Updated: Sep 8, 2018
I am an early bird that has benefited by performing “Very Important Practices” for 1 hour every morning. So can you, it doesn't matter if you are retired, a homemaker, or in the midst of your career, maximizing your morning habits matter. Research suggests that early risers are more proactive (1). I’ve learned that successful people like Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs all developed healthy morning practices.
By multiple tasking I accomplish more in one hour of my morning than many people accomplish all day. I have twelve morning rituals that allow me maximize my day. My morning routine is actually a compilation of various activities that I have tailored and refined. If you plan to incorporate any of these, be sure to make slow adjustments for best tolerance and success. You may have to combat impeding obstacles like pain, complacency, family obligations or just good old-fashioned laziness. Be sure to take small, steady steps, one day at a time. It is very important to keep taking steps forward. All movement is not progress.
1-Wake up early
My definition of waking up early is to wake up with, or before, the sun. I used to wake up at 7:00 am, and now I currently wake up on autopilot between 4:30 am - 5:00 am.
By waking up early everyday, you gift yourself extra hours with fewer distractions. Waking early allows for extra time to combine and accomplish several daily tasks.
Do you need help waking up early? Try this tip. Place your alarm clock or cell phone several feet away from your bed at night. Now, you have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm. This will also make it more challenging to hit the snooze button. You may eventually have to go to bed earlier to get adequate rest for early risings.
2- Wake up happy, thankful and focused on your goals
Immediately after waking up, it is imperative to develop momentum by finding reasons to be happy and thankful. Take this time to direct focus on your goals. I review my goals daily, and I give thanks for each new day, for my family, and other precious treasures. Set your mood for the day.
3- Stretch/exercise 5-10 mins
Morning stretches will loosen up muscles and help alleviate pain and stiffness (2). I stretch every morning for approximately five minutes. After stretching I perform jumping jacks. Twenty repetitions of four (1,2,3-1, 1,2,3-2 & so on). Increase your flexibility, mood, performance and get your adrenaline pumping.
4- Listen to positive/motivational videos, or audio podcasts
I search for daily motivational videos on Youtube. I listen to various videos while I get ready for work everyday. Review this link that I found for different podcast ideas. Reinforce your positive mood with positive words.
5-Say positive affirmations and/or meditate
I’ve learned that many people prefer to say affirmations in front of a mirror. But it’s okay to say them when and where you are most comfortable. Say as few, or as many, as you like, and/or meditate.
6- Have a couple of drinks
Start with a glass, or bottle, of water, It’s important to rehydrate the body after a night without fluids. Add lemon, infuse your choice of fruit, or add mint or cucumber. The choices are endless. I typically drink my water at room temperature in the morning, but the jury is still out on which temperature is truly best for drinking water. A second cup of water, tea, or a smoothie is always good. Health permitting.
If you encounter fluid retention be sure to consult your physician as soon as possible.
7-Take your probiotics and methylation B vitamin for energy and mood.
Learn about the benefits of probiotics in my previous article, "Improve Your Health Mood and Digestion”. Probiotics help you maintain balance. A methylation B should not irritate your stomach and will provide you with energy, if needed.
Morning showers are a good way to wake up. This is also a good time to combine meditation and positive affirmations.
9- Moisturize your skin
A morning drink of water is actually the first half of a good skin hydration routine. The second half consists of applying an enriched lotion or oil. Moisturized skin looks and feels great. Take care of the skin you are in.
10- Write Something
Write down your dreams. I have often found solutions to concerns which were resolved in my sleep. I quickly write them down as I awaken, fearing they may be lost shortly after if I don’t.
Write down your goals. If you keep them in your mind, they remain thoughts.
11- Do not check your cell phone right after waking up, other than to turn off your alarm.
Social media and emails can wait. They will distract you from being productive.
12- Do not turn on the television until you have completed your routine.
Your television will not run away while you tend to your routine. Watch T.V. later.
Explore and adopt as many Very Important Practices as you can. The most efficient way to manage multiple routines is to combine them. After you find the activities that work best for you, repeat them daily until you develop a routine. Effectively planning and maximizing our mornings keeps us aligned with the earth’s circadian rhythms. A routine of rising early will encourage early sleep patterns. Irregular circadian rhythms are said to contribute to “various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder”(3).
1)://www.forbes.com/pictures/lmj45hjhj/more-proactive/#5d33781e1826; article, Forbes