Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine

  1. 50 Ideas to Help You Design Your Perfect Morning Routine
  2. 15 Ideas to Help Create Your Best Morning Routine
  3. 1. Practice Mindfulness
  4. 2. Take a Walk
  5. 3. Reach Out to a Connection
  6. 4. Drink Tea
  7. 5. Read
  8. 6. Take a Cold Shower
  9. 8. Outline Your Goals
  10. 9. Ask Yourself a Powerful Question
  11. 10. Eat the Frog
  12. 11. Fast
  13. 12. Give Back
  14. 13. Listen to Relaxing Music
  15. 14. Do Yoga
  16. 15. Check in with Family
  17. Kickstart Your Early Morning Routine
  18. More to Help You Start Your Day Right
  19. Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine
  20. 1. Always Make Time for Breakfast
  21. 2. Take Time Meditate
  22. 3. Practice Mindfulness
  23. 4. Ignore Technology
  24. 5. Remember to Make Time for Daily Exercise
  25. 6. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
  26. 7. Don’t Use an Alarm Clock
  27. 8. Practice Positive Self-Talk
  28. In Conclusion
  29. 30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine
  30. 1. Do Not Wake up Earlier
  31. 2. Take Few Deep Breaths
  32. 3. Say Your Thanks
  33. 4. Reflect on the Day Ahead
  34. 5. Visualize
  35. 6. Impression Management
  36. 7. Smile at Yourself in the Mirror
  37. 8. Do the Power Pose
  38. 9. Stretch
  39. 11. Do or Think of Something That Makes You Happy
  40. 12. Make a Healthy Breakfast
  41. 13. Prime Yourself With Some Good Music
  42. 14. On the Way to Work, Listen to a Podcast
  43. 15. Finish Your Morning Shower on the Cold Side
  44. 16. No Emails Screening Until You Get to Work
  45. 17. Take a Minute to Marvel at Something
  46. 18. Think of 3 Things That You Will Do Today, and Make Sure You Do Them
  47. 19. Give Your Loved Ones a Hug
  48. 20. Think of a One-Word Description
  49. 21. Fire up Your Brain
  50. 22. Make Your Bed
  51. 24. Eat a Live Frog
  52. 25. Dress Simply
  53. 26. Think about Failure
  54. 27. Walk Your Dog or Just Go for a Walk
  55. 28. Read
  56. 29. Meditate
  57. 30. Think of One Good Deed That You Can Do Today
  58. Summing It All Up
  59. More About Morning Routines

50 Ideas to Help You Design Your Perfect Morning Routine

Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine

  1. Loosen your muscles with a foam roller. “You'll increase blood flow, improve your range of motion, and increase your chances of avoiding future injuries,” according to the list.

  2. Do a short exercise session. Exercise is great for your mental and physical performance, and you only need to do 10 minutes to start making a difference.

  3. Find a new healthy recipe. “One of the most common reasons we skip eating healthy is our lack of preparation. Spend a few minutes in the morning looking for recipes that excite you, and you'll be prepared and motivated to execute on cooking healthy meals down the line.”

  4. Drink a full glass of water. Your body will thank you and it couldn't be simpler.

  5. Drink coffee. Go ahead. As long as you skip the sweeteners, research shows it's not bad for you.

  6. Drink tea. Not a fan of water or coffee? Not only is tea healthy, but recent studies show it might even boost your creativity.

  7. Brush your teeth … mindfully. You have to do it anyway, so why not take a moment to really notice what you're doing? It will make you calmer and happier (this works with other minor morning chores, too,  doing the dishes).

  8. Take a cold shower. Pleasant? No. But some claim it's a procrastination cure.

  9. Do the Wim Hof method. This one I'd never heard of before. Here's what it entails: “1. As soon as you wake up, sit in a meditation posture. 2. Do 30 power breaths — inhale through the mouth or nose and exhale through the mouth in short powerful bursts ( blowing up a balloon). 3.

    Hold your breath until you gasp. 4. Take a deep breath in and hold for 10 seconds. 5. Repeat for three more rounds. 6. Have a cold shower.

