What’s the point of developing a morning routine? You might just roll out of bed and hurl yourself into the day ahead without much thought or pre-planning. But most likely, that will be a recipe for disaster!
Look at your current morning routine
What do you do every day when you wake up? Roll out of bed? Go to the bathroom? Feed the dog? Make a pot of coffee?
Most of these things are probably essential, but they might not set you up for a great day.
Another common part of the morning routine for many people is to grab their phone and check their email the moment their eyes open. Your mind is not fully alert when you first wake up. You are prone to making rash decisions. So when the first email you read is bad news from work, you either react badly and send a reply you really shouldn’t, or you have a meltdown and start to panic.
And then it gets worse…
You’re now in a bad mood. You head to the shower, kick the innocent dog on the way, and get soap in your eyes because you’re not concentrating on the task at hand. Before you head out to work, you feed the dog, but don’t take him for a walk. You don’t eat anything yourself, because your mood has killed your appetite.
At work, the problem can’t be solved. You try thinking hard about it, but get a headache because you haven’t had enough to drink. You can’t concentrate properly because your stomach is rumbling, so you head out to the fast food place and fill yourself with junk.
How do you feel?
After feeling unwell all afternoon, you eventually decide the problem is unsolvable, and leave work early. You have got nothing worthwhile done.
Back home, you find the dog has relieved himself on the carpet, because he didn’t get his walk earlier. It’s not his fault, but you shout at him, and fell guilty the rest of the night. You get little sleep, still worrying about work, and arrive at the office the following day completely worn out…only to discover someone else fixed the problem just after you left yesterday.
You still have a bad day as you are extremely tired, and you snap at anyone who comes near.
But you couldn’t have done it any better, right?
Developing a morning routine
What if you made a few simple changes? How big would the impact be on your life?
Every person is an individual, and will have their own idea of what constitutes a great morning routine. However, there are certain things that can set you up for victory no matter what. Discounting the obvious things mentioned above, ie feeding pets, using the bathroom and so on, here are a few things to incorporate in your morning routine:
- Exercise: Although you might not feel like it, getting a little bit of exercise gets your engine running. You don’t have to do an hour in the gym. A minute or so of push-ups, squats (with no weight), lunges, or anything that gets the blood pumping and gets you breathing heavily. Follow this up with a few seconds of stretching to get your muscles ready for the day.
- Meditation: 10 minutes is all you need to get your head in the right place. You may think of meditation as a way of calming yourself down, so you might think that doing it later in the day is better – but if you do it first thing in the morning, you are strengthening yourself for the upcoming day, not fighting against what has already occurred. Use apps such as Headspace or Calm to help guide you.
- Journal: Write down three things you are grateful for every single day. You don’t have to use a proper journal, just a piece of paper will work, but you must physically write it rather than type it on a screen. And if you don’t think you have anything to be grateful for, you’re wrong. You’re alive, you can write, you have a roof over your head. Things could always be worse, and the way to move forward is to be grateful for what you already have.
- Fuel: Put something in your body that energizes you for the day ahead, whether it is a regular breakfast, or Bulletproof coffee. If you are currently on some kind of fast, then fine, don’t fuel yourself. If you aren’t fasting, eat something that is going to give you sustainable energy – preferably not a Pop Tart!
You can pick and choose what you do, as you are an individual, and you can make your own decisions. But if you can do as many of the above things as possible, you’ll set yourself up for a great day.
Getting hyped for the day ahead
So, now you are alive with your blood pumping, mentally calm, quite happy, and grateful for what you have. But are you hyped and excited for what is to come?
Add to your journal three things you are excited about happening. It might be a show you are going to, or a party, or just that you are going shopping for a new outfit. Maybe you’re meeting someone, or you have a massage booked. Whatever it is, write it down, and look forward to it right now. You can even add in something you are hoping for, if it is something that gets you truly excited!
While you do this, put on your personal “Get Hyped” playlist to get you in the mood. Here are our top 5 choices for hype songs:
Best Day of My Life – American Authors
If this song doesn’t brighten your day, then there’s not a lot we can do for you. It’s so catchy and cheerful, you can’t help but get hyped for the day!
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
It doesn’t matter whether you like Bruno Mars or not, the fact is it’s very difficult to stop yourself dancing to this song!
Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns n’ Roses
It’s an anthem. It makes you feel the passion to live. Get excited!
Stronger – Kanye West
Because what doesn’t kill you is going to make you stronger.
Viva la Vida – Coldplay
The title means either “Long Live Life” or just “Live the Life”, which is exactly what you should be doing – living life, not just surviving.
Face the day!
That’s it. You’re now fully prepared for the day, and you’re excited about it too. Every day could be the best day of your life, so make sure you’re ready to take advantage of it.