There are two main types of people first thing in the morning – those that want to grab the day with both hands and make something happen, and those that would prefer to hit the snooze button until midday repeatedly. If you fall into the former category, then you probably don’t need these tips. You’ve already got a handle on starting the day the best way. For those in the latter group, especially those that would like to change the status quo, these tips may be just what you’re looking for.
1. Forget Everything You Currently Associate with Mornings
One of the main reasons why people struggle in the mornings is because they accept that they always have done, and so don’t see a way to change that going forward. Essentially, if you’re someone that already detests mornings, the chances are that this won’t change naturally any time soon. However, if you’re someone that wants to make the change, the first thing to do is to forget everything you hate about mornings and to start with a clean slate.
A routine change can be perfect. If you get up, grunt and stretch, drink a coffee and then head off to work, you’re already struggling. Make a point of waking up to a fresh start, and deliberately do something different to the norm. Even if you have to set a reminder on your phone to break with routine, it is a fantastic first step and will make all of our follow-up tips far easier.
2. Have an Idea of Your Perfect Morning
You’ll never experience your perfect morning – unless by accident – if you don’t know what it is. We’re not saying that you need to start to have your ideal morning every day right off the bat, as that’s far easier said than done. However, if you can experience it even once or twice every month, it gives you something to work towards and reinforces the fact that you don’t necessarily need to endure that morning feeling every day without a reward.
3. Don’t Tell Everyone about Your Change in Routine
When you assert that you’ll make the change, it’s a good idea not to tell everyone about it right away. The last thing you need is for someone to decide that, as you’re making more time in the day, you can be more useful to them. Instead, focus on only telling those who it impacts to start with. If you share a bed, then it’s a good idea to tell the person you share with that the alarm might be going off earlier than usual. Otherwise, keep it to yourself and take advantage of the fact that you now have plenty of time for you.
4. Evolution, Not Revolution
You might know someone who nails the morning every single day. That’s great for them, and something to aspire to, but it’s not something you can reliably emulate right away. There’s no telling whether their routine would work for you either. Instead, take it one step at a time. Gradually set your alarm earlier, find the perfect breakfast to set you up for the day, work out what you achieve best first thing in the morning and continually build until you finally have your ideal morning more often than not.
5. Don’t Stick with Default Alarms
The mood you wake up in can have a massive impact on how the rest of the day plays out, and you’d be surprised by just how bad some alarms can be for your waking state. Constant beeping may have been the norm in the days of digital alarm clocks, but they can put you in a bad mood before you even finish opening your eyes. Nowadays, with most people using their phones for alarms, you can use anything you like and should try different sounds to wake you up softly.
6. Save the Tough Stuff for Later
If you need to start the day with something difficult or stressful, the chances are that you might not start at all. If there’s a high-stress situation to deal with at some point in the day, save it for later. Ease yourself in with something easy that will still be sufficient to give you a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
7. Work on Eliminating Excuses
If you’re the boss and you dictate everything that needs doing, the chances are you’ll be happy to come up with excuses as and when required. This is a bad habit and just the kind of thing we talked about leaving behind in previous tips. If you’ve committed to something beforehand, try to avoid changing your mind having slept on it. Get up when planned and get something done, as it will set you up nicely for the rest of the day.
8. Draw on Reserves in Times of Weakness
You might have hated mornings for decades, and a brief attempt at changing things up probably won’t lead to the kind of results you seek. There will be times when it gets hard to stay the course, but you need to be prepared. Keep reminders of your favourite mornings to hand and think about that ideal one on the days when it feels like your head is fixed to the pillow.
9. Take Time to Look Back on What You’ve Achieved
As you get better at handling mornings and achieving something first thing every day, take the opportunity to remind yourself of your success. You might even want to congratulate or reward yourself, as these changes aren’t easy. Once you know what you’ve achieved so far, you’ll have the motivation to push further and harder.
10. Keep Improving
Many admit that mornings are the most productive parts of the day, whether they like them or not. You won’t be perfect on the first day, but you can keep on working on getting better, especially if you do decide to keep track of your achievements.