How to Start Your Day so You’re Set for Success

Are you one of those folks that hits your snooze over and over and only crawls out of bed at the last possible moment? If so, how does the rest of our day go?  If you’re hoping to get more out of your day and be a tad more successful, then listen up…mornings are where it’s at.  Setting up a morning routine will get you started on the right foot and today, I have 7 ways to start your day so you’re set for success!

Study after study shows that starting your day off right will set you up for a more successful day and put you in the right frame of mind to get more things done. 

If you’re currently someone that tries to squeeze as much time in bed before work as you can, I won’t lie, it’ll take a little perseverance to to get into a morning habit, but once you do, you’ll find you have more energy, are more relaxed, and accomplishing more!

Yes, you will probably have to get up a little earlier.  This is a lot easier for me to do in the spring and summer months when it’s light outside.  In June, July, and August, it’s bright and sunny here by 5:30 am, so that makes it really easy for me to set my alarm earlier and get my day started.  During the winter months, between the cold and the dark…eh…I’m not as successful at this!  I’m in the process now of getting myself back into the habit of making more of my mornings, so I thought it might be helpful to share a few things I’ve tried in the past and that I love to work into my pre-work time!

7 Ways to Start Your Day to be Successful!

1Drink a full glass of water:  We all know staying hydrated is important.  Would you go 7-8 hours without drinking anything during the day?  Probably not, but that’s exactly what you’re doing at night, so when you first wake up, you’re dehydrated.  

I like to keep a glass right next to my bed and I drink it when I first get up.  Some people like to toss lemon juice in there and I did that for awhile (and the scale dropped about 5 lbs after doing that!), but I stopped after my dentist told me it would eat away the enamel on my teeth if I did that every day (so if you squeeze in some lemon juice every day, just be careful!!).

2Move a little (or a lot!):  Studies show that people that work out in the morning tend to stick with it better and I completely agree with this.  While I may not be working out in the mornings right now, when I get in that habit, I never miss a workout like I do if I try to go during lunch or after work.  Plus, I always have a ton of energy for the rest of day when I start off with some movement.  And, it doesn’t have to be crazy, hard core cardio…a yoga session first thing is an amazing way to start the day!).

3Eat breakfast!!:  Seriously, eat breakfast.  Is there really anyone out there that still isn’t doing this?  Skip the sugary, carb heavy options and go with something that is full of protein or fiber to keep you full all the way until lunch.  

I love green smoothies, but I usually add in half a container of plain or vanilla greek yogurt so it’s packed with protein!  The spinach and fruit adds in the fiber and I easily stay satisfied for hours!

4Write in a journal:  You may have heard writing in the morning is a great way to clear your head and get your day started.  It’s true!  I used to write 2-3 pages in my journal every morning.  Just stream of conscious, whatever came into my head.  

I don’t really do this anymore only because I like to use my journal more as a means to record what’s happening in my life as opposed to unloading my brain, but it is definitely a nice way to clear out old thoughts and concerns and start the day truly fresh!

5Make your to-do list for the day:  I definitely do this every single morning.  I can’t really function without a to-do list.  While I plan out my week every Sunday by jotting down specific tasks on each day of the week, I fill the day in each morning based on how much I’ve accomplished up until that point, or to account for new things that have popped up.

6Meditate:  This is one that I don’t do, but I’d LOVE to start doing!  I’ve done meditations from time to time, but I haven’t successfully started a daily practice and for me, I think doing this first thing in the morning would be ideal.  This is on my list to incorporate into my mornings this summer.

7Set an intention or word for the day:  This definitely works if you are sincere in picking your word or intention.  When I was going through my divorce (a number of years ago), I got tired of feeling sad.  So, I made a change…every morning, I’d tell myself that I was choosing to be happy that day.  

By making that choice, it put my day and my emotions back in my control and I tended to have a much more positive outlook!  I still do this when I have a lot on my plate (“I chose to be productive and focused today.”) or if I’m stuck on something (“I chose to let this go and move on.”).  Give it a try and see how it works for you!

One last benefit to getting up early in the mornings…you’re not rushing around and starting your day off stressed out!  By the time you get to work, you have already accomplished a few things, had some quiet time, and a little ‘me-time’ before having to go give your day to your job!  In the end, you’ll feel more in control of your life and feel like everything is a bit more balanced!

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Your turn!  Do you have a morning routine that you follow?  Have you ever tried to get up early and get things done?  I’d love to hear, so leave me a comment and let me know!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Oh I’m always stressed in the morning,. I need to get to bed earlier so I can start practicing some of these things! I would love to get up early to workout, I tell myself that every night, but then its 1:00 am and I’m too tired to get up the next day.

    • 2

      says

      Lol…I know what you mean! I feel like because I get home late to work, that I need to stay up later to enjoy some non-work time, which then means I get up later and go to work later…it’s a vicious cycle! I let myself get away with that in the winter, but now that it’s getting lighter and lighter in the mornings, I’m trying to ease back into it! :)

  2. 3

    says

    These are great tips!! I will be trying a few. And I know I should get into starting my day by working out,, but it is just so hard to get adjusted to!

    • 4

      says

      Thanks and I know…it’s tough!! The first week or so of working out in the morning is tough, but after a week or two, you start to not dread it as much. My motto (when I’m being ‘good’) is that “I won’t regret getting up early to work out, but I will regret sleeping longer and skipping it!”

  3. 5

    Angelica says

    I’m definitely a snoozer. I wait until the latest possible second to get out bed. Funny, when I actually do wake up earlier, my whole day is much more productive. I love your 7th tip about setting an intention or word for the day. And yes, I’m also learning that happiness IS a decision.