    ” It  “sounds a recipe for torture,” but devotees swear it boosts performance and reduces stress (maybe because you've gotten the most stressful part of your day over with already).

  10. Cross off yesterday from your calendar. “Remind yourself that another day in your life is gone. Evaluate how you feel about that and consider what adjustments you may want to make moving forward,” suggests the list.

  11. Write Morning Pages. Here's a quick intro to what this is and how it works.

  12. Notice your first thought. “Write it down, say it out loud, or simply pay attention to it. Decide on what you want your next thought to be. This morning routine exercise has amazing impact for the amount of effort,” insists the list.

  13. Do productive meditation. “In his book, Deep Work, Cal Newport presents the concept of productive meditation,” notes the list. “You focus on a question you have, but you don't critically think of the answer. Instead, you focus on being present and mindful, letting thoughts come to you. When you notice your thoughts steering away from your question, go back to your question.”

  14. Think of a one-word description. Love this idea: “In only one word, think about or write down how you feel about the day ahead, where you are in your life right now, or what you need to hear. Put that word somewhere where it'll be visible during the day.”

  15. Video log. “Record a short video diary for the day (one to two minutes). You can talk about virtually anything: what's happening in your life, what you're grateful for, what you're thinking about, or simply choose a random speech topic. Share with others or keep it private.”

  16. Capture a second a day. Trying using “the second a day app to create cool videos of your past month, year, etc.”

  17. Photo log. Even easier — just take a daily photo “with the help of an app the Everyday phone app.”

  18. Read a book. Reading is the best way to improve your mind. Full stop.

  19. Listen to a podcast. For the rushed, this can be paired with getting dressed, exercising, or even that cold shower. Here are some suggestions.

  20. Take in a TED talk. There are so many good ones out there.

  21. Be grateful. It won't just make you happier in the moment, it will also rewire your brain to more easily see the positive in life.

  22. Read a blog post or article. OK, it is self-serving for me to include this one, but it doesn't make it a bad idea.

  23. Work on a crossword puzzle. “Relax and kick your brain into gear by working on a crossword puzzle,” suggests the list. My mother has started her day this way for decades and highly recommends it.

  24. Learn and absorb one to three new things. As writer and entrepreneur Michael Simmons has pointed out, making space for continual learning in your life is one of the most valuable ways to invest your time, and is one of the most consistent elements in the routines of super achievers.

  25. Write down 10 new ideas. “Think of them around certain categories ( 10 books I could write, 10 words I wish I understood the meaning of, 10 business ideas),” instructs the list. Don't filter. Just scrawl down whatever comes to you.

  26. Train your gut sense. Here's a cool suggestion from Seth Godin: “Practice going with your instincts in private. Every day, make a judgment call. Make 10. Make predictions about what's going to happen next, who's got a hit, what designs are going to resonate, which videos will go viral, which hires are going to work out. Write them down, or they don't count.”

  27. Read good news. Science shows just five minutes of negative news can impact your mood all day, and you don't need to keep up with every headline to stay informed.

  28. Keep a dream journal. “Dreams are our window into our subconscious mind,” claims the list.

  29. Meditate. There's a reason this is probably the most commonly recommended addition to your daily routine.

  30. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. “You never know what may come it, and you just may make someone's day,” points out the list. Plus, it's an empathy booster. Here are some conversation starters to try.

  31. Do an act of kindness. “Give change to a homeless person, pick up garbage on the street, reach out to a friend you haven't heard from in a while, let other drivers into your lane, give your partner a massage.”

  32. Cultivate awe. Feeling small in the face of the vastness of the world is a powerful stress buster, science shows.

  33. Do creative work. “Every small bit of work toward a big creative project adds up. Work on a book, blog, video, art project … whatever your heart desires,” suggests the list. Plus, your mind probably is at its best in the morning.

  34. Do SAVERS. Nope, this isn't anything to do with getting your finances in order. The list  explains: “Created by Hal Elrod and the focus of his popular book, The Miracle Morning, this is a combo of six rituals that make up a morning routine: silence (meditation, prayer, etc.), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (writing, journaling, etc.).”

