Photo by Thomas Hawk.
Once upon a time I hated the morning. Waking up was a process of hitting the snooze button over and over, only to roll out of bed at the last possible moment. It was then a mad rush to get out the door, and very often I would need to run for the bus (not surprisingly I missed it a few times). Anyhow, I gave my morning a makeover and now it is my favorite part of the day. The following are 10 ways you too can give your mornings a makeover:
1. Wake Earlier
If the morning is always one big rush for you, it makes sense to wake earlier. Personally, I have trained myself to enjoy waking at 5am in the morning (something I have written about in my article How I Won the Battle of the Bed). I realize, thought, that this is far too early for many people. Anyone, however, can wake earlier. If you don’t normally enjoy the morning, this one tip may help change that. It is amazing what happens when you don’t have to be in a hurry to get out the door.
2. Don’t Turn the Computer Straight On
If you are anything like me, you will be tempted to turn the computer on first thing when you wake up. Take it from me, though, that is worth delaying this for 10, 30 or (ideally) 60 minutes. Too much time on the computer leaves anyone feeling drained, and in this modern age many of us are likely to spend much of our day in front of a computer.
3. Take a “Holy Hour”
One of my favorite personal growth coaches, Robin Sharma, suggests taking a “Holy Hour” each morning. Basically this is an hour you devote to your own self improvement. For ideas of what to do in this hour, read on….
Meditation is such a powerful way to strengthen your mind and relax your body. For me, one of its main benefits is to help me focus on the now and stop worrying about the future or past.
I love to ease into the day with a good book and a cup of coffee. Avoid the newspaper and instead feed you mind with inspiring stories, interesting ideas, and exciting adventures.
If you have ever exercised in the morning, you will know how good it makes you feel for the rest of the day. Some ideas include hitting the gym, riding to work, going for a swim, running, yoga or even just having a stretch.
7. Review Your Goals
A great way to start the day is to review, or even better rewrite, your goals. Why? Because if you do this, you will be more aware of them as you go about your day. And with better awareness, you will be empowered to make better choices that help get you closer to achieving these goals.
8. Be Prepared
Personally, the morning is when I feel the freshest and most productive. So I like to spend my time on many of the activities on this list, rather than mundane activities such as ironing my clothes and making my lunch. This means being prepared – I try to iron my clothes for the week on Sunday night and prepare my lunch the night before.
Firstly, make sure you actually are eating breakfast. I am amazed when I hear people tell me they don’t eat breakfast. How can they possibly be performing at their peak? Secondly, I’m no nutritional expert, but here are a few of my tips for a healthy breakfast: 1) if you eat cereal, make sure it is whole grain with lots of fiber and little to no added sugar 2) try adding some fresh berries, dried fruit, or sliced almonds to your cereal 3) if you are sick of cereal, try a breakfast shake (see a long list of shake ideas here).
10. Listen to Motivational Podcasts/ Audiobooks
The morning is the ideal time to listen to motivational podcasts and audiobooks. Personally, I love the feeling in the morning that there is a day of endless possibilities ahead. Also, if you need to travel to work or school, it’s a great way to make the most of the commute.