Wake Up With Purpose: 5 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Morning Routine
Commit to a morning routine that gives you a sense of accomplishment and sets you up for success.
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As an attorney, author and media commentator with sometimes very little notice before news channel appearances, no two days are the same for me. I am always on standby, at the ready with my best foot forward. Despite having a busy and dynamic schedule, I've found it extremely important for my mental and physical wellness, and essential for continued success, to commit to a morning routine that enables me to feel accomplished before 10:00 a.m.
Here's what I do to set myself up for a rewarding day.
1. Work out
There are countless studies that have proven both the mental and physical benefits of regular exercise. Getting my blood pumping before I start my day is a routine I do not want to give up. It boosts my endorphins and is a catalyst for energy. Of course, there are mornings where it's almost impossible for me to motivate myself to get up and be active, but I have never once regretted a workout.
To anyone fighting sluggishness in the morning, I highly recommend adopting this adjustment. Some of my favorite ways to work out are swimming and taking a yoga class. I also like to take 15-20 minutes to lift weights to tone up my body. If you don't have much time to work out, my suggestion would be to start slow — take a five-to-ten-minute walk outside and enjoy being in the moment outdoors.
Related: 10 Morning Routine Hacks for Happiness and Productivity
2. Say three things I'm thankful for every day
This acts as a mental exercise that helps me lift my mood. While it's simple, it amplifies the good things in life when it seems as though there are so many negative things bogging me down. Especially since my career requires me to stay up to date with the news of global conflict, loss and hardship, reminding myself I have at least three things to be grateful for is crucial. Sometimes it's my family, career or friends, but sometimes it's the littlest things that bring me the most joy: wearing my favorite earrings, seeing my dog play outside or the sun shining that morning.
3. Make a list of three things I need to do that day
While saying three things I'm grateful for helps lift my spirits, making a list of three things I can commit to doing that day helps make my busy life seem manageable and conquerable. It gives me focus and prioritization. Plus, checking those items off my list provides me with a sense of accomplishment that helps keep me going. That said, making this to-do list is strategic: I only write down the three things I'm 100% sure I can finish that day, even if they are small items.
Related: 3 Surprising Productivity Benefits of a Consistent Nighttime Routine
4. Eat breakfast
It may sound simple, but taking the time out of my busy morning to do nothing else but eat breakfast gives me a moment of mindfulness and calm that prepares me for a busy day. Nourishing myself is an act of self-care that I wouldn't give up for the world.
5. Put sunscreen on my face
It takes mere moments out of my day to put sunscreen on, but it has massive benefits. While sunscreen protects against sunburns and skin cancer, there is another benefit: It helps reduce signs of skin aging. I've experienced it firsthand! Evidence shows that using sunscreen every day helps slow down the skin's aging and protects the skin from sun damage. This little act of lathering my skin in a luxurious sun lotion is also another moment of self-care I highly recommend for everyone.
It's easy to disengage during a busy day. We are quick to blame tiredness for a lack of productivity, though I've found that the more active I am when I start out my day, the longer lasting energy I have throughout the day. It sets the precedent and enables me to get more done without losing quality and attention in my work. We all know that feeling of our eyes glazing over, pushing ourselves desperately to remain engaged near the end of a busy day, but I've found this morning routine gives me the tools necessary to push past the afternoon fog.
Ultimately, it's important to remember that we have less trouble motivating ourselves when we care about what we're doing. When you set yourself up for success first thing in the morning, you're bound for a successful day. That feeling of achievement enables me to stay engaged, no matter what challenges life throws at me. Even though the emphasis here is waking up a success, the feeling of going to bed a success is unparalleled.
Once you see how much better you feel when you do these five things every morning, you'll be eager to do them, and eventually it will become second nature.