Mornings are not always enjoyable. We often start our days feeling groggy, tired, and unmotivated. These feelings then stretch into the rest of our day hindering our daily tasks. However, I have recently began incorporating a few habits into my daily morning routine that have made an incredible difference in both my mood and productivity.
1. Plan your day
Personally, I have found that one of the biggest things that crushes motivation in the morning is stress. Right when I get up I begin to think about the overwhelming amount of things I know I have to get done. These things buzz around my mind making me dread the day I’m about to face. Sometimes this stress is inevitable, however, by taking the time in the morning to plan out your day, you will help keep it at ease. Pretty much every morning I spend 5 minutes making either a schedule or a to-do list for that day. On days where I have many things that I need to get done, I will make a schedule so that I know I’m allowing plenty of time for each task. On lighter days, I will simply make a to-do list so that I can take my time and accomplish each task when I feel like it. By planning my day out in the morning, I can actually see how much I need to get done and at what times through out the day I need to accomplish them. This limits my morning stress and makes me more prepared to start my day.
2. Start healthy
I know that not everyone has the time (or desire) to start their day with a morning jog and a large glass of an organic, gluten free, green protein smoothie with chia seeds. I certainly don’t. However, starting your morning on a healthy note can make a big difference in the rest of your day by making you feel more motivated. Now it is important to keep in mind that “healthy” is relative term. For some people, a healthy morning does include a light jog and a nutritious smoothie, where for others it can just be one glass of water and a pass on a donut. It’s important to learn what “healthy” means for you so that you can develop your own morning rituals to kickstart your day. For me staring my day on a healthy note includes drinking a large glass of water right when I get up and eating a breakfast that will provide good fuel for my day. When I skip these two steps, I noticed a significant decrease in my motivation and I often make not so good snack choices later on in the day. A healthy morning is more likely to lead to a healthy day!
3. Accomplish a small task
Most mornings I just want to relax and slowly ease into my day and while there is nothing wrong with this, I know that it isn’t the best method for kickstarting my productivity. I like to think of productivity as a line of dominos. Sometimes all it takes is the accomplishment of one small task to send the rest of your day into a spiral of productivity. Why not accomplish that one task at the start of your day? Oh yeah, because we are often tired in the morning and everything on our to-do list will require to much time and effort. But like I said earlier, it can be a small task such as putting away the dishes, tidying up your bathroom countertop, or even just making your bed (this is what I often pick.) By accomplishing a small and quick task such as one of these, you can put yourself into a better mental place and the rest of your day will likely be more productive.
4. Find something to look forward to
While all of these other tips are great for achieving a more productive and motivated morning, they all require one thing; getting out of bed. Personally, this isn’t a huge problem for me because I do consider myself to be a “morning person,” however, I do have days where I simply can’t seem to put myself up and out of bed. If you occasionally have days like this or if every day is like this I recommend finding something that you can look forward to in the morning. For me, this is breakfast. I love breakfast so much and it is the one thing that is always able to pull me out of my cozy cocoon of a bed. For the longest time I would either skip breakfast or have something wimpy like a bowl of sugary cereal or a muffin. When I began my health journey I started putting more effort into preparing more nutritious and filling meals in the morning and man did they taste amazing! Not only was I fueling my body better, but I also seemed to create the motivation necessary to get myself flying out of bed in the morning. Now I understand that breakfast isn’t everyone’s favorite meal and so to you I would suggest trying to think about parts of your morning that you considered enjoyable or things that you could incorporate into your morning to make it enjoyable. For example, one of my best friends loves makeup and she says that she looks forward to her daily application of it every single morning. Maybe you like picking out an outfit, drinking coffee, reading a chapter of a book, or watching a funny video. Whatever it is, find something that you can look forward to in the morning because it will help you feel more motivated to start your day!
Sometimes the hardest part of the day is simply starting it. I like to think of every morning as an opportunity to set myself up for a productive day. In order to make the most out of this opportunity, I try to incorporate these daily habits into my morning. If you also find yourself wanting to kickstart your day in the right direction I recommend trying them out!