Monday, May 23, 2016

Rise to a Morning Routine

I am an early bird, no questions about that. I can naturally wake up, get out of bed, and get started with my day by centering myself and tackling a few chores well before I have to head out for a standard work day. I find that by following my own morning routine on the regular my day starts off on the right foot. When I don't (for whatever reason) the days are often more harried and stressful. How about you? Well, I'm not saying you have to be like me but, maybe you would like to emulate Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, or Michelle Obama AKA FLOTUS, just saying... These girlsbosses, as well as countless other high power individuals, make a point to get up early and start there days off with a routine which helps them be the best that they can be. Their successes are not unrelated flashes in the pan, they are due to hard work and intellect while being aided by good habits and best practices most notably (in this regard) their penchant for waking up early and getting things done. Here are some habits that you can incorporate into your mornings to make them a productive and fundamental part of your day.
  • Wake Up - Not everyone is like me(/many other people) and can wake up in the morning without the aid of alarm of some kind. Find the alarm that works for you! Personally, if I need an alarm for the morning I like something that will gently coax me out of my slumber like the Uniqlo Wake up app or more melodic music. That being said, you might need something more jarring like your "Crossfit Grind" playlist or an alarm clock app that makes you solve a math problem before you can silence it. Better yet, how about one that doesn't have a snooze feature at all? 
  • Enjoy the Silence - After you wake up (either independently or with assistance) pause and enjoy the sounds of stillness that are surrounding you. Hopefully, they entail something lovely, like birds chirping, and not your partner snoring but, take a pause either way... it might be the most calm point of your day and in turn a great opportunity for a moment of true "me time" and reflection. As Taj Mahal (the person, not the building) said, "Remember the feeling as a child when you woke up and morning smiled... it's time you felt like that again."
  • Have a Drink - Most people are under-energized because they’re under-hydrated. Hydration is energy. Additionally, water fires up your metabolism, aides digestions, and helps your body flush out toxins. A room temperature glass of lemon water will do wonders for your body in terms of the aforementioned benefits as well as boosting your immune system (thanks, Vitamin C and potassium) and keeping you skin clear. It's that simple.
  • Eat Breakfast - You have probably been hearing this since you were a little kid but, breakfast actually is the most important meal of the day no matter what time you get out of bed. Don't reach for that muffin though; a protein filled first meal will fuel you throughout the course of the day. These type of foods are more filling than carbs and will help you stay alert as well as stave off random cravings because of that full feeling. Additionally, if you are killing it with you workout in the morning you need to refuel your muscles.    
  • Read a Book - Magazine, newspaper, grocery circular, or whatever else is lying around. Reading will get your brain moving! More specifically, stay off-line (if you can) for a bit longer. Don't check your email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. first. Chances are you are going to spend the rest of your day in front of a computer so this is a good time you give your eyes a rest. If all of your reading material is on an electronic device (it happens) make sure to avoid email for a bit. All of the social networking/communication outlets are black holes that will suck you in and before you know it it's time to go to work.   
A photo posted by Iris (@260daysnorepeats) on
  • Exercise - For me this means going to the gym and hitting a yoga or spin class but, for you that might mean something different like stretching or doing some calisthenics but, either way movement is key! You've just spent hours lying down in some sort of awkward sleep position so it only makes sense to be nice to your body and extend your limbs in some manner.  Besides, studies show your "Crossfit Grind" playlist exercise, of any kind, will help you feel more alert and motivated throughout the course of the day. 
A photo posted by Iris (@260daysnorepeats) on
  • Set Some Goals - I'm not saying work on your new year resolution/life plan before you leave for work (unless that's an integral part of accomplishing it) but, jot down a few things that you would like to get off your plate throughout the day or set up your "to-do" list. I am a big believer in the tenet that it is easier to remember things when you put a pen to paper and write them down. Overall, checking them off feels so satisfying, right? Yes! I'm glad I'm not the only one... 
  • Get Something (little) Done - This is a next level morning routine trick if you have the time. Since I, personally, am more productive in the morning it works for me to take a few minutes to load the dishwasher, do some mise en place for dinner, or clear off a cluttered surface. I'm not saying I'm going to start scrubbing my bathroom top to bottom but, if I can knock a small task off my daily to do list before I leave for work, that is a win! Bonus: that positive and productive feeling tends to stay with me through the morning, at least, if not until the end of the day.  
  • Mind Your Time - Overall I think it is important to be mindful of how much time all your morning ablutions take you to complete. You'd be surprised how much time flies when you are completing a seemingly rote task or vice versa; maybe the things you perceive as taking a very long time really only take a few moments. Either way having a grasp of how long things take you helps you to be more timely overall. In turn that will allow you to plan out your mornings and incorporate these great tips!

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