If you have been using the internet for, say, the last 5 years, then you have probably come across a few “life hack” videos explaining how to set up habits which help you win the day. While there’s plenty of great content out there, I think sometimes that message gets thwarted by pushing specific ideologies around HOW to do this.
Probably the most overused idea I see all over the internet is the huge “wake up at 4 AM” craze. Now, before I get any hate mail, please note that I am not saying this is a dumb idea. Many people have found a vast amount of success in starting their mornings very early, and I am not qualified to attempt to discredit those testimonies. If it works for you, then go for it!
However, I think the message lacks a bit of nuance. If you’re waking up at 4 AM, then you are probably having to go to sleep very early as well in order to get enough rest- which isn’t necessarily being communicated well. Aside from that, there’s no “secret” that you unlock by waking up that early. Again, may work for some, but we certainly don’t have to do that to be successful.
What we need are not ultra-specific rules, but guidelines. Here are 5 steps I’ve recently taken which has enhanced my morning routine:
- Schedule your day the night before
I’ve found that scheduling, or “time blocking” my day into distinct segments has allowed me to become far more productive. Even more so, far more intentional, which I believe is just as important. If you take a few moments each day to view tomorrow in a macro-sense, it will allow you to construct your schedule in much more meaningful ways.
Setting a schedule takes the stress of spontaneity off your shoulders- you don’t have to think about what to do! You’ve already taken the time to step back and think about the most important things which you need to complete; now all you have to do is DO IT!
- Wake up at the same time every day
BEFORE YOU GET DEFENSIVE… this doesn’t necessarily have to include the weekend (although, Brandon Peters, MD would say you should).
However, if you’re trying to get this habit to stick early on, it’s not a bad idea. Nonetheless, setting this normality in your sleeping schedule reinforces your circadian rhythm, aka your 24-hour biological clock. This sets normalcy in your everyday routine, and more importantly, gives you the best chance to get the best sleep of your life.
I adopted this habit in 2019, and it has significantly impacted my sleeping schedule, as well as how well rested I now feel in the morning.
- Establish your “morning wins”
What are the 2, 5, 9 things that are under your control every morning that you would feel great about accomplishing? They can be as simple as making your bed or doing laundry. You can devote time to developing physically in the gym, mentally through meditation or reading, or whatever it is that makes a positive impact in your life.
How many times have you felt like your day was ruined before it even started? I’d be willing to bet that you didn’t give yourself ample time to wake up, exercise physically and mentally, eat a healthy breakfast, and prepare for the day.
Yes, it’s easier said than done. But we have to crawl before we can walk and run. What are 2-3 things you can implement into your morning routine which help you jumpstart your day?
- Develop a vitamin and supplement regimen
No, you don’t need to spend $200 on protein powder every month. Truth be told, you can survive off of absolutely zero supplements if your diet is good enough. Eating whole, organic foods filled with nutrients is always the best way to stay healthy, and makes for an amazing breakfast!
However, many of us simply do not maintain a diet that receives the necessary vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, etc. necessary for our bodies to be functioning at optimal levels. This is where having a limited number of natural supplements in your daily routine comes into play. If you’re interested in a basic supplement plan, check out our recent post: 5 Health Supplements Any Adult Should Consider Using (needs link once blog is posted).
- DRINK WATER
Nope, I’m not your mother. But science tells us that each morning, your body wakes up slightly dehydrated. Rachel Lapidos of Well + Good interviewedPaula Simpson, a holistic beauty nutritionist, about this very topic. Simpson said that drinking water in the morning rehydrates your body, allows for better digestion, helps to fuel your morning workout, and famously hydrates your dry skin.
As much as we coffee lovers hate it, it’s best to stick to water upon waking up. Let our bodies wake up, hydrate, and get going before we flood our system with caffeine. Again, easier said than done, but we’re trying to get 5 minutes better today, remember?!
Developing an excellent morning routine could be exactly what you need to propel your personal life or career to a new level. Win the morning, win the day!