An effective morning routine can help set the scene for a positive and productive day and, ultimately, a positive and productive life. Read below for tips on how to wake up and seize the morning.
The entire mood, trajectory, success or failure of the whole day is determined in the first few moments of waking up. And since life is an accumulation of those single days, it is important that those first few moments work in your favor rather than failure.
First-thing-in-the-mornings are fundamental moments that, when treated right, will treat you right.
If your morning is off to a good start, you will probably continue on that path due to some universal rule of consistency or something.
So rather than snoozing your alarm seven times, idly scrolling through social networks or emails, clumsily rolling out of bed, and then rushing through your routine because you hit snooze seven times, idly scrolled through social networks or emails and clumsily rolled out of bed, try to take an active part in your morning.
Create habits that force you to participate in the day, that make the gears whir and then roar into action.
Minimize the unnecessary
Your morning gets away from you when you begin rushing, most often a result of outfit dilemmas or snoozed alarms. Pick your outfit out the night before. Or come up with an “outfit template.”
Also, rather than setting 7 alarms that your brain becomes conditioned to ignore until the final one, set one alarm and avoid the snooze. It seems counterintuitive but after the first alarm goes off, you are not getting any more real sleep.
Output before input
Before you roll over and reach for your phone to digest thousands of external influences, do something that is channeled from within. Intrinsic activity should take precedence as it allows you to prioritize yourself before the world has any say. Output-oriented activities are things like praying or meditating, writing in a journal or planning your day. Whatever it is, the first impact of your day should originate from you.
In more ways than one, water should be included in your morning routine. Taking a shower or simply splashing water on your face will wake you right up. If you’re especially daring, take a cold shower.
Also, drinking water when you wake up will relieve groggy early-morning woes by awakening your senses, refreshing your brain, and mobilizing your metabolism.
Eat a balanced breakfast
Well, a morning routine of champions obviously starts with a breakfast of champions. I know. It’s a health class cliche. But it’s true. Leave yourself enough time to prepare a balanced meal. Scrambling for a grab-and-go breakfast snack rarely packs the short-term (energy) and long-term (overall wellness) effects that things like a smoothie bowl or avocado toast can provide.
If you are not the type to jump out of bed and go for a jog, that is okay. Intense workout circuits are just not an early morning (or an anytime) reality for a lot of us. If you are one of those diligent fitness people, I envy you. But for the rest of us, a subtle 5-minute stretch routine is enough to wake your brain and your body up.
Strategize your day
Review your to-dos and pick out your top three tasks and start with the most important ones first. Try to set the pressing or cumbersome obligations at the beginning of the day so that they are not hanging over your head prolonging any related stress.
It certainly is nice to imagine a life where you wake at 4 a.m. on the first alarm, go to an early morning barre class, trade your coffee for green juice, read a book, review the news, write in your journal, and then proceed to accomplish 20 productive items before breakfast. But if this is not your reality, that is okay. Find what works best for you and then live it. The worst routine is creating impractical goals and then feeling inadequate when you don’t reach them. That is just no way to start your morning.
Lauren is based in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to writing here on Pursuit of Daydreams, Lauren’s daydreams consist of all forms of design: Graphic, Fashion, Web, Interior, Art. On any given day, she can be found preoccupied with at least one of the above. She is happiest with a bowl of ice cream in hand.
Also published on Medium.