The first few hours of the day have a huge (rather intimidating) impact on our lives. Not only does it set the tone for the rest of the day, but determines our actions while influencing the choices we are yet to make. In other words, the first few hours are crucial in ensuring we smash out our goals, tick everything off the to-do list and feel like a million dollars while doing so!
Many of us justify our morning grumps and groans by one simple fact: ‘I’m just not a morning person’. Bed is snuggly, it looks dark outside, why would I want to ruin all that cosiness by getting up? But to shed a little light on this, there is not a single person on the planet that would! Only those who have realised a little earlier than us how powerful the mind is. More importantly, how easily we can trick the mind into believing something that isn’t so true. This means that the sooner we start preaching ‘I love my mornings!’’ the sooner we actually will begin to love our mornings. Sounds easy enough, right?
Life is short and we’re all after a way to make the most out of this beautiful thing we call life. So to help, we’ve put together five things that the most successful people do with their mornings. Practice these, and it’s a sure fire road to awesomeness!
#1 Get Up Earlier
Getting yourself out of bed an hour earlier in the mornings does fabulous things for the mind. It allows you to have an hour to yourself—without distraction and before everybody else starts pressing for your attention. Although it’s hard to crawl out of bed in the AM, you will surprisingly have more attention through the day without that extra shut eye. Too much sleep makes us crave it more, oddly. Entrepreneur Richard Branson wakes at five every day by letting the early morning sunrise creep through his open curtains. If you’re not quite ready to leave the blinds open just yet, opt for a classic alarm but use the options to set it to a tune of choice so it doesn’t startle you out of the wrong side of bed. Get the coffee brewing, relax and enjoy some ‘me-time’ before another successful day of getting s*** done!
#2 Move Your Body
Whether it’s a walk in the park, a jog on the treadmill or yoga in the living room, getting your body moving is essential to releasing stress and starting the day with a bang. Remember your high school physical ed teacher telling you about endorphins? They still exist and they still do their thing in making us feel great, but they thrive off exercise. Maybe take a page out of Bill Gates’ book and listen to a podcast or watch a course while you workout—that way you’re exercising the body and the mind. Another added bonus, when you finish work you won’t feel guilty for skipping the gym (as we all do), because you’ve already ticked it off (win-win).
#3 Have A Routine
Take control over the first few moments of the day. Let’s be honest, we’re all minor control freaks, so feeling on top of things is super important for most of us. When you have a routine which you can stick to, it’s an instant feeling of satisfaction out of every day life. You don’t have to achieve anything wild, just simply completing what you set out to do that day will give you that buzz. Keeping a diary is an easy way to tick this off, plus you can get cute stationery and who doesn’t love that cute stationery? The late Steve Jobbs started every day by asking himself ‘if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’. If he answered ‘no’ for too many consecutive days, he knew he needed a change of direction.
#4 Read Something Positive
AKA: Not your emails. Starting the day with a positive affirmation or your favourite book tells the mind it’s going to be a good day. Many of us reach for our laptops or phones and check our staggering list of emails or social media alerts—both these things can wait. They instantly bring stress to the brain and call for that fight-or-flight response. Instead, try grab a notebook and practice writing down five things you are grateful for. Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in getting those positive vibes flowing.
#5 Have A Healthy Breakfast
“No one would ever mistake me for an expert on engines, but I know one thing: they don’t work without fuel,” says the inspiring Oprah Winfrey. She places much of her success and wellbeing on her morning ritual of meditation and a healthy breakfast. Her go-to breakfast is a smoothie loaded with fruit and fibre or toasted multi-grain bread with a nutritious topping. Even Oprah goes back to basics for breakfast time, we all can pop some toast in the toaster! Your first meal sets the tone for the rest of the day. Start with a fresh smoothie and you’ll continue craving good food, because we’ve all had those days when we’ve skipped breakfast and by morning tea we’re ordering a “triple chocolate muffin and a double shot soy latte, please”.