As the day progresses, life can get incredibly busy. I think we have all experienced those days where we had nothing on the agenda, and in a matter of 30 minutes, our days become jam-packed with various responsibilities and obligations.
It’s one of those experiences where you almost have to take a step back and ask yourself “What in the world just happened?” How did you go from wanting to find tasks to fill your time to all of a sudden becoming overwhelmed by the number of tasks that you have to accomplish? And all of that within a matter of just a few short minutes?
There are some out there who aren’t going to want to hear this, but that’s why it’s incredibly important to have a strong morning routine. When you purposely carve out time in the morning to get the important tasks done right away, it makes the rest of the day a lot easier and less stressful.
There are many benefits to waking up earlier and getting a jump start on your day.
- You will have completed your most important tasks early on without having to be tied down by the schedule of others.
- You will be less distracted throughout the day as you will have fewer obligations flooding your mind.
- You will be making progress towards the things that actually matter to you.
- You will have the potential to accomplish more than those around you as a result of all of the above.
These are just to name a few of the benefits.
Change Your Mornings to Change Your Life
I want to challenge you. I want you to look at your morning routine, find some of the things that you really enjoy about your morning routine, and then also find some of the things that you would like to change about your morning routine.
The purpose of this is to get you to think and hopefully reshape your mornings based on the goals that you want to achieve.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a topic that is important to a lot of people. They spend their time wondering what more they can do throughout the day instead of optimizing their mornings to achieve those same goals. Sleeping in as late as possible is far more important than accomplishing their goals.
It’s important to remember, though, that you are in complete control of your life. You are the only person who can achieve your own goals. You are the only person who can determine what it is that you want out of life, and the only person who can create the very life that you want to live.
But it all starts with being intentional with your time and using your time as wisely and as efficiently as possible.
I want to share with you some of the strategies that I have implemented into my morning routine, and what I believe are 7 things every person should do before 7 a.m.
1. Get quality sleep.
Sleep is important. While there are those who say to spend all of your time working towards your goals and dreams, it’s also important to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
If your intent is to wake up earlier in the morning, this may mean that you are going to have to shut off Netflix an hour or two earlier. And if that doesn’t sound like fun, well, then you need to remind yourself of what’s truly important to you. Is it more important to watch Netflix, or is it more important to be making strides towards your goals?
Either answer is fine, but both come with consequences. It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons and to determine how you want to use your time.
So why is sleep important? Getting 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep has been linked to increased memory, increased levels of creativity, increased levels of focus, decreased level of stress, and decreased risk of depression. There are many more benefits as well, but these are just the ones that I find to impact my life the most.
2. Avoid the snooze button.
The next thing that you are going to want to do is to avoid the snooze button at all costs. The snooze button is an evil trap that is only going to hold you back in life. The more you hit it, the further away you are placing yourself from what truly matters to you.
This is another point that is going to require self-discipline. There are going to be mornings where you are going to want to sleep in and stay under the warm covers, but again, this is when you have to ask yourself what’s truly important. As long as you got a good night’s sleep, get out of bed and avoid the snooze.
I have mentioned this before, but one tip that has really helped me is to put my phone on a dresser across my room. Not only does this prevent me from constantly checking it at night, but when it goes off in the morning, I have to actually get out of bed to go turn it off. I have found that by getting out of bed, I am less likely to crawl back in.
3. Write down what you are most grateful for.
I like to start my days down by writing 5 things that I am most grateful for in my life. A lot of the times they are repetitive, but I have realized that I don’t need a lot to live a good life.
By writing down things that I am grateful for, I am strengthening my mindset and prioritizing the importance of having a positive attitude. It’s easier to maintain a positive attitude throughout the rest of the day. I have realized that I am slightly less stressed (I still stress a lot), and overall, just in better spirits. Even when something negative or challenging happens, it doesn’t impact me as much as it would have in the past.
It sounds all so simple, and that’s because it is. Do yourself a favor and before getting on with your day, write down some things that you are thankful for. You will be surprised at how it can change your mindset and help you to remain positive throughout the rest of the day.
4. Structure your day.
Everybody should take the time out of their morning to structure your day. Not only is it a good idea to see what you have to do throughout the day, but in doing so, you will also experience less stress.
One of the reasons why we stress as much as we do in life is because we have no structure. We simply rely on “going with the flow” to get us from where we are to where we want to be. But what we fail to realize is that we are all forgetful to some extent. We rely on our ability to remember everything to guide us.
How many times have you found yourself in a rush or completely forgetting to do something because you simply forgot about it? Probably a lot. And yet, it’s so easy to prevent this. Seriously, just by taking a few minutes out of your morning to map out your day can make a huge difference.
Also, it gives you an opportunity to prioritize. Not all tasks are just as important as others. Find what’s most important to you and start your day out by working to accomplish these tasks.
5. Get your body moving.
There are so many benefits to exercising on a regular basis. Not all of the benefits are physical either. Some of them help to increase mental strength and capacity.
I used to be the type of person who hated working out in the morning. My body was always tight right after I woke up, and the thought of doing something as challenging as working out was not something that I was wanting to face.
But that’s just it. Working out is a challenge. By working out in the morning and challenging yourself, you are reinforcing the mindset that there isn’t much that can stop you today. You will also be less likely to procrastinate exercising if you make it a priority of yours to accomplish first thing in the morning.
Just in case you need some more reasons to get your body moving in the morning, exercise has been found to decrease your chance of depression, anxiety, and stress. All of these things can help to translate into higher success in your career. If you don’t care about your body, every other aspect of your life will suffer.
6. Consume as much uplifting content as possible.
We think the thoughts that we constantly repeat to ourselves, as well as the thoughts that we consume on a frequent basis. If you want to set yourself up to have a successful and positive day, then spend your mornings consuming information that is going to align with your beliefs and what you are looking for.
When I first started out on my self-improvement journey, I consumed endless amounts of uplifting blog posts, podcasts, and as many uplifting YouTube videos as I possibly could. I wanted to change my mentality and I knew that in order to do so, I needed to spend my time consuming the very thoughts that I wanted to reflect.
Doing so has done wonders for me. It’s amazing how much I have been able to and continue to learn and apply to my life simply by studying the advice and habits of others. I went from being miserable with my life to loving every bit of it, and a large part of it is because of my obsession to consume the thoughts that I want to reflect.
7. Take a moment to reflect.
Reflection is important. Not only is it a good way to focus on all that is going right in your life, but it is also a good way to find and to set an intention for the day ahead, and to keep track of the progress you are making towards your goals.
If you take the time out of your day each and every day to reflect on what matters most to you, you will be more likely to focus on those thoughts subconsciously. All of a sudden focusing on the positives in life will become a habit and you will start working towards accomplishing your goals without even knowing it.
I am the type of person who needs a plan laid out in front of me in order to feel productive. To help me feel productive on a daily basis, I write down things that I am grateful for, goals that I have for the day, my purpose or my motivation to pursue my goals, and then list out my goals on that daily plan as well. Some may think this is overdoing it, and maybe it is, but it’s what works for me and what I have found to be most beneficial to my individual success.
It’s important to use your time effectively, especially in the mornings. Don’t get tied down by everybody else’s schedules before even setting or starting your own. Make time for what’s most important to you. Make time for your success, for your goals, and for your liveliness. In order to succeed to the highest potential, you need to be willing to make yourself your own number one priority.
In doing so, you will realize how much you can achieve. The world around you gives only what you are willing to ask and work for – nothing more and nothing less.