Do you set ten alarms to wake up in the morning? Then proceed to snooze all those ten alarms to spend another precious fifteen minutes in bed?
Do you stumble out of your bed only because there is no more time to waste? Do you rush to make it to work because you’re already impossibly late? Do you find yourself panicking, skipping breakfast, and eventually failing to cope?
Well, welcome to the joys of a day that starts wrong!
If you do all the above and then some more, you’re regularly waking up on the wrong side of the bed. No wonder you feel annoyed first thing in the morning and feel as though your whole day is ruined before it has even begun.
It’s true that if you don’t have a healthy morning routine, you will feel burdened, exhausted, and unproductive. Your body won’t feel rested, and you would be mentally drained, too.
However, not all hope is lost! You can cultivate healthy morning habits and develop a solid morning routine to manage your mornings. “Well begun is half done!” said Mary Poppins. Apply the same maxim to your morning, gain control over your entire day, and make sure it goes well. With this in mind, let’s dive into some proven successful morning habits and routines you can start incorporating into your schedule right away!
1. Set Fixed Sleeping and Waking Time
Fixing your sleep schedule is very important as it ensures you get the right amount of rest every day. Are you one of those people who sleep at random hours? Don’t be surprised if you have a night of disturbed sleep, then. Highly flexible sleep timings mean very erratic waking-up times. All of this accumulates and leads to chaotic days. It’s like you’re setting yourself up for unproductivity. Take into account that the human body needs around 8 hours of sleep to stay healthy. Know that your body wants to follow a consistent sleep pattern. So set fixed sleeping and waking times and let your body settle into a predictable routine of rest and rejuvenation.
2. Find Out Your Best Waking Time
Someone who says they’re not a morning person is not always making excuses. Science proves that they have a legitimate physiological reason to say and feel so. The thing is, your body follows a circadian rhythm. Here’s news: it’s different for everyone! Your friend might function optimally if she wakes up at 5 in the morning, but you might not. It’s not a bad thing.
More and more research proves that your circadian rhythm impacts your sleep schedule and your productivity. It affects your behavior, body temperature, and mental and physical health. Your body clock is different from others, so you need to work your schedule around your body’s needs. Align your waking up time to your body’s clock. This will enhance your wakefulness and boost your energy levels automatically.
3. Don’t Hit Snooze
Snooze is the very devil that tempts you every single morning. But we will tell you unequivocally: STOP snoozing your alarms! Snoozing gives you that tiny bit of pleasure of sleeping for a few minutes. However, it is not good for you if you’re trying to maintain a healthy morning routine. Also, it throws your entire day into disarray. You might want to wake up at 7 AM but end up getting some poor-quality naps up to 9 AM. Now, not only do you NOT feel rested, but you’re also late for work. Great!
The question you might ask now is, “How do I make myself wake up?” Well, the answer to that is straightforward: go to bed early. Most importantly, make a deal with yourself and fulfill it. Habits don’t disappear overnight and aren’t developed overnight either. Take some surefire actions to rid yourself of the snoozing habit. Place your alarm clock or phone out of your arm’s reach. Switch alarm tones, so your brain doesn’t get too accustomed to the old one. Sync your coffee maker with your alarm - smell can be a powerful way to wake up!
4. Notice Your First Thought
The voice in your head starts talking as soon as you wake up. The mental chatter does not take a pause or a break. However, we hardly notice it because it’s always present. It recedes into our subconscious mind, where it continues to have power over our thoughts and habits. If you want to rewire your subconscious and develop healthy habits, start by noticing your first thought in the morning.
Is it a good thought, making you excited to begin the day? Is it a stressful thought, making you dread the upcoming day? Acknowledge your cycle of ideas and if negative, nip it in the bud! Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Start your day mentally on a good note before you begin it physically.
5. Describe Your Day in One Word
Keep a pen and notebook on your nightstand. This morning habit correlates to the one above. As soon as you start thinking about your day, you will inevitably have a barrage of words running through your head. Introduce some clarity into your thought process and choose just one word to describe your upcoming day. It’s like setting the mood right at the day’s beginning.
