When I was in my 9 to 5 and READY to leave and go out on my own, I used to dread mornings.
Everything changed once I started re-evaluating my mindset and goals. I read 2 books that significantly changed the way I looked at mornings and how they fit into creating a life I wanted to live. Those books are The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins and The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. The 5 Second Rule helped me create the mindset I needed to adopt to start getting things done. The Miracle Morning covered the technical aspects and helped me to create a routine. I highly suggest reading them if you’re looking to make a big change in your life.
My mornings to myself are now something I truly look forward to everyday. Some days are harder than others, but now I’m at a place where I can’t believe how much more I’m able to accomplish. I have gone from scrambling out of bed (in a bad mood) at 6:45 am, to popping out of bed to get started on my day at 5:00 am! This is an extra 10 hours during the weekdays! Crazy right? While I was still in my 9 to 5, this allowed me to work on my side hustle in the morning before I even went to work. This allowed me more time and freedom after work.
If you want to start accomplishing your goals so you can create a life you love, it’s necessary to establish a regimented morning routine. Your mind is the most clear and uninterrupted in the mornings, so even waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier everyday can lead to huge results.
Having a an effective, productive and amazing morning routine consisting of effective habits will ensure you start the day right.
Studies have shown that high achievers in life tend to have strict morning rituals which they religiously follow.
When you start your day right, you are mentally, physically and emotionally on a good footing. You are putting yourself in a successful and productive frame of mind to tackle what lies ahead.
So here are some morning rituals you can structure into your own day to get you started right:
Start your day in a great mood
Your mood in the morning sets the tone for the entire day.
How many of you are already moaning and groaning about the day ahead before you’ve even fully opened your eyes?
The Law of Attraction talks about how our subconscious minds are still extremely active just as we are waking up. It is the best time to inject some feel-good stuff into your minds before your feet even hits the floor.
Some people do that through gratitude exercises, positive affirmations or a very quick meditation.
Others do a brain dump in their journal. It’s a great way of emptying the stuff in your heads.
Some people need to go to the gym. Others take the time to make breakfast and read the papers, it’s therapeutic for them.
So think of whatever feels good for you and do a little bit of that in the morning before you start your engines.
Don’t Check Your Email In The First Hour Of Waking
How many of us lie in bed just as we wake up and go through our inboxes? *Raises hand sheepishly*
Well, it’s time to stop doing that.
Studies have shown that doing that doesn’t put you in the best state – mentally and emotionally.
Checking emails stresses you out. Because when we do that – our minds are already racing through the day, we are already thinking of what we need to do. Things are already in motion and we have to race to catch up.
You don’t want to start the day feeling frazzled, frustrated or anxious.
Checking emails first thing also leaves you in a very reactive state.
You’ve started reacting with what the world throws at you and then just keep reacting to whatever lands on your plate.
Do this too often and it leaves you too exhausted to work on what you wanted to.
Have something to look forward to
Something joyful that is.
Go to sleep the previous night thinking (and hopefully dreaming) of it.
Joyful anticipation boosts your happiness by tenfold as it gives us loads of pleasure imagining future happy events.
Not scheduled anything happy? No worries.
Just plan something joyful into your day!
It could be something simple, like getting a latte from your favorite coffee shop, catching up with friends or just lying on your couch with Netflix as company.
Do something you dread
Yes you heard me right. In the mornings, our willpower and self-control is at its highest. It’s the best time to get those dreaded tasks out of your way.
Our willpower is like a battery, it drains quickly. Leaving dreaded and difficult tasks to the end of the day makes it more likely that you will completely skip it altogether.
And that then triggers guilt, unhappiness and anxiety.
Tackling the dreadful stuff early in the day gives you a motivational boost.
Once those pesky things are cleared out of the way, it makes the rest of your day feel comparatively lighter.
The benefits of mediation are plentiful.
Meditating at the start of the day empties your mind. You start the day feeling focused, refreshed and relaxed.
Daily meditations are part of my list of morning habits, and I’ve already noticed some changes. I am calmer, more present and I tend to take things in my stride. I am no longer anxious, irritable and frazzled when I awake.
Meditation sessions don’t have to take hours – though if you prefer longer sessions, go for it! They can be as short as 5 to 20 minutes.
You can hit up YouTube for some great meditation playlists. If you prefer apps – Calm and Headspace are great ones you can explore.
Give thanks, show gratitude
Like meditation, showing gratitude for the amazing things in our lives is a practice that has tons of benefits.
You can give thanks for anything – for the sunshine, for the good night’s rest, or even for being alive to get through another day!
Showing gratitude has been a great addition to my morning routine.
Having done this for awhile, I’ve found that I now have a greater tendency to see the good in the bad, to be more positive and present in the moment. I have a lower tendency to take things for granted.
Positive affirmations and visualisations
Do it in the mirror. Or write it down.
“Today will be a fantastic day.” “I am open to receiving any sort of opportunities that come my way today.” “I am amazing!” “I am beautiful!”. Whatever uplifts you and encourages you
Some people write pages and pages of these. I have a handy list in my phone. Whenever life is starts to suck a bunch of lemons, I pull up the list.
It has been very effective in switching my perspective and emotion state – almost immediately. I’ve recently tried this daily and it has made a huge difference to how I feel.
Others positively affirm their day by visualising all the good stuff that will unfold in the day ahead. This process does not have to take long – 5 minutes is sufficient.
Get some exercise
Or just move around in some way.
Exercising releases endorphins and makes us feel good, more awake and less distracted throughout the day.
Working out in the morning also helps to boost metabolism, allowing us to burn more calories throughout the day.
Again, your exercise routine does not have to be long and drawn-out, doing some simple stretching exercise or light routines that don’t require weights are also great.
I personally go to OrangeTheory in the mornings. It’s a great way to get my blood pumping and energy levels high to start my day!
Plan your day the night before
This always make me feel so much more organized and relaxed when I wake up the next day. I know exactly what I have to do. I use my 90x goal setting planner to do this.
Ladies, this goes for your outfits too. Plan what you’d like to wear the next day and have it all in the same area, so you aren’t scrambling around looking for your skirt or earrings.
Deciding what you want to do before you start the day means you start the day knowing exactly what you have to do.
Planning beforehand removes the cognitive load on your mind to have to think through choices and make decisions first thing in the morning. It frees up your mind and you are more at ease.
Get enough sleep
A great day starts the night before.
It starts with having quality, restful sleep.
Make sure that you have sufficient hours of quality sleep, that you are in a sleeping environment that is cool and dark and that you aren’t checking your laptops/phones just before bed.
It’s best that all these electronic devices are left outside of the bedroom – and not right beside you! – so you won’t be able to make a habit out of checking your emails or whatever just as you wake up.
Listen to podcasts
It’s a great way to start the day, positive and calm.
I listen to podcasts when I’m running errands, doing dishes, getting ready in the morning...pretty much all the time!
The great thing about podcasts is that it’s accessible, you can find anything on any topic you like, and you are able to learn new stuff very quickly. No need to lug books around!
Warm water – plain – or lemon water is known to have health benefits. From helping you lose weight, to preventing premature aging to improving blood circulation and lots more.
I start each morning with a glass of warm water with some lemon.
I think it’s a great morning habit especially since our bodies have been without it for many hours as we slept.
Start the day before everyone else
Wake up before everyone else is up.
For some reason, when you start the day before everyone, you are able to buckle down, focus and end up getting lots of things done.
It’s not like you are getting more hours than the rest of the human race, but it just feels that way for some reason.
Also, you get an amazing sense of accomplishment when you’ve already ticked stuff off your checklist before the day has even started.