This month, I am committted to starting a new morning routine with the intention of making it a daily habit. In the past, I’ve maintained morning routines and have really flourished as long as I kept it up! Sadly, I've inevitably found myself reverting back into the old familier bad habits of procrastination and distraction, and end up feeling like I’m trying to catch up all day!
With this in mind, I would like to invite you to join with me in establishing a new morning routine habit. This way, we can hold one another accountable! The more you practice your new habit, you’ll find that having a go-to morning routine will set the tone for the day ahead, and put you into the right frame of mind to tackle whatever the day brings your way! Here are several things you can do to design a morning routine of your own:
Get up earlier
When you make a commitment to getting up earlier, you’ll find you have more time for yourself, and feel less rushed as you prepare for your day. Like any habit, getting up earlier than usual is a hard practice to cultivate. To get the ball rolling, set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than you would normally get up. Remember too, if you are waking up earlier, you will need to get to bed earlier the night before. Sleep deprivation creates havoc to your mental and physical wellbeing, and decreases your productivity and overall happiness.
No screen time
When you first wake up, avoid turning on the television or checking your emails or social media for at least the first hour that you are awake. This is a great way to not allow yourself to be a slave to your technology all day. Remember too, there are plenty of hours left in the day to get caught up on current events, trending topics or celebrity gossip!
For the eight hours or so that you are asleep, your body slowly becomes dehydrated. Naturally, you don’t drink water while you sleep because, well, you’re asleep! However, a habit of drinking 16oz of fresh water first thing after waking benefits you immensely, helping to fire-up your metabolism, flush out toxins, and rehydrate your body and brain!
Beginning your day with a nutritious and balanced breakfast, you kick-start your metabolism, giving both your body and brain a boost, and it help you to cut back on mindless snacking later on in the day. When choosing what to eat for breakfast, go for something that is nourishing, and that will provide you with sufficient energy until lunchtime. Try to avoid eating on the fly, instead making time to savor your breakfast. This can help to increase your enjoyment of eating and add more happiness to your day.
Move your body
A lot of hard-core fitness junkies gladly rise at 5:00am for a morning run or spin class, yet for for the rest of us, exercise feels like a form of torture, especially first thing in the morning! For people who dislike exercise, it is possible to find ways to move your body that you can truly enjoy and look forward to each day. Personally, I think there is nothing more blissful than going for an outdoor walk! To nourish body and mind, try a gentle yoga practice; and a light stretching routine can shake off grogginess and invigorate you for the rest of the day. However you plan get your body moving, aim to do something that is fun, and better yet, do it outdoors!
Set your MIT’s
Add purpose to your day by setting three Most Important Tasks for the day. Your MIT’s are the tasks that you most want or need to get done for the day. While you get more done than just those three things, your MIT’s are the tasks are that you must accomplish. The key to successful MIT’s is to ensure that at least one relates to your long term goals. This way, you are always doing something that moves you closer your goals. The other two MIT’s can relate to other tasks you have to get done, like paying bills or other chores. Get your MIT’s done first, and avoid putting them off until later in the day!
There is a growing body of mindfulness research that indicates that people who focus on the present moment experience are significantly happier than people whose minds wander away from the moment. Indeed, incorporating mindfulness into your morning routine doesn’t necessarily mean you have do begin an intensive meditation practice. Instead, try doing one activity mindfully, such as while eating breakfast or drinking a cup of coffee. Rather than multi-tasking, simply sit and notice the experience. Doing so is likely to boost your happiness and improve your outlook for the day ahead.
Starting your day with gratitude can put you in a optimistic frame of mind that is likely to have positive influence on your entire day! Spend a few moments each morning thinking of at least three things in your life you are grateful for. In time, you will find that adopting an attitude of gratitude for your life, surroundings and experiences will help you grow into a happier, more compassionate person. Those around you will be drawn to your positive energy and feel your appreciation towards them!
People who make a habit of a morning routine often gain higher self-esteem and set stronger boundaries for themselves because they regularly practice self-care. By maintaining a morning routine habit, you are sure to bring more joy into your life and set yourself up to have a happier day. It is up to you to make the best of your life, and starting your day off on the right foot is one way to make it happen!