10 Simple Yet Effective Morning Routines to Set Yourself up For a Good One
Have you ever noticed those hectic mornings – running out the door half-awake and half-dressed – set the mood for an all-round chaotic day?
What you do (or don’t do) in the first few hours of the morning could determine the rest of your day.
Luckily, there are some simple changes you can make to your morning routine to set yourself up for success.
Here are 10 simple habits to make for good mornings and even better days.
Re-Evaluate Your Alarm Clock
If your morning starts with a string of snooze buttons, read on.
There’s no denying sleep is a key player towards kicking goals, so what’s the magic number to catch some thriving zzzz’s?
Forbes documented the sleeping habits of 21 of the world’s most successful people including big names like Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Richard Branson, and even Winston Churchill.
A mixed bag of sleeping hours, bedtimes and wake-up calls.
The core discovery pointed out the importance of the quality of sleep.
The research determined the brain functions better on a shorter uninterrupted sleep compared to a longer one with multiple wake ups.
In fact, the majority of the successful people recorded tallied in only 5-6 hours sleep a night.
So, next time you hit the snooze button, consider splashing your face with cold water and starting the day.
Make Your Bed
Your mum was up to something when she nagged you every morning to make the bed.
Turns out this simple task could set you up for a rewarding day.
Admiral William McRaven shared his tips for success at the University of Texas in 2014 and his speech went viral.
His first tip was to simply make your bed and it spoke so much truth.
McRaven’s speech went on to say, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
Sip on This
What’s the first thing you reach for in the morning?
If you answered iPhone, try swapping it for H20 and see how much better you feel.
After going hours without water, the body can be dehydrated and in need of some liquid goodness.
A glass of water first thing in the morning fires up your metabolism, fuels the brain and helps flush out toxins.
Scrolling through your news feed can’t compete with that.
Eat for Energy
We’ve all heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but bigger doesn’t exactly mean better.
Evidence points against hearty meals first thing in the morning in favour of easily digestible foods.
Research shows 70% of energy is spent on digestion alone. That’s a lot of energy taken away from the other things you need to do.
It’s best to fuel your morning with foods that require the least amount of digestive effort as possible. The best foods for easy digestion include yoghurt, eggs, oats, avocado, and turkey.
Some foods to steer clear of are bran cereals, dried fruit, peanut butter and fibre-rich fruits like berries, coconut and pineapple.
Write a To-Do List
Never underestimate the power of a to-do list.
Physically writing out the things you need to do is like giving yourself a mental nod to start.
It helps clear the mental fog of chores floating in your head and gives room for you to focus on the job ahead.
Plus, every time you tick a task off, it gives you a dose of satisfaction and an inspirational boost to start the next.
Get up and Move
Exercise is beneficial any time of the day, but you’ll reap the benefits all day long if you work out first thing in the morning.
When the body releases endorphins, it energises the body and mind.
You’ll also feel like you’ve accomplished something great before most people are getting out of bed.
This satisfying feeling will give you the motivation to tackle your to-do list, no matter how challenging it may look.
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, a 20-minute brisk walk in the fresh air will still do wonders for your health and endorphins.
Go get ‘em!
Get a Dose of Inspiration
Positivity goes a long way, so use it.
Whether it’s an inspirational quote, song, book or a 10-minute yoga flow, give yourself time to soak in some positive vibes first thing in the am.
It will set you up for a sunny day, no matter the weather.
Brighten Things Up
Do you often feel hungry when you see golden arches perched on a red backdrop?
Don’t blame your stomach, blame colour theory.
Turns out colours trigger certain parts of our brain, so it’s no surprise red and orange trigger the hunger signals.
Use colours to your benefit and add vibrant shades to kick-start your morning.
Greens and yellows are associated with happiness (hello sun and nature) while soft shades of blue enhance feelings of calmness. On the other hand, reds and violets stimulate energy and passion.
Overall, the shade of choice goes to sunlight. Nothing beats a morning spent drinking a cuppa in the sun to kick start the day.
Turn up the Volume
Good tunes and boogies are no longer restricted to Saturday nights.
Music reduces stress, improves blood vessel function and improves mood. In fact, Hippocrates is said to have used music therapy to treat his patients.
Basically, music is the medicine ideal for tough mornings. Play it while you’re drinking a cuppa, making breakfast and of course sing out loud in the shower. No judgement here.
Make your Morning Commute Better
Take the stress out of morning commutes and leave for work just 10-15 minutes earlier.
If you’re prone to running late (you know who you are), set your clock, iPhone, watch and any other time teller in the house 10 minutes earlier.
Another way to make your commute better is to learn something along the way.
Some of the best inspirational podcasts to wrap your ears around include Hey, Cool Job!, How I Built This, Personal Best, Beyond The To-Do List and The Body and The Beast.