“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
Shorter days, longer nights, and colder weather can take a toll on our motivation. However, there are a handful of simple and effective habits that help us power through the gloomier mornings and get ahead of our day.
If you’re looking for a few tricks to kickstart a happier and healthier day, read on below for 8 better ways to always start your day on the right foot.
- Start with a huge glass of water
Drinking adequate amounts of water in order to stay properly hydrated is (hopefully) not news to most of us. That being said, there’s no better way to begin your day than with a tall glass of water.
Drinking water on an empty stomach in the morning can do wonders for our bodies, both internally and externally. In fact, drinking a semi-warm glass of water first thing in the morning is an ancient daily ritual, and has been attributed to health, beauty, and longevity.
- Avoid your phone
When you dive straight into e-mails, texts, and BeReal, you lose focus and your morning succumbs to the wants and needs of other people. It’s also a terribly frantic way to start your day.
Taking those precious first minutes of the day to do something relaxing that sets a calm, positive tone for your day will have much more positive effects on your nervous system. Speaking of which…
A short, peaceful practice of quiet sitting in the morning can make a world of a difference.
Meditating can help you begin your day on a more centered, positive tone––reducing anxiety, improving concentration, and helping to dial down chattering thoughts. Go ahead and give it a try; even a short five minutes before building up to longer does the trick!
- Step outside
Forget the weather app: take a step outside in the morning in order to oxygenate your brain and give yourself a little energy boost.
Movement first thing in the morning ensures that you always have the time for it. Walking, stretching, or a quick workout drastically improves your mood and energy levels all day long. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes also releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses.
- Make your bed
Author and podcast host Tim Ferriss has interviewed more than a hundred highly successful people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets across a variety of industries. Along the way, he discovered most of them make it a priority to make their bed in the morning.
It may seem like a waste of time, unimportant, or unnecessary, especially if you’re going to climb into it again at night. However, making your bed is a simple action that makes you feel accomplished—and taking charge and completing simple tasks will give you the foundation to take on more and more throughout the day.
- Let there be light
Sunlight is the best way to naturally wake up, making the night-to-morning transition a lot easier. It’s hard to go from pitch-black darkness to bright light (*cough cough*, especially if you hop on your phone or computer first thing in the morning). Make it easier on yourself by keeping your blinds somewhat open, making your morning alarm a little less jarring.
- Make a to-do list
Take a few minutes to write down a “to-do” list for the day ahead. Use it to prioritize your day’s list with only 3 to 5 items on it—ranked in order of importance to make sure you tackle the most pressing things first. Research shows that having concrete goals is correlated with huge increases in confidence and feelings of success.
- Eat a proper breakfast
Eating breakfast is one of the most productive ways to start your day.
People who eat breakfast are less likely to be unhealthy, they have better blood-sugar levels, and they tend to be less hungry over the course of the day. A healthy breakfast gives you energy, improves your short-term memory, and helps you to concentrate more intensely and for longer periods. Not to mention it also prevents a spike in cravings and cortisol levels later on, helping you keep a cool head and a happy mind throughout your day.
Giving these steps a try in the new year? Make sure to tag us in your morning routines on Instagram so that we can support and share a little motivation. It always goes a long way!
Until next time,
The BSE Team