Positive habits are an essential part of building a successful life and lots of the world's most successful people swear by the habit of rising early and setting up the day with purpose and intention. After all, we live in a world where time is so precious and it often seems like there are not enough hours in the day - surely rising early can give us a vital head start?
Studies have indeed shown that morning people are happier and more proactive, but what exactly are the benefits of rising early and how can we create a morning routine that drives us towards our goals?
The key to establishing a morning routine, as with most things in life, is to set yourself up for success. In the case of a morning routine this means preparing the day before. Make sure that you are well hydrated by drinking a couple of litres of water. This will provide a much-needed boost of energy which will help when the alarm goes off the following morning. Avoiding too much caffeine and sugar will also improve the quality of sleep you get, leaving you feeling more rested.
Most of us need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night, so decide what time you need to wake up and work backwards to establish the time you need to be asleep by. Turn off screens one hour before this and start to prepare for a good night's sleep. A cool and comfy bedroom will help with this, as will reading, meditation or some other relaxing activity.
It may also be worth conditioning the brain for an early start by visualising your morning ahead. This will give your subconscious mind a chance to go to work on your behalf while you sleep. Set your alarm and be prepared to feel some discomfort until the habit is formed.
Lastly make sure you have some water by your bed for when you wake.
2. Drink Water
When you first wake in the morning you can feel very sluggish - even after a good sleep. This can often be because the body lacks hydration after a long period without a drink. Have a bottle of water by the side of your bed and drink this immediately after waking. Not only will this help you to wake up and boost your energy levels, it will also clear toxins and aid the digestive system
What do Richard Branson, Barrack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? Apart from being super successful they all acknowledge the importance exercise plays in their success. Indeed many of the top executives in the world include exercise in a morning routine and list it as a contributing factor in their overall success.
Morning exercise improves physical and mental energy while also helping to develop self-discipline. Studies actually show that people who exercise in the morning tend to be more active all day, meaning you can out-hustle those who hit the snooze button.
We all know the many benefits that exercise has to overall health and well being but often put it off until later. By exercising first thing in the morning though you can get it out of the way and start the day with a sense of achievement.
4. Read Or Listen To Something Inspirational
Starting the day by listening to or reading something educational or motivational can fuel your mind for the day ahead. By putting yourself into a peak mental state you can make the most of otherwise 'dead' time and push yourself ahead of the competition.
The average person reads one - two books per year. Contrast this with the fact that many of the CEO's from the world's largest companies read four to five books a month and see why you should make this part of your morning routine. Reading not only allows you to improve your brain function and memory it can also provide much-needed inspiration and ideas.
Taking time out in the morning to meditate can calm the mind but you can also reap rewards physically and in the workplace. Studies show that meditation can lower blood pressure, stress and other anxiety issues as well as allowing us to think clearer. All of which adds up to better performance in work and play!
Add some positive affirmations and visualise how you would like to see the day ahead play out. Many top athletes use visualisation to get into a peak state and we can do the same in our personal and business lives. By playing mental pictures we can really set ourselves up for the day ahead and play out different scenarios with desired outcomes. By doing this we increase the likelihood that things will go to plan and that we can deal with any challenges effectively.
Success starts with clarity and a vision. Use this time to focus and get clear on what you want to achieve each day and you stand a much better chance of reaching your goals.