A successful day begins with a purposeful morning. A great morning routine can transform your entire day.
A deliberate and intentional morning routine aligns what you do with how you do it and who you become in the process.
Starting your day relaxed and focused can provide a sense of emotional balance that carries you through your day.
If you want to get excited about the rest of the day every morning, try the three M’s: mindset, mindfulness, and movement.
“Take at least 15 minutes to do something that puts you in a good mood, like drinking a cup of tea or reading a few pages of a good book. Practice a few minutes of mindfulness meditation, and do a short session of exercise, such as a yoga sequence or a series of stretches,” says Anahad O’Connor, a staff reporter of the New York Times.
It feels great to be up early almost every day, especially when you know you’ll put those early morning hours to good use before you start working.
According to psychologist Ron Friedman, the first three hours of your day are your most precious for maximized productivity.
“Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days — which inevitably create a successful life — in the same way that unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre mornings generate unfocused, unproductive, and mediocre days, and ultimately a mediocre quality of life,” says Hal Elrod, author of “The Miracle Morning.”
Mindset — attitude is everything, especially in the morning
When you wake up, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think about all the difficult or stressful things you have to do? If you do, you are already setting yourself up for a bad day.
Your mindset is the foundation for everything that happens to you. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Our daily emotional experiences shape the decisions we make and the actions that we take.
Instead of thinking about everything that could go wrong before you start work, or how bad your day can be, think about the many opportunities to learn, grow and improve yourself or your skills. Think about how each part of your day can help you evolve and become a better human.
An effective and success-driven mindset is one that makes the best use of all your available resources — your time, energy, opportunities, etc.
When you shift into this perspective, life starts happening for you — for your own learning, growth, and evolution — rather than at you (which is often scary and stressful).
If you planned your morning the night before, you won’t have to wait for your inbox to tell you what to pay attention to. Many people adopt a victim mentality and think that they are at the mercy of external events that are outside of their control.
When you know exactly what you want to do every morning, you will wake up fully ready to get things done. Be proactive instead of waiting to react to the demands of others.
Don’t get overly attached to unimportant details of your day. Focus on the quality of your desired outcome and start your day from there.
Mindfulness changes how you react to everything
Mindfulness is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon.
It’s even supported by rigorous scientific research, driven in part by a desire for new practices to improve our mental health. Mental disorders will be the biggest burden of disease in developed countries by 2030, according to the World Health Organisation. The need for prevention strategies is now more important than ever.
Being mindful in the morning means paying attention to everything happening around you. It’s that simple. Breathing isn’t the only exercise you can do to reset your mind — try observing, listening, and appreciating more intentionally, too.
Being mindful for the rest of the day can completely change how you relate with yourself, others, and your work.
“In the past decade, research has shown that the benefits of mindfulness include: stress reduction, improved concentration, boosts to working memory, reduced rumination, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, a higher level of relationship satisfaction, etc.” writes Christopher Bergland of Psychology Today.
If you do it successfully, and consistently make it a habit, you’ll sleep better, feel less stressed, and have more energy to do your best work.
Movement — wake up your body and prepare your mind
Early morning exercise is the best way to start your day — according to many health advocates and scientists. No matter your age, movement is one of the keys to flexibility, mobility, good health and better performance.
Morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and cognitive abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after even a simple exercise, but your mind will be ready to take on your tasks.
Movement is a tremendous source of energy in the morning. Getting your blood flowing with a few stretches can do wonders for your mood, and get you ready for the day.
Getting into the habit of morning exercise can be tough — keep it short to make it stick. You can try this 7-Minute Workout or the 9-Minute Strength Workout (courtesy the New York Times).
Your daily morning routine is the foundation for your life. If you start off each day with an arbitrary script, you’re going to get random results. Mastering your mornings will set the tone for your entire day. Once you’ve experienced how good it feels, you’ll never want to go back.
Previously published on medium.com and is republished here under permission.
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