“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Have you ever noticed that when your morning goes well the rest of your day seems to run more smoothly?
There’s certainly a link between fostering good morning habits and a positive and productive mindset.
Many highly successful people cultivate a positive morning routine which enables them to be their best selves throughout the day.
You can do this too!
Take a look at these steps that you can use to prime yourself for success.
1. Get Up Earlier
“Go to bed early and wake up early. The morning hours are good.” ― Jeff Bezos
Who wouldn’t want an extra hour in bed in the morning?
Sleep is enjoyable, and when we have a busy day ahead of us, just the thought of getting up to face the day seems tiring.
This is why getting up a bit earlier won’t necessarily appeal to you at first, but if you take the plunge and set your alarm an hour earlier, you’ll be glad you did.
The early part of the morning is the best part of the day for boosting your energy levels and getting your mind and body aligned with your goals.
Nottingham University conducted eighty-three studies on self-control and energy.
They found that we have the most self-control and energy in the early part of the day, but as the day goes on our energy and self-control diminishes.
However, when we utilize our mornings by doing the right things, our energy and momentum for completing tasks last longer.
We also feel better because we’ve taken the time to implement a few self-care strategies as well as focusing on what we want to achieve on a particular day and beyond.
2. Avoid Screens
“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.” ― Jack Kornfield
Screens are everywhere.
Nowadays, we are never too far away from our smartphones, tablet devices, laptops, and televisions.
But the problem with this is that we get distracted and can easily lose our focus as our energy and thoughts are directed elsewhere.
It is far better for your wellbeing to avoid reaching for your phone first thing in the morning.
Instead take the time to meditate or just simply sit and be for a while before you start responding to messages, emails, and reading news stories which are mostly negative.
3. Drink Water
“When the well is dry, we’ll know the worth of water.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Have a glass of water when you first wake up; it hydrates your body after going 6-8 hours without any fluids.
What’s more, drinking water stimulates the growth of red blood cells, increasing the oxygen levels in your blood.
This is beneficial because more oxygen in your body means you’ll be more alert and you’ll get an initial burst of energy, which will help to kick-start your motivation in the mornings.
“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.” ― Arnold Schwarzenegger
Exercise during the morning, even for just ten minutes is good for both your mental and physical wellbeing.
Moving your body helps to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which is highest in the majority of people in the morning.
Also, exercise releases a neurotransmitter called GABA which is linked to greater impulse control and has calming effects on the mind.
If you’re not used to exercising, you could even aim to do a physical activity for just two minutes at first and build up from there.
5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
“Hope makes a good breakfast. Eat plenty of it.” ― Ian Fleming
Eat a healthy nutritious breakfast that is going to give your body what it needs to function optimally.
Oats are always a good choice because they help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and have many health benefits, such as reducing your risk of developing heart disease.
If you don’t usually eat breakfast, now is a good time to start.
By taking the time to eat well in the mornings, you’re more likely to feel alert, energized, and ready for the day ahead.
6. Keep a Journal
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle
What have you been thinking about recently?
What is important to you?
Write down your thoughts, ideas, goals, and experiences and reflect on them frequently.
Journaling will help you to become more focused and develop a deeper insight into what you desire.
Researchers call this process “writing to learn” and those who practice it frequently enhance their metacognitive thinking.
Metacognitive thinking is a term for being aware of our thoughts and it is an important factor in self-discovery and performance.
7. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
― Melody Beatie
Gratitude is truly life-changing.
Being present in the moment and feeling thankful for what you have increases positive emotions.
Those who practice gratitude frequently report feeling more alive, have a stronger immune system, better sleep, less fatigue, and generally more life satisfaction.
Oprah Winfrey has kept a gratitude journal for over a decade as she recognizes the numerous benefits gratitude can bring.
“Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” — Oprah Winfrey
Tony Robbins is another keen advocate of practicing gratitude. He says, “Where focus goes, energy flows.”
Thoughts and feelings are manufactured where we choose to focus our attention, whether it be on the positive or the negative.
So, if you want more positive experiences in your life, shift your focus to the positive.
Aim to state at least five things you are grateful for each day.
You might choose to write them down, or you might prefer to think about them.
Either way is okay, but to benefit optimally from this activity, take the time to feel the positive emotions attached to your reasons for being thankful.
8. Plan the Day Ahead
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!” ― Brian Tracy
Write a to-do list.
It’ll help you to prioritize the most important tasks that need your attention first, and you can organize your day a lot better.
Many people find that tackling the biggest task first is best because once that is out of the way all your other tasks will seem like a doddle.
In addition to your tasks, be sure to factor in some you time. Even if it’s taking twenty minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee and read a book.
You can include this on your to-do list as well because it’s important to recharge your batteries.
The main advantages of creating a to-do list are that it relieves stress, improves productivity, and makes you accountable.
There is something really powerful about seeing your goals for the day written in black and white.
It prompts you into taking focused action.
If, however, you don’t get everything done as planned, that’s okay.
There is always tomorrow.
A positive morning routine sets the tone for your day.
If you integrate these habits into the early part of your day, you should feel grounded, happier, be more productive, and feel more in control of your life.