Before we jump into the habits, let’s take a moment and talk about the benefits of a morning routine.
For starters, people are the most productive when they wake up, and setting up a routine ensures that they maintain that level of productivity for longer periods of time.
Following a system first thing in the morning, means you’ll have more time to reflect in a quiet atmosphere (less hustle and bustle) and it gives you the opportunity to be organized for the rest of the day.
These quick routines mean you can stack one habit on top of another and complete a lot of important things in a single block of 30 minutes.
Simply look at the following list of 15 habits and focus on the ones that make the most sense for your busy lifestyle…
1. Shower Meditation
Shower meditation can easily be attached to your existing “getting ready” routine. This means you only need to add a few minutes to your shower time to get the full benefit of this habit.
Get started by letting the warm water of the shower wash over your body. Visualize all the stress, anxiety, and worries in your life as being tangible things sticking to your skin.
Next, visualize the water and soap scrubbing the stress off your body.
Third, envision all the metaphysical “dirt” of your body—your fears, regrets, anxiety, anger, and stress washing free and swirling down the drain.
Finally, realize that you are clean, fresh, and ready to start your day free of distractions.
2. Yoga for 10 Minutes
Yoga has been practiced for years, and it’s not like other exercises that are just fads or trends. It’s easy to get started and can have a huge impact on how your body reacts for the rest of the day.
3. Say “Good Morning”
Even more than waking up at the crack of dawn to go running, choosing other people before ourselves can require some serious willpower. Afterall, it’s a lot easier to do something that you know will end up benefiting you in some way than it is to put effort toward doing something that won’t offer any direct, visible benefits in return.
However, you can only lead a happy and successful life if you help lift up the people around you. If others are left behind or go unrecognized, there will be little joy in your victories–and certainly no one around to celebrate with you.
Acknowledge the people who cross your everyday path, from the barista at the coffee shop to the receptionist in your office. Saying a genuine “good morning” is a great exercise to help design your day using a perspective involving more than just your own.
4. Touch Base With Your Partner
Miscommunication is something that can often lead to strife in a relationship, whether you and your partner both thought the other person was picking up the kids or you (honestly) forgot to mention that you just incurred a large expense of some sort.
In the morning, before your mind gets cluttered, touch base with your partner about any upcoming plans (or changes in plans), bills, important events, anything significant going on, or even something you need to vent about. This will help you stay present in each other’s busy lives and will prevent a potential lapse in communication.
5. Leave a Caring Note
Leaving a note for a loved one is something that goes a long way. You can brighten someone’s day. It’s a way of showing someone that you care about them because you went out of your way to pen the loving words.
All you need for the process are some Post-It notes, a pen, and your heartfelt message. It could be a quick note like “I love you,” or “Good luck with the presentation/project/test.”
Depending on your relationship with the person, you can leave this note on their pillow, in a lunchbox, on the desk, or backpack.
Don’t overthink the note-taking process. The important thing is you’re writing from the heart.
6. Add an Item to Your Bucket List
The concept of creating a “bucket list” was made popular when the 2007 movie called The Bucket List hit the big screen. If you haven’t seen it yet, the story centers on two men with terminal cancer. They decided to leave the hospital together to accomplish the things they’ve ever wanted before they “kicked the bucket.”
You can apply this principle in your life. Think of the things you’ve put off in order to focus on career and relationships. Perhaps now is the time to begin accomplishing some of them.
First, you can make a list of the things you’d want for your life. You can add one item per day. Then make a plan on how you’ll accomplish them.
7. Schedule It Into Your Day
Look for room in your day to actually do something on your ”soon” list. If you have an extra busy day, pick something small. But, if you don’t actually put these things on your agenda, they will always be activities that you hope to do “one day”.
Get a pedicure on your lunch break or tell your partner to meet you in the park with take-out for a picnic. Call to make reservations for a fancy date night. Whatever is on that list that you can fit into your day, do it.
8. Take a Cold Shower
Start your day off strong and disciplined with a cold shower. Engaging in “cold water immersion” first thing in the morning can help fire up every organ and nerve in your body. And, since most of us don’t have a pool in the backyard, taking an ice-cold shower is your second best option.
This practice actually has physiological benefits that will jerk your body into a state of alertness, such as increasing your heart and respiratory rate along with your blood pressure. It will also help increase your metabolism because this radical change in temperature requires your body to work harder to maintain a stable temperature.
And, some good news for those of you who think the idea of getting into a cold shower as soon as you wake up sounds like probably the worst idea ever, a lot of the research that’s been done on the benefits of this practice suggests that the water doesn’t have to be cold for your entire shower in order to experience the positive effects. Just aim to spend between 30 seconds and 2 minutes in water that is about 68 degrees F (or 20 degrees C).
9. Weigh Yourself Every Day
I know, this isn’t something that you want to hear. But, weighing yourself on a regular basis can help you establish clear health and fitness goals.
Also, it’s important to know that your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis, so you don’t have to be bummed if your weight goes up for a day or two. Finally, be sure you weigh yourself at the same time for the most accurate results.
10. Schedule Your Day
Without a schedule, it’s frighteningly easy to get to the end of the day and realize you’ve achieved nothing of importance.
At the very least, you should make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish during the day and decide where your priorities lie.
Make a list of the tasks you want to complete by the end of the day. Try to be realistic about your efficiency instead of creating a lengthy list of tasks that will be impossible to complete.
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