“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.” – Aristotle
Every time you wake up in a delirious state, rushing and hustling to make it to work on time, you find yourself panicking over the minor details, skipping breakfast and eventually failing to cope; it feels as though your whole day has been twice the burden and your capability to reach your normal productive level just does not exist. You feel extremely out of body and under the weather, getting irritated over the littlest of things and putting up a mean and arrogant demeanor to your colleagues.
Steve jobs, late Apple CEO, had once said “For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
What you cultivate in the morning influences how you feel, act, and think during the rest of your day. Studies have shown that it takes you exactly twenty one days to form a habit and what better habit than a positive one that gets you up and at it for the day. Consistent progress is a progress worth making. Positive habits are habits of a happy brain. I believe inheriting a healthy short productive morning routine and putting in effort to make it a second nature is beneficial for the long run.
Routines give you structure, it gives you control and keeps your eyes on the prize helping you to become more productive saving your valuable time; as we know time to be a luxury. People that are successful have a morning routine. Make sure the routine and goals you set for the morning are short and quick which puts your mind in a state of Zen other than sending it in confusing directions. Know to work quick and efficient.
Start your morning by drinking a glass of water. You might not realize the loss of water your body goes through whilst sleeping. Stay hydrated.
Here is a list of things you should incorporate in your routines and things you should eliminate every morning:
1. Getting up early and having an upper leg in the competition
The one thing every successful people have in common is that they wake up very early. Sometimes even before dawn. Waking up at 5 in the morning and having that extra three hours on your hand to clear your mind, have a good breakfast and stay in your zone is very therapeutic. This is calming for your mind and gives it time to process new information with a greater interest and stronger capability.
Meditation is a true form of art. Put your mind at ease and let your inner peace feed off of it. Illness is stress related ninety percent of the time so sit back and learn to relax. Praying helps soothe the mind as well as keeping it calm. “Quieting the brain is a time-honored way to be more creative, more contemplative and more in touch with oneself,” Goodwin says.
STOP snoozing your alarms. Snoozing gives you that tiny bit of pleasure of sleeping for a few minutes repeatedly but it is equally not so good for you if you’re trying to maintain a healthy morning routine. Now the question is. “So how do I make myself wake up?” Well the answer to that is very simple: go to bed early. Most importantly, make a deal with yourself and fulfill it. Habits don’t disappear overnight and aren’t developed over night either.
4. Don’t use dark shades of curtains
Now you may not like the light creeping into your room early in the morning and disturbing your sleep, but that’s the idea here. Your body expects sunlight in the morning, sunlight acts as a natural alarm for the body. It indicates your body to get started and the health benefits of sun-rays in the first hour of morning are countless. Although light curtains sometimes might not suit your “aesthetics”, I would recommend you keep the curtains open, but, but your windows closed. We don’t want burglars now do we?
5. Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!
Morning workouts give you a burst of energy that lasts throughout the whole day pumping your senses and jump-starting your body to tackle problems thrown your way more effectively. The feeling of freshness you get after a morning workout is so much more pleasing than the feeling of sleeping in. Motivate yourself by starting slow, a five minutes yoga session or a couple jumping jacks. Get those adrenaline rushing because trust me you’ll get WAY more compliments for working out rather than sleeping in.
6. Take a shower
People often skip taking a shower in the morning and go on about their day which is not a major problem but for a productive morning routine it is utmost important to take a shower in the morning. If you’re feeling stressed right after waking up a warm shower will relax your senses and calm your mind. And a cold shower is as soothing right after a great workout. Don’t forget to put some deodorant on because smelling good is as important as staying clean. Remember not to be in the shower for too long, since it’s not only a wastage of water but it’ll also increase your water bill.
7. Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Never, and I repeat, never skip your breakfast. Breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day. It fuels your brain and provides you with a stronger ability to focus on your work. A healthy breakfast that keeps you full and energetic is the best way to start your mornings. Do not consume unhealthy food as breakfast. It will interfere with your immune system, slowing you down.
8. Say no to coffee
Our body naturally produces the hormone cortisol (which is found in coffee) at 8 am in the morning. Consuming coffee before 8 am inhibits your body of making less cortisol which makes you sleepy. Hence coffee lovers, please take your daily dose of coffee at 9 am.
