Waking up early isn’t easy, but developing a morning routine can set you up for a productive day. Try this simple routine to start your day right.
The morning hours are magical. The quiet, calm before the day really begins is when many people feel their best and think their clearest. Successful people often credit the precious hours after they wake and what they choose to do with them as one of the ways they get and stay ahead.
Waking up early isn’t always – or ever – easy, but there’s no denying that developing a morning routine can set you up for a productive day.
One of the keys to a morning routine is the routine – when you find something that works, maintain it. Another non-negotiable is waking up early. There’s no magic hour that’s one-size-fits-all. Oprah Winfrey gets up at 6:02 a.m. while Jennifer Anniston sets her alarm for 4:30 a.m. – they’re both wildly successful. Depending on what you want to get out of your routine and what time you have to be available to the world, you’ll figure out what wake-up time is best for you.
If starting a new routine means you need to set your morning alarm back an hour or more, don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. You can get to that magic hour – whether its 4 a.m. or 7 a.m. by waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal the first day and every few days waking up another 15 minutes earlier. The best way to start and stick to a new routine is by gradually making small changes instead of jumping in all at once.
How you choose to spend your morning is entirely up to you, but these simple and easy steps will be sure to set the rest of your day up for success.
The first step in your morning routine actually starts the night before. As you’re getting ready to go to bed, think of something you’re looking forward to the next morning. A perfectly toasted bagel. A hot cup of coffee. The morning news. Whatever “it” is, give yourself some extra motivation to pull those covers off in this morning – you’ll probably need it!
When your alarm goes off, don’t suddenly lose all that conviction you had the night before and hit snooze. Science backs us here: Every time you press snooze, your body enters a new sleep cycle – one that is restless and fragmented – so you actually feel worse than if you had just gotten up with the first alarm. If you need a little extra push to fight the temptation of the snooze button, place your phone across the room instead of next to you.
Drink 16 ounces of water.
When you wake up, your brain might be saying “coffee,” but what your body really needs is water. As soon as you get out of bed, drink two glasses of water – about 16 ounces. After eight hours of sleep, your body needs rehydration to get all systems going for the day. When your body is hydrated, your cells operate more productively – and increasing productivity is what this is all about.
Set intentions for the day.
How you start your day can dictate how you approach the rest of the day. Take five minutes to pause and consider what you want to accomplish today. How do you want to react to stressful situations? What is making you anxious? What are you looking forward to? Pay attention to what emotions these questions stir up, and set an intention for your day. The busyness of life tends to take over quickly if we let it, but a short check-in with yourself first thing can help you stay in control and identify what you want to do differently today.
Move your body.
From Anna Wintour to Tim Cook, Barack Obama to Arianna Huffington, many of the world’s most successful people claim the morning workout is a mainstay of their morning ritual. Heading to the gym, your yoga mat, or hitting the pavement for a morning run before the rest of the world is up means you can get exercise out of the way before anyone needs anything from you. If you’ve ever pressed snooze on your morning sweat session with the excuse that you’ll fit it in after work, you know that as the day wears on, it’s really easy to skip out on your workout altogether. Plus, there are tons of other benefits of the morning workout like a metabolism boost, glowing skin, and a dose of natural energy for the rest of the day.
Eat breakfast with your family.
The last step in this simple morning routine is to reward yourself with breakfast and a little time with a loved one before the day hits full swing. Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal – it jumpstarts your metabolism and sets you up for a day of nutritious eating. When you give yourself enough time to make a healthy breakfast and share it with your family, you get to nourish your body and soul.
When you adopt good habits like this morning routine, you’re able to plan your entire day better, making yourself more productive and efficient. For more tips on making the most of your day, check out these 4 simple ways to stay focused at work.