2. Determine your intentions
Another crucial morning routine is deciding what tasks you need to get done. This ensures a good start to a good day. But that’s obviously not enough. It is also important to set your intentions and know what your purpose is for the day. What is your overall goal for today?
According to author Caroline Webb, setting your intentions requires you to review your progress every single day. This is especially important when you are going through a long, challenging day when things are not going the way you wanted it to. “On days like these, keeping your intentions at the forefront of your mind will keep you from getting derailed,” writes author Jeremy Anderberg in the Art Of Manliness.
These intentions will greatly help in guiding your three priorities and your everyday decisions and actions. Moreover, reviewing your intentions will help to build the right attitude in the morning that will shape your entire day. In fact, your intentions will effectively guide you in navigating through unfavorable and negative situations. With the help of your intentions, you will be able to look at the bigger picture even when minor, inevitable obstacles try to block your path every day. Jeremy explains “Knowing that each day contributes to a larger purpose helps ground your actions and motivates you to cut out distractions and not waste any of the precious time you have.”
3. Create contingency plans
Things go bad when we least expect it. But you know that already. So it’s best to plan ahead for what can go wrong in your day. This will help you stay mentally prepared for any inconveniences you might face in the day. It is also important to avoid unnecessary or even important distractions. This can be a sudden urgent email, phone call or something useless like social media notifications when you are focused on being your most productive self. These distractions can hamper our concentration and prevent you from completing your top 3 priorities. “So, take a few minutes in the morning to anticipate what might come up and distract you. Troubleshoot before you need to troubleshoot,” adds Jeremy.
4. Get moving
“Adults aged 18 – 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity activity,” suggests the World Health Organization (WHO). A 2006 study found that regular physical activity can not only help us stay fit and active, it can also boost our productivity, keep us safe from chronic diseases and reduce the risk of premature death. The study states “the greatest improvements in health status are seen when people who are least fit become physically active.” Moreover, it can also boost your motivation and help you deal with stress and anxiety as well.
So whenever you can manage the time, make sure you go for a 15 to 20 minute exercise routine, especially in the morning. You can opt for a basic cardio routine, life weights, do Yoga or simply go for a walk outside. Author Caroline Webb explains “researchers found that on days that people exercised before work or did something active during their lunch break, they were far better able to concentrate and handle their workload. Exercise also boosted people’s mood and motivation (by 41 percent) and their ability to deal with stress (by 27 percent).” This is another important morning routine you need to adhere to.
5. Reward yourself
Make sure to give yourself a reward for all the work you have done at the end of the day. This can be especially helpful when you have a long, difficult day to go through. Your reward can be anything that makes you happy – from food, to watching a movie or having an extra hour of sleep. Jeremy writes “knowing you have something to enjoy at the end of it all can push you through the challenging hours you’re staring down in the morning.”
Bonus morning habits:
Here are some other strategies from author and ICF Certified Leadership & Executive Coach (PCC) Melissa Eisler. This will help you to develop the best morning routine so that you can have a good day every day:
- Stay detached from technology (smartphone, social media, texts, emails etc) for the first hour of the day
- Make sure to drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up in the morning
- Have a positive mindset, practice gratitude and start your day with optimism
- Make your bed as this can make you feel accomplished at the start your day
- Incorporate mindfulness meditation and breathing exercises into your regular morning routine
- Make an effort to dress and look good as it will build your self-confidence
- Eat a nutritious breakfast as it can give you the boost you need in the morning
A good morning routine creates a good day
Add the above mentioned strategies and habits to your morning routine and follow it diligently every single day. Soon you will start experiencing how it makes a huge difference in your life. This will enable you to start off your day proactively instead of reactively.
Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful: