Whether you consider yourself a night owl or a morning person, a morning routine is a necessary component of a successful day and, more importantly, life.
Think about your morning…are you someone who sleeps in as late as you possibly can before you roll out of bed, take a quick shower, grab a bar and coffee, and rush to work? This type of routine will eventually take a toll on your well-being and significantly impact your productivity for the remainder of the day.
A morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, and if you incorporate AM rituals that get your mind and body right, then you’re doing life right.
Here are 5 morning routines that will shift your state in the right direction:
1. Drink at least 16 ounces of water before eating anything.
Hydrating with a large glass of water immediately when you wake up can work wonders on your body. After sleeping all night, our bodies are dehydrated, and refueling with water first thing in the am is crucial. Replenishing with water will jump start your metabolism, create the optimal conditions for your organs to function most efficiently, flushes out toxins, and will even reduce the amount of food you consume throughout the day. Most importantly, given that approximately 75% of our brain tissue is water, it will fire up our neurons – boosting our energy supply and reducing the likelihood of fatigue.
2. Spend at least 5-10 minutes focusing on your breathing and staying in the present.
Often times the minute we wake up, we allow our mind to wander. Meditation provides the opportunity to tune in to yourself, be present, and set your intention for the day. You may notice thoughts popping up in your head, however, try not to judge or label them, and let them go as you redirect your attention to your breath. The sole goal is to meditate mindfully, feeling your bodily sensations and reconnecting to the simplicity of your current state of being. This will bring your body and mind to a state of relaxation, enabling you to enjoy each moment and have a positive mindset.
3. Read or Listen to something inspirational.
Reading (or if you prefer listening or watching) a book on mindset, personal growth, or anything that interests you will give you some time to do something enjoyable for you while providing a little extra motivation to go out there and be the best version of yourself. It can also spark your creativity and encourage you to take a leap of faith and begin a project or task that has been on your mind but never really seemed like “the right time.” Take advantage of each day and don’t leave things for tomorrow.
4. Get your body moving!
Whether it’s a short walk around the block or a yoga class, moving your body in the morning naturally wakes up your mind and body. Movement is a tremendous source of energy and research shows it can promote our focus and other cognitive skills. Making the time to incorporate some form of physical activity in the morning requires discipline, which can be generalized to the rest of your day and goals in general. Additionally, exercise promotes better sleep quality so your body feels more rested upon waking and is ready to conquer the day.
5. Plan your day.
Before you write your “to-do” list for the day, write down your main long-term goal to serve as a reminder of the direction you are heading towards. Then take a moment and think of the short term, practical tasks that will get you closer to where you want to be. Often times it may be helpful to complete the less enjoyable tasks earlier in the day, ensuring the likelihood of completion. Take the time to check things off as you go about your day and give yourself the credit for each of your accomplishments because no matter how small, you are getting it done!
This all may seem like a lot to do before starting your work day, but remember, no matter what, this is YOUR time. Spending the first 60 minutes of your day connecting with yourself has the power to shift your life in ways that make weekends irrelevant because each day becomes a gift and an opportunity to do what you love.