How does your typical morning look like? Is it like waking up but still feeling sleepy? Is it like skipping your breakfast and rushing to work? Or just waking up to grab your smartphone and log in to Facebook? If this is how you start your day, then you’re probably doing it wrong.
How your day ends mainly depends on how you started it in the first place. You should never expect a positively flowing day if you started it with a negative tone. Incorporating daily good habits to your life requires intentionally doing them. You can’t just say “I am going to start my day with a smile” and face the day with a sulked face – you should exert extra effort into practicing these habits them until they build their own pattern in your life. Once you welcomed and embraced them in your life, you will notice how your body works on its own.
There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning from a restful night feeling rejuvenated and motivated to seize the day. Here is a guide to a few good habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine, particularly in the morning, to start your day right.
1. Wake up gratefully with a positive note and a smile
As you wake up, take a moment to reflect upon the things you’re grateful for – family, career, or simply the fact that you’re still alive. Throw all the negativity in the corner and keep the good thoughts to yourself as a basis of gratefulness. By doing this, you will realize how grateful you are in life which will then attract more positivity and uphold your drive to seize the day.
A study has shown that by smiling, you send signals to your brain to secrete neurotransmitters (serotonin, endorphins, dopamine) known to relax the body and alter the mood in a positive way. Never underestimate the power of a smile as it can generate life-changing outcomes. As you smile, you generate positive vibes not just for yourself but for other people as well. Remember that a lot of smiles start with just a simple one.
2. Make your bed
Most of us do not give importance about making our bed by folding blankets and arranging pillows – we think that it’s a waste of time or unnecessary since we’re going to use it again later when we sleep. I know how a lot of errands are piled up waiting to be done and you might think fixing your bed is keeping you from doing them. However, studies have shown that one habit that successful people from different industries do is to make their bed the moment they get out of it.
According to these people, by making your bed first thing in the morning, you start your day feeling accomplished. It might seem like a tiny accomplishment but remember, when you add these tiny accomplishments altogether, you’ll end up with a bigger one. The completion of small tasks makes up a firm foundation to kick-start your responsibilities and duties on a larger scale.
3. Make a “To-Do” list
It is a good idea to be certain about your goals each day. A “to-do” list can help you enumerate your purpose and intentions each day. One thing to consider in making such a list is to rank the things you need to do based on priority –do the hard ones first and proceed with the lighter ones or the other way around, it’s all up to you. Do it based on your personal preference or the way you’re most comfortable with.
You can put your to-do list on a notebook or on your smartphone if you are a techie person. Either way, what you should be focusing about is its content. Setting this list served as a reminder to live the day productively. Also, there is something satisfying about putting on a check on your “to-do” list. It somehow gives you a sense of accomplishment from time to time as you proceed to your bigger purpose in life. Nevertheless, do not pressure yourself to do them instantly, take your time and chill while you do them.
4. Unplug yourself from technology
The first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning tells something about yourself and how your day will go. Starting the day right should be one of your utmost concerns because it will be the foundation of the errands that you will do for that day. If checking your smartphone for text messages, work emails, or even Facebook notifications is what you do first thing in the morning, you might not know, but what you’re actually doing is developing a reactive mindset which results to a defensive state throughout the day.
It’s just saddening to know that nowadays, most of us end and start our day looking at our smartphones. Although it’s true that technology has perked up our lives, we should always be aware of our limitations. Start your day in a proactive manner by spending the first hour of your day to appreciate the moment – thank Him for waking you up today and cultivate yourself to stay optimistic and confident to survive the day.
5. Have a nutritious breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – you should never ever skip it. Eating healthy foods including green leafy vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C and potassium is beneficial for your body. Replace coffee and soda with a fresh orange juice as it flushes out many toxins from the body and boosts your immune system in the long run.
As much as possible, stay away from foods that are highly processed and sugary. Consider instead eating a wholesome food rich in protein like eggs and warm milk that can fuel you throughout the day. Do not overeat though, since might make you bloated and feeling drowsy. While you allow yourself to eat a healthy breakfast, you allow your body to absorb energy and nutrients that will fuel your whole self, particularly your mind, to stay focused and alert throughout the day.
