those who don’t have one: At 6:00 a.m. your alarm goes off for the first time. Several snooze alarms later, it’s now 7:00 a.m. so you finally drag yourself into the shower. There’s no time to shave (dudes) or blow dry your hair (ladies), so it’s a ponytail and facial hair day for you.
By 7:30 a.m. you’re dressed, but there’s no time for breakfast so you run out the door and hit the drive-through for an overpriced bagel and coffee. You slide into your cube a couple minutes early and begin your day. Sure, you were a little rushed and your ponytail or facial hair situation would have been nice to remedy, but you’re not late for work, so it was a good morning, right? Well, not so fast.
Let’s take a look at where things started to go wrong. Hitting the snooze button can actually tank your productivity for the day. When you go back to sleep after your alarm goes off, you’re setting yourself up to feel less alert. The sleep you’re getting in between snooze alarms isn’t long enough to enter into a full sleep cycle. Plus it’s broken up and fragmented, so it’s very poor quality rest. That’s no way to start your day.
Next, you didn’t leave yourself enough time to get fully ready in the morning (we’re talking about the scruff and wet ponytail here). Showing up for work like this might seem like an inconsequential thing especially if your workplace doesn’t have a facial hair policy, but here’s the thing: What if the president of the board makes a surprise visit? Or your manager calls you into an emergency meeting? Or a potential client shows up for a meet & greet? Your lack of a put-together appearance makes you look like you might have some time-management issues and that’s never an impression you want to leave with any of the aforementioned folks.
Now let’s talk about your breakfast. An unnamed popular donut shop’s plain bagel with plain cream cheese has almost 500 calories and 9.5 grams of saturated fat. Most bagels are very low in fiber which means those starches quickly convert to sugar which is not a sustainable energy source. I think we can do better! Let’s talk about how.
Successful people have one thing in common. They love their mornings! Famous athletes, CEOs and leaders of nations all put a big focus on their morning routines. The main purpose of your morning routine is to set the tone of your day before anything else can happen that might derail you. Avoid your phone, the internet, and television first thing in the morning. Get up with your first alarm and follow this short checklist of things to include in your morning routine:
- Hydrate – as soon as you sit up, reach for a nice, room temperature glass of water and hydrate your body which lost more than a pound of moisture during sleep.
- Meditate – take 5 to 20 minutes to sit in a quiet spot that is not your bed and relax your mind. Focus on your breath and nothing else. Thoughts will pop up and challenge your quietness, but picture them floating away like clouds in the wind.
- Exercise – 15 to 30 minutes of anything you like to do in the morning that will get your blood pumping. Turn on some music and dance, go for a run, put on a workout DVD or just take your dog for a walk.
- Eat – A healthy breakfast with protein and whole grains is one of the most effective ways to leave your body energized until lunch and help maintain a healthy weight. Can you say “veggie omelet and whole grain toast”?
- Set some goals – This is as easy as writing down what you want out of life. They can be material objects or things you want to learn or anything else that you want in your life for yourself or for others. Keep in mind these important tips when goal setting.
- Personal Hygiene – Leave yourself enough time to take care of the basics. When you look your best, you feel your best. Taken as face value, you might assume this means if you have on a nice dress or if your hair looks great, this will help you act more confidently. I challenge you to ask yourself this question: “Which one comes first: feeling good or looking good?”
Pick two or three items from this list and try to implement them into your wake up routine. Design your mornings so that you’ll love them. If you already have a morning routine, tell us about your favorite healthy food, exercise or activity and why you find your morning routine helpful. Help us inspire others to get out of bed and hit the ground running!Tweet