We all know that success is more than just the finished essay, the completion of an art project, or a great meeting. It takes a lot of preparation, and starting your day off right is the best recipe for success. So pull out your notebook or WordDoc and start jotting down these steps which will result immediately in a more productive day.
Habits aren’t easy to implement … when they’re good habits that take work to master. Don’t feel bad if you occasionally miss some …. Or all of them … because, you know, there is always tomorrow morning!!
1. Wake up early.
An early riser has a tremendous advantage over the late riser. We all ‘know’ that there are exactly the same amount of hours in the day no matter when you drag your body out of bed, but when you get up early you have a significant boost in morning hours, during which I personally find it easier to think.
Waking up early can also help you to be on time for classes, which is always a good thing! But don’t feel like summer is the time for lazing around! While it’s a great idea to catch up on missed sleep during summer break, too much sleep actually dulls you and makes you lazier.
Pro Tip: Unless you have a resident rooster to crow you awake with his adolescent voice at 5:30 AM *hand raised*, set a timer for your ideal wake-up, around an hour before you eat breakfast.
2. Drink water.
You’ve heard it millions of times, but it gets truer every repetition. Most people don’t drink even close to eight glasses a day, and lacking it hurts on so many levels. Potential results of not enough water include dehydration, breakouts, tiredness, sunstroke … the list goes on.
Pro Tip: Use (and frequently refill) a water bottle to get your daily water quota. It’s easier to drink if you can take it around with you.
3. Keep your space clean and organized.
A dirty desk is a useless desk. An unmade bed testifies to a chaotic mind. Take some time to clean up, even if you only set a timer for 5 minutes and scramble around. Working in a clean space fosters greater concentration, and provides way less distraction than messy surfaces and floor.
Pro Tip: Set that timer! Or, if you want to go really overboard, clean out under the bed.
4. Dress for success.
Think about it. Do you work better in PJs, or in jeans? For some, the answers are different! Most, however, work better at home when they change into day clothes. Find your outfit and slip in. You’ll feel professional in a minute!
Pro Tip: I find this super helpful in motivating me. It’s hard to feel motivated to conquer the world … when you’re wearing fuzzy slippers!
5. Mentally prepare.
This might look like a quick review of the goals that inspire you, or it might include Bible-reading and journaling. Whatever you do, be sure it strengthens you for the big, unique, amazing day ahead.
Pro Tip: Mentally go over which things are important to you. Focus on some of those things and use them to motivate you as you go through the day. Remember that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!
6. Make a To Do list.
I’m a list lover and I’m not ashamed of it! Seriously though, a list can be a great visual aid to remind you what you need to get done. Challenge yourself to complete everything on your list, no matter how hard you have to work. Remember, “six days you shall work, and the seventh you shall rest.” Make those six days COUNT!
Pro Tip: Do not procrastinate! Procrastination can become a bad habit. If you absolutely can’t do something on your list today, force yourself to do it tomorrow, before you even check your email. This builds discipline.
7. Get some exercise.
Working out is not only helpful for gaining muscle and losing fat, it can be a great way to destress and clear your head. Be active outside in some way! Sports and biking and hiking and swimming, the list goes on!
Pro Tip: Exercising is only good for you if you aren’t hating every minute. Find something you actually enjoy.
8. Kill your bad habits and morning time-wasters.
I’m looking at you there! You know your personal time-waster. I’m encouraging you to take steps to let go of it. If it’s a waste of time, it’s probably not that important … give it up! (Or at least reduce it.)
Pro Tip: Most habits are reactive mechanisms. Find another way to deal with the issue, like replacing it with a good habit.
Here are a few things NOT to do …
- Unless you must, try not to check your email or the news first thing in the morning. Negative input can affect your mental attitude, so try to only take in uplifting material while you are still beginning your day.
- Don’t give in to your bad habits. It’s okay to slip sometimes, but have in your mind the goal of attaining a new routine. It’ll be hard, but it’s worth it.
Have a great day, and remember … there’s always tomorrow morning!
As always, please comment! What’s in your morning routine?