If it’s a workday, you might write “success,” - meaning you intentionally orient yourself to ace the upcoming work presentation or close the deal. If it’s your day off, you might just write “family,” denoting you’re going to dedicate your time to your loved one today. If you’re off on vacation, write “curiosity,” directing yourself to remain open-minded and adventurous throughout your vacationing journey.
When you set your word for the day, you basically give yourself a plan to follow. It’s evident and very effective!
6. Cross Yesterday Off Your Calendar
Quit ruminating. Begin each day anew, as though you have turned over a new leaf. As soon as you open your eyes, make sure you clear up your mind of the last day’s remnants, especially if they caused you distress. Remember, you have a brand new day on your hands. The day is yours to shape and mold the way you want it to. Check off the previous day from your calendar, and consider it done and dusted. Remind yourself you cannot get the day back and that it’s gone. Use it as motivation to readjust your upcoming day accordingly, so you don’t repeat old mistakes and follow the same unproductive patterns that did not serve you in your recent past.
7. Get Out of Bed
Wake your body up as fast as possible before it gives in to the cravings of laying down and staying there. If you procrastinate getting out of bed, you are likely to keep procrastinating over and over until hours are gone.
Your brain needs time to process your surroundings when you are awake, but it takes roughly a minute or two to adjust. So don’t spend more time than that in bed after you are already awake. Make it a habit to throw off your warm blankets and hop out of your comfy bed soon after you wake up. It will help you stay on track with your schedule.
8. Avoid Technology
In most cases today, people gawk at their smartphones first thing in the morning, even before looking at their partner’s face or the beautiful morning sun filtering through the curtains. Social media is but a click away. You pick up your phone and start scrolling as though on autopilot. The thing is, using technology first thing in the morning can easily hit you with negativity. This can turn you lazy against your will. At the start of your day, one bad news could ruin your mood and wrack up your stress level.
Skip your phone in the morning. Avoid it at all costs. You don’t want to become a slave to technology or turn it into the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing before you sleep. Start your day with focus and positivity. Trick your brain into obeying you. Set a goal. For example, tell yourself if you read two pages of a book in the morning, you get 5 minutes of social media. Set realistic goals which are easy to achieve.
9. Make Your Bed
Significant changes begin with small steps. One of the small acts you can incorporate into your routine is this: start making your bed! It’s easy, it gives you control, and it’s therapeutic. You feel like you have done something right at the beginning of your day, which adds to your sense of achievement.
A study conducted by Sleepoplis found that bed-makers are distinct from non-bed-makers in significant ways. People who make their beds are more likely to be friendly, confident, and adventurous. On the other hand, those who avoid making their beds are moody and shy. The thing to focus on is that making your bed gives you a sense of pride in yourself and prepares you to have a productive day. Most people know this, yet they jump out of bed and don’t bother cleaning up after themselves. Don’t be that person!
10. Stretch Your Body
Morning stretches help you kickstart your day in the right way! It’s not always easy to get up in the morning, and let’s face it - it only gets harder the older you get. One way you can dispel the drowsiness is by going for some quick stretches.
Stretches help loosen up your muscles and relieve tension and aches. They also increase your flexibility and alleviate back pain. Try incorporating easy stretches into your morning routines, such as spinal twist, knee-to-chest, neck stretch, and upper backstretch. Do them as soon as you get out of bed and say goodbye to sluggishness!
11. Wash Your Face
Nothing wakes you up like a splash of cold water on your face. This is hands down the quickest remedy for lingering drowsiness. This is also a healthy practice for your skin. You cleanse it and remove the bacteria that accumulate on your face overnight. It prevents clogged pores and breakouts. You can also wash your face post your morning workout to get rid of sweat and grime!
12. Nail Your Morning Routine
If you’re like most people, you’re not your brightest self right after you wake up. After hours of sleep and resting, you might still need time to process the day fully. In that case, we recommend that you fix a morning routine for yourself. Set the order in which you will do things - from washing your face to preparing your breakfast to dressing up to driving away.
When you fix a morning routine, you’re less likely to forget things. You get into the flow of doing the same things every day, be it complicated or easy. So you will wash your face automatically, get yourself coffee without thinking, and dress for the day effortlessly. Put your things where they belong, so you don’t have to search for what you need every morning. Let the autopilot part of your brain take over and get daily things done with minimal effort and mental energy!
