Adopting these habits into your morning routine is a sure-fire way to set the rest of your day up for success.
From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, the whole world is trying to crash in on you. All the tasks you need to accomplish today, appointments, responsibilities, what's for dinner, the list goes on and on. Your morning rituals truly become the framework for your day. Here are 7 simple habits you can incorporate into your mornings to organize yourself and your thoughts while consequently setting the rest of your day up for success.
Get up earlier
I'm sure you've heard all the clichés about being early to rise, "win the morning, win the day", "the early bird gets the worm" and countless other age old adages that make hitting your snooze button more regrettable by the minute. In all actuality getting up early and starting each day with set intentions and a consistent morning routine really changes the game in a big way. Most successful people report that they’re up by 5 am, some even earlier. Being an early risers tends to make you more productive for a variety of reasons:
Taking advantage of early morning hours means tasks like self care, goal setting and preparing for the day ahead can be done with few to no interruptions.
The brain is most alert and prepared to focus in the morning, making it easier to accomplish your first big task of the day before most of the world is even awake.
It seems crazy counterintuitive, but there are countless testimonials to support the fact that getting out of bed early provides you with more energy throughout your day.
Maybe 5 am isn't exactly where you want to start. Ultimately you have to pick a wake up time that will coincide with your work/life schedule. As a good way to get your feet wet, commit to getting up just an hour earlier for a whole week and see how much more productive you are compared to the week prior. Maybe all you needed was an extra hour every morning... but just imagine what would be possible with two!
Put off checking your electronics
Checking your phone, email or social sites first thing in the morning is a hard habit to break! Over 61% of people admit to checking their phone immediately upon waking up. By checking your electronics first thing when you wake up you are willingly starting your day on someone else's terms. Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi states that "Immediately turning to your phone when you wake up can start your day off in a way that is more likely to increase stress and leave you feeling overwhelmed.” The idea is to start each day proactively focusing on your goals and expanding your thinking, not forcing your mind to react to that of other people's. Stop limiting your day's worth right off the bat based on a like, update, or email. Starting your morning off with white noise and distractions only leads to a day full of the same.
Make your bed
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. - Adm. William H. McCraven
What seems like such a simple yet inconvenient task has the potential to immediately start your day off on the right foot. I'll admit I was never one to make my bed growing up. Well into my 20's it still feels like such an unnecessary chore. As it turns out, one of the easiest habits on the list has one of the biggest immediate impacts. Making your bed first thing in the morning encourages you to stay up and get your day off to a productive start. To be fair It's a lot harder to fall back under the blankets and waste an hour on your phone (see above habit) if your bed is already made. Plus now you have just accomplished your first task of the day and have the momentum to keep checking them off. When things in your life are organized and put together your state of mind seems to follow suit. What you practice and surround yourself with is what you become. Making your bed and keeping things around you tidy is just another way to set yourself up for success.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm a sucker for a beautiful leather bound journal! A big yearly planner full of organization and extra writing space is also right up my alley. In fact something about finding the perfect journal for the year really gets me fired up about all the goals, tasks and aspirations I'm about to fill it with. No matter what style journal, planner or notebook catches your eye, go get one and start putting it to use in your morning routine.
Reaffirm your active goal daily in writing, jot down the specific steps you'll take today to move yourself forward.
Set aside 10-20 minutes of journaling time every morning before your day begins. Find a quite place to sit alone with just your thoughts, (perhaps a cup of coffee or tea) a pen and your journal. Start the journal with all of your goals for the year no matter how big or small. Put into writing EVERYTHING you want to accomplish. Prioritize your goals, not in an order of size but importance. In other words don't pick the smallest goal to take action on first, instead choose the goal that will elevate your life the most. Make it your active goal. Sometimes multitasking is a necessity, but often when you try to work on more than one big goal at a time you end up stretching yourself in too many directions. Ever felt like you're doing a lot but actually accomplishing very little? Reaffirm your active goal daily in writing, jot down the specific steps you'll take today to move yourself forward.
Catch up on world happenings
Most of us don't still get a printed newspaper delivered to the doorstep every morning but that's no excuse for being unaware of what's happening. Nowadays, news and current events both local and worldwide are only an Iphone app or google search away. Being up to date and educated about what is happening in the world around you can help influence major goals and decisions from a more informed perspective. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Cuban, and Anna Wintour are just a few among the world's most successful who start every morning off with the news.
Make yourself move
Physical activity first thing in the morning is a proven method to help clear your mind and set you up for a successful day ahead. Added bonus it's great for your body and overall health too. It doesn't always have to be a scheduled amount of time in the gym doing cardio, or a pilates class with a set start time. Sometimes a brisk walk around the neighborhood or 15 mins of stretching and yoga in your living room is all you need to get your ducks in a row. Moving your body motivates your mind to fall in line as well, a mind in motion stays in motion more successfully throughout the day.
Prioritize your day and then eat your frog
Make a list of all the tasks you need/want to accomplish for the day. Now rate every task in one of three categories; Necessity, importance and want. If it's a necessity it needs to be at the very top of your list in bold, capital, underlined letters. If it needs to be done but the world won't stop spinning if it isn't done today, then it's an important task. Lastly, if it's something you really want to get done but it doesn't have an impending timeline, it falls under the want category. The challenge here is distinguishing what absolutely, no questions ask, has to be done today and what can wait just one more sunrise. Putting too many items in the necessity group is a quick way to trick yourself into feeling like a failure. Ultimately the goal is learning to organize and prioritize your day in a way that more and more tasks are being checked off that list.
"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." - Mark Twain
Prioritizing tasks in this fashion lets you see exactly what needs to get done and which are of the most importance. Pick the biggest, most important task of the day and knock it out first thing. "Eat your frog" first, and the rest of the day's tasks will feel like smooth sailing.