We've all been there. The alarm goes off in the morning and we groggily feel around the nightstand in search of the alarm's snooze button to snag a few more minutes of those precious Zzs. However, repeatedly hitting that snooze button isn't always the best way to start the day. In fact, research has shown that some of the most successful people in the world have found a secret that has helped them achieve greatness. What is it? A great morning routine. That's right, what you do in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. Check out these tips for building an effective morning routine - one that you may actually stick with!
1. Prepare the Night Before
Believe it or not, when it comes to tips on how to wake up, the best morning routine will actually depend on what you do the night before. Before you crawl under the covers and get cozy, take the time to review your day and plan out your morning. Write down any details of ongoing projects or problems that may be troubling you that could affect your ability to get a good night's sleep. Writing down your worries can help you relax, knowing that you can tackle them another time. You can also take the time to write down a list of things you know you have to do the next day, which can drive your productivity both in the morning and throughout the rest of the day, too. Figure out what you need to take with you to school or work, or wherever you're going the next day, and pack up your bag or prepare your lunch so you can grab and go. Lay out your clothes so you know what to put on to leave the house. All these steps will ease your mind at night and make your morning smooth and simple.
2. Get a Good Night's Sleep
How to wake up feeling refreshed and developing an effective morning routine is reliant on you being well rested and ready to go. Research has shown that for many adults, getting 7-8 hours of sleep is ideal, though everyone differs. Find out what your sweet spot is and aim to log that many hours of shut eye each and every night. Make sure your room is quiet; use a noise canceling machine, white noise app on your phone, or even just a fan to block out the noises around your home. Make sure there aren't any bright lights that could affect your ability to sleep, either. Our bodies are biologically programmed to sleep when it's dark out; if your room isn't dark enough, you might consider getting room darkening drapes or wearing an eye mask so your body can rest better.
3. Don't Hit the Snooze Button
Many of us hit that snooze button until the last possible second and then race through getting ready as fast as possible. However, waking up when the alarm goes off the first time can actually be a great way to get your body up and running. There are alarms that fly or roll away when they go off, requiring you to get up out of bed to turn them off. Once you're up, stay up! Your body won't really benefit from capturing a few more minutes of rest.
4. How to Wake up Early
Set your alarm for earlier in the morning than you might normally set it. This way, you give yourself time to get ready for the day, and you can fit in the activity that you plan on doing. Not giving yourself enough time to accomplish your morning goals, make and eat breakfast, and complete your entire routine is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention that rushing to get out the door is only going to give you a stressful start to your day. So, be sure to get up early enough to fit in everything you want to do, with time to spare. You might even be able to sneak in an extra cup of coffee (after you've had some water to hydrate)!
5. Set an Agenda with an Activity for the Morning
Have a plan for what you want to do in the morning, and stick to it. Whether your goal is to get up and read an article or book for educational or inspirational purposes, check your email to see what you're facing for the day, do some chores, exercise, or even play a game, having an objective to complete is a great way to get your body and mind motivated. Tackle that crossword in the newspaper, cook up a healthy and gourmet breakfast, or engage in a creative or physical activity to rev your internal engines and get ready for the day. Get out and run a mile, bike to get your morning smoothie, or take your dog for an extra long walk. No matter what physical activity you choose, this can be a great way to get your blood flowing and heart pumping, energizing you for the day. Plus, exercise is a healthy part of your daily routine in general, improving your quality of life in many ways, from strength and agility to mental clarity.
6. Hydrate When You Wake
You've just gone approximately eight hours without eating or drinking, so your body could use a pick me up. Don't rush for that cup of coffee just yet, though. Many experts suggest that you might try drinking some water to jump start your metabolism first. Starting with water in the morning will even help you make progress in getting your daily servings of H20, so you stay hydrated all day long.
7. Take Time to Meditate and Reflect
Many people find that taking 10-15 minutes in the morning to meditate and reflect helps them start the day peacefully. Relaxing, letting the worries of the day go, and focusing on the positives in your life can help you feel uplifted and inspired to take on even the most challenging day.
8. Call a Loved One
Starting your morning by connecting with a beloved family member or best friend can be a great way to energize yourself and set a positive tone for the day. It can help you connect with friends and family who live far away (check your time zones, though!) and remind you of what you're thankful for in life.