How Your Habits Are Harming Your Health: Morning
by Cameron Edmonds
In part one of this five-part blog series, we discussed the importance of sleep and ideal sleeping habits. In this article, we will be discussing what happens after your night of sleep: your morning routine. So, after waking up from your glorious night of sleep, what is your morning routine? Your morning routine sets you up for the rest of the day. How you start your morning will likely determine the path of the rest of your day. If you start by hitting snooze on the alarm clock five times, it’s likely you will be groggy, lazy, and behind throughout the rest of the day. On the contrary, if you wake up as soon as your alarm goes off, stand up and get your day rolling, odds are you will be much more productive. Having a morning routine that you follow regularly will help you with time management in the morning, and put you in a groove to conquer the rest of the day.
If you look at the most successful people in the world, all of them have a morning routine that they follow every day. No matter if it is a weekend, holiday, or if they are traveling. Typically, the successful person’s morning routine looks similar to the following.
- Wake up early. Very early. Earlier than most people would even think about waking up.
- Once they are up, either meditation or exercise for fifteen to thirty minutes.
- After, typically a shower and some quick breakfast, followed by fifteen to thirty minutes of writing, either in a journal or for a book.
- Once they have finished their writing, then the work day begins, typically all of this takes place before the “normal” working person is even out of bed.
Now that we know how important your morning routine is, and we have analyzed what successful people do with their morning, what are some simple things you can do to have the best possible morning habits?
1. Set an alarm that gets you up before the sun is up, and don’t hit snooze.
Setting an alarm before the sun is up, prepares you to conquer the day. Waking up early helps you feel like you are on top of things, not behind and feeling rushed. Successful people are always up before the crack of dawn and will have most people’s entire day completed before they even get out of bed. The fact is we all only have twenty-four hours in the day. The key is figuring out how to maximize those hours to the best of your ability. Getting up early allows you to have more time throughout the day and accomplish more. This leaves you time for activities you actually enjoy, like seeing your family. The hard part about waking up before the sun is up is sticking to your alarm and getting right out of bed instead of hitting snooze. Use whatever motivates and inspires you to get you out of bed. Have a clear vision of why you are getting up so early, and it will not be as challenging. Start training yourself to get up early at the sound of your first alarm, and you will have much more productive days.
2. Schedule, prepare and organize.
Having things prepared the night before, for the next day, might seem like a simple tip, but it is very effective. This small change will make your mornings not only much more productive but less chaotic as well. The night before, you should have a schedule planned out of what your day is going to look like. Organizing a schedule is easy, set a time which you are going to wake up and stick to it. Plan out to the minute, how long it will take you to shower, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day.
Next, factor in what your work day will entail, how long you will be there and what you wish to accomplish each hour. Allow time for things that are necessary as well, such as lunch breaks, workouts, and family time. Leisure time should also be scheduled for the day; how often do you end up going home after a long day and turn on Netflix until you go to bed? Leisure time could be spent doing more productive things and accomplishing goals. Schedule in an hour of leisure before bed, doing whatever it may be, and stick to it. Lastly, schedule a time you are going to be in bed and follow it strictly. Often, we get stuck staying up too late and missing out on valuable sleep, just to watch one more episode of our favorite show.
Helpful Prep Work
Other than scheduling, one easy thing you can do the night before is get your clothes out for the next day. If you are hitting the gym, get your gym clothes packed in the bag, and work clothes laid out neatly. Another thing that will help is making breakfast and lunches the night before and putting them in a lunch box. Packing your lunch, the night before will also prevent you from saying “screw it” and going out to eat for lunch. No more being flustered trying to find a matching sock or throwing together a make-shift breakfast; taking the stress out of getting clothes and food prepared for the next morning makes it so much easier to get ready in the morning. Schedule, prepare, and organize before bed, and start to see a more productive morning.
3. Start your day with a quality breakfast, and hydrate.
Let me preface this tip by saying, not everybody needs to eat breakfast; intermittent fasting is a great option for many people. Typically, when people fast they stop eating at dinner, and won’t eat again until the next afternoon. For those people that intermittent fasting works for there are many health benefits. I suggest trying intermittent fasting at some point if you are unsatisfied with how you feel in the morning. Always consult with a health professional before fasting. However, for some people intermittent fasting does not work, typically due to blood sugar levels. For these people, a quality breakfast is necessary for the morning. You have always heard, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Having a quality breakfast is crucial to having energy throughout the day. Many people chose to skip breakfast. Too often, we run through the drive-through and grab a greasy breakfast sandwich. Both of these options will leave you crashing later in the day.
Having a quality breakfast doesn’t mean you have to have a smorgasbord of items, but a simple breakfast like eggs and fruit would be great. Another simple idea for breakfast is overnight oats, which are great because no preparation is needed in the morning – just grab and go. Another important thing to remember in the morning is to hydrate, regardless of if you are fasting or not. When you are asleep for eight hours during the night, your body is becoming dehydrated. When you wake up, you should have a glass of water. Water will help with appetite, organ function, sleepiness, and how you feel overall. Unless you are intermittent fasting, make sure you are getting a good quality breakfast, and always hydrate in the morning.
Setting up healthy morning habits will ensure you have a great morning routine that you can follow every day. Having control over your mornings will allow you to start the day with confidence. You will be able to focus on the goals ahead of you throughout the day. Remember, if you want to achieve a more productive morning
- Wake up early
- Avoid sleeping in
- Do not hit the snooze
- Have your things ready the night before
- Hydrate and have a quality breakfast
Follow these tips and soon you will have a kick-ass morning routine.