  35. Review your previous day's spending. Here is one that WILL help you get your financial life in order. “There are some great tracking apps as reviewed by Investopia — Mint. You need a budget, Wally and Acorns.” notes the post.

  36. Make a small donation. “There are a few apps where you can make micro donations so that you can wake up and immediately cultivate giving,” suggests the list. “Here's a list to consider” or “another option is to put aside a small amount per day, and then make a larger donation.”

  37. Do your most important task first. Then the rest of the day will feel a breeze.

  38. Process email. Yes, tons of productivity gurus argue that checking email in the morning derails your own agenda for the day, but the stark fact is most high achievers disregard their advice. You might want to as well.

  39. Count your distractions. This could be ugly at first, but it should improve your concentration over time. “Set a timer and have a pen and paper handy. Every time you get off task, tick a tally on your piece of paper. Do this for several weeks and you'll ramp up your focus,” instructs the list.

  40. Work on a side hustle or business idea. Similar to number 33, but more commercially focused.

  41. Do one or two small marketing actions. Already in business? Why not use your morning energy and clarity to grow what you've got? “Post a comment or article on social media, send a message to make a new connection, or try a new marketing technique,” suggests the list.

  42. Appreciate something in your home. “Our instinct is to appreciate new items or items we desire, instead of focusing on what we have. There are ly enough items in your house for you to appreciate an item every day for several years.”

  43. Make your bed. It's an easy win that will set you up for success for the rest of the day.

  44. Open the curtains and welcome the day. “Be there. Embrace the moment. Take a deep breath and open the curtains. You may also want to add in a phrase, mantra, or a simple, 'Thanks for today.'”

  45. Take care of plants. This is part of my personal routine. One, it's good because my plants don't die, but two, I also find it deeply relaxing. Nature can do that to you.

  46. Listen to music. This is the perfect morning playlist, according to psychologists.

  47. Spend time on a hobby. “The idea here is to spend some time at the start of your day doing something you love. How much better would you feel about your mornings if you spent even 10 minutes doing that?”

  48. Cuddle with someone you love. Self-recommending.

  49. Remember someone you've lost. “Take a few moments every morning and remember a lost loved one. It's one of the best ways to keep them alive.”

  50. Take your dog for a walk. “It can also be a great way to begin your day with some calm, and you can combine it with other rituals that involve listening, thinking, or exercising. Win-win-win,” enthuses the list.


15 Ideas to Help Create Your Best Morning Routine

Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine

Published on January 2, 2020

Your best morning routine is more than the ideal start to your day. It’s an opportunity to reset; to forget about what happened yesterday, develop a positive mindset about the day ahead, and to take care of yourself before stressors have a chance to crop up.

While most of us want to get the same things our morning routine, we go about starting our day in different ways. Some people love to get up early and exercise. Others are happy to lie in bed until the last minute. Some drink coffee, others drink only water, and some skip straight to breakfast.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those morning habits. So which is the best morning routine for you?

The key is figuring out what works for your schedule, body, and brain.

Your ideal morning routine might be three minutes or three hours. What matters is that it prepares you not just for a productive workday, but for a calm and intentional day from start to shuteye.

Only you can find your best morning routine for yourself. But you can build it by testing out ideas from some of the biggest names in business:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a big word, but what it means is simple:

Paying attention to your thoughts without judging or trying to change them.

You can practice it sitting, laying down in bed, while exercising, or at any time you feel stressed.

Mindfulness can take many forms. NuSkin President Ryan Napierski prefers to pray or meditate before leaving the house each morning. By honing his focus through mindfulness, Napierski says that he’s able to be more productive and decisive at work.

You can start practicing mindfulness easily too: How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

2. Take a Walk

A great opportunity to practice mindfulness — and get some exercise to boot — is to take a walk as part of your morning routine.

If you want to make time for a walk, you may need to start your morning routine earlier. As a rule of thumb, plan to walk a mile in about 15 minutes. If your best morning routine involves walking three miles, for instance, you’ll need a 45-minute block of time.

