Great morning routines set you off to a good start and eventually result in a productive day ahead. It can also set a cheerful general disposition as you go through your daily to-do list.
But just like every person is different, so are morning routines.
You can follow the morning routine of the most successful person in the world yet still feel like you’re starting the day off on the wrong foot. That’s because you need to create one tailor-made for you and your lifestyle.
When establishing a morning routine, you need to prioritize your personal preferences and allow yourself to explore what works and what doesn’t, even if it’s far from what society tries to dictate as the standard.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to start from scratch. Customize this checklist as much as you need to, but try to keep the concept intact.
Waking up on Time
No, waking up on time doesn’t mean you have to be part of the 5:00 am club. That might be the best time for you, but it’s not a requirement.
Waking up on time means you wake up according to the time you’ve set for yourself. Whether it’s an hour before work or 3 hours, it’s totally up to you. For your routine to be effective, it has to be what works best for you.
However, do keep in mind that since this is a morning routine, you’d want to get out of bed at least before 9:00 am to maximize the morning hours. You want to be awake before you start to feel sleepy again.
Getting the Blood Flowing
Incorporating a workout routine first thing in the morning kick starts your day with a boost in alertness and focus.
One study showed that those who were consistent with their morning workouts had better cognition throughout their entire day. And it didn’t even have to be an intense HIIT or cardio workout; the participants walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
So you can either walk around your house or neighborhood for 30 minutes or walk to work—if possible. Don’t pressure yourself to start crazy workouts just because other people told you so.
The important thing is you get your blood flowing however you can.
Eating a Sufficient Meal
There’s no strict guideline on which diet gives you a better start to your morning. Again, customize your meal plan according to what you know your body needs. No one knows your body better than you do!
If you are currently following a diet, make sure you eat a meal for breakfast to sustain you until eating again—ideally a healthy snack or lunch. Consider eating whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and nuts.
Be aware of which foods are allowed for your diet and which ones are not. Avoid overeating certain foods, especially sweets, and portions should also be considered,
A caffeine fix like your favorite tea or coffee should also be part of your morning meal. Remember, breakfast is an important meal of the day!
Creating a To-Do List
Whoever said that having a plan leads to success was right. Creating a to-do list at the beginning of your day, when your mind is fresh and—hopefully—free from stress, allows you to remember everything you need to do before the day ends.
Not all people will favor creating a to-do list because it may make them feel overwhelmed, especially when the list gets long. But the purpose of a to-do list is to create a plan for yourself and avoid missing out on the things you should or need to accomplish.
This list also gives you an idea of how busy or free your day is, prompting you to manage your time even before it starts.
If you find that a to-do list isn’t your thing, identify goals you want to achieve at the start of the day to establish a direction.
Conquering the Toughest Task
Now that you have a to-do list—or goal(s)—it’s time for you to conquer the most formidable task on your list.
A standard method people like to follow is “eat the frog.” It’s taken from Mark Twain’s quote that says:
“If the first thing you do in the morning is to eat the frog, then you can continue your day with the satisfaction of knowing that this is probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day.”
When you conquer the “frog,” or the task that you’ve been putting off for some time now, you’re taking the burden off your shoulders and allowing yourself to breathe once you’ve finally done it.
It’s better to accomplish the task in the morning, right before you hit that afternoon slump, so you’re sure that it gets done.
Don’t be afraid to eat the frog at the beginning of the day!