The way you feel in the morning the moment you open your eyes dictates how your day would turn out. And if you feel the same emotions and have the same thoughts in the morning, those would pretty much paint a picture of how your life would be now and in the future. If you’re the type of person who habitually hits the snooze button, you are subconsciously telling yourself that it’s better to sleep than to wake up to your life.
What this tells you is your morning routine hugely impacts your life in ways that you may not realise. It can either power up your day or prevent you from achieving what you want out of life.
Think of your mornings. Do you wake up feeling tired and sluggish or do you feel excited to start the day? Do you look forward to the day ahead or would you rather get more sleep?
Hal Elrod, the author of Miracle Morning, says the beliefs we have about sleep influences how we’ll feel when we wake up. When people go to sleep thinking they’re getting enough of it and that they will feel tired tomorrow; as a result, they’re already ruining the morning after even before falling asleep. But when they start conditioning themselves that they will feel great in the morning, they will feel energised upon waking up despite having just a few hours of sleep.
What you need to do according to Elrod is to increase your Wake Up Motivation Level or your eagerness to face the day ahead. Here are the three steps to power up your morning routine:
1. Declare that you’re going to wake up feeling energised and refreshed. The key is to believe that the next day will be a great day for you. Look forward to waking up to a positive day.
2. Place your alarm clock far away from you, in a place you can’t reach. This will force you to get up to turn it off in the morning when it rings. Take a shower after getting up to feel refreshed.
3. Drink a glass of water. You lose a lot of water during sleep, so proper hydration is needed to rejuvenate your body in the morning.
The first thing you should do when you wake up is to practice purposeful silence. It’s a chance for you to reconnect with your inner self. Notice how you feel stressed and overwhelmed whenever you start your day in a hurry. This is worsened by today’s 24/7 connectivity, which pushes you to check emails, SMS, or social media updates first thing in the morning. A lot of these things can cause useless worries and anxieties.
You can practice meditation or deep breathing exercises. For five minutes, close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Feel the air go inside your nose and exit from your mouth. Set a uniform pace for breathing. This simple exercise of quietly focusing on your breath reduces stress.
Fill your mornings with positive affirmations and think about what you want to happen in your life. You need to write these down, along with your purpose and what you commit to doing to reach your goals. Ask yourself these three questions:
• What do I want to achieve?
• Why do I want to achieve it/these?
• What do I commit to doing to achieve my goals?
Make time for exercise in the morning. Morning exercise fuels your day increases your resistance to stress, boosts mental focus, and improves your mood as your body releases endorphins.
Both reading and writing contribute to personal development. Reading develops your ability to think clearly and communicate effectively. You can also learn from the experience of others who are successful in their industries. Aim to read at least ten pages per day.
Keep a morning journal where you can write your ideas, learnings and reflections. Writing down thoughts and feelings helps you clear your mind and focus on what’s important. It’s also a good practice to write down what you are thankful for as this is a surefire way to uplift your mood.
We are more likely to stick to a new practice when we have another person who will hold us accountable for our actions. Work with a partner who is also willing to build better morning routines with you. This person can be your spouse, your friend, or someone from an online community who can help you stay on track.
Your best life starts with better morning routines. These five tips will help you establish morning routines that will bring success, happiness, and a sense of fulfilment into your life.