3. Reach Out to a Connection

If you struggle to make time for networking, take CEO Jon Bradshaw’s advice:

Start your morning routine by reaching out to an old acquaintance or by making a new professional connection.

There are multiple ways to do this. Shoot an email while you wait for your morning coffee to brew. Send a text asking how that new job is treating your old coworker. Do avoid calling people the blue before 9 a.m.

4. Drink Tea

If coffee isn’t your style, why not try out tea as part of your morning routine?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sips a steaming mug with his breakfast every day. Green and black tea are popular picks, though Pichai does not specify what he drinks; alternative options include relaxing tisanes chamomile, mint, and lemon balm.

5. Read

One of the most popular ways to wake up is with some light reading. Rather than scroll through your feed, pick up a newspaper. Make some progress on that library book you checked out last week.

Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO, Warren Buffet, reads six different newspapers as part of his morning routine. After that, though, he doesn’t stop reading: 80% of his day, on average, is spent with a book; all told, Buffett aims for 500 pages per day.

6. Take a Cold Shower

Self-help guru and business consultant Tony Robbins advocates all sorts of unconventional self-care techniques. One of his most famous is his 57-degree Fahrenheit morning plunge into a cold pool. Robbins does it for the shock to his system that, in his words, feels “every organ, every nerve in your body is on fire.” There’re also more benefits of cold showers you should know.

If you want to add a cold cleanse to your morning routine, start by turning down your shower a few degrees. Decrease the temperature by a few more each week, challenging yourself to spend ever-longer amounts of time beneath the water.

If you and your spouse’s work schedules do not match up, you may not see him or her until late in the evening. Why not get quality time with your partner in the morning instead?

Tracey Grace, president and CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts, has said she starts every day with a cup of coffee with her husband. As they sip, they sit out on their deck and discuss upcoming events, meetings, and dinners.

8. Outline Your Goals

What better time to plan out what you want to achieve each day than right when you wake up?

One shortcut with this morning habit is to write down a singular focus for the day. Maybe you want to reconnect with family, or perhaps you’ve got a proposal to get out the door. Then, you can rest easy knowing everything else can be pushed to the side.

9. Ask Yourself a Powerful Question

Your morning routine is a time to reflect on what actually matters. Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO and co-founder, asked himself every morning:

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Your question might be something else:

If your goal in life is providing for your family, you might ask, “How will I help my family today?”

If you’re struggling with self-care, “What do my my body and mind need from me today?” may be a good option.

Here’re even more inspirations for you: 100 Inspiring Questions That Make You Think About Your Life

10. Eat the Frog

When you wake up, what weighs on your mind? Solve it as part of your morning routine, generational marketing expert Jeff Fromm mentions in his book Marketing to Gen Z: The Rules for Reaching This Vast–and Very Different–Generation of Influencers. By tackling the hardest thing first, Fromm finds that rest of his day tends to fall into place.

11. Fast

Listeners of “The Joe Rogan Experience” will recognize this tip:

After going for a run or doing yoga, the popular podcaster fasts for the remainder of the morning.

Rogan claims that the practice improves his brain function and focus.

the cold-plunge routine, add this step to your morning routine gradually. After you wake up, practice going an hour, then two, and then three without eating. Soon, you’ll be able to stave off hunger until lunchtime, when Rogan eats.

12. Give Back

When Craigslist founder Craig Newmark wakes up, he starts his day with others in mind. After spending an hour on customer service for the buy-and-sell platform, he works on projects that promote voting and support military families.

Whatever fires you up, embrace it with your morning routine. Pick up litter. Write letters to your representatives or local newspaper. Advocate for a nonprofit you believe in.

13. Listen to Relaxing Music

Each morning, Saagar Govil, CEO of industrial manufacturer Cemtrex, gets to work on his company’s five top monthly issues. To stay calm and keep his mind on track, Govil turns on some classical music.

If Bach and Beethoven aren’t your style, listen to whatever relaxes you. Who says 6 a.m. is too early for some head-banging metal or hip-hop?

