Your success plan should begin unfolding the moment your eyes open.
8 min read
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If you’re not a natural morning person, the first hours of the day can be rough. You’re probably grumpy and tired, and don’t feel ready to deal with life. But if you want to make the most out of your entire day, it’s important that you use your mornings wisely. If you can wake up early, feeling energized and raring to go, you’ll set yourself up for a productive and successful day.
The first step to making your time dynamic and effective is to lay the groundwork with a routine that helps you create a rewarding and constructive morning. It all starts the moment you open your eyes. Use these 22 tips to ensure you wake up early, feeling energized and empowered.
1. Have an intentional nighttime routine.
Waking up feeling refreshed and energized begins with your habits the night before. Build an intentional nighttime routine that helps you relax and sets you up for sleep. Take a few minutes to prepare for the next day, such as laying out clothes to wear or having your workout gear ready to go if you plan to hit the gym.
Related: 5 Essential Morning Habits for the Modern Entrepreneur
2. Take a minute to tidy up before bed.
Nothing is quite as demotivating as waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes or a messy room with clothes scattered everywhere. Take a few minutes before bed to tidy up your living spaces. That way, you’ll wake up feeling more relaxed because everything is neat and orderly. This will help you feel like each day is a fresh start and a chance to begin anew.
3. Make your bedtime thoughts positive ones.
Before you go to sleep, tell yourself that you’re going to wake up feeling refreshed and that you’re looking forward to tomorrow. Go to bed with positive thoughts about the next day so you program yourself to wake up feeling happy and energized. This may seem like a small thing, but your first thoughts in the morning often reflect the last thoughts you had before falling asleep.
4. Sleep rituals.
Bedtime rituals are habits that signal to your brain that it’s time for bed. These should be small, calming activities that quiet your mind and allow you to wind down. They might include making a cup of chamomile tea or reading a book before sleep.
5. Unplug and decompress.
If you want to feel fabulous in the morning, it’s important to allow yourself to decompress and unplug before bed. Stop checking email, and avoid social media for at least an hour before sleep. Instead, spend some time reflecting on your day and thinking about what you’re excited about for tomorrow.
6. Develop a consistent sleep schedule.
By consistently going to bed and getting up at about the same time every day, your body will know what to expect — when it’s time for sleep and when it’s time to rise. You should aim to get your ideal amount of sleep most nights — usually somewhere between seven and nine hours.
7. Have a positive morning ritual.
Many successful people and high achievers are early birds who get a ton done before most people have even taken their first sip of coffee. But, as Hal Elrod describes in The Miracle Morning, it’s not just about waking up early; it’s about having a morning ritual that will help you create the life you truly want to live.
8. Don’t hit the snooze button.
Many of us are guilty of hitting the snooze button when the alarm blares us awake. Our beds feel so cozy, and it’s easy to want to doze a few more minutes. But hitting snooze signals that you’re not ready for your day — you rob yourself of waking with a sense of purpose.
Related: The 10-Minute Morning Routine That Will Clear Your Mind
9. Wake up determined each day.
If you get up every day with a sense of ambition and feeling determined to make something of your day, you’re setting yourself up for a satisfying day. Start your day with intention and feel motivated to jump into it.
10. Treat every morning like Christmas.
If you constantly feel sluggish and humdrum in the morning, try changing the way you approach your day by changing your attitude about sleep. For instance, were you ever tired on Christmas morning as a kid, even if you didn’t get a lot of sleep? Of course not! That’s because you woke up excited. Even though you didn’t get enough sleep, you weren’t about to slow down.
11. Try placebo sleep.
It’s hard to get energized if you wake up feeling cranky. You do this to yourself when you constantly tell yourself you’re exhausted. Try some placebo sleep for a quick pick-me-up. Tell yourself you feel well rested and that you’re energized and ready to go. Your mind will follow suit.
12. Move your alarm clock across the room.
By moving your alarm clock across the room, you’ll force yourself to get up to turn it off. This will reduce the urge to go back to sleep, as it will get you up and moving first thing.
13. Start small.
Keep your morning routine short and easy to accomplish. If you have a huge checklist of things you have to do every morning, it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed and exhausted before you even get out of bed. If you keep your morning routine simple, you’ll be more apt to stick to it, and will start your day feeling relaxed and composed.
14. Stack your habits.
In The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhiggs talks about how building habits basically comes down to having a cue to do something, followed by a routine, followed by a reward. Make sure you build your morning routine in such a way that you’re consistently creating a positive day for yourself. Your routine should not only be about getting ready; it should be about building you up for your day.
15. Create peace and calm in your morning.
Don’t allow stress and anxiety to wreak havoc on your morning. Quiet your mind by making time for purposeful silence. This is a chance to engage in mediation, practice mindfulness or even just sit quietly and allow yourself to feel peaceful. Start with five minutes and increase the length over time if it’s helpful.
Related: The Unusual Morning Routines That Set Successful Founders Apart
16. Reflect and feel gratitude.
As part of this practice of finding peace in your morning, take a moment to reflect on your life and all the things you’re grateful for. Starting your day with gratitude can change your entire perspective and influence how you react and make decisions.
17. Banish your cell phone from your bedside.
Take a tip from Arianna Huffington: When it’s time for sleep, put your cell phone away at night. Huffington keeps it out of her bedroom altogether. Another option is to put it in airplane mode.
18. Keep your mornings light on electronics.
Another benefit to keeping your phone out of your room is that you won’t be tempted to check email or social media first thing in the morning. Doing this helps keep stress and anxiety from invading your morning. Don’t distract yourself by starting your day responding to other people’s needs. Start your day on your terms.
19. Do what is meaningful to you.
Do what is meaningful to you in the morning and you’ll set a positive tone for your whole day. If that means going for a run because you value exercise and want to get it done, then do that. If you value spending time with your family, then make time for that.
20. No morning is a failure.
Some mornings you won’t be able to stick to your routine. Something will come up, something will throw you off, and you won’t be able to do things the way you normally would. That’s okay. Be flexible, and recognize that disruption in your morning routine is inevitable — it doesn’t mean your whole day is ruined.
21. Make your mornings proactive.
Start your day with a proactive mindset. Make your mornings about taking care of your own needs and goals, and schedule your day accordingly. Begin by knocking off at least one task that’s on your high-priority list.
22. See what really works for you.
The key to crafting the perfect morning regimen is to experiment with what works best for you. Try out different routines and see what makes you happy. Some things will work better for certain people than for others — be open to shaping your morning around what works for you.