If you wake up feeling unmotivated every day, say hello to these 10 morning habits

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Morning routines have been a strong interest of mine for many years now.

Why?

I’ve experienced the profound difference between starting the day poorly and starting it on the right foot.

The things we do in the morning significantly impact our mood and mindset, which, in turn, impacts how our day goes.

If you hit snooze, skip breakfast, and spend your commute scrolling social media, of course, you won’t feel motivated for the day ahead!

However, if you adopt some of the morning habits in this article, you’ll cultivate a more positive, productive, and inspired mindset, feeling ready to face the day’s challenges.

So, let’s discuss the best habits for morning motivation…

1) Rising early

I know EVERYONE says waking up early is the key to a successful day, but that’s because it’s the truth.

By waking up early, you have more time to tackle everything on your to-do list, making you more likely to feel good about the day ahead.

This is especially true if you wake up before most people. Waking up super early, such as 5 am, allows you to get a head start on the rest of the world.

But… 

If you keep hitting snooze and wake up late, you’ve already lost a significant part of the day. As a result, you’ll feel defeated before the day has even begun.

Don’t believe me?

Listen to the research, then.

Harvard Biologist Christoph Randler studied this subject in 2009 and found that morning people are:

  • More proactive
  • More likely to anticipate problems 
  • Better able to minimize those problems before they cause a problem

But there’s more…

A separate research study from the University of Toronto found that morning people have higher happiness levels. 

So you see, it’s true, the early bird does catch the worm!

2) Making your bed

This may sound like a silly morning habit. How can something so trivial make you more motivated?

Actually, there are many reasons why you should make your bed every morning.

Firstly, when you make your bed every morning, you’ve already accomplished the day’s first task. 

Doing this simple task is like the first domino; it sets the tone for the day and gets the ball rolling.

Secondly, when you’re getting ready for work, seeing a cluttered environment such as an unmade bed can:

  • Trigger anxiety or increase any anxious feelings you’re already experiencing
  • Drain our cognitive resources, reducing our working memory and ability to focus
  • Increase cortisol levels, which are related to stress

So, taking 30 seconds to make your bed when you wake up can increase your overall motivation and productivity by:

  • Reducing distractions
  • Helping you feel calm and centered
  • Triggering other positive habits

3) Practicing gratitude

Practicing gratitude is another morning habit that doesn’t have to take longer than one minute.

A gratitude practice involves thinking about, writing down, or saying out loud the things in your life you are grateful for.

This could be people, pets, recent experiences, or things we often overlook, like health and shelter. 

This habit is particularly important if you often ‘wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

By taking a moment to focus on our blessings, we shift your mindset from negative to positive.

This increases our motivation as feeling grateful makes us more likely to approach the day with enthusiasm and energy.

What’s more, researchers from the University of California found that a regular practice of gratitude can motivate us to adopt more positive behaviors, leading to self-improvement.

This is because gratitude and intrinsic motivation activate the same brain region, the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). 

4) Setting an intention

Another morning habit for boosting motivation is clarifying what you want to achieve that day.

You can do this by setting an intention.

An intention could be a tangible thing you want to achieve, like completing a task or achieving a mini goal. 

It could be an area of your life you want to focus on. Or it could be a quality or skill you want to work towards cultivating.

Having a clear intention for the day will help you:

  • Stay focused
  • Cultivate a positive, can-do attitude
  • Reconnect to your goals, dreams, and desires.

Another way to connect to your “why” is to do the following…

5) Doing a visualization meditation

If you lack motivation every morning, it could be because you need more clarity on what you’re working towards.

Maybe you’ve lost sight of your goals or are too focused on the past that you struggle to feel optimistic and inspired about the future.

If this is you, I recommend you adopt this morning habit.

A ‘dream life visualization meditation’ is when you visualize yourself in the future as your highest self.

Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and slow your breath. Once you’re feeling calm and present, see an image of your future self in your mind’s eye.

