10 Ways to Give Your Morning a Makeover

10 Ways to Give Your Morning a Makeover

morning routine
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 idmeditate5eas of what to do in this hour, read on….

4. Meditate

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.

5. Read

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.

6. Exercise

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.

9. Eat a Nutritious Breakfastshake

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.

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.

24 Comments

  1. Peter, this is great advice and I’ll be sure to incorporate some of these tips because me and mornings do not get along very well!

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  2. As a Christian, I combined #3, #4, and #5 together when I read the bible and pray every morning.

    I am still working on #9. I love my donuts and hot chocolate.

    Nice list, Peter.

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  3. Nice list. That #1 is such a big deal–the difference between a leisurely morning and a crazy rushed morning is huge. No computer first thing–probably best no computer at all in the morning, but that’s a tough one.

    FWIW, got here through Stumble

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  4. Thanks Peter– and I love the holy hour idea…its a great way to start the day and will look up Robin Sharma’s advice!

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  5. I think that I always fall short in the don’t turn your computer on part. I always find I have a better day and a much better start if I begin with a good book, or magazine article instead.

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  6. Zhereford, as I say, mornings and I were once not very good friends. Give them a go and tell me how you go :)

    Todd, Robin Sharma is probably my favorite personal development coach – definitely go check out his site as it has a lot of great content (much of it for free)

    Rudy, thanks :) . I don’t mind hot chocolates and donuts myself – although the temptation normally comes a bit later in the day.

    Tim, thanks Tim – glad to hear you enjoyed the list!

    Anna, totally understand what you are talking about in regards to getting stuck into a good book. Luckily/ unfortunately I have an even bigger addiction than reading to manage – blogging!

    Coach Kip, I sometimes give into the temptation to switch on the computer straight away, and I usually notice the difference at the end of the day in terms of my energy levels. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Thanks Brad :) . Try experimenting with the breakfast shakes – they are fun to make and taste great. My ideal shakes has banana, blueberries, strawberries, yoghurt, milk and some healthy powder stuff.

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  8. Hi Peter,

    just got to your site (first time, but liked it) — it’s interesting, great and looks very appealing, thanks.
    I agree with your points in this post; just are you sure it’s a good idea to start a day with reading? Just it may be easy to become involved and notice later that a couple of hours have passed. That’s why I completely agree with your point #2. Is an interesting book really less distractive when it comes to short term goals for a day? I may be wrong, just my concern.

    Best regards,
    Anna

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  9. Great tips, I agree with every one of them. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I perform everyone. I have such a hard time eating in the morning. I am really into nutrition, my health, and know that I should eat breakfast, but just can never seem to do it. Love your site and hope that you stay addicted to blogging! HaHaHa!

    http://www.JuiceofChampions.com

    Reply
  10. I wanted to comment on this now because I think it may have been part of my inspiration for my post today. I woke up this morning (on vacation…. that always helps) in such a great mood and it reminded me of how your “waking attitude” can set the tone for the rest of your day. I think your post elaborates on that idea, and your tips will inevitably bring out a positive outlook.

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  11. bluskygirl, exactly. This post is all about creating a morning routine that you enjoy and that sets you up for a great day. When you look forward to the morning, you are bound to wake up feeling great.

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    • That’s right but unfortunately I have done the opposite and have found myself thinking of all the chores that need to be done and rolling over to sleep in.. I understand why retired people get up and go to the bakery for coffee and to get out of the house first thing… I appreciate this article and hope too reverse my morning routine ASAP !

      Reply
  12. Great article. I’m addicted to my “holy hour” without it the day simply doesn’t flow.

    Peace, love and chai tea

    Carole

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  13. I have noticed that I have been feeling harried of late. When I saw your suggestion about not turning on the computer for at least 30 or 60 minutes, I recognized my problem!

    Rather than turning on my iBook and checking email, I will try yoga instead. I bet I will be feeling much better in the mornings, after a week of my new routine!

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  14. The best part about adding all these things into your morning is that you impact the rest of your day on many levels. Also, when you arrive at work, you’ve had time to rejuvenate before entering into the hectic daily grind. Great advice!

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  15. but what if you can’t afford breakfast? T_T. i can only choose one meal a day, so i choose lunch- it’s free and it’s midday. O.o

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  16. If its a nice day open up the windows and let some fresh air in! There is no better way to wake up then to sit outside on the back porch with a cup of tea :)

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  17. Peter,

    This is a great list. I read this list a while back, before I started my own blog. Since my daughter was born and I started my blog, it seems like I am on the go 24/7. I have been averaging about 3 hours a sleep a night which I know is not healthy. I hope I am able to get back on track because this list was really helping me out, especially waking early and eating a nutritious breakfast. I had all kinds of energy.

    Tad

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  18. First thing I do every morning, is switch the computer on.
    I don’t look at it right away–while it powers up, I make myself a pot of coffee.
    Perhaps both of these things should be put off until later in the day, in favor of going over my goals or exercising.
    Great ideas!

    Jeniffers last blog post..The Work At Home Person’s Guide To Outsourcing And Other Things

    Reply
  19. Hi Peter, all i can say to you is THANK YOU!!!! what you do for us is great I really appreciate what its doing for my life..

    I wish the very best for you and hopefully get better with my life habits…
    Joy for you and your family.

    Greetings from the center of southamerica.
    La Paz, Bolivia.
    If you’re coming down here I’ll be glad to receive you.

    Reply
  20. Great post…. i struggle with morning I defo need to make some changes.

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  21. Hi Thomas;
    such a great list, especially meditation and listening to motivation podcast :)

    Reply
  22. HI.
    First of all, thanks Peter for this amazing advice. But, still I’m not able to wake up early ! :(
    I have a daily-alarm of 6AM, but, I’m never able to wake up before 9AM anyday. I think, I’ve formed a habit of snoozing in 1-2 times and then turning it off, or, turning it off right away ! I don’t know how to control myself in that way. I want to get up everyday. I’m a college graduate. I’m unemployed. I’ve to give some recruitment exams for which I need to study. I want to study for it in the early morning hours. I’ve created a schedule. If I could be able to wake up, then, I would be able to follow the schedule smoothly. The schedule includes going for jogging, studying in the morning hours, etc.. I don’t know what to do. Please help !

    Reply

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