Classic alarm clock on a table
BEST LIFE

10 ways to master your morning and win the day.

Wake up your inner morning person.

A better tomorrow starts the moment you wake up today.

Below is a list of 10 habits that will help you transform your mornings. It isn’t all or nothing. Start with a few and add more to your morning routine over time.

Classic alarm clock on a table

1. Set a regular bedtime

Set a regular bedtime and honour your bedtime routine.

2. Get & set an alarm clock

Because your circadian operates roughly on a 24-hour cycle, a consistent wake-time every day will help keep that hormone production on track. Set a consistent wake time that allows you to get a minimum of 7-hours of sleep. Instead of your cellphone, invest in a classic alarm clock with a dim display option. This will help keep distractions and melatonin-suppressing blue light out of your bedroom.

3. Quit hitting snooze

Do you hit snooze often? It may not seem like a big deal, but it can have psychological consequences. By hitting snooze again and again, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that you don’t need to do what you set out to do. Respect your good intentions and follow through.

4. Hydrate

When you go without water for seven or more hours, your body becomes dehydrated. When we wake up, the first cup we reach for is often coffee. While delicious, coffee dehydrates you even more. Dehydration contributes to feelings of fatigue. Drink a glass of water when you first wake up and throughout the day to stay hydrated.

5. Make your bed

Simple enough, right? A decluttered bedroom declutters the mind. Making your bed is also the first task you’ve “accomplished”. Starting your day with an accomplishment, however small, sparks positivity that will continue throughout the day.

6. Get outside

Early morning light has the greatest impact on your circadian rhythm. Try to get at least half an hour of sunlight before 9am. Sunlight stimulates production of your “get up and go” hormone, cortisol. It also stimulates production of serotonin, your “happiness hormone”. Walk to work, journal on a park bench, or have your morning cup of coffee on the porch.

7. Move your body

When people hear “morning exercise”, they often think this means a full-on rigorous sweat session. If you’re into that, kudos. If you’re not, no problem. We need to shift our thinking from all or nothing. Lower your bar for morning exercise and it gets much easier to do. The main goal is to wake up your body and get some mood-boosting endorphins flowing.

Start Small

Commit to doing 5-10 reps of something.

Pushups, sit-ups and jumping jacks are great starters.  If you feel up to it, try an app like Nike+ Training or SWORKIT pro. You can set a duration as short as 5-minutes to start with exercises you can do at home.  Small changes can lead to big results.

Just Move

Walking counts. Stairs count too. Make small changes to add more steps to your morning routine.

8. Meditate

Meditation isn’t just for yogis and monks. In his best-selling book, Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss shares the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaire’s, icons, and world-class performers. At least 80% of the leaders he interviews practice some sort of daily meditation.
When’s the last time you sat in silence? As a society, we’ve forgotten how to be still. Look around the next time you’re on the bus or sitting in a waiting room. How many people are on their phones? With the world at our fingertips, we’re filling the space we need for reflection with distraction.
Not sure where to start?  There are some great five-minute morning meditations you can follow on Youtube. The point isn’t to be perfect. It’s simply to make space that allows you time to reflect on where you are and where you want to be.  Don’t be too hard on yourself if your mind wanders. Gently guide it back.  Seek progress, not perfection.

9. Set your intentions

Journaling is an incredible tool for self-development.  A journal isn’t necessarily a diary of events.  It can be, for some, but for many, a journal is a tool used to develop clarity, keep accountability, and incubate ideas.  One of best uses of morning journaling is setting your intentions for the day.
If you’ve incorporated nightly journaling into your bedtime routine, the morning is a good time to re-visit any to-do lists you’ve prioritized for yourself. It’s also a great time to think bigger picture.

THOUGHT STARTERS

Today I’m most looking forward to ______________.

The most important thing I want to focus on is _________________ because __________________.

I’m feeling grateful for ___________________.

Does my to-do list correspond with my long-term goals?  If no, why not? Is there something I can do today to help move in that direction? ____________________________.

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that lead to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
– Muhammad Ali

Icons like Oprah Winfrey, Jim Carrey, and Muhammad Ali have shared their belief in the power of positive thinking and the use of daily affirmations.
If can picture the beautiful life you want, think about the person you’ll need to be get there. If you want to wake up your best, you need to know what qualities you consider beautiful.
For me, “a beautiful life” is ___________________________.

Living a beautiful life is important because _______________________.

I am ______________, _______________, and ________________.
Repeating these affirmations in your journal every morning can re-wire your brain to fully believe them. Muhammad Ali said, “I am the greatest!” And he was! Take a cue from Ali and make it happen for you.

10. Start doing

We all have those “someday” goals.  A good morning can help make those someday goals happen sooner. Do you have any long-term goals? Is your current path helping you reach them? Progress doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Little things can add up to big changes when you do them every morning.
In your journal, take some time to consider the following:
What are your “someday” goals?  Write a list.
Write out your to-do list. Does your to-do list correspond with your list of “someday” goals?
Does this list correspond with your definition of a beautiful life?
Once you have a sense of your long-term goals, you need to make a little time each day to make them happen. Mornings are perfect for this. You’re not distracted by the world around you. And, progress – however small – is a great way to start the day.
Whether it’s reading a self-help book, sketching, playing guitar, or reading the your favourite blog, taking at least 5 minutes every morning that propels you in the direction of your goals will help you wake up what’s possible.

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