Starting your morning right with healthy morning rituals can really help you kickstart your day and get you going in the right direction. How you start your morning really does matter and can make the difference between a productive or not-so-productive day.
Your morning ritual is important because it sets the tone for your day. If you can score multiple victories first thing in the morning, and check a number of items off your list, you’ll already feel a sense of control and accomplishment to build upon throughout the rest of your day.
Top 10 Healthy Morning Rituals
When the sun comes up, do you let your day control you or do you actively take charge of your day? Adopting a few simple healthy habits you can implement first thing in the morning can make a huge difference in the way your day unfolds. Here are ten healthy morning rituals anyone can try to jumpstart their day:
1. Get up earlier (and don’t hit the snooze button)—not what you want to hear, undoubtedly, but it’s true. Getting up earlier can help you in more ways than one. Following the natural laws of nature and your circadian rhythm can benefit you in multiple ways. According to an ancient holistic medical system called Ayurveda, which originated in India, it’s vital to be asleep between the hours of 10:00 pm and 2:00 am. Ayurveda practitioners say that the most rejuvenation and healing occur during this period each night. Plus, going to bed earlier will make it easier to get up earlier. Ideally, you should rise with the sun and the birds for your most productive day.
This does seem to jive with research from the National Sleep Foundation which says our bodies benefit most from sleep between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 am. And, because our bodies go through sleep cycles in 90-minute intervals, it’s important not to hit the snooze button. If you do, you can find yourself slipping back into a deep sleep, and when you finally do get up, you’ll be groggy.
2. Be grateful—nothing beats a little bit of gratitude when it comes to starting your day off right! With so much negativity being hurled at you throughout the day, staying positive can be taxing. When you wake up and immediately start listing the things you’re grateful for, you instantly put yourself in a good mood. This happy mindset can carry over into the rest of your day keeping you upbeat and positive and ready to face any negative darts that may come your way.
3. Stretch—after a number of hours spent lying down, mostly immobile, getting the blood flow going and stretching your muscles is essential. Besides promoting flexibility and helping you improve your posture, a good morning stretch can leave you feeling invigorated, energized, and less stressed.
4. Drink water—after spending a full eight hours without food or drink, getting in some water as soon as you wake up is one of the most important healthy morning rituals. Yes, this means even before your first cup of coffee! Your body is feeling dehydrated at this point and can really use the fluids.
5. Exercise—this is one of the best ways to wake up and get your day started. Studies show that many of the top executives at Fortune 500 companies start their mornings with an exercise routine. Besides kickstarting your metabolism, recharging your energy levels, and boosting your circulation, exercise can help alleviate stress and ease depression. What better way to start your day than with a healthy dose of exercise?!
6. Meditation—starting your day with a clear head is priceless. Meditation can help put you in the right mindset for the day and help you deal with any issues that may be clouding your judgement or stressing you out. The ability to sit and breathe while letting your mind unwind can set you up for a powerful and productive day.
7. Review your goals—to get off on the right foot, it’s important to set off in the right direction by getting your head straight. Taking a few minutes to focus on your goals and what’s most important to you in life can help you throughout the day when it comes to prioritizing your activities, making decisions, and accomplishing tasks.
8. Eat protein—starting your day with fat and protein is a great way to get your body into fat-burning mode and wake up your system. Plus, protein and fats tend to keep you alert and satiated, versus carbohydrate-laden and sugar-rich meals which can leave you sleepy, lethargic, and in a mental fog.
9. Review your important tasks for the day—it’s important to take a few minutes to plan your day. While strategizing and planning your mornings are important, many successful folks actually start their mornings the night before. And, planning properly can help you avoid rushing. It’s best to give yourself plenty of time in the morning to get up, get ready, and get going. Starting your day in a complete rush just puts you behind (and probably in a bad mood) for the rest of the day. You’ll spend your entire day playing catchup and rushing around instead of moving through your tasks in a relaxed manner. A few minutes of planning can change the outcome of your whole day.
10. Imagine your perfect day—planning is one thing, but visualizing can really give you the edge. Many successful people, from those in business to world-class athletes, use visualization to enhance their success. And you can tap into this powerful tool, too. Imaging your perfect day means simply taking a few minutes to think about how you would like it to go. What are you doing, feeling, seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing, and touching? The act of thinking about yourself successfully performing the tasks in your day can actually help you form pathways in your brain that will help you become more successful, and perform those tasks more easily, once you’re doing them in real life. Take a few moments each morning before you rise to picture yourself breezing through your day with positivity, peacefulness, and success.
How to Build Healthy Morning Rituals
If you don’t already have a morning ritual, this list may feel overwhelming at first. The point of the ritual isn’t, however, to make you overwhelmed but rather to provide some quick, easy successes to build upon.
Pick just one of the habits above that you think will be most helpful. Then make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying, as James Clear of Atomic Habits suggests. And it’s not just a good idea to start off small, it can be a very effective tool.
For example, if you make drinking water first thing in the morning your focus: set your favorite glass next to your coffee maker. Then anchor the new goal to an already engrained habit (such as, “After I turn on my pot of coffee [established habit], I will drink a full glass of water”).
After just a few weeks with your healthy morning rituals, you will have begun to establish new habits that start your day off strong!