The morning routines of successful people are frequently documented for public consumption. Investor Warren Buffet is famous for going through the McDonald’s drive through every morning. Oprah Winfrey starts each day with meditation. Seth Godin whips up the same breakfast (a banana smoothie) every morning. So how can you improve upon your morning routine?
While each person’s morning routine will be unique and customized to his or her specific circumstances, here are five areas to optimize to get your mornings off to a great start.
A smooth morning routine often involves doing some prep work the night before. Pick out your outfit for the day and make sure it’s clean (and, if necessary, pressed) and ready to wear. Pack snacks or a lunch to make sure you don’t get caught with an empty stomach. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, make a list of all the things you hope to achieve or complete the next day. When you wake up you’ll be already on task and ready to take on a new day.
Start your day in a zen-like state by practicing mindfulness. This can be as simple as writing an entry in a gratitude journal. Others might choose to meditate for a period of time. The point is to get yourself thinking about the bigger picture, instead of small worries and distractions. Getting your morning dose of mindfulness will reduce anxiety, increase your attention span and help you stay focused on your priorities throughout the day.
Do yourself a favor and avoid checking voicemails, emails, twitter notifications and Instagram snaps until later in the morning. Doing so can derail your focus and productivity and may cause you to fall victim to other people’s priorities and influences. So, keep your phone on silent, and you’ll stay in control of your day by deciding what you need to focus on.
There are so many benefits to getting your heart going first thing in the morning. You can adapt this strategy based on how much time you have in the morning. Stretching or doing some jumping jacks and push-ups may be enough to up your energy levels and jump-start your day. Alternatively, it can feel pretty good to knock out your workout for the day in the early morning hours. Head out for a jog or over to the gym for your favorite resistance class. There are so many benefits to working out in the am – increased metabolism and lower blood pressure are just a couple of the advantages to working out each AM.
Make your breakfast count. You’ve got the whole day ahead of you, so make sure you fuel yourself wisely. Choose protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. Great choices include an omelet with spinach and avocado, with a side of sweet potato hash browns, or an all-in-one protein smoothie, with greens and fruit. Whatever you choose, make it balanced.
Don’t let your mornings sneak up on you! Tackle your days head-on by preparing and having a plan that prioritizes care of your mind and body. You’ll be unstoppable!