Successful People Establish Deliberate Morning Routines. Here's How to Make One for Yourself.
A consistent, intentional morning routine generates momentum and has been scientifically proven to have massive impacts on your mood, anxiety levels, productivity levels and overall health.
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It's no secret that making better choices improves our overall physical, mental and emotional well-being. Creating good habits contributes to increased success in our daily lives and it makes us feel good, and that all starts in the morning. Here's how to build a successful, efficient morning routine that will help you take control of your day — and your life.
But what is a morning routine and why does it matter?
A morning routine is a set of habits or behaviors you go through upon waking every morning. If you lay in bed for an hour staring at your phone before you finally get up, that is your current morning routine. When we skip the important brain stages of waking up mindfully and we move right to looking at our phone, we're priming ourselves for a distracted day. We're not giving ourselves space to dictate how we want to feel. Instead, we're letting external stimuli tell us how to feel.
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Take control of your day with a deliberate morning routine
Make yourself get out of bed earlier than usual to have some time to yourself before the day starts taking your time. Resist the urge to look at your phone and instead take some actions that will positively affect your mood from the start.
Andrew Huberman, associate professor of neurobiology at Stanford University, says waking up and doing some form of physical exercise (ex: jumping rope) outside facing the sunrise for five minutes can have a significant impact on your mood.
The great Tony Robbins believes he can live each and every day in a beautiful state. Every morning he wakes up, he performs a routine that he refers to as "priming." What does this look like? For him, the first 10 minutes of each day are reserved for meditation. Then he jumps in a 57-degree cold plunge to shock his body. Unfortunate events will still pop up. The difference is, he's in a much better place mentally to handle them.
Creating your morning routine
Your morning routine can be your own. You don't have to follow any one person. Play around with different actions and see what works best for you. You can fit a lot of little positive habits into a small window of time. Just plan ahead and once you know what works best to optimize your own mind, make it a daily practice. Don't waver. Be disciplined about your morning routine.
Coming up with a morning routine that encourages mind, body and soul connection and making it an unwavering priority, will give you more confidence. When you don't let yourself down and when you show up for yourself, self-doubt and stress will begin to dissolve.
Even if you're in a time in your life where you're feeling out of sorts, directionless and not sure what the next step looks like for you, starting your day off with a series of positive habits is a powerful way to move out of your own way and create a better life for yourself.
Here are some examples of positive habits you can adopt for your morning routine.
- Make your bed. Making your bed first thing in the morning means you've accomplished the first task of the day. It makes you feel good. When you walk into your room later that evening and see your bed is made, you'll feel like you're doing pretty good. Like you have your shit together after all!
- Exercise. This doesn't have to be a full workout. Doing some pushups, jumping jacks, and stretching for five minutes ignites energy, improves focus and cognition and, best of all, puts you in a better mood.
- Drink lemon water. Eight ounces of water with a good squeeze of lemon is a great source of vitamin C. It hydrates, improves skin quality and aids in digestion.
- Drink black coffee. Avoid putting sugar in your coffee. Black coffee is full of antioxidants, helps with weight loss, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduces inflammation.
- Stay off your phone for the first hour in the morning. Avoid the urge to check emails, texts, news, social media and instead focus on how you want to feel today. Don't let the outside world tell you how to feel.
- Journal. Journaling is a way to organize your thoughts and map out your day. You can also vent in a journal, write down what you're grateful for, write out goals for the year and re-read your goals every day, and much more.
- Meditate. Meditation is all about tuning into the self and giving your thinking mind a break. When the mind is in control, we carry the stress of our thoughts throughout our bodies. This often makes us feel heavy and rundown. We hold a lot of our stress in our neck, shoulders and jaw. We clench our teeth! Tuning into the breath and practicing stillness settles us down and makes us lighter, more open and more loving.
Related: 9 Simple Ways to Transform Your Morning Routine and Boost Productivity
These might seem like small things but the small things are the big things. You've probably heard "win the morning, win the day." What you do first thing every day will determine what the rest of your day feels like.
In Tim Ferris's book Tools for Titans, he interviewed over 100 top-performing people to learn what they do differently — and over 80% of the interviewees had some sort of mindful routine upon waking.
Creating and consistently performing your morning routine has so many positive benefits. It will not only improve your energy levels, confidence and health but it will deepen your ability to stay present and your love for life.