13. Write Morning Pages
Writing morning pages is a form of journaling. It’s when you begin writing first thing in the morning and let your stream of consciousness take control. This practice will help you get things out of your head and on paper. You can write the most random thoughts and impressions. It will get your creative juices flowing and relieve stress as well. Here’s a tip: don’t overthink; just do it!
Meditation is one of the purest forms of self-care you can adopt. Choose to put your mind at ease first thing in the morning by meditating. Let yourself cultivate inner peace. Illness is stress-related ninety percent of the time, so sit back and learn to relax. Meditating 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,” says Ellen Goodwin, productivity expert, and coach. You can use different techniques to meditate, ranging from simple to more advanced. Go for deep breathing, yoga, mantra meditation, and walking meditation. Set time aside to begin your day with clarity and clear-headedness.
15. Use Positive Affirmations
Repeat positive self-affirmation in the morning daily! What better way to begin your day on a positive note? Good words help you leverage the power of repetition to harness positive thinking. They also boost your confidence and self-esteem.
When you’re stressed out or have an important meeting or presentation, use positive words to give yourself the right kind of motivation. Affirmations also help you overcome your negative thoughts and improve your creativity and problem-solving skills.
Morning workouts give you a burst of energy that lasts throughout the day. They make your senses alert and jump-start your body to tackle problems thrown your way more effectively. You feel energetic and enthusiastic after a morning workout. It’s so much better than battling fatigue and drowsiness.
Motivate yourself by starting slow. Begin with a five minutes yoga session or a couple of jumping jacks. Get that adrenaline rushing because, trust us, you’ll get WAY more productive if you begin your day with a workout instead of sleeping in.
17. Drink Water
Hydrate yourself! A lot of us don’t drink enough water. One way to fix this is by making water a part of your morning routine. Wake up, grab a glass of water, and gulp it down. Not only will this help flush out your stomach, but it will also energize you.
There are proven advantages to drinking water early in the morning. It boosts your immune system, improves your appetite, and helps you lose belly fat and weight!
18. Take a Shower
People often skip taking a shower in the morning and go on about their day. This is not a major problem for most, but if you want to have a productive morning routine, we recommend taking daily morning showers.
If you feel stressed right after waking up, a warm shower will relax your senses and calm your mind. And a cold shower is 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.
19. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Never, and we repeat, never skip your breakfast! Breakfast is the most important 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 morning.
Do not consume unhealthy food for breakfast. It will interfere with your immune system, slowing you down. Eat fruit or oatmeal. Pair it with a smoothie or yogurt. Begin your day on a healthy note every day!
20. Say No to Early Coffee
Our body naturally produces the hormone cortisol (which is found in coffee) at 8 AM. Consuming coffee before 8 AM inhibits your body, preventing it from releasing natural cortisol. This, in turn, makes you sleepy.
This is for all coffee lovers out there: please take your daily dose of coffee at least one hour after you wake up or after 9 AM. Let your body’s functions work smoothly and don’t interfere with the natural processes. Don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.
21. Enjoy Silence
Start getting comfortable with silence. Don’t fill your morning with mindless chatter by turning on a news channel or scrolling through your social media. Instead, go for a solitary morning walk. Watch the morning sun coloring the sky in pastel hues. Listen to the birds singing.
The beautiful wonders of nature will automatically set your mood right for the day. Reflect on yourself and the goals to achieve for the day. The way you choose to express yourself has a tangible effect on your state of mind and your level of motivation. Out in nature, you can also practice meditation to stabilize your mind. Visualize positive outcomes to attract positivity in your life.
22. Practice Gratitude
Practice the art of gratitude and do it early in the morning. List at least five things you are grateful for soon after you wake up. There are many things to appreciate in life - your arms, your legs, a roof over your head. Reflect on everything you are thankful for, and smile for it. Instead of waking up early and complaining, think of things that make your life richer and meaningful. This is how you can stay positive and be a happier person.
Smiling more often releases serotonin which lifts your mood 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. Hug your partner or cuddle with them. Positive actions have a magical power; they make everyone return the same to you!
