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Want to win the day? Start by winning the morning

Picture this: you snooze your alarm too much, wake up 30 minutes before you’re supposed to work, wake up in a panic, run to the bathroom, get ready in 10 minutes, find an outfit, make a cup of coffee, look for something to eat, oh you don’t like your shoes, change, head out of the door still panicking, speed to work, traffic, you get to work on time, instantly overwhelmed about how many emails you have – oh, and you forgot your lunch.

How do you think the remainder of your day is going to feel and look? Probably stressful or not as productive as you’d hope. Meetings dragon, you’re sluggish and you keep yawning.

Since you woke up in a panic and had a stressful morning getting to work, it sets the tone for the remainder of the day. With a morning routine, you take control of your morning, bringing a clear structure to your life. If you want to win the day, you must win your morning. We like to look at morning routines as getting your mind ready before handling work, parenting and tackling other life responsibilities. Think of it as “me time” before anything else.

There are several barriers for us reaching our goals. If you take the time to write down your goals, you are more likely to accomplish them. That concept can be easily applied to creating new and better habits. Take time to write exactly what your morning routine looks like. Do you want to work out first thing in the morning? Do you want to make a nice breakfast rather than grabbing something on the go?

Your morning routine won’t be the same as everyone else, but here are some ideas to incorporate:

1.      Wake up early

2.      Work out

3.      Shower

4.      Write in a gratitude journal

5.      Meditate

6.      Read 10 pages of a book

7.      Listen to an educational podcast

8.      Make breakfast

9.      Stretch

Is that starting to overwhelm you already? That’s OK, we get it. The good news is it doesn’t have to be complicated. Work out? OK, maybe just do five minutes of abs or a 10-minute HIIT workout just to get your blood flow. Journaling? Write three things you’re thankful for and your intentions for the day. Meditate? Just start with two minutes of deep breathing and go from there. Podcast? Listen while you’re in the shower or making breakfast. It’s more important that you obtain the habit than the goal itself. While it would be nice to burn 400 calories on a run today, not doing anything would be worse. The act of simply doing a few pushups reserves the mental slot allocated towards that routine in your head.

We all have our own needs, careers and ambitions, and therefore routines will vary – and that is OK. Take time to think about what you would like to add to make your days happier and productive.

The great thing about a morning routine? You can start it tomorrow. Come up with a routine for you and put it into action.