14. Do Yoga

One of the best ways to work up a sweat in the morning is with yoga, according to media mogul Arianna Huffington. After drinking a cup of coffee and riding her stationary bike, Huffington stretches herself out with yoga.

If you’ve never done yoga before, start with foundational poses downward dog and child’s pose. After mastering those, challenge yourself with an online routine.

Learn more about yoga in this article: How Practicing Morning Yoga Transforms Your Life (+10 Beginners’ Poses)

15. Check in with Family

Almost none of us get as much time as we’d want with family. Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia’s CEO, makes time in his morning routine by calling a family member — typically his mother, father, or sister — on the way to the office.

If your family members would not appreciate an early-morning call, send a text. If you haven’t checked in with multiple members for a while, send an email sharing what’s new in your life.

Kickstart Your Early Morning Routine

Starting a morning routine is about your mindset and perseverance. If you wake up thinking “This is going to suck,” then it probably will. To build the sort of mornings you want:

  • Set an alarm: If you want to have time for a morning routine, you need to wake up early. Give yourself at least an hour before work, and realize you may still need more time.
  • Get up at the same time every day: Tempting as it is to sleep in on the weekends, don’t. Make your morning routine a habit by doing it every single day.
  • Tell others your plans: If you tell your partner you plan to be awake at 5 a.m. and exercising by 6 a.m., you’ll be that much more ly to do it. Peer pressure doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
  • Give yourself a reward: Humans are reward-oriented beings, just other animals. If you shopping for shoes, create a chart for yourself: If you stick to your morning routine for a full month, perhaps you’ll have earned a shopping expedition.
  • Forgive yourself if you slip up: it or not, there will be times when you hit “snooze” on your alarm clock. Don’t beat yourself up; tell yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow.

Nothing matters more to your productivity or overall happiness than how you handle your mornings. Change your morning routine, and you’ll quite literally change your life.

More to Help You Start Your Day Right

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Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine

Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine

The world often seems to be divided into two types of people. There are those that drag themselves bed in the morning and can’t speak before their third cup of coffee, and then there are the people that wake up so full of energy they have an hour workout in before 6 AM.

So what is the secret of “morning people”? How can you harness that energy to create happiness in your daily routine?

Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine:

1. Always Make Time for Breakfast

Your mom always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and she was right!

People that eat breakfast within a half hour of waking stabilize their blood sugar levels and give their bodies the fuel they need to start the day.

It’s also a great way to kickstart your metabolism, according to Megan Moore, RD, LD, CDE in Today’s Dietician:

“Breakfast isn’t a meal to skip when trying to keep your metabolism healthy…Your metabolism slows down as you sleep, so there’s nothing a healthy breakfast to jumpstart it for the day.”

Furthermore, according to Keren Gilbert, MS, RD, in the same article, people who eat breakfast tend to get more vitamins and nutrients:

“People who eat breakfast regularly get more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in their diets, because there are wonderful food choices to include in this meal that are nutritionally dense, fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins.”

2. Take Time Meditate

If you haven’t started meditating yet, then you may want to put it into your daily routine. And making it part of your morning routine will get you into the habit.

Research has shown that regular meditation may help reduce stress.

According to Health Line:

“In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Another study in nearly 1,300 adults demonstrated that meditation may decrease stress. Notably, this effect was strongest in individuals with the highest levels of stress.”

3. Practice Mindfulness

The key to mindfulness is learning how to be present within the here and now.

Happy people make it a point not to drag the stress from the past or worry about the day ahead into their morning routine.

To focus your mind on the present moment, focus on completing small tasks with all your attention:

According to psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an interview with Bustle “one of the best ways to start a morning routine is to start out slowly with one where you add little windows of time and small tasks.”

4. Ignore Technology

Happy people don’t clog up their morning routine with deadlines, strict schedules, and the guilt that comes from not meeting your morning goals.

Keeping your routine simple and basic will start your day off on a stress-free note that will carry you throughout the rest of the day.

