7 Highly Effective Early Morning Habits To Change Your Life

I previously was not a morning person.  No way, no how.  Up until my mid twenties mornings were, well, pretty rough.  I could stay up all night and into the morning hours and get a multitude of things done, but I just couldn't get my act together in the mornings regardless of what time I went to bed.  Little by little that changed and now I have no issues getting up and moving.

What is or is not accomplished, however, is another story.  I've never had a plan for mornings other than knowing at what exact time I needed to start getting ready in order to be out the door.  So the remainder of time was used for hanging out with the dogs, or getting laundry started or completed, doing the bit of dishes remaining from the night before, or wasting (ridiculous amounts of) time on the internet.

It never once dawned on me to use this time differently.  Until last year, that is.  Last year my world changed as I was FINALLY able to leave working for others behind and begin working for myself.  As you know, it takes organization and discipline to use your time wisely when you are your own boss.  So I was able to appropriately schedule my days but there was little to no time for small things I personally wanted to accomplish.  This was the same problem I've had for years.

I will share later in the week what my morning schedule looks like now, but I wanted to first share with you a few points to consider if you are looking at reworking (or creating) your own.

Determine Your Needs
1. You first need to know what time is the absolute earliest you can get up on a regular basis.  Factoring in what time you go to bed, make sure you are getting the sleep your body needs.

2. Next determine what time your workday starts.  This could be the time you must leave the house to go to work, or the time you start your at home projects, or, if you're retired, what time you would like to be finished with your morning routine and ready for the day.

3. Lastly, what are the items you would like to try and accomplish in this timeframe?  The points below are available to help you think about this.

Habits To Consider
1. Get Moving
     This is one that you may already accomplish somewhere else in your day.  If, however, you've struggled to find time to do this on a consistent basis, or if you aren't consistent because you don't have a specific time to walk/run/bike, etc. then you may consider adding it to your morning routine.

2. Choose A Time & Timeframe To Check Emails And Social Media
     You may or may not choose to have this time as part of your morning, the most important thing is figuring out when this will happen.  If it's not planned it could eat up your entire morning.  Emails are filled with other people's agendas (sales flyers to get you to shop, people asking for info, favors, etc.) which is fine, but responding to their agenda (or even just reading it) detracts you from your own project.  Select a time and a timeframe and decide that you will not check email or social media before or after that time.
     This means no more scrolling through email on your phone when you first wake up.  Once you go down that rabbit hole it's at least 5-10 minutes before you come back up.  Resist the urge and change the habit, unless you've scheduled it.....

3. Eat A Healthy Breakfast
     There are days I ran out of the house without any breakfast at all, completely forgetting I had nothing to eat until my stomach was churning by 10a.m., begging for food.  Other mornings I grabbed a muffin or scone at the coffee shop that I would scarf down while driving to work because I hadn't planned ahead.  Create time to pull together your breakfast in the evenings and then you only have to schedule time to eat it in the morning.

4. Practice Gratitude
     It sounds funny to schedule gratitude, doesn't it?  But if it isn't a regular part of your routine, scheduling it is the only way to make it a regular part.  A few minutes that you can sit in silence and go through a small list of things you're grateful for really does set the day up in the right way.

5. Work Toward A Goal
     You've set your goals and chunked them down into more manageable steps, and then life gets in the way and you don't think much about them again until the next New Year.  Sound familiar?  Yup, to me too.  Make this change - you deserve it.  Schedule 20 minutes or so that you work on a specific piece of a goal.  It doesn't sound like much, I know, but 20 minutes 7 days per week for 365 days will get you a whole lot closer to your goal then zero minutes.

6. Create A To-Do List For Each Day And Check Off One Item First Thing In The Morning
     One of the things I've been doing that has really made a drastic difference in my life is to create a daily "to do" list the night before.  The list is of things that I absolutely need to get done the next day as well as one or two items I hope to either get started or get completed.  Then, the next morning, I start with the one I'm looking forward to the least.  Why?  First, because I can procrastinate like nobody's business on things I don't want to do.  Second, because if I get the item I least like checked off first thing, the rest feels doable.

7. Drink Up!
     Do you drink enough water each day?  I certainly don't.  I decided to use my morning routine to incorporate the first glass of water for the day.  I have to drink that before I can have coffee (which used to be my first drink of the day).  And I need coffee!!!

While it may sound rigid when you first consider creating a scheduled morning routine, or sound like it's not for you, I encourage you to consider at least planning when you will check email, social media, etc.  This alone will be a life changer.  I would also highly encourage you to find a way to set a few minutes aside every morning to work toward a goal you've dreamed of.  It's amazing how much it gets you going for the day, and the bottom line is - you deserve it!

I would love to hear from you!  Do you have a morning routine?  If so, what works or what doesn't work?  
If you don't have a routine, have you considered creating one?

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