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Last Updated on July 21, 2020

30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation

30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation

You forgot to set your wake-up alarm. As you slowly come to consciousness, you begin to panic as you realize that you’re going to be extremely late for work. You have a quick shower, brush your teeth, and then hurriedly put your clothes on. There’s no time for any food or drink – so you head out the door stressed, thirsty and downright miserable.

Does this sound familiar to you? I’m sure you’ve had mornings like this. And as you know, they’re the best way to lose morning motivation and the worst possible way to start the day.

Your morning routine determines whether you can win the day. In 2016, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State University studied call center staff working for an insurance company.[1]

They specifically looked at the mood of the call center staff throughout their working day. The three-week study discovered something interesting. Namely, staff who started the day in a bad mood, usually ended the day in a bad mood too. This was despite them receiving calls from positive customers throughout the day.

Staff who started their day calm or happy – finished their working day in the same upbeat emotional state. Furthermore, the study found that staff with low moods had low productivity. Staff with elevated moods demonstrated high productivity.

As you can see from the above revelations, it’s vital that you start your day well.

But you may ask, what exactly is motivation? Then you can’t miss this concept about Motivation Engine.

Once you’ve understood what a Motivation Engine is, you should start building habits that keep you motivated.

If you’re prone to starting off your day in a gloomy and stressed state, then you’ll be sure to benefit from the suggestions below:

1. Wake up on Time

Waking up on time (or even early) is critical to starting your day positively. It will give you space and time to complete your morning routines. And you won’t need to worry about rushing around your home.

2. Open Your Curtains

One of the first things you should do upon rising is to open your bedroom curtains.

I do this every morning, and I’ve found it to be a fantastic way to gradually wake up from my slumber.

Personally, I open the curtains, and then sit on the end of the bed for a few minutes. This allows me to enjoy the morning light streaming through my window.

3. Make Your Bed

Remember your student days? Making your bed was probably the last thing you thought about when you were stumbling out of it in the morning.

This habit may be okay for students, but if you want to accelerate your motivation and productivity – you should definitely make your bed.

It takes less than a minute, and you’ll be rewarded by a tidy room, and a feeling of self-satisfaction.

4. Enjoy a Refreshing Shower

I’m always amazed when people tell me that they didn’t have time to shower in the morning.

Not only does that sound unhygienic, but it also suggests that these people haven’t learned to set a daily morning routine.

A shower only takes 10 minutes or so, and it’s a great way to clean your body, and the perfect way to wake up.

5. Drink a Freshly-Blended Smoothie

Every morning, I enjoy a freshly-blended, fruit-based smoothie. This consists of organic milk and a small portion of fruit such as bananas, mangoes and strawberries.

It’s a superb way to kick-start your day. Not only does it taste great, but it’s also full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

I used to drink tea first thing in a morning, but now, I find that smoothies are far more satisfying.

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6. Take a 10-Minute Walk in the Morning Sunshine

If you have a dog, then this will be an easy task for you.

However, even if you don’t own a dog, why not try walking for 10 minutes outside every morning?

If you’re lucky enough to live close to a park, then you could walk around the park before going to work. Fresh air and exercise are an invigorating combination.

7. Check Your To-Do List

Organized people tend to have to-do lists. It helps them keep track of what needs doing at home, work and beyond.

To-do lists can be paper-based, or you can use one of the many free apps that are available. The morning time is perfect for checking your to-do list, and prioritizing items for the day.

You may also find that you can tick off some items that you completed the previous day.

8. Listen to Some Upbeat Music

Music is a powerful mood changer. If you’re not a typical morning person, then you can help to boost your physical and emotional state by listening to upbeat music.

Simply try to choose music that makes you feel happy and lively. You could listen to this music while you shower, when you’re in your kitchen, or perhaps when you’re commuting to work.

Here’re also some for your inspirations: 30 Inspirational Songs that Keep You Motivated for Life

9. Complete a Mini Workout

If you have a home gym, then spend a few minutes each morning working out. This will rapidly wake you up, and increase your mental well-being.