One easy way to keep your morning simple is to ignore technology.

According to Jeff Sanders, author of The 5 AM Miracle:

“I highly recommend you don’t watch television, or even check email until you have completed your most important morning habit. Technology is enticing, but it’s also a major distraction that prevents us from doing what we know is best for us.”

5. Remember to Make Time for Daily Exercise

Exercising in the morning does more than tone your body, it relaxes your mind!

By moving your body first thing in the morning, you will trigger endorphins that will improve your mood and enhance your self-confidence.

Harvard Health Blog says that aerobic exercise is key for your head, just as it is for your heart:

“Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress.

It’s a common experience among endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression.

If athletes and patients can derive psychological benefits from exercise, so can you.”

6. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Getting up at the same time every day might matter more than you think.

A study followed 61 Harvard students for a month and found that individuals with the most consistent wake-up times performed better than those who opted to mix it up, even though they got the same amount of sleep overall.

Of course, to wake up the same time every day, it might help to consistently go to bed at the same time as well.

Also, authors Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander interviewed 300 successful people and found that the average wake up time was a very specific 6.27 am.

7. Don’t Use an Alarm Clock

While it might seem difficult to become a morning person without an alarm clock, learning not to depend on one might benefit you more than you think.


Because alarm clocks jolt people awake and can cause what experts term “sleep inertia” – a period of cognitive and motor impairment after waking up.

Hitting the snooze button might be even worse.

Sleep expert Neil Robinson told The Independent that “by dozing off for those extra minutes, we’re preparing our bodies for another sleep cycle, which then quickly interrupted – causing us to feel fatigued for the rest of the day that lies ahead.”

So make sure to set your time bedtime about 8 hours from your desired wake up time, and it’ll be easier to learn to forgo the alarm clock.

8. Practice Positive Self-Talk

Start your morning off with daily positive affirmations to break free of negative self-talk and set the day off on a positive note.

Research has suggested that a personal mantra (a phrase you repeat silently to yourself) can benefit your brain in the short-term and long-term.

Published in the Journal of Brain and Behavior, the study found that silently repeating a positive personal mantra “quiets the mind and reduces self-judgment”.

It’s no secret that most of us have a tendency to dwell or ruminate on negative thoughts.

However, this only serves to strengthen those connections in the brain, and the more you dwell on negativity, the more the brain becomes negative.

But repeating a positive mantra to yourself puts a stop to negative thought patterns, and the neurons that fire when you repeat a positive mantra become strengthened.

According to the research study:

“The pattern of neural activity that constitutes your silent thought becomes easier to conjure over time and becomes increasingly effective in countering negative thoughts or feelings.”

In Conclusion

Happiness is ultimately a personal choice. Even those who struggle with waking up early can learn from the habits of morning people.

By following in the footsteps of those who rise each day happy to greet the world, it is possible to transform our entire outlook on the day ahead.

Learn how to reduce stress, cultivate healthy relationships, handle people you don't and find your place in the world.

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30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine

Here are 8 awesome things to do for your morning routine

Published on January 13, 2020

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

This wise reflection by the American author Annie Dillard from her book The Writing Life is perhaps my most favourite (and most eloquently expressed) advice on life, motivation, being present in one’s own life and on success, that I have come across during my self-enhancement journey.

It is true—how we choreograph our days says a lot about the people we are and strive to become.

We can take this thought a bit further too:

How we spend our mornings is how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

Agreed— life plays out differently for everyone and we all follow our own trajectories, have our own interests, preferences, personalities and circumstances. But there is barely anyone out there—from scientists to celebrities to personal coaches—who will ever tell you that what you do every morning is unrelated to the things you aspire as success, fulfilment, health and wellbeing.

It all matters, of course. So much, indeed, that to be able to get better at our lives, we have to first get better at how we spend the precious personal time we have at the start of each day, before we submerge ourselves in our hectic, often frustrating and highly- demanding everydays.

Here are some 30 practical ideas about how to charge your mornings with more positivity and excitement about what lies ahead in the day.

