One thing that most successful people have in common is that have a morning routine. Having a good morning routine has been shown to reduce stress, help with time-management and assist with self-care. Here are 9 morning routine ideas to help you create a productive and successful day:
1. Anchor Yourself with a Positive Thought (30 seconds)
Start your day with a positive thought. That positive thought can also be used throughout the day to help anchor yourself to a positive mindset. Without an anchor, you can easily float away in any direction the wind (or distraction) takes you. Having an anchor of a positive thought gives you something to grasp on to when you feel overwhelmed.
The positive thought can be in the form of thinking of a positive outcome for the day or thinking of your “happy place.” It can also be in the form of demonstrating gratitude. Something as simple as saying “thank you” for the basics in life – the roof over your head, the clothes on your back, and the food you have to eat – is enough to get your day started on a positive note.
2. Make Your Bed (1 minute)
It sounds so simple, but it pays dividends. The benefits of making your bed are:
· Sense of accomplishment (e.g. one thing off of your check list of things to do)
· An easy success-driven decision you can make and action
· Lowers your stress; one less thing to worry about
· You have a neat, clean bed to sleep in at the end of the day
3. Meditate (up to 15 minutes)
There are many benefits to meditating, such as: reduced stress, ability to control anxiety, improved emotional health, increased focus, and enhanced self-awareness. Meditating is not only great in the morning, but it can be done anytime throughout the day. Meditation is like closing down unused apps, and minimizing the less-frequently used apps.
Some benefits to meditating first thing in the morning are:
· It sets a calm tone for the day
· It gives you more energy
· It builds focus
· It gives you a sense of well-being
4. Say Positive Affirmations (up to 15 minutes)
Your thoughts and feelings lead to your actions, and your actions lead to your reality. Saying a positive affirmation with a corresponding feeling can make a huge difference in your life. Starting the day with positive affirmations helps set the tone for the rest of the day.
Some examples of positive affirmations are:
· I know, accept and am true to myself
· I am love
· I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness
· I am <fill in the blank>
· I can <fill in the blank>
5. Practice Visualization (1 minute)
Your brain does not know the difference between what is visualized in your mind and what happens in reality. When you visualize yourself being more confident, more loving and more successful, your brain will look for confirmation of what you visualized. When you behave more confidently, when you demonstrate love, and when you achieve success, your brain confirms what you visualized and your “experience points” start to go up in those characteristics.
For a three step process of visualization, see the Can You Really Learn To Do Anything blog.
6. Exercise (up to 15 minutes)
There are numerous studies that show that the mind and body are connected. The healthier your body, the easier it is to have a healthy mind (and vice versa). Even if you don’t have a regular exercise routine, something as simple as 3 sets of 15 repetitions of anything can be enough.
Keep in mind that one push-up is more than zero push-ups, one sit-up is more than zero push-ups, and one squat is more than zero squats. Start small and grow from there.
7. Read (up to 15 minutes)
Personal development is important, and reading is the best form of personal development. Reading expands your vocabulary and forces you to draw connections in your mind. Some benefits of reading are:
· Acquired knowledge
· Reduced stress
· Improved memory
· Stronger analytical thinking skills
· Better writing skills
8. Write in Your Journal (5 minutes)
There are many variations of journaling. If you do not currently write in a journal, a good place to start is by writing in an appreciation journal.
In your appreciation journal, write 3 things you are thankful for. Keep it simple and don’t think too hard about what to write. It can be something as simple as what is in front of you (e.g your morning coffee).
You can even write in your appreciation journal before going to bed. In the evening, you can write 3 things you were thankful for throughout the day.
9. Have a Good Bedtime Routine
Every good morning starts from a good night’s rest. A good night’s rest starts with a good bedtime routine. Some recommendations for a bedtime routine are:
· Avoid electronic devices one-hour prior to sleeping
· Unload your to-do list for tomorrow by writing it down
· Write in your journal
· Go to bed at the same time every night
BONUS: Do What Feels Right to You
At the end of the day, it’s your life and you know what’s best for you. Do one of these morning routine ideas or do none of them. Even if you decide to not have a morning routine, you are still taking control of your life and consciously making a decision to not have a morning routine.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any suggestions for morning routines, please write it in the comments below!
*Peace, love & virtual hugs*