Simple Morning Routines that Can Change Your Life

good morning routinesDoes this sound like your typical day?  You wake up to a blaring alarm clock, maybe hit the snooze button once or twice, and wake up at the last possible moment to get yourself ready and out the door on time.  You stumble out of bed to start the coffee and hit the shower.  After that, you rush to get dressed, maybe also rushing your kids out the door, and grab some fast food breakfast on the way.  You fight your way through the traffic, or perhaps the crowds on the subway, and by the time you get to work, you’re exhausted.

Lack of physical exercise, poor eating habits, no exposure to bright light, dependency on caffeine, and all that rushing and tension contribute to a decrease in metabolism, low energy and high stress.

How you wake up in the morning sets the tone for the whole day. In fact, Brian Tracy has compared the morning as “the rudder of the day”.

Highly successful people, those who seem to be able to do more, achieve more, and have better health, have a completely different routine.

There are 4 components you should implement in your morning ritual:

1)       Drink water.  Your body is dehydrated when you wake up, and drinking water helps to fire up your metabolism and increase energy at a cellular level.

good morning routines

2)       Move your body.  Ever watch a cat when it first wakes up?  It takes a luxurious stretch before ever even considering moving.  Start your day with a  long, full body stretch before you even get out of bed.  Once you do get up, exercise.  Some people may start their days with a full exercise session at the gym or a morning run, but if you are not used to such intensity then start with a few easy steps.  Take a walk, do yoga, swim, or maybe just a few simple movements to start.  The point is to get your body moving and start burning fat.  You should do some form of exercise within an hour of waking up and this will start the momentum for activity for the day.  As added benefits, you burn more fat when you exercise in the morning and you will be more likely to stick with your exercise routine.

3)       Eat a healthy breakfast.  We all know this is the most important meal of the day, yet 30% of us skip breakfast.  The rest of us usually grab something quick and usually not healthy. Take the time to fuel your body with a healthy breakfast and your energy levels will increase.  It is also proven that eating a healthy breakfast is a critical component for weight loss as well.   Start to experiment with quick options, such as a high-protein, nutrient dense shake.

4)       Engage in quiet time. You should put aside quiet time by yourself to focus on your goals and your intentions for the day.  What is it that you want to accomplish today?  Many are believers in meditation and journaling as well.  This is probably the most difficult change to make, since so many of us are not used to spending time quietly and deeply in thought.  I prefer to spend this time outdoors, since so much of my day is spent indoors I get energized by giving myself some time to look out at the lake, watch the sky brighten and hear the birds that are so abundant in my yard.

Consider the person who rushes through the morning and arrives at work only to take the next 30 minutes to an hour getting a cup of coffee, catching up with coworkers, checking email and figuring out what they need to do for the day.   This person is reacting to the immediate activities and “busy-ness” that makes up a typical workday.  The person who has taken the time to energize themselves in the morning and spent the time focusing on goals and intentions for the day will arrive at work ready to get right to the most important activities of the day.  This person has figured out what the most important use of their time is, and will achieve more over and over again every single day.

morning commute

Now let’s talk about that commute time.  Depending on whether you are driving or taking public transportation, you may currently spend this time listening to the radio, reading the paper, or perhaps chatting with fellow commuters.  A better way to use this time is to listen to inspirational or educational audio programs.  Load up your mp3 player with a book on tape, or a recording from a seminar, and use this time to expand your knowledge.  It is said that, “the more you learn, the more you earn.”  The average American reads only 1.5 books per year, yet they will watch 35 hours of television in a week!  Think of the amount of knowledge you can gain by using your commute time to listen to an audio version of a book.  You can rise well above the average with this one simple step.

Even choices that seem small can make a big impact.  Start by rising 15 minutes earlier each day.  Plan your breakfast to include healthier options.  Stretch.  Rather than make a drastic change all at once, give yourself time to build a new morning routine gradually so that you will stick with it.

Changing your morning routine will change your life.  It is that powerful!  Pay attention to how you start your day and begin to make small changes until you have formed these new habits.  What changes can you make?

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