Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.
My clients often hear me talk about “setting yourself up for success”. How you spend your first hour of the day can dictate how the rest of your day goes. So think for a moment… how are you spending the first hour of your day?
Is it in a frenzy—snoozing your alarm, skipping breakfast, and rushing yourself out the door— and then the rest of your day seems to reflect that mood of chaos as well? The tone of your morning will determine the tone of your day, so it’s time to start planning accordingly.
When you form healthy habitual behaviors for the morning, you set your day up for success. Whether you are aware of them or not, you operate under habits (both good and bad) all the time—they are an integral part of your daily existence.
Part of developing a healthy habit, is to become intentional with it. Most habits are formed because they are easy or along the path of least resistance. If you want to cultivate positive habits, then you may need to put some intentional effort into forming them until they become second nature.
This is particularly true with morning habits. What you cultivate in the morning influences how you feel, act, and think during the rest of your day. Here are 5 simple habits that you can add into your morning routine now, to ensure you are feeling, acting, and thinking at your highest potential for the rest of your day—and days—ahead.
1. Stay Unplugged in the AM
If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your smartphone for messages, social media and work email, you are doing yourself a disservice. When we do this, we are immediately cultivating a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one, which will cause us to start your day in a reactive state, rather than a place of inner peace and control.
Instead, try remaining detached from technology for a little while in the morning – even if it’s just 5 minutes, so you can begin your day with present-moment awareness and a positive focus.
2. Practice Gratitude
Before you even get out of bed, give yourself a few minutes to smile and practice gratitude. I like to list a few things I am grateful for before my feet even hit the ground. My warm bed. The shining sun. My cat who likes to greet me in the morning. Starting a day in gratitude helps to cultivate happy feelings of connected-ness, thankfulness and kindness.
Several of my clients spend a few minutes journaling in the morning, to really plant themselves in the place of gratitude and live in gratitude. Many have reported feelings of negativity, relationship issues and work problems seem to get better when they do this. Cultivating gratitude is like a little magic pill of happiness!
Of course if you know me, have taken any of my classes or worked with me a coaching client – you knew this would be in my list.
Incorporating some type of mindfulness practice like meditation into your daily morning routine can help ground you and train your mind and emotions, which then influences how you react to challenges throughout your day.
During your meditation is also a great time to set your intention for the day. When you get clear on how you want your day to go or what you want to feel or accomplish, you can make clear decisions that create the life you truly want to live.
Note sure where to get started? Sign up for my FREE Learn to Meditate Audio Program
4. Mindfully Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve most likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
When you make time to eat a healthy breakfast (lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains), you’ll have more energy throughout the day and a stronger ability to focus and concentrate. It doesn’t have to be a BIG breakfast, but something that feeds your body and brain which you will be using all day.
5. Have a “To-Do” List Ready to Conquer
Take a few minutes to write down a “to-do” list for the day ahead. Then prioritize it so your day’s list has only 3 to 5 items on it—ranked in order of priority to make sure you tackle the most pressing things first.
Writing down your “to-do’s” instead of keeping them floating around in your mind helps clear mental chatter. You also give yourself a sense of purpose each day when you know what you need to get done. And there is something satisfying about crossing off tasks on your list—it really cultivates a sense of accomplishment.
Looking for additional accountability and support to help you set and reach your goals? Sign up for a FREE Discovery Session today!