The mornings can be either a wonderful time of quiet, inspiration, and working toward your goals, or they can be a stressful, chaotic mess of running out the door and wishing for another hour of sleep. The difference comes largely from the choices we make in the morning and whether or not we structure our time.
The morning offers a unique opportunity to plan out activities that otherwise might not get accomplished. It can provide valuable “me time,” or a chance to get in that workout or writing session you always say you’ll make time for but never do. Here are some inspiring ideas to kick up your daily routine to enrich your mornings.
1) Drink A Glass of Cold Water
There’s no question that water is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but getting the required eight glasses each day can be a challenge. One way to make it easier is to drink a big glass first thing in the morning. Place a large glass (or two glasses) by your bedside table or bathroom counter. When you wake up, drink them before you do anything else.
2) Take Vitamins
Since you’re already drinking a big glass of water, you might as well take some vitamins at the same time. Keep a bottle of vitamins on your bedside table or bathroom counter. You won’t even have to think about it. Daily vitamins will help improve your immune system, strengthen your bones, and increase your ability to focus.
3) Meditate For 5 Minutes
Meditation can help improve the transition from sleeping to waking. Quiet meditation might mean focusing on your breathing, repeating a mantra, or simply allowing your mind to wander. With regular practice, meditation has been known to decrease stress, increase creativity, and improve focus. Not a bad tradeoff for five minutes every morning!
4) Plan Your Goals
This can be a game changer for you! Most people don’t take the time necessary to strategize their goals. Whether your goals are personal or career related, it’s essential that you take some time every day to plan out what you can do to accomplish those goals. This might mean planning your week or scheduling some time to work on a project.
5) Keep A Gratitude List
This can be a wonderful way to begin your morning. By focusing on the things you are grateful for, you welcome more good things into your life. You also set the tone for the day. If you start this practice, you just might get addicted to it.
6) Wake Up REALLY Early
This one is hard– really hard. But try to get in the habit of not only waking up early, but waking up very early. Consider waking up at 5:00 or earlier. You will be astonished by what you can accomplish in the three or four hours before you have to be at work. You might even come to look forward to your productive and/or creative morning routine.
7) Incorporate A Workout Routine
This one won’t be a shocker. We could all stand to move more on a daily basis. Mornings are the best time to get in a daily workout because the stresses of the day haven’t had a chance to take hold yet. Also, studies have shown that our willpower actually dwindles as the day goes on. So, you are less likely to find the motivation to workout after work than in the mornings.
8) Work On An Important Project
Do you have a big deadline that’s looming at work? Or do you have a passion project that you never seem to have the time for? Use the mornings. Spend one hour working on these big tasks in the morning before the rest of your family has woken up. You won’t have to feel guilty about missing out on anything since they’re asleep, and you will get one step closer to completion every day.
9) Connect With Your Partner
If you struggle to find “us time” with your partner, take advantage of the mornings. This might mean cooking breakfast together or talking in bed before you get ready. Or you could kick it up a notch by carpooling to work together.
10) Bond With Your Kids
If you have small children, take advantage of the hours between waking up and leaving for work. These can be precious moments filled with breakfast, singing, and coloring. The morning is often the best opportunity to bond with your kids since evenings can get so chaotic with events, commuting, and making dinner.
11) Take Care of The Daily Mess
By this, I mean to take care of the things you keep saying you will take care of, but never find the time for. This might mean finally getting into the habit of making your bed. It might mean cleaning the kitchen, sewing up a hole in a sweater, or deleting old emails. Whatever weighs on your mind, tackle it in the morning.
So, what will you do differently tomorrow morning? Make a plan tonight, get to bed at a reasonable hour, and see what a change of routine can do for your overall happiness and satisfaction with your life.