Do you have a dialed in morning routine? If not you may want to get one.
A great morning routing can make a huge difference in your wellbeing and energy throughout the day. This can translate into big wins for you and your team. From employees to business owners, have a great start to your day can set you up for positivity and success. In fact, according to a study by the American Psychological Association following a morning routing leads to less depression and anxiety while raising positivity, health and overall happiness. You will also notice that you feel better and get more done!! Take some time to practice these 7 steps and you'll have sensational days in no time flat.
1. Start the night before
First, a no-stress morning is a great morning. It also sets you up for success and leaves you feeling more energized at the end of the day. An important part of a no stress morning starts the night before. After dinner or even during your day write down your list of priorities for the next day. Avoid doing this right before bed since thinking about work at night is often counterproductive to having a restful night's sleep.
Also, take a few minutes at night to handle the little things that drain your time in the morning. For example, picking out your outfit for the next day can save you. If you're anything like me, finding an outfit is much faster when you're wide awake.
Once you've got your priorities for tomorrow and handled all of the little time drains, take some time to relax and unwind. Intentionally spend time clearing your mind before laying down in bed. Doing this provides a good start into a restful night, which helps you wake up with the energy and willpower to carry out your morning routine.
2. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude .... ahhhhh yessss.
Practicing gratitude is a quick route to maintaining a more positive attitude all day long. In fact, there are loads of research showing the positive relationship between gratitude and well being.
Being grateful is a must if you want to feel more fulfilled and peaceful during your day. To incorporate practicing gratitude into your mornings begin as soon as you open your eyes. The moment you wake up look around your room and notice all of your nice things. Whether it's a high end dresser or a dresser you purchased at the local thrift shop, be grateful.
If or when I notice myself comparing what I have with someone else's; I remind myself that two-thirds of the world lives on less than $2.00 per day. They spend their entire day looking for food and water just to survive. I then remember how blessed I am to have the things that I do. I'm blessed that I don't have to worry about survival in the most literal sense. Instead, I'm free to get up and pursue a better life for my family and myself.
Zooming out and looking at life on a global scale can help put things in perspective... suddenly a paper jam doesn't seem like such a big deal. Simply saying to your self:
"I'm grateful for...."
Is a great way to start your morning. But if you really want kick your gratitude into high gear, begin attaching emotion to it. Put those feelings of gratitude in your body!! Stand up, move around, get yourself into some powerful physiology and say "I'm sooo grateful for..." Cultivate feelings of gratefulness in your morning routine and you'll notice that you not only feel great but your stress will go down, your attitude will be more positive, and you'll get more done.
3. Drink Water
Okay.. so maybe it's not as sweet as a glass of mango nectar, but it goes a long way in setting you up for success when incorporated into your morning routine. In fact, your body is dehydrated when you wake up. You haven't drank anything for hours so it's like a sponge primed to absorb any fluids you drink.
Drinking 16-20 oz. of water first thing in the morning (even before your coffee... I know, it can be a little scary) hydrates your body and gets all of your gears moving rapidly again. Your body will quickly absorb the water and put it into use in making you feel great. This helps you wake up faster, aids your digestion, helps weight loss by lessening hunger and kickstarting your metabolism.
To really add a boost, try adding the juice of half a lemon. Explaining the benefits of lemon in your water is a whole other beast but to sum it up, it's super good for you!
4. Eat Protein
Don't worry if you're not paleo, adding protein to your morning is so easy a caveman can do it...
Protein is darn near a miracle food in my book (sourced from lean meats or complete vegetable proteins of course). It's on of the macronutrients you can eat for weight loss, building muscle and feeling full longer. Protein takes more effort for your body to process so adding some to your healthy breakfast helps you wake up faster in addition to helping stabilize blood sugar, provide your body the nutrients it needs and keep you full until lunch time.
Adding protein to your morning is as simple as scrambling a few eggs or drinking a scoop of your favorite protein powder. You'll notice that you're not getting "hangry" and have more energy all day long!
5. Get Your Blood Flowing
Getting your blood circulating in the morning can be as simple as taking a walk or running on a treadmill. No matter how you do it, exercise is a great way to wake up and boost energy. Adding about 20-30 minutes of cardio to your morning is linked with improved cognitive abilities, lower depression and less anxiety. Not to mention the weight loss benefits, increased energy and overall positive effect on your quality life.
If you're not a morning person it can be a little challenging to get up and exercise. This is where yogurt to flex your willpower muscles. It can help your motivation if you give yourself a reward at the end of your workout!
For example, I found a protein shake that I really love (almond milk, protein powder, banana, peanut butter, ice). Whenever I could think about the workout, I would picture my reward at the end and pretty soon the exercise just became a natural part of my day.
Meditation is the hands down best way to clear your mind and take control of your day. There are an incredible amount of studies scientifically validating the remarkable benefits of meditation. From lowering cortisol, street, anxiety, insomnia and more. In fact, meditation can give you such a competitive edge that it's been adopted by many of the "A-list" stock traders on wall street. Many of which attribute much of their success to their meditation routines!
Establishing meditation as a habit in your routine is surprisingly simple. Find a quiet place to sit and relax where you won't be disturbed. Take a few minutes to close your eyes and focus entirely on your breath. If you have a thought come up (and we all do) just let it pass without judging it or getting frustrated. You can begin with just a few minutes and work your way up to 15 - 20 minutes in the morning.
7. Read Something Positive
As the saying goes, "trash in trash out." If you want to avoid putting "trash out into the world, your business or your workplace then feed your mind with great information. Most people read or watch the news in the morning. The news is okay in doses, but it's typically full of negativity that can set you up for a less productive day. Not to mention that it's hard to stay positive and chipper when you've just heard about all the ways that the sky is falling...
Spending a few minutes in the morning reading positive information such as a chapter of an inspiring book can get your analytical mind lubed and prepares your critical thinking skills for the rest of the day. By reading during your morning routine you're not only continuing to educate yourself but also providing a peaceful transition into you day.
Embrace the routine...
Setting up a solid morning routine may be just the thing you need to catapult you into a new level of success, happiness, and fulfillment in your life. Stick with it, reward yourself, and practice these seven steps to a life changing morning routine. You’ll find yourself feeling healthier, more relaxed, less stressed, more focused, and more productive during the day. Who knows, you may even become the next A-list stock trader on Wall Street.
Read more from Erica Ormsby
Erica is a Certified Health Professional and Co-Founder of the True Strength Wellness Company. She is dedicated to helping you become the best version of yourself in body and mind.