Isn’t it remarkable how a good morning often translates into a good day and vice versa? Think about your morning routine. Is it inherently positive or negative? Is it deliberate? Does it even exist?
“Successful people make habits of doing things that failures don’t like to do.” ~Albert Gray
It boils down to habits. The good news is we can control them. The bad news is they can control us. Thankfully, attitude is 100% within our control. The fastest, easiest way to change your reality is to consciously change your habits.
With that in mind, here are 12 morning habits that can literally change your life. Don’t believe me, just watch:
1. Set your alarm for when you’re actually going to get up.
First things first: Break the habit of snoozing. Hitting snooze in the morning is literally starting your first waking moments with a negative thought – “I don’t want to start my day”. Instead, set your alarm for when you’ll actually get up.
2. When your alarm goes off, jump out of bed. Seriously.
Studies show not just the physical benefits of movement, but the mental boosts as well. You immediately get your blood pumping and release endorphins which literally translates to happier feelings. If you have to set your alarm on the other side of the room to do so, do it. You’ll thank yourself later.
3. Positive affirmations work!
What you tell yourself first thing in the morning is critical. What you tell yourself ALL the time is critical. Say something positive. Literally. Out loud. It will be uncomfortable if you’ve never done this before. But do it. Nothing great ever came from comfort zones. My go-to mantra: “It’s gonna be a great day!” The less I feel like it, the more I say it. Our words become our reality. Speak positivity and possibility. Studies have shown that you cannot physiologically say one thing and think the opposite at the exact same time. So the more you speak positivity, the less time you give your mind to think negative.
4. Make your bed.
It’s not just something for your mom to chide you for. It’s the quickest, easiest way to start your day with structure, order, and a small win. Private victories pave the way for public victories.
5. Wash your face with cold water.
There are all sorts of benefits to this including clearer skin. Google it. And do it. It feels amazing.
6. Have a morning playlist that gets you motivated and moving.
For me, this includes Pharrell, “Happy”, U2 “It’s a Beautiful Day”, Charles Jenkins “Awesome”, and Beenie Man “Rum & Redbull”. Whatever floats your boat. Hold off on the sappy love songs. Save those for sexytime evenings with (or without) your boo. The morning is not the time to reminisce on what could have been. Start your day with something that will put a smile on your face and a pep in your step.
7. Eat breakfast.
Anybody who knows anything about health will tell you how important it is to eat a healthy balanced breakfast. Seriously. Tony the Tiger says it so it must be true.
Hopefully, I don’t need to list all the reasons you should be exercising. (See #2). But I will say, do it in the morning. Wake up earlier to get it done. Like anything else in life, if you put it off until later, often times it won’t get done. And getting your body moving first thing in the morning just makes you feel better for the entire day. There’s something so rewarding about knowing I’ve knocked out my workout before I’ve started my workday.
9. Read something positive.
My go-to morning reading material since I was in college is “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino. It’s quick, easy, and an amazing way to start the day. Take a few minutes to feed your mind. Read some scripture, a devotional, something from Brian Tracy, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, Dr. Seuss… Read SOMETHING. Readers are leaders. According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 1% of income earners read, on average, a book a week; They also read the front page of a major news publication… DAILY. There has been too much genius passed on through history in the form of print for anyone to say they’re “not a reader”.
10. Express gratitude.
There’s something so humbling about consciously remembering all that we have to be grateful for. It’s hard to have a “bad” day when we’ve reminded ourselves of all the reasons there are to have a great day. Write down all the things you’re grateful for – even if all you can think of is that you woke up with a roof over your head.
11. Write down your goals.
Studies have proven the impact of written goals. Write down your goals for the next 10 years, 5 years, this year, quarter, month, week, and day. No matter how much you think you know what you’re working toward, writing down goals on a daily basis is quite possibly more powerful than anything else you can do. Like anything else, setting and writing goals is a habit that has to be cultivated. The more you do it, the better (more clear, precise, and focused) you get. Write down your focus and goals for today.
12. Take one last look in the mirror and tell yourself how great you are.
Write on your mirrors if you have to. Remind yourself how beautiful, talented, capable, driven, focused, successful, thoughtful, loving, and impactful you are. Whatever character traits you’re working on cultivating, meditate on them. We’ve all heard it a million times – You have to love yourself first.
Notice “Turn on the TV and watch the news” didn’t make the list. The point is to start the day with POSITIVITY. If you absolutely can’t live without television, A. Try it. and/or B. Turn on sports. You can almost always count on SportsCenter to put you in a good mood.
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Try something new for the next 21 days. Schedule it into your day. Wake up a little earlier. Cultivate positive habits, see positive results. Try it. See what happens.