See your future self living the life of your dreams. A life where you’ve achieved all your biggest goals, and you’re reaping the fruits of your actions.

Doing this practice for a few minutes each morning can help you connect to your “why” and purpose.

It helps you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and inspires you to push through any negative feelings and keep going.

6) Planning your day

Another reason you may lack motivation in the morning is if you feel confused and overwhelmed by the length of your to-do list.

It’s hard to motivate yourself when you feel like you have so much on your agenda. So, to reduce the overwhelm and improve your mindset, set some time aside each morning to plan your day.

How?

First, clarify your priorities to know which tasks are the most important.

To do this, use the four quadrants matrix. Here, you divide all your tasks into four categories:

  1. Important and urgent
  2. Important but not urgent
  3. Urgent but not important
  4. Not important and not urgent

The tasks in quadrant 1 are the ones you should tackle first, followed by quadrant 2 tasks.

To reduce your workload, try to delegate or postpone quadrant 3 tasks and eliminate as many quadrant 4 tasks as possible.

Another method you can use to plan your day is time-blocking. 

This is when you divide your day into blocks of time and dedicate each block to a specific task. 

Time blocking can help you understand how much you can get done in a day, know what to do when, and minimize distractions or time-wasting activities.

Planning your day with the 4 quadrants matrix and time-blocking method will make you feel 10x more motivated to tackle your to-do list!

7) Getting sunlight

Natural light is a powerful mood booster. 

Exposure to morning sunlight triggers the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones), boosting your energy, motivation, and productivity.

Research has also found that getting ample sunlight in the morning enhances your cognitive functions, such as increasing alertness and improving memory.

So, if you wake up feeling sluggish and unmotivated, go for a short walk outdoors or sip your morning coffee on the patio.

Here’s another way to get an endorphin release to help you feel good about the day ahead…

8) Exercising

If you only feel energized and productive after you’ve had a couple of coffees, try exercising in the morning.

Morning workouts boost your energy levels and enhance your brainpower. 

It helps clear ‘mental fog,’ helping you feel more focused while releasing feel-good neurotransmitters like endorphins to make you feel happier and more positive. 

And the good news is you don’t have to do a long or strenuous workout to feel the positive effects.

A 2011 study found that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is enough to release endorphins. 

So, if you’re not a gym fan, take a brisk walk or do a short vinyasa yoga flow instead. 

9) Listening to an inspiring podcast 

Listening to something inspirational is a morning activity that instantly inspires and motivates me

I’m a huge fan of personal development podcasts like ‘On Purpose with Jay Shetty’ and ‘The Mel Robbins Podcast.’

Aside from podcasts, there are many motivational videos on YouTube, such as interviews and TED Talks. 

Listening to something inspirational in the morning can help you get into the right mindset while learning something new.

Plus…

Adopting this habit is easy as you don’t have to carve out time for it. For example, I like to listen to a podcast episode while I’m working out, eating breakfast, or getting ready.

If you’re not a fan of podcasts, try the following habit instead…

10) Listening to your favorite song

Music has the incredible ability to lift our mood and boost our energy instantly. 

According to Johns Hopkins researchers, few things stimulate our brains as music does.

Listening to your favorite song can prompt a memory associated with joy and happiness and make you feel that way again.

Separate research has found that upbeat music can make you feel empowered, motivated, and determined.

So try it and see for yourself. Blast your favorite tunes as you get ready in the morning!

Final thoughts

You don’t have to cultivate all the morning habits in this article to increase your motivation. Instead, I recommend choosing two or three you resonate with the most. 

But remember that, like with all habits, consistency is key. By creating a healthy morning routine, you’ll start each day in the best possible mood and mindset, increasing your happiness, fulfillment, and success!

Gemma Clarke

I am a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and an experienced content writer in the spirituality and personal growth space.
I’m passionate about sharing my expertise through the power of
words to inspire and guide others along the path of personal and spiritual development.

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