What do highly successful people like Steve Jobs, Arianna Huffington, and Barack Obama have in common? They all have a morning routine! Former president Barack Obama would always start his day with his weight and cardio routine.
Ariana Huffington starts her day with yoga and meditation. Steve Jobs on the other hand begins his day by answering a philosophical question, “If today were my last day on earth, what would I do differently?”
Here’s something not many people know: your mornings can set the tone for the entire day. A powerful morning routine can have a dramatic ripple effect on your mood, focus, success, and happiness.
If you leave each day to chance, you will be sidetracked by distractions, you will be consumed by stress, and you will find yourself not getting anywhere or accomplishing anything you want in life.
Taking Charge: Creating the Right Morning Routine for You
Let’s set something straight: not all morning routines have been created equal. You have probably come across countless articles about the right way to start your day. “Start each morning with a drink of lemon water or start your day with a work out.”
The list is endless. While they are mostly great ideas, there is something else you need to prioritize first: setting the intention for the day. What is it that you would like to achieve? Better health? Happiness? Productivity? Know your intention first and move from there.
Before creating the perfect morning routine, let us cover some basics first.
- Pick a time to wake up daily: This is crucial as it can help your body establish rhythm so getting up won’t become a struggle.
- Create a hierarchy for getting ready: This is important so you won’t have to decide what to do first. Should you brush your teeth first before or after getting dressed? Should you meditate before or after taking the dog out for a walk?
- Start working the same time each day: This habit, combined with a set time of waking up can give your morning routine a specific time frame.
- Choose replacements: Replace the boring, draining, and trivial things you do each morning with meaningful tasks that can help you become happier and more successful.
What are some tasks that can help you reach your goals and help you become a better person? The following are some worthy additions to your day:
- Listening to podcasts/music
The Four Key Aspects
The consummate morning routine takes into account the four key aspects: physical (body), mental (mind), emotional (heart), and spiritual (spirit).
Activities that can help increase your physical being each morning include:
Exercising: The importance of exercise cannot be overstated. Ideally, you should incorporate an exercise routine into your mornings. Yoga, stretching, and running are just some of the activities you can look into. You just need to find an exercise routine that works for you.
Drinking water: Before reaching for that first cup of coffee, consider hydrating first. A warm lemon water would be a great idea.
Eating a nutritious and hearty breakfast: What is your idea of a good breakfast? Avocado toast? Oatmeal? Protein smoothie? Make sure you eat a hearty and delicious breakfast that can help you get going.
Below are some activities that can help you create a positive mental space:
Set your goals and intentions for the day: Identify the three most important goals you want to achieve for the day. Those are the things you should focus on. And since it’s only three things, there is built-in flexibility, just in case other priorities come up.
Create a schedule/plan for the day: If there are things you want to accomplish, a little planning can make a world of difference. Check your calendar and figure out your goals. Create your to-do list from there.
Read something that’s good for your mind: You can also listen to great podcasts that can help you stay inspired and motivated.
Activities that can help you get your emotional well-being on track include:
Having a gratitude journal: Many studies have proven the peerless benefits one can get from expressing gratitude. For starters, expressing gratitude can help improve physical and emotional health, mental stamina, sleep, and overall happiness. Write at least three things you are grateful for each morning and take it from there.
Finding out what makes you feel good: What brings you excitement, happiness, or joy? What can help you feel connected or grounded on a deeper level? Breathwork, yoga, and meditation are some wonderful options you can look into.
Hugging your loved ones (or pets): Hugging can boost your oxytocin levels (also known as the love hormone). It also strengthens your immune system, lowers your blood pressure, releases stress and tension, and increases serotonin (the hormone that elevates mood and increases happiness.)
Connect to your inner self and to the infinite power through the following activities:
Meditation: If you are one of those who believe you just can’t meditate, there are guided meditations now available. You can also use great meditation apps to help you get meditation right.
Reflection: Spend a few minutes to reflect. This will not only help you stay grounded, it can also help you clearly identify what your real priorities are and the progress you are making.
Start Each Morning Right!
Here is something you should keep in mind: a great, powerful, and intention-based morning routine starts the night before. So figure out what you need to do the next day and list down what you need to cover. Also, don’t hesitate to experiment and change anything until you find a morning routine that works best for you!
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