If you live to be 90, you will be lucky enough to have something like 26,280 mornings in your adult life; 26, 280 new starts, where all things are possible. This also means which means 26, 280 days to maximize how we spend it.
Your morning defines the rest of your day.
If you can optimize your morning routines, you’ve set yourself up to have a productive day ahead of you.
The good news is, we all wake up with a fresh slate each morning, and no matter how unproductive your previous mornings have been. A new morning is a chance to create an awesome day…
1. Utilise Natural Light
In studies of adults with sleeping disorders, one of the best solutions was… a camping trip! a few days living without artificial light and alarm clocks, participants had an easier time falling sleep, and waking up.
One of the best ways to sleep better at night and wake up fresher in the morning is to wake up next to natural sunlight. Try moving your bed near a window to maximise the light you recieve in the morning, and as you wind down for the evening try to avoid as much artifical light as possible.
Meditation is becoming more and more popular, and rightly so. Meditation is something that everyone can do, and is proven to reduce anxiety, and increase productivity.
There are many different types of meditation, put simply meditation is focused attention — an easy place to start is to find a quiet place to sit comfortably, and bring your attention to your breath, letting all other thought drift away for just a few minutes. You can read more about meditation techniques here.
There are also some great apps out there to help guide you through meditation and provide a gentle alarm for the end of your meditation.
3. Do “One Thing”
We all like To Do Lists but we should also be picking the One Thing we want to achieve each day
That is, the one thing that will have the most impact towards reaching our goals, so when you complete that one thing, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary.
Now take a look at your to-do list.
By the end of the day, if you completed only one thing on your list, which would you feel satisfied knowing you finished it?
4. Wind Down
How you spend your evenings and the last few hours before you sleep is just as important, often more important. How you feel when you wake up and how you’ll feel for the rest of the day is dependent on how you sleep. You need to master your evenings to master your days.
Wind down routines can include, turning off all electronic devices an hour or two before bedtime, gentle yoga stretches, herbal tea, a good book, a game of scrabble, dimming all the light and lighting a candle, writing in a journal reflecting on your day/planning your next day. (and should NOT include scrolling through instagram and twitter pictures in bed!)
The last thing we want to do when we wake up in the morning is worry about how we should spend our day. So make a plan!
Once you’ve reflected on your current day, it’s time to schedule for your next day. Outline your plan; schedule your priorities in the beginning of the day, make time for breaks and exercise, and healthy meals. (This preparation can also help you wind down for sleep — instead of worrying about all the things you have to do tomorrow — write them down, make a plan, then let them go until the morning)
There is no ‘one size fits all’ for your morning, or indeed, life. So you can cherry pick key takeaways these routines to make your super routine.
But whatever you choose, commit to trying it out for a month — so you can see the benefits.