Morning habits. Something I didn’t believe in for a long time. “Didn’t believe” is perhaps not the right expression. I simply thought that I’m not a morning person so I will do all the important stuff in the evening. It’s easier to learn and focus in the evening. I don’t have a problem to stay up. But..
But, the plan is one thing and reality is another. There are evenings you need to stay longer at work. There are evenings you are too tired. There are evenings you travel. There are evenings you meet friends. There are evenings you simply need to do other stuff than the one that is important to your self, soul, mind or body.
I try hard and I bet you try hard as well. But it’s not possible to stick to the evening schedule day after day after day. I have never been able to do my scheduled evening habits every single day of a month.
Then I realized there really is something about the morning habits. The rest of the world sleeps, so nobody bothers you, nobody interrupts you, nobody cares you are up. This is the only time you can manage to repeat your habits because it depends on nobody but you! If you manage to wake up you’ve almost won. Usually, the only thing you need to do is to get up from your bed. Nothing (and nobody) is in your way. It’s you and only you.
1. Practice Mindfulness
You might be into meditation and you might be not, but you don’t have to sit in a cross-legged position and count your breaths to relax your mind.
You can have a walk in nature. You can draw. You can sew. Find something you like. Something that can calm you and at the same time give you the positive energy for the day. The workout is, actually, a kind of mental relaxation as well.
Oh, my Goodness. You are soo tired when you get home from work. You went through some arguments with your boss, your spouse, kids, neighbor, a taxi driver. You have done piles of work. You drove. You cooked. You cleaned. You washed. You walked. You talked. You got emotional. You got angry. You got overwhelmed.
And now you are home. It’s evening. You are exhausted. To be precise, your mind is exhausted. Your body is not and you kind of know it. So you force yourself to do some crunches. To go for a walk. To do some squats.
And it works on some days, but it doesn’t on others. Your mind tricks you into thinking that you are exhausted. Every day you need to fight yourself to exercise. Every day you need to persuade yourself that it’s not your body that is tired.
Yet, this is not happening in the morning. Your mind is relaxed after night and it doesn’t even care. It will let you do whatever you want to do after you wake up. This is your biggest advantage. Use it!
I’m not telling you to get up at 4 and workout for an hour. I’m telling get up at 6 and workout for 15 minutes. But do it every single day.
3. Eat Breakfast
I eat breakfast every day since I was a child. You should too. Breakfast is important. But, I get it, it’s hard to squeeze breakfast into the morning rush. I’ve been there. I’ve gone through eating breakfast at home and rushing, which brought me a stomachache every single time, to staying hungry until I get to work and only then eat my breakfast. The cool part? I was much earlier at work, so I could leave much earlier. The not so cool part? I was so unproductive. By the time I get to work my mind went all foggy. I got to work, I ate breakfast, I had my coffee, but for the first hour or two, I couldn’t focus on work. I couldn’t make a decision. Soon, I dropped this habit, because it was not the way.
On the other hand, I have a colleague, who wakes up at 4:00 because she lives far from the place of work. She travels for more than an hour and a half to work. When she gets to work, she has her coffee (coffee on empty stomach! That would kill me.) and she is not eating before 10 or 11. And it works for her.We are all different. That’s why nobody can tell you what to do and how to do it. Find your perfect breakfast and your perfect time for it.
Do you want to be a better person? Then, you need to work much harder than others. So eat that breakfast.
4. Do One Important Thing
This is the fun part. You managed to wake up early. You didn’t die. 🙂 You meditated. You worked out – or at least tried. You had your breakfast and now what? Going to work?
Now it’s your time! Everybody is still asleep. It’s not a time to go to work yet. Yes, you, again, need to get up a little earlier to have this time for yourself. But there are a lot of things you were putting off for so long. What are they? Do them now!
Start small, you don’t need 3 hours a day to change your life. Learning a language? You can learn 10 minutes in the morning every day. Writing a book? You can write for half an hour every morning. Starting a business? You can write emails or start your website – all for half an hour every morning. It’s your time to do at list a tiny little bit towards your dream.
You can see, that for having good morning habits you need to stretch your time a little bit. That’s why you should always remember to do only the IMPORTANT stuff in the morning.
5. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is a very powerful emotion that can not only help your relationships with others but also nourish your feeling of contentment. There are many ways how to practice gratitude throughout the day, but let’s focus on your morning.
To start your day off with a strong feeling of contentment think of three things you are grateful for today. Maybe it’s your still-sleeping-child, your kind husband or your fulfilling job. It may even be the beautiful sunrise. Realize what are the things you are grateful for and embrace it.
6. Have a Clear Vision of the Day
There are thousands of things to do in a day, but not all of them are equally important to your success. Think of three achievable goals (goals that are important to YOU) for the day and try hard to accomplish them.
The charm of morning habits is that they add up. Day after day you add up value to your life. It’s hard to wake up early at the beginning, but as soon as you have your habits set, you don’t even realize how much value you have added to your life. How calmer, more productive, and in better shape you are. How more meaningful your life is.