23. Do the Wim Hof Method
This is a breathing technique that you can incorporate into your morning routine. This exercise consists of practicing breathing in a specific manner to ensure optimal functioning of your physiological system.
Per this method, you can either sit down or lie down, whatever suits you best, then inhale and exhale deeply without any exertion. The benefits of the Wim Hof method include a boost to the immune system, increased willpower, enhanced mental wellbeing, and improved concentration, among others.
24. 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.” Why do we cite this example? Well, it is vital to have a heart-to-heart with your loved ones, especially at the beginning of your day.
Nurture positive relationships. It makes you feel desired and happy, which releases the happy hormone serotonin, boosting your energy levels. It also makes you more productive because of the good mood you’ve put yourself in.
25. Eliminate Decision-Making Tasks In The Morning
Most people take their time to become alert to their surroundings in the morning. They need space to become fully awake and realize that a new day has begun. You will find many people who don’t start working until they have had their breakfast and the morning run. Only when they feel ready to tackle the day, do they start their professional tasks.
Likewise, we will recommend that you delay important decisions till when you are completely awake and alert. It’s not a great idea to make a huge business deal or agree to a risky collaboration when your eyelids are still heavy with sleep. Eat your breakfast, do your morning workout and take your caffeine intake. Then start your day and do the heavy work of critical decision making.
26. Listen to a Podcast
Want to get some knowledge on the go? Start listening to podcasts in the morning. There are various options available - from motivational content to subjects related to technology, history, art, literature, and more. This is an effortless way to start learning. Furthermore, you might get creative inspiration from the content you consume.
You can listen to podcasts when preparing your breakfast, commuting or driving to work, or even when you’re getting dressed. Podcasts are readily available on youtube without any additional cost and other platforms like Buzzsprout and Simplecast. It’s a fun, free, and productive way to spend your extra time.
27. Don’t Check Your Emails
The founder of Tumblr, David Karp, believes that no matter how demanding his schedule is, he doesn’t check his email until he gets in the office around 9:30 AM. He is quoted in Inc. Magazine to say: “Reading emails at home never feels good or productive. If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”
So start your morning without clutter. Allot a different time slot to check and respond to your email. Don’t do it first thing in the morning; it will help you avoid feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion.
28. Make a “To-Do” List
It is crucial not to start your day on a clueless note. Noting down your schedule a night before saves you time and shows you a way of what you should and should not do. Keep a checklist of things you have to get done on the day. Prepare yourself ahead of time and have a clear idea of the kind of day or week you will have.
A to-do list gives you a sense of control. It also organizes your workday. You don’t have to function chaotically. Instead, introduce some order in your life and compartmentalize your day as soon as you begin it. This way, you don’t miss out on important things and get your work done per priority.
29. Stay Updated
After you are done with some healthy morning habits that ground you and calm you down, you can start getting in touch with the real world. Now that you are on your way to work, it’s time to start getting updates about what the world was up to in your absence. This is the right time to check the news and update yourself.
We don’t want you to stay out of the loop or be ignorant of important developments. You can pick up a newspaper or read one online. If not, you can always scroll through your Twitter during your commute to find out what’s been happening.
30. 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 you have 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.
Consistent progress is progress worth making. You know as well as we do that positive habits are habits of a happy brain. Developing a healthy and productive morning routine and putting in the effort to make it your second nature is beneficial for you in the long run.
Routines give you structure. They offer you control over yourself and your day. As you incorporate more healthy practices into your morning routine, you will continue to flourish. It’s all about growing consistently. Keep your eye on the prize and become more productive while saving your valuable time. Successful people have a morning routine - what bigger motivation do you need? Make sure the routine and goals you set for the morning are short and quick, which will put your mind in a state of Zen instead of sending it in confusing directions. Know to work quickly and efficiently.
You can only achieve success when you have faith in what you do and believe in yourself, with hard work acting as your fuel. Be focused on your life’s aims and make yourself goal-oriented. Start small, make minor changes, and build on them slowly but surely. This is how you can cement your new habits. Persistence is key. Stay committed to yourself, and you’ll see yourself progressing to success.
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