Every morning is an opportunity to be better than the day before, to progress towards a goal, and to set the tone for the rest of your day. If you’ve ever gone straight from bed to work or to a class, you understand how unorganized the rest of your day can feel. These steps are the very best tactics that we’ve learned and tested ourselves. Do these 7 things every morning, and you won’t believe how different you’ll feel!
Step 1: Plan your morning the night before. If you’re going to conquer the morning, you need to conquer your night-time routine. Do more than just set your alarm—plan your morning so that you can fit all 7 steps into your morning time. Prepare your clothes for the next day, pack your gym bag, prep your breakfast, clean your room. Really, your morning begins the night before.
If you struggle to wake up, commit mentally to waking up. Set your alarm clock across the room or in the bathroom. Set yourself up for success instead of going to bed with a hope that you’ll miraculously wake up the next morning, without doing anything differently.
If you have trouble winding down and getting restful sleep, we’d highly recommend taking a look at Driftoff™ by yours truly. It was built for those with nighttime restlessness, or people who have a lot of caffeine intake during the day.
Step 2: Wake up at the right time. Everyone has a different time that works for them. Wake up as early as you can handle to give yourself ample time to take care of yourself before your day begins. Nothing is worse than feeling rushed all morning and flying out the door hoping everything you need is in your bag, pockets, and car.
Step 3: Drink a full glass of water. Once you’ve turned off your alarm, the very next step is to pour yourself a cool glass of water and chug it down. Water will spark your digestive system to alertness and kickstart your metabolism.
Step 4: Get ready. Your next move is to fight the temptation of going back to bed, so get ready for the day or for the gym. Change your clothes, wash your face, fix your hair, and brush your teeth. The internal shame you would feel climbing back into the covers as a fully dressed adult is enough to keep even the most tired human out of bed. Your brain will respond to your physical actions and will stop thinking about your bed. In fact, as part of getting ready, make your bed! Close the door so you can mentally move on.
Step 5: Meditate. Taking a moment in your morning to clear your mind and focus on….nothing. This will have significant benefits all day! Studies show that creativity increases after meditation, as does happiness! Meditation is a practice in your ability to focus, so over time your ability to focus and go “mentally deep” will drastically improve. Some people will also choose to blend their meditation time with spiritual exercises like prayer. You can choose which style of meditation works best for you.
Never tried meditation before? Try the Headspace app, which has a free trial and does guided meditations and instructions right from your phone!
For some of you out there, this may be the perfect time to take your Energy+Focus for the day as well for that extra boost of mental concentration.
Step 6: Journal. This one is not always a crowd pleaser, but journaling has proven to improve mood, memory, and mental well-being. Write about your day yesterday, and what you want to accomplish today. Write about things you’re grateful for or people you care about. Write about your dreams, your goals, your aspirations, and your fears. There’s something magical about putting it all down on paper. Journaling can unlock your day’s potential.
Step 7: Exercise. Now it’s time to use those muscles to unlock your brain! At least 20 minutes of exercise per day can release enough endorphins to increase your mood, your heart health, and your confidence. You can do things like stretching and yoga at home, run around the block a few times, or head to the gym. No matter what you do, make sure you log at least 20 minutes.
We understand that you won’t be perfect every day, but if you push yourself to build your morning habits and routines, it will pay dividends in years and years of increased productivity.
We built Zhou to improve our own lives and the lives of people like you. We hope these steps can help you jump-start your mornings and your entire day.
Now go, own your mornings! We know you will.