The morning is THE most crucial moment of anyone’s day. It sets the stage for the entirety of the day so setting a good precedent should be your top priority. Unfortunately, most people have morning rituals and habits that are decent for an 8-hour job, but aren't adequate for a 24-hour day. Here are 12 basic habits you can implement to jumpstart a life you will go to truly love.
Wake Up Earlier
Creating new habits requires time. Initially, you have to invest the time of learning a new habit to reap the long-term benefits. You probably can't ask your employer to start later than 9am, so the only logical route is to wake up earlier. To wake up earlier, you have to go to sleep earlier! There is no way around it! Learn to put down the coffee, turn off the tv, and detach from your phone before bed. There is a reason Howard Shultz, Tim Cook, and Benjamin Franklin woke up at 5 am everyday. Snoozing doesn’t lead to Success!
One of the first things I do after waking up is mentally revisit my previous day and write down 3 moments of gratuity I experienced. It allows me to notice the numerous blessings that typically go unnoticed throughout my life. By writing in a gratuity journal, you’ll find yourself noticing more moments of gratuity throughout your day. Bless the numerous green lights instead of cursing the occasional red!
No explanation required. Just do it!
Write Your To-Do List
Use the first 15 minutes of each day to critically map out your goals for the day. Your mind is freshest in the morning which gives you the mental clarity necessary to closely analyze what small daily action will lead to long-term success in the aggregate. Think on what you intend to accomplish over the day and create 3 main action points that you will focus on first. Remember to realize priorities and prioritize your reality!
Re-Visit Your Vision Board and Personal Mission Statement
Everyone should have a vision board and personal mission statement - if not you need to make one now! Spend a couple of minutes each day imagining yourself living out your vision board. Then mentally create the steps necessary to get there. Review your personal mission statement & understand today falls in line with it. Practices must follow Principles!
Most people are asleep in the early morning which creates a serene setting perfect for meditation. I personally use a mixture of Mindful Meditation and Guided Affirmations, but any form of meditation is fine. 10 minutes of daily morning meditation will do wonders to free your mind and have you starting off the day feeling “fresh” instead of groggy and tired. Mindful or Mind full?
Drink a Cup of Water
A tall glass of water – not coffee – should be the first thing you drink in the morning. Drinking water as soon as you get out of bed will help wake you up and get your metabolism rolling. Most Americans don’t drink enough water throughout the day, so drinking a glass in the morning will take you one step closer to being and staying hydrated. Hydrate to Reinvigorate!
In the morning, particularly in the winter, our joints and muscles get stiff and cold in the morning from lying motionless overnight. When you wake up, take 5 to 10 minutes and go through a dynamic stretching routine. Stretching will loosen up your system and have you flexible enough to deal with any of the day’s challenges. Make sure to pay special attention to problem areas such as the hips, lower back, and hamstrings. A flexible day requires a flexible person!
The benefits of regular exercise are well known and documented. Not only can regular exercise help regulate your weight and reduce the risk of diseases, but exercise can increase your energy levels, improve your mood, and promote better sleep. If these are the benefits of exercise, why not do it every day? No need to do Olympic weightlifting or triathlon training 7 days a week, but a brisk 30 minute walk every morning will get your heart pumping in the right way. Strengthen your mind and body!
Smile At Yourself in the Mirror
Yes, smile at yourself. This one may seem silly, but it has logical backing. In a recent TED Talk, Amy Cuddy talked about the concept of faking it until you make it. You can trick your mind into stimulating the same neurological networks that fire when you genuinely feel an emotion. Shortly put, if you smile you will be happier. And you’ll also get a chance to perfect that gorgeous smile you’ll use throughout the day. Just Smile for a While!
Listen to uplifting music
Take the world by storm and flip on your favorite Katy Perry or Notorious B.I.G. track. Sound is one of the largest contributors to environment and one of the few that we can control. Choose the right sounds to keep you positive throughout the morning and pumped for the day ahead. Listening to morning radio shows takes the environmental remote out of your hands and into an advertisement-focused enterprise. Reclaim it!
Spend Time on Yourself
No one else is awake. There are no distractions and no excuses. Take the time to reward yourself by taking one small step towards a personal goal. Read your novel for 30 minutes. Write 500 words of your upcoming book. Plan your 6 month excursion to Thailand. I usually take 20 minutes every morning to read and carefully analyze my current reading selection. It may only result in 10 pages read, but that is a 300 page novel completed every month. Remember that no one will invest more in you than you do!