You forgot to set your wake-up alarm. As you slowly come to consciousness, you begin to panic, as you realize that you’re going to be extremely late for work. You have a quick shower, brush your teeth, and then hurriedly put your clothes on. There’s no time for any food or drink – so you head out the door stressed, thirsty and downright miserable.
Does this sound familiar to you? I’m sure you’ve had mornings like this. And as you know, they’re the worst possible way to start the day.
Your Morning Routine Determines the Rest of Your Day
In 2016, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State University studied call center staff working for an insurance company.
They specifically looked at the mood of the call center staff throughout their working day. The three-week study discovered something interesting. Namely, staff who started the day in a bad mood, usually ended the day in a bad mood too. (This was despite them receiving calls from positive customers throughout the day.)
Staff who started their day calm or happy – finished their working day in the same upbeat emotional state. Furthermore, the study found that staff with low moods had low productivity. Staff with elevated moods demonstrated high productivity.
So, as you can see from the above revelations, it’s vital that you start your day well.
Transform Your Life with These 12 Morning Routines
If you’re prone to starting off your day in a gloomy and stressed state, then you’ll be sure to benefit from the suggestions below.
1. Wake up on time.
Waking up on time (or even early) is critical to starting your day positively. It will give you space and time to complete your morning routines. And you won’t need to worry about rushing around your home.
2. Open your curtains.
One of the first things you should do upon rising is to open your bedroom curtains. I do this every morning, and I’ve found it to be a fantastic way to gradually wake up from my slumber. Personally, I open the curtains, and then sit on the end of the bed for a few minutes. This allows me to enjoy the morning light streaming through my window.
3. Check your to-do list.
Organized people tend to have to-do lists. It helps them keep track of what needs doing at home, work and beyond. To-do lists can be paper-based, or you can use one of the many free apps that are available. The morning time is perfect for checking your to-do list, and prioritizing items for the day. You may also find that you can tick off some items that you completed the previous day.
4. Listen to some upbeat music.
Music is a powerful mood changer. If you’re not a typical morning person, then you can help to boost your physical and emotional state by listening to upbeat music. I won’t suggest specific artists, but simply try to choose music that makes you feel happy and lively. You could listen to this music while you shower, when you’re in your kitchen, or perhaps when you’re commuting to work.
5. Complete a mini workout.
If you have a home gym, then spend a few minutes each morning working out. This will rapidly wake you up, and increase your mental well-being. If you don’t have a home gym, you can still do a mini workout. For example, try doing sets of push-ups and sit-ups.
6. Review your goals.
Early morning can be an excellent time for contemplation. While you may want to think about trivial things, successful people often use this time to review their personal goals. You can do the same. For instance, if one of your goals is to start your own business, then use the morning time to come up with ideas to help move you towards this goal.
7. Read a motivational quote.
If you want to boost your productivity, then make a habit of reading a motivational quote each morning. To get you in the mood for adopting this behavior, I’ve picked out one of my favorite quotes for you:
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” – Og Mandino
8. Drink a glass of water.
Hydration is essential. Especially after hours of sleeping. I love to drink a glass of pure, filtered water every morning. It immediately makes me feel better, more energised and… less thirsty! Even if you’re a caffeine addict, try drinking a glass of water before you start on the hard stuff.
9. Plan your day.
Self-help guru Alan Lakein famously said: “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”
Wise words indeed. To be successful in life, you must learn how to make plans and set goals. You should have long-term plans, medium-term plans and… daily plans. That’s right. You can use a few minutes each morning to plan the day ahead. It’s a simple technique that offers a surprising boost to your daily productivity.
10. Enjoy the quietness of the morning.
If you can get up in the morning before the majority of other people, you’ll be rewarded with peace and quietness. You can make use of this special time by perhaps reading a book, or sitting in your garden. Personally, I love to walk my dog in the early morning, as the streets are empty – and my dog has a whole park to itself!
11. Check yourself in the mirror.
I’ve heard people say that they don’t like to look in the mirror in the morning – because they’re afraid of what they might see! I’m guessing that they probably look miserable and tired first thing in the morning, and want to avoid been reminded of this. It’s understandable, but I think mirrors are a great tool to use in the morning. Instead of being afraid of them, use them to check your appearance. You can quickly check your hair and makeup (for example). But more importantly, you can ensure that you’re looking alert, confident and purposeful.
12. Follow Steve Jobs’ advice.
In a speech he gave at Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs revealed that he started each day by asking the following question:
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
He went on to say that, if the answer to the question was “no” for several days – then this told him that he needed to make changes in his life.
Hopefully, the above list will give you plenty of food for thought. I recommend that you pick out a handful of the above suggestions, and make them a part of your daily routine. By doing this, you’ll find that your days start happier and stronger. You’ll also discover that you’re more motivated and productive than ever before.