How you start your morning can affect your health, happiness, and wellbeing, and often sets the tone for the rest of the day. That’s why so many highly successful leaders have a morning ritual that provides clarity of thought, a positive mindset, and most of all, the energy to do more for those they come in contact with.
That’s right, a powerful and consistent morning routine can boost your energy, increase productivity, and improve the quality of work you do and the life you live. Here are 5 proven methods to increase happiness and productivity every single day.
1. Improve your morning, tonight
Before turning in for the night, take a few minutes to plan your day ahead. Identify which appointments and calls you have to make, and which tasks are a priority. Creating a clear plan of action for the morning will eliminate restless nights spent staring at the ceiling as to-do lists run through your head. You may also want to organize your clothes and prepare your meals to save you precious time in the morning. Preparing in advance will increase your feelings of confidence and the level of control you have over your life.
2. Practice an attitude of gratitude
One way to do this is by starting a daily Gratitude Journal. Each morning, list 3-5 things that you are grateful for, proud of or excited about—making sure to acknowledge those who have helped you. This small act will help change your mindset, drawing you away from feelings of anger, frustration or resentment. Your brain will become primed to focus on the positive, and will start drawing out all of the contentment that comes from life’s simple pleasures. Expressing gratitude has a ripple effect on your entire day, and will positively affect your interactions with all those around you. An attitude of gratitude is one of the most important components to a fulfilling life.
3. Drink up
One of the first things you should do upon waking is drink a big glass of lemon water. During the night, it’s typical not to drink anything for at least 8-10 hours. Since nearly every process in the body relies on good hydration, it’s important to start rehydrating quickly. Make this the first thing you do to revitalize your muscles, improve digestion, boost brain function and increase energy levels—all before you’ve ingested any caffeine! Drinking this simple, powerful cocktail first thing in the morning will also boost your immune system by providing some key vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. Giving your body adequate water when you wake is a great way to get your body and your mind going.
4. Get moving
The benefits of being physically active span far beyond a good aesthetic or a healthy heart. Exercise awakens the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that’s responsible for decision making, creativity, focus and problem solving. Run, skip, lift weights, swim or spin—anything to get your heart pumping and your body moving. You’ll notice an increase in energy levels and improved brain performance, not to mention the release of endorphins will help you combat stress and feel happier throughout the day\
5. Fuel your body
We’re often told the most important meal of the day is breakfast, and yet we continue to overlook how significant it really is. Food is literally the fuel for our bodies and mind, so make sure you’re running on premium. That said, breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated… but don’t expect to perform optimally on only a cup or two of coffee. There are plenty of simple, quick breakfasts like a protein shake or overnight oats that you can prepare beforehand and grab on the go.
And always remember that the most meaningful things in your life should never be sacrificed for those that are less meaningful. That is to say, a work meeting might seem like a priority, but don’t forget to also schedule time with those who are most important to you: yourself and your loved ones.