    • 6

      says

      I know what you mean…I always feel so much better when I get up early, have a little time to myself and get a few things done to start my day, but the pull of my nice comfy bed definitely makes it a challenge sometimes, lol.

  4. 7

    says

    I wake up early every morning and get in some exercise and computer work. =) My day goes so much better if I can get that stuff done first.

    • 8

      says

      That’s awesome!! My goal is to work in time to do writing in the mornings (for my blog)…I think better in the mornings when I’m refreshed.

  5. 9

    says

    I love it Vicky!
    This is something that just recently I’ve been starting to figure out and it’s been awesome. I was the person you mention who trudged out of bed last minute and grabbed a poptart to go. By the time I got to work I was grumpy and stressed out- a horrible way to star the day. I have been doing yoga and trying to blog in the mornings and it’s been fantastic for the last month or so. I’d love to add other things- meditating, journaling, etc. Just means getting up even earlier, which I know will take some time to adjust to! lol Really great tips, sharing now. :)

    • 10

      says

      I used to do yoga in the mornings and want to get back to it again. I definitely want to do more blogging stuff. Right now, I’ve been trying to get in reading & commenting on other people’s blogs first thing, but I’d like to squeeze in some writing time too! thanks for the share!!

  6. 11

    says

    What a great list. I really need to be better at doing ALL of these. I’m that girl who knows exactly how much time I need to get ready and that is it. I don’t wake up any earlier, but I really want to be better. Any tips on not hitting the snooze??

    • 12

      says

      Not hitting that darn snooze button is the first hurdle, right? lol (and a BIG one at that!!). Usually, the first few days are the hardest and you just have to make yourself do it. After that it does get easier. I like to remind myself of what I want to accomplish. I also remind myself how much more I enjoy the day if I can just crawl my butt out of bed!! And finally, I always remember that if I don’t get up early, I will regret it (and I do!), but I’ve never regretted getting up early, lol. But…it definitely is hard and the not-so-sexy reality is you just have to make yourself! Maybe (and I just thought of this as I was typing!!)…give yourself a reward initially! I’m not sure what, but i think I’m going to think on that idea some more :-)!

  7. 13

    says

    “Drink a full glass of water every morning” has been my New Year’s Resolution since age 15, but since that’s still not getting anywhere, I’m trying to set a solid intention everyday to really focus my day and ensure that it’s starting on a positive, driven note. It makes it easier to let wonky emails go and not sweat the small stuff right off the bat! Great post, Vicky!

    cominguprosestheblog.com

    • 14

      says

      Well, at least you are consistent with your New Year’s resolutions! lol
      YES…let go of those wonky emails and attack each day with a positive attitude (and you always seem positive to me, so I think you’re doing well on this front!! :)).

  8. 15

    Jazmine says

    I love #7 it’s something I never thought but it could really be beneficial. Thanks for such the great tips.

    • 16

      says

      Awesome! Glad that little tip inspired you :). I don’t necessarily do it every single morning, but if I really need to accomplish something or struggling with something, I do find it to be immensely helpful!

  9. 17

    says

    I love the idea of setting an intention word for the day! I have to admit my morning routine is a little haphazard. With the exception of the last couple weeks I’m pretty good at hopping out of bed after my alarm goes off. I wish I had a morning routine to repeat each day like sitting and writing, but each morning is different for me – some days I’m up at 5 and off to train clients right away, and other days I try to sleep in a little later after having worked until midnight.

    • 18

      says

      Oh wow! Yeah, your schedule sounds a bit challenging, so I think you totally get a pass on this one ;). But at least the intention or word is something you could try while lounging in bed on your later mornings or in the car on the way to meet with your clients! :-)

    • 20

      says

      Good luck, Camesha!! I don’t necessarily set an intention every single day, but only when I feel I need that extra pep talk/personal support. I just set one yesterday morning and I could feel it working throughout the day (which may sound a little crazy, lol, but it works!). :)

  10. 21

    says

    Love love love the idea of writing a word that you center your day around! It seems like the perfect chance to take stock and prevent the whole “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” thing from ruining your day.

    acupoftay.com

    • 22

      says

      Oooh…I love that! I hadn’t thought of it as a means to prevent ‘getting up on the wrong side’ although, I guess that is definitely part of it! lol Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!!

  11. 23

    says

    Great list. Really great. And I DO eat breakfast. Honestly, I would be a very crabby person if I didnt. I have 1 egg and 1 piece of Canadian bacon with a light English muffin. No butter or anything. Its a perfect mix of some carb and protein! Love that routine. Also – I am going to take your advice for the intention for the day. That’s a really easy and cool thing to do. :) http://www.GlamKaren.com

    • 24

      says

      Thanks Karen! I have never been the ‘no breakfast’ thing either! I have to start my day with something in my belly, lol. But…I don’t like a lot of sweets in the morning (which is weird, since I have a hard time resisting them the rest of the day!), so at least I get one healthy meal in every day, lol.

  12. 25

    says

    Great ideas. I have always been a morning person, and eating breakfast was instilled as an important thing by my parents from a young age.
    I do write in a journal as well, but I am not particularly diligent about writing every single morning… it can occur at any time of the day.
    I find that in the morning, it is usually eating breakfast, listening to the radio, and reading the newspaper or blogs. I’m not quite as rigid on my routine as I used to be.

    • 26

      says

      I envy you that you’re a morning person, Noah…I wish I were! I’m definitely more productive if I get my day started and I do like doing that, but it is a struggle for me. Fortunately, these little rituals help me get out of bed earlier and get things started! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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