1. Do Not Wake up Earlier

In a wonderful post for Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington talks about the recent obsession of the self-help industry with morning routines and how it’s gone a bit too far.

She makes an excellent point regarding giving our minds and bodies a chance to rest and recoup.

“Getting up at 4:30 or 5:30 or 6:30 a.m., without getting enough sleep, simply means that your body will automatically crave carbs and sugars during the day — and that you’ll be less productive and experience less joy throughout your day.”

Point taken.

2. Take Few Deep Breaths

Diaphragmic or belly breathing is a widely recognized relaxation and meditation technique. It also strengthens the brain and improves attention span, according to science.

So, go ahead, breathe stress away.

3. Say Your Thanks

Gratitude hardly needs further introduction. It’s been a well-established fact that it helps our mental and physical health.

The most important thing it does is to help you focus on and appreciate what you have, on abundance, not on scarcity.

In fact, there’re a lot you can be thankful for: 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

4. Reflect on the Day Ahead

Think about what you need to do today and plan how you are going to approach your to-do-list.

Reflection is important for other reasons too—it improves self-awareness provides perspective, allows you to respond, not react.

Regular practice will make you happier and more successful, we are told.

5. Visualize

Linked to the above, this is another helpful tool for thriving and prosperity—the practice has been popular among many accomplished individuals, from celebrities to entrepreneurs.

It’s simple enough—see yourself as the person you want to become and, over time, your behavior will adjust to bring you closer to this image.

Here’s How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

6. Impression Management

Spend a minute in the morning looking at the mirror. Do you see someone confident, happy, content?

Practice different posture, face expressions, gestures. What we say with our body language is more important than our words. Make it count.

7. Smile at Yourself in the Mirror

According to Darwin’s facial feedback hypothesis,

“the free expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it.”

What this simply means is that smiling can make you happy. Do it more often.

8. Do the Power Pose

Amy Cuddy’s ground-breaking idea has been favored by many as a way to boost courage, confidence and well-being.

Two minutes a day is all we need, she advises. Easy enough.

9. Stretch

It’s a great way to wake up your body and mind, to feel more refreshed and ready to face the day. Here are some helpful ideas for your morning exercise.

Lemon water will not only give you a boost of Vitamin C. It’s much more than that.

It helps regulate weight, cleanse your body and improve digestion. It energizes you, especially if you are a morning-challenged individual.

11. Do or Think of Something That Makes You Happy

It may be as simple as having a good cup of coffee or tea. Or more advanced as purposely bringing to mind a funny or joyful memory. It’s an instant mood-changer.

12. Make a Healthy Breakfast

I don’t need to convince you in the advantages of having a balanced diet—and this starts from the mornings.

Respect your body, care for it, and it will be good to you too.

Check out these 31 Healthy Breakfast Recipes That Will Super Boost Your Energy.

13. Prime Yourself With Some Good Music

Research tells us that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.

Choose something energetic in the morning that will lift you up and put you in a The-World-is-Mine mode. Some ideas for you: 30 Inspirational Songs that Keep You Motivated for Life

14. On the Way to Work, Listen to a Podcast

This is another priming technique to help you motivate yourself.

My favourite ones are The Tim Ferris Show, Happier by Gretchen Ruben and The Savvy Psychologist by Ellen Hendriksen.

Check out these 15 Really Good Podcasts to Keep You Motivated and Reach Your Goals.

15. Finish Your Morning Shower on the Cold Side

Nothing a cold shower to become immediately awake and alert. But it gets better — it also boost s your mood, improves your immune system, enhances emotional resilience.

It’s worth the pain, for sure.

16. No Emails Screening Until You Get to Work

The morning belongs to you and your wellness. Don’t overload your mind right away, give yourself some Me-time.

Your emails are not going anywhere, trust me. They will be patiently waiting for you at the office.

And if we are to believe the media, many successful leaders embrace the ‘no-email’ rule in the mornings, so seems to be the right move.

17. Take a Minute to Marvel at Something

It may be the sunrise, blooming flowers or birds chirping, the light reflecting in a window, or the colours of the season. Whatever it is, use the power of Awe –it’s one of the greatest mood and motivational boosters.

