Morning person or not a morning person? That is the question. The whole world is divided based upon the answer to this question alone. Morning people are typically not night people and vice versa. Morning routines are probably not even thought of by most people, especially us night owls.
With that being said, we can help transform ourselves into becoming “morningish” people. We all want to have a successful and productive day in whatever we are doing. So why shouldn’t we adopt some healthy habits that will increase our chances of success?
I am a firm believer it is all about mindset and if we want to be successful at something we have to believe we can. It’s like that story that we read to our kids when they were little “Thomas the Tank Engine.” He had to keep saying over and over, “I think I can, I think I can.” We can change that up a little to say “I know I can, I know I can.”
So let’s do it. Let’s all be morning people. Or people who pretend to be morning people. If we pretend long enough it will just be who we are. And I’m okay with that. I mean who doesn’t want to be more prepared, less frazzled, and of course more put together?
#1 No Snooze!
The snooze button is by far our worst enemy. It tricks us into thinking that we can get some extra sleep and then have a wonderful day. Lies! It is all lies. The only thing the snooze button does for us is set us up for a hectic day of running late and never feeling ready! Boo! Bad way to start the day!
That is definitely not something you want to incorporate into your morning routine. So don’t. When your alarm goes off get up! The extra 5 to 9 minutes of sleep our alarm is pretending to give us is false. We are not actually sleeping and if we are then it is guaranteed we will sleep through the alarm the second time. I know, I speak from experience. Worst. Feeling. Ever. So do yourself and your co-workers a favor and get up!
Exercising in the morning has many benefits. For me the big benefit is you get it done and over with. No excuses later in the day on why I am too “busy” to get it done. So giving yourself that extra time in the morning even if it is 20-30 minutes of yoga is super beneficial.
Studies (and when I say studies, I mean other people who actually did the studies not me) show that if you exercise before breakfast you could actually be speeding up weightloss and giving yourself an energy boost. This will help you to burn fat all day! Wow! That sounds amazing. Who doesn’t want to burn fat all day?
Also, as we all know that getting our heart rate up by doing some type of aerobic or cardio exercise is super good for us and can help us in other ways too. Let’s say we go outside for a walk, or run in the morning and we spend 30 minutes in that glorious sunshine (that is if you live in a place that has the sun, we are missing it desperately here in northwest Ohio). The sunshine alone can help you feel better and fight depression. Mix it with good cardio and you are doing all the good stuff. Look at you making smart choices in the morning.
#3 Eat Breakfast
Breakfast has been one of those meals that has always gotten away from me. I am a terrible breakfast eater. Over the years I have done breakfast many different ways. From protein shakes, to yogurt and fruit, pop tarts to bagel, and of course the almighty SKIP. Yes, I would skip breakfast. I would drink coffee of course but not really eat anything. Oh I would also take some sort of multivitamin because I thought at the very least I was getting my vitamins.
Well, sorry to say I have been doing it all wrong. No surprise there. Breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated and if you are not much of a breakfast person than keeping it light is probably easier. The recommendations by those people who do the studies say that eating a breakfast full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats is the best.
What exactly do those things look like you ask, well I have some suggestions right here. You can/should eat greek yogurt with some nuts, eggs with slices of avocado, toast and lox, chorizo, bean, and egg breakfast burrito, and peanut butter and jelly protein shake. These are all easy and pretty yummy choices for your healthy breakfast. So start your day off on a healthier note and avoid those nasty multivitamins. What are they really doing for you any way?
#4 Give Yourself an Hour!
Now, I am sure you are asking yourself, “Self, how does she think I am going to fit in all this stuff in my morning routine?” Well, I have an answer for you! Duh. Give yourself an hour. Make the alarm go off an hour earlier than it used to. What?! I can hear you screaming. It’s okay we can do this. If we wake up an hour earlier than we did before we will have time to start our morning right and have a successful day. And that is what we want right? A day so successful that we will want to do it again tomorrow! So let’s do it again tomorrow!
Now, “how?” I can hear you asking. Well simple. We are not going to wake up an hour early all at once. Giving yourself some time to ease into it is the best way. So for instance, on Monday set your alarm for 15 minutes early. Then, the next day bump it up to 30 minutes early. Keep going until you hit that extra hour.
I also recommend, going to bed early as well. I’m not sure how much sleep time you need but I need A LOT! (Side note: I do not get enough!) So if you are like me then you might want to do the same thing at night. Go to bed 15 minutes early on Sunday Night. Then 30 minutes on Monday, etc. Until you’ve gone to bed an hour early. This way you are not losing sleep and you are still getting the benefits of a good night rest even though you are waking up early.
#5 Drink a Glass (or two) of Water
Hydration is one of the easiest and healthier things you can do for your body in the morning. We all need hydration and drinking a glass (or two) of water in the morning will help get your metabolism started for the day. After a long night of sleeping, we need to rehydrate our bodies and allow our organs, such as our kidneys to flush out toxins and work properly. Plus, if you exercise in the morning, hydration is essential to replacing what you lose through your sweating!
There are many reasons why water is important to our bodies and drinking water throughout the day is highly recommended. So, I see it as an important step to your day by drinking water first thing when you get up and continuing on this habit as you progress throughout your day. Yes, Grandma I was listening.