If you don’t have a home gym, you can still do a mini workout. For example, try doing sets of push-ups and sit-ups.

10. Review Your Goals

Early morning can be an excellent time for contemplation.

While you may want to think about trivial things, successful people often use this time to review their personal goals. You can do the same.

For instance, if one of your goals is to start your own business, then use the morning time to come up with ideas to help move you towards this goal.

11. Pack Some Healthy Snacks to Take to Work

You may have started the day with a healthy breakfast, but have you noticed how easy it is for our diets to go downhill from there!

As soon as we arrive at college or work, we begin looking for the coffee. Not long after that, we get peckish, and start seeking out cakes, biscuits and chocolate.

Luckily, with a bit of preparation, you can avoid this situation. The trick is to pack into your bag some healthy snacks such as apples, bananas and nuts. These healthy treats will happily keep you going until lunchtime.

12. Declutter Part of Your Home

Unless your home is currently spotless and has nothing out of place, then you could spend a few minutes each morning decluttering an area of your home.

Take your hallway, for example. This may have shoes and bags that could be tidied away in just a few minutes.

13. Meditate for 5 Minutes

Many high achievers say that they mediate each morning. This gives them balance and poise, before beginning their working day.

Have you thought about trying meditation? Although there are different forms of meditation, the simplest method is to just close your eyes… control your breathing… and let your thoughts settle.

And like most things in life, the more you practice meditation, the easier it will become for you.

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14. Stretch Your Body

You may have woken up with a stiff neck, or perhaps a pain in your back.

From experience, it seems that lying down for several hours can leave your body in need of a good stretch. I’m 2.10 meters tall (yes, really!), so it’s not uncommon for me to have some discomfort when I first wake up.

However, I’ve learned that stretching for just a few minutes offers quick pain relief, improved posture and enhanced energy levels. Here’re some nice stretches to try: 17 Morning Stretches That Will Jumpstart Your Body and Mind

15. Read a Motivational Quote

If you want to boost your productivity, then make a habit of reading a motivational quote each morning.

To get you in the mood for adopting this behavior, I’ve picked out one of my favorite quotes for you:

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” — Og Mandino

And here’re more: 50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

16. Drink a Glass of Water

Hydration is essential. Especially after hours of sleeping.

I love to drink a glass of pure, filtered water every morning. It immediately makes me feel better, more energised and… less thirsty!

Even if you’re a caffeine addict, try drinking a glass of water before you start on the hard stuff.

17. Create Something

Like many of the suggestions I’m listing, this idea makes productive use of your morning time.

Let’s say that you are a budding singer-songwriter. You’re not famous yet but you want to be!

Before heading off to do your current job, you could spend 20 minutes or so writing lyrics for a new song. Do this everyday for a week, and you’ll probably have enough lyrics for a whole album.

Other ideas for creating something include putting together a bouquet of flowers, working on your novel, and adding the finishing touches to your latest artwork.

18. Write down Things You’re Grateful For

It’s all too easy to take things for granted. We need to constantly remind ourselves of things in our life that we’re grateful for.

A beneficial and rewarding morning practice is to write a list of things that you’re currently grateful for. These could be things such as your partner, your job, and your health.

Some people like to write a list each morning that includes everything they were grateful for from the previous day. Over time, you can develop an attitude of gratitude.

Get inspired by these 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For.

19. Play with Your Pets

Do you love animals? Most of us do, for sure.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a pet, then the morning is the perfect time to have some fun with them.

For instance, if you have a dog, they’re sure to like playing with a ball or Frisbee first thing in the morning. They’ll have fun, and you will too.

20. Listen to an Inspiring Podcast

Podcasts are a great way to listen to inspiring and motivating speakers.

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As they’re audio only, you can listen to them while making your breakfast – or even while you’re driving your car.

Just imagine hearing expert tips on business, success and well-being every morning. Before long, this precious wisdom is bound to sink into your consciousness.

