I used to set my alarm to wake up for as late as I possibly could to avoid getting up early. I would sleep with my phone next to my bed and check the notifications when I first woke up. Then I'd rush through breakfast, shower and sprint out the door to training.
When I learned about the importance of the first hour of my day, my whole life changed. Your day is basically determined by how you spend your first hour.
Creating a morning routine and sticking to it can be one of the most powerful things to get out of a rut. Here are 3 habits to consider adding to your routine:
1) Charge your phone outside of your room.
Who's guilty of sleeping with your phone next to your bed? Is it the last thing you look at before you go to sleep, and the first thing that you check when you wake up?
By changing this one habit, notice how your whole day changes. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and Thrive Global, goes one step further and has created a bed for her phone, which she charges outside of her room!
She says that it allows her to unplug, forces her to focus on her well-being and makes her much more productive when she wakes up. Here’s how it works.
“You put your phone under the blanket and you tuck it in and say goodnight. By tucking your phone in, outside of your bedroom, you are able to fully recharge while your phone is also recharging" she says.
P.s. need your phone for your alarm? Put it right outside your door and turn the volume up! Or put your phone on flight mode to prevent the notifications to pop up first thing in the morning. Or, shock horror... buy an old school alarm clock!!
2) Make your bed.
"If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed." - Admiral William H McRaven - US Navy.
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished your first task for the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to do the big things right.
And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made. That you made. And a made bed gives you the encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
3) Move your body
We have been sleeping for hours, and our body craves movement. Think about what a dog does instinctively when it first wakes up - it has a big stretch.
Especially in winter, this can be hard to commit to if it's cold! So you can start my some gentle stretches before you even get out of bed. Stretch your hamstrings, glutes and get your spine moving by doing some gentle twists. Then take 5 deep breaths and you're good to go! This can take less than 5 minutes to do, but how good will you feel afterwards!
So there you have it - 3 habits to try in your morning. Don't get me wrong, I'm no angel. There are mornings that I don't stick to my routine, and I have to keep reminding myself how good I feel when I stick to it. Often what will throw me off is if I have an early commitment. But what I've found is that it's worth setting my alarm earlier on those days so I can still do what I need to do.
My advice: start small, commit to a routine for a week and see how much better your day is!