“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love — then make that day count!” ~Steve Maraboli
How is your morning routine? Is it setting you up for an awesome day or just a way to get from bed to work?
Before I really took charge of my life, I used to have terrible mornings. I mean, it wasn’t just that I felt stressed, but more how I totally failed to use the morning time as a way to build up my day in a successful way.
Now I wake up before the sun to have a morning that empowers me.
A relaxed, enjoyable and productive morning is something that will follow you throughout your day. That means you have just started a fantastic day.
Conversely, a stressful and chaotic morning will most likely lead to a day following that same spirit. . .
I realized that I made a whole bunch of mistakes during my morning routine — things that didn’t help me in any way.
So here are the 5 worst mistakes I used to do every morning. Do they apply to you as well?
Mistake #1. No wake up habit
One of the major things that made every morning a real struggle for me was that I had never taken the time to form any type of wake up habit. I just went to bed when I felt like it and woke up to the sound of my alarm.
This actually meant that I could be woken up anytime during a sleep cycle, hence the reason why I almost always felt so incredibly tired. Forming this type of habit is not hard but it was still the major change I went through.
The key is to always, always, always wake up the same time (yes, including weekends). Then you just go to bed when you feel tired in the evening. This will become a self-adjusting system where if you go to bed later one evening you will most likely become tired earlier the next evening.
And after a while you might even start to wake up 5 minutes before your alarm clock – rested and fresh.
Mistake #2. Horrible alarm clock sound
Since you can choose, why not wake up to a calm and happy tune instead a buzzer that kills your morning mood in the first seconds of a new day?
This mistake is quite small, but damn annoying. Luckily, it’s also very easy to fix.
Mistake #3. Snoozing
It’s so easy to postpone the new day for another 9 minutes, right? And perhaps even for much longer than that. But it wasn’t just that I wasted time lying in bed — although that really caused unnecessary stress later on — but also that it really made my mind fuzzy.
It’s hard to explain it, but if you look back at times that you snoozed yourself you can probably remember how your head felt afterwards… not really relaxed and happy, am I right?
The best advice I can give you on this mistake is to use the so called “inverted snooze”. Basically, you first place the alarm clock far away from your bed. Then when it rings, you turn it off and do all in your power to stay out of bed for one whole snooze cycle (9 minutes).
Trust me, if you manage to do this, much of your initial sleepiness will be all gone.
Mistake #4. Small breakfast
One thing I consistently underestimated was the importance of breakfast. I used to have a sandwich and a glass of juice — that’s it.
But then I started to question this — how is this going to make me last until lunch? And frankly, I want more than to just “last until lunch”. I want to have a high-energy and awesome morning.
So nowadays I eat as if breakfast is the only meal I’ll have each day. In fact, up to 80 per cent of your energy storage can be gone after the night, so it’s vital that you fill up instantly.
If you’re looking to lose weight, then breakfast is definitely not the meal you should skip. It takes energy to burn fat so make sure you fuel your body enough.
Mistake #5. Nothing fun to do in the morning
The fact that I used to get out of bed only to rush off to work was incredibly demotivating for me.
If you’re in the same situation, I can imagine how you’re feeling. Wouldn’t some me-time and fun be a bit more inspiring to wake up to?
So to really use the precious morning time I nowadays wake up at 4 a.m. to spend 3-4 hours every day doing the things I’m most passionate about.
Instead of letting work be the first things I do in the morning, I now have time both plan my day as well have some fun and excitement in my life — even before the rest of the world has woken up! And believe me, this type of high spirit will just carry me throughout the day.
As you might have figured out by now, the core reasons behind all of these changes are to reduce stress and to shape the rest of the day.
We all have the power to set a great tone for each day of the year. So my biggest realization is that I want to be in charge of setting these tones in my life.
Can you just imagine the differences in your own life that will come from having had an empowered morning routine?
Instead of feeling stressed from the start of the day, you can be one step ahead all the time. It’s all about forming successful habits so, in the long run, remember to…
“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” ~Lao Tzu
So now it’s your turn. Let me ask you – how does your morning routine look like? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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Image by Eneas.
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