9. Don’t start your mornings staying in bed for too long
The idea is to wake your body up as fast as possible before it gives in to the cravings of laying down and staying there till you procrastinate and keep on procrastinating over and over again. Therefore, getting up after 2-5 minutes of waking up is advised. Although there are some beliefs that waking up and getting out of bed almost instantly causes you to have a heart attack but that’s not entirely true. Our brain needs time to process our surroundings when we are awake, it takes roughly a minute or two to adjust. Not more than that.
10. Enjoy your Silence
Keep your distance from your mobile phone and go out to watch the crack of dawn. The beautiful wonders of nature will automatically set your mood right for the day. Catch the sunrise and the smile that follows with it. Reflect on yourself and the goals to achieve for the day. The way that you choose to express yourself actually has a tangible effect on your state of mind and your level of motivation. You can practice meditation to stabilize your mind. Visualize positivism to attract positivism.
11. Practice Gratitude
Be grateful for whatever you have. For your arms, your legs, a roof over your head, reflect on everything you are grateful for and smile for it. Instead of waking up early and complaining, why not think about what you have to be grateful about and you can be positive about, if you dwell on these things, you will overall be a happier person. Smiling more often releases serotonin which lifts your mood up and sets you off on an optimistic mindset. Tell your parents how much they mean to you. Be nice to your siblings or your roommate. Shoot a smile at your neighbor who lives across the street. A smile has a magical power, it makes everyone smile back.
12. Talk to your Loved Ones
Obie Mackenzie, the award winning business executive spends 84 minutes every morning chatting with his wife on their morning commute. He says, “It keeps us connected all day”. It is important to have a heart to heart with your dear ones, especially at the beginning of your day, it makes you feel desired and happy which releases the happy hormone serotonin boosting your energy levels and making you more productive because of the good mood you’ve put yourself in. Also keeping in mind to stay at a distance from stagnant conversations with your loved ones.
13. Avoid Technology
Social media can easily hit you with negativity eventually causing you to become lazy against your will. One bad news at the start of your day could make all of your plans for the day go to waste. Remember time is money and time went to waste is a shame to success. Tailor your feeds so they contain positive and interesting news. Make yourself earn it. Set a goal. A tit for a tat. For example, if you read two pages of a book you get 5 minutes of social media. Set realistic goals which are easy to achieve.
14. Don’t read your emails
The founder of Tumblr David Karp believes no matter how demanding his schedule is, Karp makes sure he doesn’t check his email until he gets in the office around 9:30 a.m. He once quoted in Inc. Magazine “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive. If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”
15. Make a “to-do” list
It is very important to not start your day on a clueless note. If you have work at 9 am, as we have said early; wake up a few hours back so that you don’t have IMMENSE amount of unnecessary tension railing behind you. Anna Wintour, the chief editor of Vogue, wakes up an hour early just to perfect her signature bob and that is not even a part of her job. So the key to success is to do as much of work you can while keeping yourself neat and tidy as efficiently as possible. Noting down your schedule a night before saves you time and shows you a way of what you should and should not do.
16. Watch the news before you get out of your house
When I mentioned to avoid technology I did not suggest to remain ignorant. Our world is developing in minutes nowadays, and us being normal human beings we don’t normally have breaking news delivered to us in a silver platter. Safety is very important for working men and women since their kids and family are dependent upon them. You could watch the news in television or read the newspaper for half an hour.
17. Get Enough Sleep
It is as important to get a good night’s sleep as it is to wake up early. If your body does not get the desired amount of rest, it will fail to reset and provide you with the needed energy to set you up for success in everything you want to achieve. If having trouble sleeping, resort to having a cup of chamomile tea, or rub some essential oils (preferably lavender or rosemary) behind your ear or under your nose. The smell of the herbs is a great way to ease your mind. Give your body the upper hand to feed you back.
Success is only achieved when you have faith in what you do and believe in yourself with hard work on the side acting as your fuel. Be focused on your goals and make your life goal-oriented. So make sure to keep your habits consistent. If you don’t stay consistent and persistent on what you want, your life will go on the same loop that it has been going on. Stay committed to yourself and you’ll see yourself progressing to success. Imagine and visualize yourself being successful.