Get up, brush your teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, go to work. Day in, day out. How do you begin your day? We are creatures of habit and as such, we can easily get into some humdrum habits that aren’t exactly bad, but aren’t really allowing us to live at our full potential. If you’re looking for something to give you that slight edge, look no further than your morning routine. A morning routine should not be moving through the basics as quickly as possible to get on your way to your day. A morning routine is a mindful experience that puts you on the path to a great day.
What are some habits you can start to include in your morning routine? Here’s a few to consider:
Your body is dehydrated first thing in the morning and waking it up with a glass of water is one of the most important things you can do. For a bit more flavor, try warm or hot lemon water first thing in the morning – this can help to get your digestive system moving right away. Whether you choose a glass of cold water or a hot lemon water, you will find numerous benefits to hydrating your body right away. Some of the benefits touted on both of these include improving your metabolism, improving mental performance and helping to eliminate toxins.
“If you win the morning, you win the day.” – Tim Ferriss
2. Quiet, reflective time with journaling, gratitude or meditation
Some of the most successful people start their day with some form of quiet, reflective time including Oprah Winfrey, Mel Robbins and Tim Ferriss. Each of these routines can help to reduce stress, calm the mind and can help you to take control of your mental health. These habits help to start your day on a positive note and train your brain to look for the good throughout your day. Our minds are programmed to find what they seek, so if you train your brain to look for the good, that’s what it will find and allow you to move through your day more positively.
3. Send love
This might sound a little out there, but stick with me. This method is taught by Bob Proctor, and it’s a powerful lesson in forgiveness. Once you’ve completed your journaling, gratitude and/or meditation, take a moment to close your eyes. Think of someone that you are having a challenging time with and send them love. Don’t think about what they’ve done or why you might be angry or upset with them. Simply send them love and positive energy.
It’s not so much about them, though you may find that the positive energy you send their way seems to somehow break down some of the challenges you are finding with them. It’s about you and the energy that you are putting out into the world. When you hold onto anger or keep going over the challenges in your own mind with someone else, it stays with you.
It’s like the quote from the Buddha that you’ve probably heard before: “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; You are the one that gets burnt.” Sending love is a powerful lesson in forgiveness and letting go.
4. Get your body moving
Starting your day with exercise can help to improve your mood and increase your energy. There are numerous benefits to exercise at any time of the day. Anything you can do to get your body moving first thing in the morning, even as simple as a walk around the block or ten minutes of sun salutations, will get your blood flowing to enhance alertness and prepare you for your day. In addition, if you allow yourself the time for a full workout, you open up time later in your day that may have been used for this to do whatever you please.
“Wake up early everyday so that while others are still dreaming, you can make your dreams come true.” – Hal Elrod
5. Decide on the most important tasks for your day
Many of us write down our to-do lists, trying to rush through as much as possible. While doing as much as can be done in our day is valued, those with the habit of success know that doing the most important tasks first will move you much further along in the long run.
Take time to write down up to six tasks that would be most important for you to do today. Then number them, starting with the most important task, the thing that if you only finished one task today would move the needle the most. When you start your day, begin with this task and forget about the others for the time being. Don’t move on to the next one until this is complete.
It sounds so simple, but is a highly effective strategy for getting more done. Our minds tend to wander and want to think about the next task before we have finished the first. By deciding on what’s most important upfront, you’ll get done more quickly and have the most important thing you need to do completed so you can fully move on to the next (even if that means you don’t get to until tomorrow).
Starting your day in a positive energy can have an enormous impact on the rest of your day. Move away from the mundane and try this for a couple weeks. Watch as your life begins to transform.