6. Bottoms up
Sleeping, especially for an extended period of time, can be dehydrating since laying for about 7-8 hours with no water at all can cause our body to dry out. We may also sweat in the course of our sleep and that’s why we feel like drinking water to quench our thirst when we wake up in the morning. It makes sense since most of the rejuvenating processes of our system happen during sleep, which is just tiring for our body. Just as well, 60% of a human body is made up of water which only shows that drinking is a must, and when I say drinking, it’s not just for the sake of quenching your thirst but also making some reserves for the next couple of hours.
*Note: To make a glass of water more enticing to drink, you can add a slice of lemon to it as it’s known to help flush out toxins from the body.
7. Bring yourself to your best state
While your character and personality is important, your physical appearance has its own role in how you face the world. Exerting time and effort to shower, brush your teeth, as well as choosing appropriate clothes to wear all contribute in the making of a good foundation to present yourself confidently and face whatever challenge may come your way.
Do something that’s going to perk up your life. Go to a salon to have your hair and nails done or a wellness spa to pamper and relax your body. Do things that your future self will thank you for. Do whatever makes you feel beautiful, healthy, and confident as they will all bring you on your best state. Besides, knowing that you’re in your best state gives you peace of mind and assurance that surviving the day is just a piece of cake.
8. Meditation can take you places
Meditation is an efficient way to clear up your mind. By meditating, you actually get rid of the negative remains of yesterday and block them from coming into your life again. Incorporating meditation in your morning routine actually cultivates your mind to be proactive rather than reactive. Meditation helps us to eliminate negative thoughts or anything that hinders us to become happy with our life. It’s a great platform to heal naturally and have a peace of mind that everything will fall on its right places.
Additionally, meditation is also a great moment to be clear with your intention for the day (or even the coming days). Being clear about the things that you intend to bring into your life can bring about clear decisions in life which will then lead to accurate results. That being said, we should make some time to meditate even at least 10-15 minutes each day.
A lot of you might think that when I say “exercise” it means intense push-ups, hardcore sit-ups, and sweaty workouts. At some point, yes, it’s true, but it’s not a requirement though. Whether it’s a simple walk or the basic yoga, it’s already considered as an exercise.
By doing a few movements, you allow yourself to have an alert mind and energized body. However, if you have a lot of time to do a complete exercise routine, why not? Making some time to start your day with a workout promotes better blood circulation. It doesn’t have to be intense and hardcore, do an exercise that is right for you and you’re comfortable with.
Exercise has been associated with metabolism and energy. However, your exercise routine should depend on your schedule and capability. You might have more flexible time if you work at home. Regardless, you should not force yourself to certain exercises that might hurt you instead of upbringing your life.
10. Treat yourself with a restful night by having enough sleep
I know that you’re going to agree when I say that most of us wake up feeling tired even just from sleeping. This is mainly because we are not getting enough sleep. How you wrap up the day tells a lot about how you are going to face the following day. A well-rested mind and body is your investment to work on throughout the entire day because your whole self will significantly depend on the hours of sleep you had the night before. The recommended number of hours of sleep is of at least 7 hours in order to be able to make it through the day properly and productively. Above all, important body repairing procedures only take place while sleeping so never deprive yourself of sleep.
Life is not just about starting your day right, how you end your day is quite fundamental too. Although it’s essential to start your day right, we should never disregard the fact that ending it right is as imperative as starting it right. Your sleep should not be compromised especially by the things that are not worthy.
Let’s face it, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” on how to start the day right. Good habits vary from person to person and it doesn’t mean that if a certain habit works for me, it will do the same for you. You have to see what works for you in order to know if you will benefit from doing it and that’s when you are going to decide if you will incorporate a certain habit it to your life.
Starting the day right is not as simple as it sounds. However, what we can do is to consider practicing good habits first thing in the morning (and even the night before) because employing these good habits to our morning routine will be our starting point in reaching a happy life we have envisioned for ourselves.
Start your day by trying these good habits we have compiled one at a time and see if it will work for you. Regardless, there are more ways to start your day right, you just have to be more creative and experimental to find them out.