To start your day right, you’ve got to get into some good habits.
The following are are some morning rituals that may seem hard to adopt but will ultimately reap major rewards, if you stick with them.
- Create a routine to get yourself in the right frame of mind before you start working
Some people drink a cold glass of water with lemon juice. For others, it’s a small breakfast. For still others, it might be a ten-minute workout, or dancing a favorite song cranked up to full volume.
Some like to meditate. Others look at quotes that inspire them, or recite affirmations. Still others, myself included, jump straight into work. Your routine is as individual as you are. Just pick something that puts you in touch with the best in yourself.
- Make a plan the night before
This isn’t a morning ritual per se, but it’s a habit that’s definitely conducive to a productive morning routine. So make sure to set yourself up for a successful morning by creating a game plan the night before.
It’s always helpful to have everything you need for the day laid out and ready to go when you wake up. Make sure you’re stocked on whatever you need for breakfast. Write out a little schedule on what you need to accomplish the next day.
This all sounds pretty simple, but when you’re getting home at night, it’s very tempting to just crash on the sofa with a glass of wine and leave all the thinking for tomorrow.
- Tackle your high-priority projects
The quiet hours of the morning can be the ideal time to focus on an important work project without being interrupted. What’s more, spending time on it at the beginning of the day ensures that it gets your attention before others – kids, employees, bosses – use it up.
David Vanderkam who is a prominent business man uses the example of a business strategist who dealt with so many ad hoc meetings and interruptions throughout the day that he felt he couldn’t get anything done. He started thinking of the early mornings as project time, and chose a top-priority project each day to focus on. Sure enough, not a single colleague dropped in on her at 6:30 a.m. he could finally concentrate.
- Stick to a strict schedule
If you have one of those jobs where you can set your own hours. What you’ll learned from that is that you have to use that freedom sparingly. Every once in awhile, you need an extra hour of sleep, and that’s okay. But you’ll noticed every time you disrupt your schedule, your performance suffers.
You will get so much more done when you get up and start work at the same hour each day. Our bodies and minds prefer routines. Those routines keep us focused. When the clock time doesn’t match your “task time,” you can start to lag behind.
- Enjoy the silence
Life can get crazy. It’s often hard to find any moments to spare in your busy schedule. If you’re always rushing around in the morning, it’s difficult to imagine being able to spare any time to have a quiet moment.
But practicing mindfulness isn’t a waste of time. Try to reserve a few minutes for silent contemplation at the start of every day. You can use those peaceful moments to pray, meditate, envision your future success, or reflect on what you’re grateful for – whatever works for you. That short pause can put you in a great mindset for the rest of the day.
Exercise in any form is also essential. Get out there and move. It can be something as complex as a full-on, intense HIIT workout, or it can be something as simple as a morning jog. The important thing is to move around, work your muscles, and wake yourself up from head to toe. A morning routine which includes some form of exercise can do wonders for you and your overall health.
Taking a cold shower is highly recommended, as it has tremendous health benefits and also helps you to step out of your comfort zone. Trust me the benefits far outweigh the few minutes of uncomfortable bathing. Cold showers are also shown to alleviate stress and reduce depression. If you are not ready to plunge into an icy waterfall just yet, start slow and end your shower with cold water (for 10-30 seconds).
Purging your thoughts in a journal has so many benefits. You are confronting your problems, writing down notes so that you do not forget something, and clearing your mind so that you are better able to focus. It’s also great to look back several months prior and see where your mind was at during that particular time period, as well as experience how much you have grown during that time as well.
- Wake up painfully early
In a poll of 20 executives cited by Laura Vanderkam, a time-management expert and the author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 and is in the office no later than 7. Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to go jogging.
Yes, this might sound awful, but if you get to sleep earlier, that’ll numb the pain of such early wake-ups over time. The bottom line: Productive mornings start with early wake-up calls.
A key part of a well-rounded morning ritual is a healthy breakfast. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day right? Whether you like to juice, are a smoothie person, or simply can’t do without your bacon and eggs, I’ll leave that one up to you, just make sure you have a healthy and balanced breakfast.
Positive affirmations are also highly recommended. This is a good way to boost your self-confidence and start the day off with an upbeat attitude as well as reprogramming your subconscious mind.
Visualizing the day ahead, tasks that need to be accomplished, and your short-term and long-term goals can help to keep you on the right track so that you do not get distracted.
You will not believe the impact these tips can have on your life. For now, focus on what is important to you and what inspires you the most on this list.These tips and tricks will hopefully get you thinking about your own energy levels, capabilities and needs. From there, you can start creating a morning routine that works for you and helps you make the most of your abilities!
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