Here’re some podcasts recommended for you:

21. Plan Your Day

Self-help guru Alan Lakein famously said:

“Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”

Wise words indeed.

To be successful in life, you must learn how to make plans and set goals.

You should have long-term plans, medium-term plans and… daily plans.

That’s right. You can use a few minutes each morning to plan the day ahead. It’s a simple technique that offers a surprising boost to your daily productivity.

22. Learn Something New

Each morning is the start of a new day. Why not tap into this fresh energy by learning something new every morning?

This could be something like a few words of a new language, a new guitar chord, or some facts related to your favorite basketball team.

Here’s How to Learn Something New Every Day and Stay Smart.

23. Enjoy the Quietness of the Morning

If you can get up in the morning before the majority of other people, you’ll be rewarded with peace and quietness.

You can make use of this special time by perhaps reading a book, or sitting in your garden.

Personally, I love to walk my dog in the early morning, as the streets are empty – and my dog has a whole park to itself!

24. Think of a Way to Help Someone Later in the Day

Today’s society seems riddled with a me, me, me mentality. I’m sure you know what I mean.

People talking endlessly about themselves – and others taking hundreds of selfies every day.

It’s important not to get caught in this self-centered trend. One way to do this, is to take a few minutes each morning to think of ways that you can help other people later in the day.

To give you an example, you may have a colleague who has a sweet tooth. You could decide to take in some chocolates to work that you could share with this individual.

25. Go for a Swim

I’ll be honest, this idea may not be for you. If you’re not a swimmer, then please move on to the next suggestion.

However, if you do like to swim, and there is a swimming pool local to you, then this is a wonderful way to start your day.

Swimming pools are usually quiet in the morning, so you’re likely to have loads of space for serious swimming – or simply having fun!

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26. Meet Some Friends for Breakfast

Until I was in my 20s, I’d never thought about going out for breakfast with friends. However, I was fortunate to be introduced to this idea by a couple of American friends who were staying with me in London.

I distinctively remember them saying, “Where shall we go for breakfast?” I was taken aback because I had always just had breakfast at home.

I’m glad they persuaded me, though, as I loved having breakfast with them in a local café. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I now regularly meet friends for breakfast. If you haven’t tried it before – give it a go!

27. Check Yourself in the Mirror

I’ve heard people say that they don’t like to look in the mirror in the morning because they’re afraid of what they might see!

I’m guessing that they probably look miserable and tired first thing in the morning, and want to avoid been reminded of this. It’s understandable, but I think mirrors are a great tool to use in the morning.

Instead of being afraid of them, use them to check your appearance. You can quickly check your hair and makeup (for example).

But more importantly, you can ensure that you’re looking alert, confident and purposeful.

28. Follow Steve Jobs’ Advice

In a speech he gave at Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs revealed that he started each day by asking the following question:

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

He went on to say that, if the answer to the question was “no” for several days, then this told him that he needed to make changes in his life.

29. Leave Plenty of Time for Your Commute

Rushing to work is the cause of so much stress and anxiety. One of the problems is that most people seem to leave a set amount of time for their commute – but don’t allow for any delays.

For example, if someone has a 30-minute drive to work, they probably just allow 30 minutes each morning.

However, as soon as there is a broken down vehicle or roadworks, then their schedule is immediately disrupted.

The resolution is simple: always allow more time than you need.

30. Kiss Your Loved Ones Before You Leave the House

Don’t be in so much of a hurry in the morning that you forget the most valuable people in your life.

Whether it’s your partner or your children, be sure to hug and kiss them before heading out the door. Relationships are so important – be certain to nurture yours.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, the above list will give you plenty of food for thought.

I recommend that you pick out a handful of the above suggestions, and make them a part of your daily routine. Here’re How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop.

By building these new habits, you’ll find that your days start happier and stronger. You’ll also discover that you’re more motivated and productive than ever before.

More Ways to Start Afresh in the Morning

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How Your Morning Mood Affects Your Whole Workday

More by this author

Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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