Now, I don’t know about you but there is something about listening to a good song the can motivate me to do just about anything. No matter what type of music you listen to, music has been proven to have many different health benefits as well. We can start our day with a nice energizing song, or something more relaxing that will give us a more calming start to our day.
Music can wake up your senses and provide you with a more alert and energized start to your morning. You then can continue this productivity throughout the rest of your day. If you are facing something stressful, music is considered a stress reliever. It can help calm you and then allow you to go out and take on the things that cause you anxiety or fear.
#7 Gratitude, Prayer, or Journaling
Starting your day off on a positive, more thankful note, can help you increase your productivity. Whichever form you choose, journaling, praying, or even writing down what you are grateful for can give you a much more positive mindset to start off your day. Writing little notes to those around you who you are grateful for can go a long way to helping your day start off right. The notes can be delivered or just kept to yourself as a reminder of all those things that person does and is for you.
Prayer, if you are a praying kind of person, will have the same affects. You can sit down and pray for the people in your life. Pray for the situations you might face, or the people you might meet. Pray for the people you work with and the situations they face. Pray for complete strangers, people who are sick, dying, losing family members, in situations they think are unbearable, or just because. Prayer can be soothing.
Journaling is a whole new thing to me but I am learning to do it regularly. This helps me keep my thoughts clear and allows me to spend less time worrying and being fearful for what might happen. I can talk (write) my way through situations and see the pros and cons that might occur. It can be used anyway that is most helpful to you. I find spending 10 minutes simply writing is a wonderful stress reliever. Weird. I know. But it is very true. Try it sometime. Like in the morning to get your day started on a more reflective, grateful, and prayerful note.
#8 Prepare the Night Before
The morning routine actually starts the night before. When you are getting ready for bed you should already be thinking of the next day and what it entails. I suggest, making out a plan for getting yourself ready for your morning routine but prepping just a few things before you go off to slumber land.
First, of all it would be really helpful if you laid out your clothes for the next day. This is one less thing you will have to be worried about in the morning. Figuring out the night before what you will wear, what shoes, jewelry, or any other accessories that might work with your outfit. This eliminates the try it on, don’t like it, try on something else, don’t like it, repeat. You can also check the weather to make sure your outfit will be weather appropriate.
Packing lunches is another thing that you can do to save yourself time in the morning. This will also eliminate the stress from figuring out what to eat and also allowing you time to prepare to include healthy options. I try to “preplan” my lunches on Sunday so that way I can go to the grocery store if there is anything I am missing. Then I can be sure not to have to grab that microwavable mac and cheese cup because I had nothing else left to pack. Yuck!
Writing a to do list for the next day is also a great way to get your mornings off on the right now. If you already have a list of the things you want or need to accomplish for the day when you wake up you can start off your day checking stuff off instead of wondering what needs to be done. This will also give the opportunity to prioritize your list and be able to give more important tasks the appropriate time on your schedule. You will be better prepared and in turn your day will be more productive.
9. Stay Tech Free (as much as possible)
I know this one might be hard especially when you have to use your technology to play your music, etc. But, if you do not have to, stay off your phones, iPads, laptops. Don’t look at social media, or respond to any emails. Unless you have to.
Some of us have jobs that might require us to check and respond to emails or social media but if you do not, STAY OFF! Sometimes, reading negative comments or memes on social media can you put you in a negative funk. We do not need that. So stay positive and read a book if you really need something to engage your mind. Reading a book in a genre you love will be much more enriching and positive for you. Let’s start our day positively not negatively people.
#10 Make Your Bed!
Sure this sounds like something your mother would say, but hey she was on to something here. Let’s just say this, I have never been a bed maker. It seemed absurd to make something that I was just going to tear back up in 14 hours or so. What a waste of time!
But, the older I am getting I am realizing the power of the simple act of making my bed. It gives me a much more complete feeling. I make my bed to signify my sleeping time is over and I am starting my awake time. I make my bed to make it “look” like my bedroom is clean. I make my bed to keep my sheets fresh and so muddy paws don’t find their way to my pillows. And I make my bed because it makes me feel like I am an adult and I am in charge of my day. My bed is made, I can conquer anything!
Yes, I know that all sounds ridiculous but I dare you to just try it one time. Get up and pull those covers up and tuck them in all neat. Fix your pillows and fold up any blankets that go at the end of your bed. Boom. You have accomplished your first task of the day. If that doesn’t make you feel like you can do anything then I am not sure what will.
What are you going to do with your time in the morning? How are you going to start your day so you can be more productive and successful? What new healthy habits are you going to implement into your life so that you can live your best life ever?
It’s a new year and time for new beginnings. So it is the perfect time for you to make some healthy changes to your routine. To create a better mindset for you to start your day and lead a much more productive life.
In case you missed it last month (January), I created a 21 Day Declutter your Stuff Challenge. This is just another way you can create healthy habits in your life, to live your best life ever! Getting rid of the mess that we live with can help clear our minds and allow us to focus on what is important. So check out that post here.
As always thank you for stopping by. If you already have a healthy morning routine I would love to hear about it in the comments below. Also, if you have tried any of the ideas listed above, I would love to hear about how your mornings are going as well.