It seems that every successful person has some sort of morning routine or ritual. Morning routines can be difficult to start because you typically have to wake up earlier and get past the grogginess upon waking up. However, if you find one that works for you, you just might change your life!
Depending on how much time you want to dedicate to a morning ritual you can create the perfect routine. I suggest starting your morning off with AT LEAST one of the following for 10 minutes.
Starting your morning with mindfulness, peace, and stillness can do wonders for your day. We would be here all day if I listed all the benefits of meditation. Avoid meditating laying down or even sitting in your bed, you’ll probably fall right back to sleep. I like to use the app Calm to guide me.
Read a book
I love reading, self-improvement books in particular. Whenever I read in the morning I feel like I’ve already conquered something in my day. The books I read usually inspire many of my ideas or positive thoughts.
Get to Work
If you have some sort of side hustle or business to work on get started on it right away. Many people want to create a profitable business but struggle to find the time to develop it. If you can manage to wake up an hour earlier, drink some cold water, and get working imagine what you can accomplish in a week!
What I like about stretching is that it’s not too intense and doesn’t require much energy. According to Livestrong.com, stretching in the morning can improve posture, reduces aches/pains, increase blood flow, and increase energy. You can even double up this beneficial activity with listening to an audiobook or inspirational podcast/video.
Roll out of bed, change into some workout clothes, lace up your shoes and go for a jog in the brisk morning air. Imagine tackling such a healthy task first thing in the morning! If you’re not much of a runner try doing a few sets of basic exercises in your home (jumping jacks, air squats, wall sits, lunges, etc.).
Go for a walk
This is great to include in your morning routine if you have a dog. You will both benefit from the exercise and fresh air. My dog likes to take her time going to the bathroom as we walk several houses down from ours, it’s something that has started to grow on me. Usually I would try to rush her especially on the really cold mornings, but now I take in the fresh, crisp air and appreciate the silence.
Drink a big glass of water
After 6-8 hours of sleep your body is yearning from some water. My guess is that you’re probably not drinking enough of it throughout the day so it would be a great thing to do first thing in the morning. This will help flush out your system, boost your metabolism, and help you eat less food!
Similar to stretching, practicing yoga has many health benefits. The great thing about yoga is that it can also act as a form of meditation because you focus a lot on your breath and it’s easy to get into “zen” mode. There’s tons of videos you could watch on YouTube to guide you through a few minutes of morning yoga.
Journaling can be anything you want it to be. Write about your feelings, your day ahead of you, your goals, make lists, etc. Check out this article by Benjamin Hardy called ‘Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life.’ He goes into depth about all of the benefits of journaling every day. I have a large journal that I write in just about every single day, however, it’s not something I consider to be a “diary.” I jot down ideas, I write down things to look forward to, I take notes when I read articles online, I write down things I want to manifest, and so on. It’s something I really cherish.
Plan your day
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Actually writing down your goals and tasks for the day will help you to prioritize and set you up for success. I like to use my planner or at least something that I can physically write on. It may even help to write down how long you plan to spend on each task and at what time.
Recite positive affirmations
Affirmations are positive phrases that you read to yourself (preferably out loud) about who you want to be/who you are. The more you hear something the more you believe it. The great thing about affirmations is that they can literally be about anything, “I am beautiful and strong,” “I am wealthy and attract prosperity into my life,” “Today is going to be a great day,” “I make a positive impact in this life,” etc. You get the idea. Whatever you want to be true about you, say it, believe it, feel it, repeat it.
Take a (cold) shower
If you’re not quite a morning person a shower may really help you. For awhile I would take as cold as I could handle showers every morning. It’s requires a decent amount of mental strength I’ll tell you that! However, when you get out you feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the world! Forcing yourself to take cold showers takes a lot of willpower which will also leave you feeling more confident. If you prefer a warm shower just try to keep in short and visualize/manifest how you want your day to go or what you want out of life.
Gratitude is a great practice any time of day because we have so much to be thankful for. It’s easy to dwell on little things that so many others would kill for. It’s likely that you have legs to walk, eyes to see, a roof over your head, people that love you and SO much more. I think a lot of people get hung up on what to say they’re grateful for. It can be the smallest thing! Your morning cup of coffee, the book your reading, that the sun is shining, etc. Practicing gratitude can increase your well-being according to science!
Listen to a podcast
What’s crazy is that so many miss out on free, valuable information that is right at our finger tips. My favorite podcaster is Lewis Howes, but typically I listen to motivational speeches on YouTube from Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, or Eric Thompson. Constantly feeding my mind positive, motivational content makes a huge difference in my mindset and habits. The awesome thing is that you can literally find podcasts for any subject. What’s even better is you can double up listening to something influential with another activity/task. As I mentioned earlier you could be stretching at the same time, you could be in the shower, you can wash the dishes, you can eat breakfast, go for a walk, and much more!
Expose yourself to light
Many of us wake up while it’s still dark out, so invest in a light box and use it while you stretch, eat breakfast, journal, write, etc. Exposing yourself to bright light stimulates the production of serotonin (the happy hormone), which can boost your mood, increase your energy, help you focus, and improve your sleep!
Take your vitamins
It’s easy to forget to take your vitamins every morning, which is why it’s so important to make it part of a routine! I recommend getting a blood test to determine which vitamins/minerals you really need, adjusting your diet if necessary, and then choosing which ones you should be taking. Do a lot of research on what you will be putting in your body everyday! I highly recommend Ritual multivitamins. They have everything a woman needs (and vegans) and they disclose of where all their ingredients come from!
Brew a cup of coffee/pour a cup of tea
Coffee and tea are two simple things in life that I genuinely love. They’re both comforting to me and if you have the right kind it can act as something you’re eager to wake up for! Use your cup of warmth to trigger more productivity or use it as time to sit outside and think about things you’re grateful for.
As you’re reading this take a deep breath in and exhale fully. That’s probably the deepest breath you’ve taken all day. Many people even breathe incorrectly/insufficiently throughout the day because they take too short of breaths, breathing with the chest rather than the belly, and by sitting hunched over. Take a couple of minutes in inhale and exhale properly and deeply.
Choose a few things that work for you and start first thing tomorrow! Make a habit of it and within a few days I guarantee you’ll feel a positive difference. Keep in mind that while all of these things are very beneficial, you probably can’t successfully do them all (or even half of them) every morning without stressing yourself out. Decide how much time you want to spend on a morning routine and determine how much time each activity will get!