You’re probably aware that morning routines are critical to your productivity and well-being. Understanding the things to do in the morning that set up your day for success matter; your morning habits and activities set your mood, energy level and mindset for the rest of your day.
This is important because your daily actions accumulate, determining what you accomplish in the long-run. If you want to become the person you desire and live your dream life, you need to take the right actions every day.
But one secret to productive mornings that most people overlook is that your morning routine actually starts the night before. If you don’t wind down properly or get enough sleep, it doesn’t matter what you do in the morning – your performance and mood will fall very short of optimal.
That’s why we created this list of nighttime and morning rituals to get your day started right. Don’t let life happen to you. Determine who you want to become and follow these habits to achieve your goals.
Nighttime Routines: Bedtime Rituals For Restful, Relaxing Sleep
1. Spend time with loved ones.
When you grow old and look back at your life, you’re going to wish you spent more quality time with the people you loved. You won’t curse yourself for spending too little time on your business or at work. So don’t wait until it’s too late. After a productive day, meet up with your friends or spend time with your family. Even a phone call will do. Spending time with people you care about makes you happier and reduces stress, which will help you sleep better at night.
You can’t let a day go by and not laugh. Find what makes you laugh out loud. Whether it’s your friends, your partner, a writer, or a comedian, find time to laugh before going to bed. This will help you de-stress, sleep better, and start the next day on the right foot!
Rebalance your mind and body by doing light (or heavy) exercise, some form or relaxation, and getting natural light on your skin. You can do all three at the same time by taking a walk, meditating, or doing yoga outside. After a long day – especially in an office – we need to get our blood flowing, replenish our Vitamin D, and slow our minds down to rejuvenate ourselves and get a good night of rest
4. Look up.
Whether you’re on top of the world or feeling like an utter mess, it’s good to remember that there are far bigger things in the world. Looking at the clouds or stars is a way to remember what’s really important at the end of the day, and to regain perspective. Additionally, try to to end the day on a positive note by jotting down the things you’re grateful for. The humility will help you maintain a healthy mindset that stays with you through the next day.
5. Track your progress.
The journey toward our goals seems eternal. Use your journal to track your progress and see that you’re moving faster than you realize. It boosts your morale and confidence when you celebrate the small wins every day, which will help you de-stress, sleep better, and wake up ready for your next set of challenges.
6. Prepare for the next day.
Our brains are great for critical thinking, problem-solving, and being creative. They’re not good at remembering oodles of tasks. By reducing the number of items in your memory, you’ll reduce stress and feel confident that you’re doing everything you need to do. Do this by creating a to-do list the night before, so when you wake up and sit down to work, you already know what you need to do. Additionally, you can set out your clothes and prepare anything else the night before so you don’t have to think about it in the morning.
7. Power down.
As you get into bed, it’s tempting to scroll through Pinterest and check the latest headlines on The Huffington Post. You’ll get much better sleep if you don’t do this, though. The blue light from your phone stimulates your mind and the (mostly negative) news increases stress and anxiety when your mind and body should be winding down for deep, relaxed sleep. Instead, turn off the TV, put away the phone, and stay away from social media for an hour before you sleep.
8. Read something inspiring or fictional.
Inspirational biographies and fictional adventures are great ways to calm the mind. They’re enjoyable and they don’t let you worry about the past or future. Although nonfiction books can be educational, they increase your brain activity. So try to avoid them before bed. Your goal at this part of the day is to stop worrying about the things that need to get done, enjoy yourself, and fall asleep.
9. Get a good night of sleep.
Everything up to this point is to help put you in a good state of mind so you can sleep well through the night because a good night’s sleep is critical to your next day. You want to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. To sleep well, turn off all the lights in your room and make it as dark as possible, silence your phone and remove any distractions, and don’t drink caffeine for at least eight hours before you want to sleep. And of course, follow tips one through eight above. If you do this, you’ll wake up with the energy needed to have an amazing day.
Morning Routines: Things To Do in The Morning To Set Up The Day for Success
10. Don’t hit the snooze button.
Your alarm clock isn’t inherently bad and getting a little extra sleep doesn’t hurt, but think about it this way – if you snooze your alarm twice to sleep twenty extra minutes, wouldn’t you have gotten better sleep if you just set your alarm twenty minutes later? When you build the good habit of getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night, set your alarm clock to the time you want to get up, and actually wake up at that time. This ensures you get the best rest possible with your limited time.
11. Avoid the internet.
Don’t worry: you’ll get your social media and email fix later in the day. For now, it’s important to trust that those can wait for an hour or so. The early morning is when you need to do your daily ritual, which doesn’t include perusing the internet. Avoid the internet focus on your daily morning rituals to get the maximum benefit.
Some people like to get a full workout in, but that’s not necessary. You do, however, want to move your body around and get your blood flowing. Even five minutes of push-ups or jumping jacks will do the trick. This causes your brain to release chemicals called endorphins that put you in a good mood with effects that permeate through the rest of your day.
13. Take a shower. (And make it cold if you can!)
Showers are very beneficial to your body and mind. The running water increases your blood circulation and gets more oxygen to your brain, awakening your body and sharpening your mind. Hot water will do the trick, but the benefits increase if you shower in cold water. Make sure to shower if you want to start your day alert and ready to go.
14. Fuel up.
Drink water and enjoy your favorite fuel source – e.g. breakfast, coffee, protein shake, etc. Some people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and others swear that intermittent fasting (usually by skipping breakfast) is the answer to life. There’s no right or wrong answer. Figure out what you like to eat or drink, and enjoy the ritual of having it every morning.
15. Sit with your thoughts and mentally prepare for the day.
Before you get to your to-do list, give yourself an opportunity to think about your life and the big challenges you want to overcome. You can also use this time to read and learn if you’d like. Most successful people say that they spend a lot of their time thinking or reading for a reason. Your actions are a direct result of the thoughts that go through your brain. That’s why it’s so important to nurture the environment of your thinking. Find a calming place where you can relax and think about the things that are important to you. It’ll be even better if you write your thoughts in a journal.
There you have it: some of the best ways to start your day on a high note. You’re the CEO of your life, so make it worth living. Life is so much more enjoyable when your mental and physical energy are high and you’re in a good mood.
By incorporating the 15 nighttime and morning activities above, you’ll get a good grasp on each one of your days. And once you take control, life becomes what you want it to be.
So, which ones will you start with first?