How to Establish and Stick to a Morning Routine
Do you start your day by hitting the snooze button as many times as you can manage before scarfing down a fast food bagel and coffee on the way to work?
How does that make you feel over the course of your day? More than likely, you’re stressed, tired, and overwhelmed. That’s because you haven’t allowed yourself the time to prepare for the day ahead.
How you spend your morning will decide the rest of the day. Continue reading to learn how to establish a morning routine, what healthy habits will help your morning, and how to stick to your personalized routine.
Establish a Morning Routine
Create a morning routine that works best for you.
Are you a morning person or more of a night owl? Although this actually doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of your personal success, it will make a difference to your morning routine. If you normally go to bed after 11 or 12 at night, don’t expect to be suddenly alert at 6am. Begin your morning routine at a time you can live with.
Establishing a perfect morning routine is a trial and error process, and something that one person swears by may not work for you. Don’t commit to a morning routine without testing it first. Test and revise until you find a routine that works best for you. Once you have that routine, devote your energy to sticking to it. (More on that below.)
It’s important that you don’t take on every morning routine suggestion at once. There are literally millions of articles, expert advice, studies, lists, and videos on morning routines.
If you try to take on too much, you’ll just end up stressing yourself out when you don’t get to it all, which could result in giving up on the routine altogether. The following are ideas that you might add to your morning routine. Test them. If a habit doesn’t work for you, try something new.
Healthy Morning Habits That Might Work For You
Being that humans are about 60% water, drinking it every day is understandably vital to the health of our bodies. Drinking water first thing in the morning, even before coffee or tea, kick starts our metabolisms and aids in digestion. This is in part because our bodies are dehydrated after sleep, and being dehydrated can confuse our bodies into thinking that we’re hungry.
If you’re worried you’ll forget, try leaving a glass out on the counter the night before.
Kickstart your morning with a walk outside. Walking lowers your blood pressure, relieves stress, and aids in weight loss. This routine is especially beneficial to office workers who spend large portions of the day in front of a computer screen indoors.
Meditating first thing in the morning has many health benefits. Not only is meditation a great stress reliever, it can boost your endorphins and your energy levels so you can shake off any lingering sleep without relying on coffee.
Physical activity is scientifically proven to increase energy—perfect for combating morning fatigue! Speaking of building routines, studies show that people who exercise in the early morning are more likely to stick with it. In part, this is because it’s unlikely to run into scheduling conflicts early in the morning. Plus, you’ll earn a sense of accomplishment that will carry you through your workday.
For a successful morning, go distraction-free. Turn off or manage your notifications to give your brain a break before the day ahead. Studies show the average American receives about 46 push notifications per day. They can wait!
💡 Learn more about how to limit, block, and manage notifications in: How to Not Get Distracted When You're Working Online.
How to Stick to a Morning Routine
New Year's resolutions are so often forgotten. And that’s because healthy habits are not formed overnight (especially not the night of New Year’s Eve.) For better results, or any results at all, switch those intentions into slowly built habits.
Sticking to a morning routine comes down to forming habits. You need to build your routine one step at a time, over time.
One Routine at a Time
Start simple. What’s one morning ritual that would enhance your day or wellbeing? Make that one change. Let’s say you decide to drink a glass of water as soon as you get up. Do that successfully for 1-2 months before adding on another habit. For example,
Step One: drink a glass of water
Step Two: drink a glass of water + meditate
Step Three: drink a glass of water + meditate + 20 minutes of exercise
Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many changes at once. And give yourself time. A habit formation study found that “on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic...”
Start Any Day of the Year
It doesn’t need to be a new year to start forming a new habit. You can begin building your new and improved morning routine any day of the year.
It’s easy to fall in a trap of putting off healthy habits.
I’ll start next year.
I’ll do that in the new year.
Next month, I’ll begin.
I’ll try again next week, on Monday.
Does this mindset sound familiar? You don’t need a calendar reason to get started. If you want to establish, change, or improve your morning routine, begin tomorrow morning. If it works out, rinse and repeat the next day. If it doesn’t, don’t worry, try again the next day (not next Monday, or next month). Tomorrow is always a new day, never fail.
Guard Your Morning Routine
Once you have a routine that works for you, your next step is learning how to say no.
Guard your morning. You’ll have to. Work, family, pets, friends, and social media will all try to interfere with your sacred morning routine.
Don't squeeze important tasks, to dos, appointments, or errands into your morning. You need this time to start your day effectively. You have a routine. You’re already booked!
Keep Your Focus
Continue your crusade for healthy habits on and offline.
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