If you’re looking at setting your day up for success, then loading your routine with good morning habits will help you do it.

It’s so easy to wrap up in your duvet and hit snooze, especially on the cold, dark mornings. But the longer you’re in bed, the less time you have to prepare for the upcoming day. There’s not much worse than running late when you’re not prepared, half-dressed and you forget to pack things before you even leave the house. When you do, you find yourself stepping in a puddle, hitting traffic, and having a miserable day.

Your morning routine holds a lot of power on how your day turns out. If, after being in a deep sleep, your first conscious moments are consumed with a panicked frenzy, that negative vibration will settle in for the rest of the day. On the other hand, if you give yourself time to acclimatise to the day, prepare well, and ensure you’re in a good mindset, the positive energy you put out you’ll receive back. You feel more in control and in a more measured headspace. Regardless of if you believe in energy, the universe, the law of vibration, or the law of attraction, it’s hard to argue with the fact that a well-prepared morning, full of good morning habits, sets you up to have a far better day than having a rushed morning with none.

Each morning varies from person to person. Some aren’t ‘morning people’ and need a ruder awakening into the day (cold shower anyone?), whereas those who are early risers may need some structure in their mornings. Regardless of which side you fall on, there’s always something new you can add to the AM.

So, now is the time to seize control of your day as it’s beginning. Here is our list of morning habits that can improve not just the first few hours, but the remaining ones, too.

 

Wake up earlier

A cup of tea on a bed side table.
Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

Sounds simple, yet it’s far from it.

Breaking your standard wake-up routine is notoriously difficult. Especially if you’re used to rolling out of bed five minutes before you’re meant to leave and after hitting snooze six times. You’ve built a bad habit, which you’ve reinforced with the comfort of your warm bed. You’re at your most unguarded, unaware, and subconscious moment as you wake up. When you’re still waiting for your brain to begin firing. Therefore, it’s easy to default to the warm security of a bed, no matter how much that delays you.

Force yourself up. Stick your alarm on the other side of the room, meaning you have to walk up to switch it off. Or, use Mel Robbins ‘5 Second Rule’ to count yourself up. Either way, pick a time and stick to it.

You’ll be less rushed, with more time to achieve other things in the morning. This means that even though you may have an hour less sleep, you could have a lot more energy.

 

Exercise

This doesn’t have to be Mark Wahlberg’s “wake at 2:30 am and workout” type of exercise.

Nor does it have to be an early gym session. But do something that gets the blood flowing. That could be a more dynamic yoga routine or a few press-ups. Maybe even a jog around the block (with the cold, natural air an added bonus for waking up).

It’s been proven that exercise does wake you up and make you more alert, so incorporate exercise as one of your morning habits.

 

Meditate

A person sat on the floor meditating as one of their morning habits.
Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

Mindfulness as a practice allows you to begin your day with intention. 

You’re able to clear your mind and direct your attention in the right way. It also allows you to build your equanimity muscle https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/turning-straw-gold/201105/how-cultivate-equanimity-regardless-your-circumstances  and practices the habits of having patience, understanding, and empathy. There have been many studies that show the initial benefits of meditation, but also the longer-term impact of meditation on people’s lives.

If you can get a quick ten-minute meditation done early, it can provide a solid base in staying level-headed throughout the day.

 

Eat Healthily

There’s a reason people call breakfast the most important meal of the day.

Although it’s far too tempting to pick up a nice greasy bacon butty from the local van, try your best to make your first meal a healthy and nutrient-dense one. Eating a healthy meal, packed with good carbs and proteins will set you up well for the day, and will help you dodge that initial sugar and energy spike, keeping you consistent throughout the morning. If you can’t bear the thought of having boring oats on their own, get a little creative the night before and set the ingredients aside ready for the morning.

You can find a list of easy, morning recipes here, which should still keep your appetite interested.

 

Drink Water

A glass of water.
Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

It is so easy to reach for that morning coffee to help pry open those tired eyes.

Yes, caffeine can be an important ‘pick-me-up’ to help you survive the early morning slog. But it can also lead to a spike and ultimately, crash, meaning mid-morning you’ll be even more tired. There are also other side effects of caffeine, and although we agree, it can sometimes be essential, don’t make it your first drink of the day. Try and put back a load of water, which, after approximately 8 hours of asleep with no water, your body will need. You can even have it as part of a morning shake, which allows you to have breakfast on the move and still get in the essential nutrients you need.

By all means, have your coffee, but save it for later in the day.

 

Self-care

Whether it be sorting your hair, or working on your skincare routine, make self-care one of your morning habits.

Most will agree that if you leave the house feeling good in yourself, it can have a big impact on how you feel and your self-talk for that day. It’s crazy how such a small thing such as sorting your appearance can affect your outlook on the day, but it does. Don’t feel bad for putting yourself first in the morning, as that will dictate a lot of the rest of your day.

But, importantly, do it for you.

 

Gratitude

A person sat on the bed with a cup of coffee, whilst writing into a gratitude journal as one of their morning habits.
Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Be thankful for another day. Be thankful that you’ve got a warm bed and a roof over your head. Or even the fact you have the technology to read this now.

As humans, we’re hardwired to look for the negative and hardship in our lives, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Businesses and the media exacerbates this, who often try to remind us we’re not living our ‘best life’, from which they ‘conveniently’ have the cure to in the form of a ‘revolutionary’ new product (insert eye roll here). Before we know it, we’re chasing gratification through an unobtainable standard of perfection, set by corporations that have profit at their heart, not our best interests.

Living is not about having no flaws, but embracing them and learning that you still have a lot to be grateful for. It’s about putting your energy on the positive, instead of the perceived negatives. If you can do that and take it through your everyday life, you’ll find things are that little bit brighter.

So start your morning off with a small list of what you’re grateful for, as it’s a great practice and habit to begin.

 

Read

There’s power in reading.

Not only through the knowledge you learn, but in the ability to shut off distractions and focus on one medium. In the morning, it can allow you to ease into the day, filling your awakening mind with the right type of influence. Whether that be a self-help read, or a graphic novel to fire your brain up, reading can set your day up with intention.

 

Ditch technology

Multiple people checking their phone.
Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

It’s far too easy to reach for Facebook as soon as you wake up.

The dopamine hit you get from notifications multiplies in the morning, with notifications accumulating overnight. Yet before you know it, you begin to also take in the negative side of what social media has to offer, from the comparison mindset to polarising arguments and negativity. This is not healthy for a barely-conscious mind, first thing in the morning.

Those notifications will wait for you, so get a few things done in the morning first that serve you, and then check your phone a little later.

 

Create your to-do list

Don’t wander without direction through your day.

You can’t complain later in the evening that you’ve achieved nothing if you’ve jotted down nothing to achieve. Give yourself some guidance about what to do by setting a to-do list. You can chip away at it throughout the day, and you’ll get a sense of achievement throughout the day. This accumulates over the week and even the month.

So if you ever feel an unproductive day coming on, enjoy it. You can look back over the big list of things you’ve achieved in the past month, and realise that you deserve a chill day as well.

 

Morning habits wrestle control back from the subconscious.

As you awake, your autopilot is steering the ship and can keep you grounded in bed until you begin to feel the negative consequences of doing so. If you seize the wheel earlier and begin to implement beneficial morning habits, you’ll be able to have a better grasp on the rest day, setting you up for success in whatever you aim to do.

 

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