18. Think of 3 Things That You Will Do Today, and Make Sure You Do Them

Following through and successfully completing tasks creates a success track record, which in turn lifts your self-assurance and general wellbeing.

19. Give Your Loved Ones a Hug

Hugging, research tells us, is a great way to boost your immune system, heart health, can make you happier, fearless and boost your self-esteem. The simple act can serve as a powerful morning uplift.

Take a look at the 7 Ways Hugging Makes You Healthier and Happier.

20. Think of a One-Word Description

It’s a lovely idea:

“In only one word, think about or write down how you feel about the day ahead, where you are in your life right now, or what you need to hear. Put that word somewhere where it’ll be visible during the day.”

21. Fire up Your Brain

Do a crossword to alleviate your anticipatory anxiety of what lies in the day ahead. It will also help sharpen the brain cells and get you into a thinking state of mind.

22. Make Your Bed

This simple enough task can serve as a powerful spark of your energy and productivity.

It’s not the chore itself that will make you get more done at work, but creating the habit, which can lead to more good habits, leading to a better overall efficiency.

To paraphrase the famous moto, which is favoured by Sheryl Sandberg, fear often stops us from going after what we want.

Challenging yourself daily can help you build up the courage to become who you want to be.

24. Eat a Live Frog

First thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

The famed technique developed by the author and speaker Brian Tracy simply means “Do your biggest tasks first.” When you start with a big item (a project/frog), the rest of your day looks pretty great by comparison.

25. Dress Simply

Many famous leaders have spoken in favor of wearing the same or similar variations of clothes every day. Remember Steve Job’s famous black turtlenecks? Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg are fans too.

Simplifying your wardrobe saves time and can free up some mental energy.

So, choose elegant and clean lines for your clothes. There are better ways to get noticed than wearing ten blingy bracelets on one hand. Really!

26. Think about Failure

At first thought, this may not be the best way to charge with energy and positivity in the morning. But again, it’s about facing your fears, accepting that not every endeavour has a happy ending, and that is perfectly okay: 6 Reasons It’s Okay To Fail

Imagining failing is a great way to come up with a remedial plan too and strengthen your mind.

27. Walk Your Dog or Just Go for a Walk

Walking in nature changes your brains, says research. A wonderful piece in the New York Times explains that a visit to a green space helps quiet your mind, quells anxiety and promotes mental health. We certainly have a winner here.

28. Read

It may be on your commute to work or by dedicating some time before your leave your house but, reading the news or a self-enhancement book will help you build knowledge and expand your horizons.

Take it from the Greats. Warren Buffet, for instance, spends 80% of his time during the day reading.

While not everyone has this luxury of time, even 10-15 minutes in the morning can still be beneficial.

29. Meditate

Meditation has so many benefits, so it is truly a no-brainer that it should be part of our morning routines.

I know, it’s lack of time again that often gets in the way of best intentions. But here is the thing—you don’t need to do it at home, in a separate room, listening to the sounds-of-the-sea music. I usually do it on the bus to work.

With practice, you can learn to shut out the world around you.

Take a look at this guide for meditation: The 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

30. Think of One Good Deed That You Can Do Today

Give some money to a homeless person, help a co-worker, volunteer. Whatever it is, it’s important that we are not only grateful for what we have going in our own lives, but give back too, help others.

Every little thing counts.

Summing It All Up

Often, our days are busy and hectic and may turn out completely different than the paths we’ve mapped out.

But nevertheless, it’s important that we do have a plan on how we want to spend our waking hours, and our lives respectively. After all, no one wants to live in a hamster wheel, endlessly spinning without direction, am I right?

Building a purpose starts with a quiet mind and a healthy body. And a good discipline starts from our morning routines.

To be able to thrive in our intense world and to face each day with the best we’ve got, we must first learn to properly care for ourselves.

Arianna Huffington’s favourite quote sums it up beautifully:

“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”

More About Morning Routines

Featured photo credit: Julia Caesar via