How to Have a Good Morning Every Morning

From hitting snooze a million times to sleeping in until noon, there are many ways your morning can feel frantic or wasteful. I am no stranger to this struggle. I’ve never been a morning person but I am beginning to see how my night owl ways are not conducive to a world of 8:30 a.m. lectures. I’ve ended up running out the door late more times than I care to admit. Yet, I truly believe that a good morning leads to a good day, so I decided to do some research to find the best ways to train myself into being a morning person. Does my situation sound familiar?  Read on!

The key to a good morning starts with a good night.

Identify any obstacles that stand in the way of you waking up on time and having a productive morning. Now, try to eliminate them the night before. Tired? Get to bed on time and ensure you have a proper sleep. Put the phone away; the blue light radiating onto your face as you scroll through Insta can throw off your melatonin, keeping you up longer and throw off your sleep schedule. Instead, try reading a book or meditating to calm you down. Can’t get to sleep? Avoid eating and drinking coffee a few hours before bed. Always rushing in the morning? Get into the habit of preparing your things the night before, like your bag and your clothes. This will help things go smoothly come the A.M. and…

Be strategic about when you wake up in the morning.

The early bird actually does get the worm. Many highly successful people, from Olympic athletes to CEOs, wake up before 6 A.M. and consider it the key to their success. They claim this gives them time to ground themselves, get a head start on their tasks for the day, log some exercise, or take time to hone their creative process. Regardless of how early you choose to rise, make sure you give yourself time to get ready. Count the time backwards with estimates of how long each morning task will take. Then add a ½ hour because nothing ever goes as planned and it doesn’t hurt to have extra time to prepare yourself.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1... BLAST OFF!

Break up with your snooze button. Hitting snooze does not help you, may actually make you sleepier, and is just delaying the inevitable. Essentially, it’s a big waste of your time. You set your alarm for a reason, stick with it! Mel Robbins developed what she calls the 5-Second Rule for self-control. When your alarm goes off and you hesitate, you are actually sending stress signals to your brain. Your brain then starts working on protecting you and the spotlight effect kicks in. This starts magnifying anything that could be a potential risk, in other words, anything that is uncomfortable to you. Getting out of bed? Yes, pretty uncomfortable, especially when you’ve gotten yourself all comfy and warm. Robbins says the way to outsmart your brain is to not give it time to ‘protect you’ by snuggling back into the covers. You must quickly, within 5 seconds, get the ‘getting out of bed’ over with. Counting backwards from five is an effective way to psych yourself into doing it while simultaneously making you think in a way that counting forwards doesn’t, therefore waking up your mind. Blast off!

Give yourself something to look forward to in the morning.

Just think about how fast and early you jumped out of bed on Christmas morning when you were a child (or maybe still?). You were excited by the prospects of the day. Try to pinpoint or add in something to your morning that makes you want to get up. You clicked on this article for a reason, why is it that you want to have productive, healthy mornings? Be specific and write your morning goals down in your journal.

Make your bed!

Once you’re up, your first task in the morning should be to make your bed. In 2014, U.S. Navy Seal Admiral William H. McRaven gave a powerful commencement speech to the graduating class at the University of Texas about “How to Save the World.” In this speech, the admiral highlighted many life tips. One of them was to ‘make your bed.’ Sounds strange, right? It’s such a simple, straightforward task. Yet, as it turns out, it can carry a profound amount of meaning into your life. Making your bed is your first goal of the day. Completing it can instill a small sense of pride and accomplishment into your morning that can snowball into you completing other small tasks throughout the day. These small tasks can turn into big results all because you started the day successfully by completing your first task. The admiral goes on to say that if you did happen to have a bad day, at least your made-up bed will be there to greet you in the end.

Drink some H2O!

You’ve just been asleep for ~7 hours, which means your body is craving those first sips of water. Keeping a (reusable) bottle at your bedside can help you have that drink as soon as you wake up, giving you a head start on logging your 4-6 daily cups of water.

Give yourself some proper fuel

Kick start your metabolism within an hour of waking up in the morning to avoid overeating later on. But, make sure you are doing so with the right foods. Aim to include some protein and avoid highly processed and sugary foods that will just weigh you down. My personal favourite is a smoothie with Greek yogurt, protein powder, fruit, chia seeds, and … spinach! It is never too early to get in your quota of fruits and vegetables for the day to avoid trying to cram them into your meals later on.

Move it!

Get your body moving in the morning. Don’t want to hop on a treadmill quite yet? No problem. A quick round of stretches or a walk around the block will work just fine. Getting your blood flowing will help wake you up and the endorphins your exercise releases will help you feel good. Your body will thank you!

Make a to-do list

Write a detailed to-do list with tangible goals for your day. Already have an ongoing list? Great; re-evaluate it to make sure it fits your day and then get to it! There is nothing worse than aimlessly going about your morning to find that it is almost over and you have nothing to show for it. Stay organized and tackle the things that are important to you first.

From now on, don’t just say good morning, mean it!