We’ve all heard that how we start our morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Think of it like this: If your morning is calm and organized, chances are, the rest of your day will follow suit.
On the flip side, if you kick off your day in a rush or in a bad mood, it’s likely that the day will feel chaotic or frustrating.
It’s very much like setting the temperature for your day. A smooth morning can help you handle challenges better, be more focused, and feel more positive. But if you start off on the wrong foot, even small problems can feel bigger.
That’s why today, I’d like to talk about morning habits. More specifically, the morning habits that can hold us back from being more productive.
Here are 10 morning habits to say goodbye to if you really want to be successful:
1) Avoiding natural light
Do you sleep with the curtains drawn? You might be doing your body a disservice.
You see, natural light signals to our body that it’s time to wake up and get going. If your room is perpetually dark, it can confuse your body and throw off your internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm.
This rhythm is what helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
Without the morning light as a cue, your body might produce melatonin (the sleep hormone) at irregular intervals, leading to disrupted sleep patterns and feelings of grogginess during the day.
On top of that, exposure to natural morning light has been linked to increased alertness, improved mood, and better overall well-being.
So, the next time you wake up, consider letting in that beautiful morning sunshine. Open those blinds or step outside for a few minutes to let your body sync with the natural rhythms of the day.
2) Hitting the snooze button
Now let’s talk about an autopilot move many of us do when we hear the alarm buzzing. I used to be guilty of this myself.
I know just how those extra five minutes feel so good. I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking that those little bits of extra sleep can make us feel more rested.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. If you notice, by the time you actually decide to open your eyes for real, you feel more groggy than refreshed.
Moreover, when you delay the start of your day, you might rush through essential morning routines or even skip them altogether. Which leads me to my next point…
3) Skipping breakfast
This is one of the first things to go when I decide to hit the snooze button over and over. Because then I’d have no time for a good old sit-down breakfast.
Breakfast has long been called the most important meal of the day, and it’s easy to see why. As the name suggests, it’s for breaking the overnight fasting period. To get down to the specifics, it:
- Tops off your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels
- Improves your ability to concentrate
- Can aid better weight management
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes in the long run
Imagine tackling the morning commute, then your endless tasks at work without anything to power you. You’re literally running on empty!
4) Multitasking breakfast
What if you do eat breakfast, but you do it while juggling other things? Maybe you eat while sending emails or watching the news.
Guess what? It might seem efficient, but it still isn’t the best way to go about it. Multitasking can lead to overeating or not truly enjoying your meal.
Dedicate time to sit and savor your breakfast. This mindful approach can set a more intentional and focused tone for your day.
5) Not hydrating
Just like eating a proper meal, it’s also important to start your day with water. I’m a coffee person myself, but I still make sure that water is my first drink of the day.
I drink two glasses while waiting for my coffee to brew. My body seems to crave it after the long night without it.
So, if water isn’t your first drink of the day yet, time to cultivate this habit. It’s a great way to wake your body up!
6) Checking social media immediately
Before you even roll out of bed, are you reaching for your phone to check the latest tweets, snaps, or stories?
This used to be a bad habit of mine, too. Not only did it consume a chunk of my precious morning time but it could also make me start my day with a lot of noise.
And that’s not healthy at all. You don’t need stress or comparisons or disturbing videos and opinions to tinge your day with negativity. And in the first hour yet!
Instead, aim for a more centered and positive morning routine that doesn’t hinge on the virtual world.
7) Ignoring morning exercise
You know what’s a good habit to do as part of a centered and positive morning routine? Exercise!
To be honest, I used to absolutely hate exercise. But even I couldn’t deny that getting your body moving can boost your energy levels and mood.
Since I just can’t summon the high energy needed for more high-impact activities in the morning, yoga is a good choice for me. I love the gentle stretching that gets my blood flowing and leaves me feeling grounded.
Find an exercise routine that suits you well. Even if it’s just a short walk or some light stretching, incorporating some form of physical activity can make you feel more alert and ready to tackle the day.
Which means you won’t do this next thing…
8) Starting the day in a rush
Constantly rushing sets a tone of panic and stress. And when you consistently start your day in a hurry, you’re more prone to forget important tasks, make mistakes, or overlook details.
The ripple effect of these oversights can create even more stress as the day unfolds.
What’s more, our mood often influences those around us. If you’re always in a frenzy, that can easily transfer to your family members, and you’d then be wrecking their mood as well.
Like I said, ripple effect.
If you’re always racing against time every morning, consider waking up slightly earlier or optimizing your routine.
Beginning your day calmly can positively influence your mood and mindset for the hours ahead. Give yourself moments of stillness and reflection.
This brief period of introspection allows you to set clear intentions for the day and prioritize tasks without feeling overwhelmed.
Simple changes, such as preparing your clothes the night before or setting up a dedicated space for your morning coffee, can make a world of difference.
9) Not taking a moment for gratitude
This is something many of us neglect, especially if we don’t have a solid morning routine that includes moments of stillness like I mentioned above.
Those moments are the perfect opportunity for starting the day with a mindset of gratitude. Which does wonders for our mood and overall perspective about life.
Rather than diving straight into the hustle, take a moment to reflect on something you’re grateful for. This simple act can put you in a positive frame of mind, setting the foundation for a successful day.
Then, when you’re done with that, set your intentions and go over your plans for the day.
10) Neglecting to plan your day
Ever heard of the phrase, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”? Without a clear outline of your day’s tasks, you can easily get sidetracked.
Take a few minutes each morning to jot down your goals and tasks. This simple habit can make a world of difference in your productivity.
I’ve seen just how much of a difference this habit has made in my own life ever since I started doing it. Every morning, I sit down and create my to-do list. It gets me settled into the rhythm of the day and helps me visualize how my day is going to go.
We might have all sorts of lofty goals, but in the end, success is built on consistency and the daily habits we cultivate.
By addressing these morning rituals, you’re setting yourself up for a day of productivity, focus, and positivity.
So, which habit are you saying goodbye to tomorrow morning?