How do you start each day? Focused and mindful or anxious, unfocused, and always rushing?
As it turns out, how we choose to start each day can impact our happiness, productivity, and success.
To that end, here is a list of 13 healthy morning habits to kickstart your days on a high note:
1. Prepare The Night Before
How many times have you found yourself going to bed and thinking about all the things you need to do in the morning? Pick your outfit, prepare your breakfast, and a thousand other things. But why leave everything for the morning?
Preparing some things the night before is an excellent way to reduce stress and have more time for more beneficial things in the morning. For example, you can:
- Prepare next day’s clothes before going to bed
- Prepare your breakfast – overnight oats are always an excellent option
- Write your to-do list
- Think about a quick plan for any big project or concerns that you have (This will help you sleep better knowing you have a plan)
It doesn’t take much time or effort, but this simple act can make for less stressful mornings where you have more time for other beneficial activities.
2. Don’t Get Up Right Away
Be honest for a moment:
How often do you find yourself rushing out of bed as soon as you wake up naturally or hear the alarm ringing? Like most people, you probably get out of bed immediately. And while that might seem like the best way to start each day, there is value in taking a few moments to lie there in silence.
As you wake up, take a few moments to breathe and think. You don’t have to think about anything specific. Let your mind wander for a bit. For instance, you might think about what you want to achieve that day or what you’re grateful for. Try to keep it positive. The goal is to invigorate yourself for the day, not start off anxious.
3. Make Your Bed As You Get Up
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, has talked about identity-based habits and their value in our lives. Making our bed in the morning might seem insignificant, but it plays a role in how we see ourselves.
Specifically, James advises people always to make their bed as they get up in the morning. This reinforces the identity of “I’m an organized person.” and can impact many other areas of life.
So, as you wake up in the morning, take two minutes to make your bed – it pays off.
4. Don’t Think About Checking Your Phone Before Leaving Your Home
How many times have you found yourself in this spot:
You get up, make your bed and grab your phone, just to check out your notifications. Before you know it, you’ve been scrolling through Facebook or Twitter for twenty minutes, and the time you set aside for good habits has evaporated.
One of the best ways to boost your productivity is to avoid checking your phone in the morning. Ideally, you should keep it in another room, so you don’t see it.
5. Drink a Large Glass or Bottle of Water
You might have spent the last six, seven, or eight hours sleeping, but your body never stops working. It carries out countless processes that keep you alive and healthy.
The bottom line? You get dehydrated during the night.
So, a fantastic way to start the day on a high note is to drink a large glass of water once you’ve made your bed. This will set the tone for good hydration and provides your body with the liquids it needs to stay healthy. Read my post on how to drink more water.
6. Meditate For Two to Five Minutes
Mornings are a fantastic time to find peace because the day is yet to tackle us with tasks. This is another reason why sparing some time for meditation in the morning is so beneficial.
As you get up, make your bed, and drink some water, sit down comfortably for a few minutes and meditate. Don’t try to shut thoughts out. Instead, try to be present and immerse yourself in the environment. Take note of how you feel and focus on breathing. Observe thoughts as they occur and let them pass. The more often you meditate, the more you’ll be able to calm your mind.
This is a fantastic way to start each day. Instead of rushing and constantly thinking about the next thing you need to do, you feel present, calm, and much more mindful.
7. Exercise or Stretch For Ten Minutes
Starting the day with a nice exercise session is a fantastic way to set the tone for a productive day and flood your body with endorphins.
The best part is, you don’t have to do anything crazy – as little as ten minutes can do wonders for you. For example, do a quick circuit program and go about your day.
Push-ups è Squat è Jumping jacks è Planks è Forward lunges è Glute bridges è Banded back rows è take a minute or two to recover and repeat two to four times
8. Start The Day With a Healthy Breakfast
Prepare a few healthy breakfast options to help you start the day on a healthy note.
You’ve started the day off on the right foot, and you probably feel great from that exercise session. So, what’s next? Well, a healthy breakfast is in order.
There are many ways to have a nutritious breakfast, but overnight oats will always be a healthy and convenient option. For instance, you can mix some oats with a protein powder, milk, a few slices of banana, and some peanut butter. Take it out of the fridge as you get up and enjoy it once you’ve finished your workout.
Eggs are also a great option, and research shows that eating them in the morning can help us feel more satiated for the remainder of the day.
9. Read a Few Pages
Reading is incredible. It lifts us and takes us to another dimension where our worries, frustrations, and issues feel like distant memories.
Reading in the morning is a great habit because it can boost your mood, allow you to learn something new, and start the day on the right foot. The best part is, you don’t have to read self-help books all the time. You can read one of the many articles you’ve saved in your browser, a funny story, a chapter of a good fiction book, or your journal.
10. Work On Something Meaningful to You
Research shows that making progress on meaningful work makes us happier and more content with life. For example, this could be a side project you never have the time for. Writing, recording videos, or producing something handmade are all excellent options.
Consider a side project you’ve been putting off for a while. Good. Now think of what you need to get started and set aside a few minutes each morning. While it may not seem like much, the time adds up, and you can make something fantastic in a few short months.
11. Journal For a Few Minutes
As Stephen King once said (or wrote), “Writing is refined thinking.” Taking a few minutes to do some journaling each morning is a great way to organize your thoughts, get clear on what’s important, and express gratitude.
For instance, take a simple notebook and write down one thing you’re grateful for in your life. This could be a new job opportunity, your family being healthy, or something else. Think about the good things in your life and put them on paper, one by one. It reinforces positive thinking and shows you that you can always find something to be grateful for.
Another thing you can write down is a daily to-do list. Think about your long-term goals and break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily objectives. Consider, “What do I have to do today to get closer to my goals.” For instance, if you want to lose weight, it could be something like:
- Finish my daily workout
- Eat three healthy meals
- Walk 8,000 steps
12. Shower And Tidy Up For The Day Ahead
Taking a shower is by no means something special. But there is something inherently beneficial in having a clean start each morning. You feel fresh and ready to tackle the day.
Plus, this is a fantastic way to tie the bow over a productive routine. So, keep the ball rolling by jumping in the shower. You can also try a cold shower if you’re up for the challenge. Some research finds them to be quite beneficial.
13. Most Importantly, Create a Routine And Stick With It
Everyone can get motivated and be highly productive for a day or a week. But true mastery lies in consistency. In other words, leading a happy and successful life is about making the right choice consistently, regardless of how we might feel sometimes.
So, make it a point to be consistent with the behaviors you choose. You don’t have to do all twelve healthy morning habits from the start. Instead, you can start with just three or four, but make it a point to do them every morning. As you gain momentum, you can introduce even more activities and start each day on a high note.
Learn more about building consistent habits here.