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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation

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30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation

Your morning motivation 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. 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 with a great morning routine.

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 waking up early) is critical to starting your day positively and keeping your sleep cycle in check. 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].

Keep your sleep cycle in check for morning motivation.

    If you often hit the snooze button, set your alarm and put your phone at least a few feet away from your bed so you have to get up to turn off the alarm in the morning.

    2. Open Your Curtains

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

    The human body clock depends highly on the sun and our exposure to it. When we wake up to sunlight, we will naturally feel more energized, and our body clocks will be set for the day ahead[3].

    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.

    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 motivated.

    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, or strawberries.

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

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

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

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    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 that will set the tone for your whole day.

    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, you can boost your morning motivation 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 30 minutes each morning working out. This will rapidly wake you up and increase your mental well-being in the long term.

    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 on a yoga mat.

    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 hungry and start seeking out cakes, cookies, and chocolate.

    Luckily, with a bit of preparation, you can avoid this situation. The trick is to pack some healthy snacks, such as apples, bananas, or 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. With this bit of productivity, your morning motivation will skyrocket.

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    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[4].

    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.

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

    14. Stretch Your Body

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

    Stretching for just a few minutes offers quick pain relief, improved posture and enhanced energy levels[5]

    Morning stretches for morning motivation

      You can also try these 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. Water can reduce calorie intake throughout the day, increase mental performance, and transport all the nutrients your body needs[6].

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

      17. Create Something

      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, or adding the finishing touches to your latest artwork. You’ll be surprised by how much this helps your early morning motivation.

      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.

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      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. Moreover, gratitude is an indicator of overall well-being in life[7].

      19. Play With Your Pets

      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 speakers for some morning motivation.

      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 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.

      23. Enjoy the Quiet

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

      You can make use of this special time by perhaps reading a book or sitting in your garden. Let the quiet sink in before you get to the chaos of the day.

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

      Today’s society seems riddled with a me, me, me mentality.

      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 some chocolates to work that you could share with this individual.

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      25. Go for a Swim

      If you like to swim, and there is a swimming pool nearby, then this is a wonderful way to start your day with some morning motivation.

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

      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. When they encounter one, their morning motivation is destroyed.

      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, so 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.

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      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 Find Morning Motivation

      Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Craig J Todd

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

      Want to Get Free Product Samples Like Bloggers and Beauty Gurus Do? Read This. We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem 30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation What to Do When You Hate Your Job (for Both Who Choose to Stay and Quit) Characteristics of Critical Thinking (And How to Think Critically)

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      Published on September 27, 2021

      What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?

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      What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?

      We’ve all needed a bit of inspiration at some time in our lives. In the past year or two, that need most likely has grown. Who hasn’t been trying to shed those extra pounds we put on during the pandemic? Who hasn’t felt the need to fake a little enthusiasm at joining yet another Zoom call? Who hasn’t been trying to get excited about trekking back into the office for a 9 to 5 (longer if you add in the commute)? Feeling “meh” is a sign of our times. So, too, is incentive motivation, a way to get back our spark, our drive, and our pursuit of the things we say we want most.

      In this article, I’ll talk about what incentive motivation is and how it works.

      What Is Incentive Motivation?

      Incentive motivation is an area of study in psychology focused on human motivation. What is it that gets us to go from couch potato to running a marathon? What spurs us to get the Covid vaccine—or to forgo it? What is it that influences us to think or act in a certain way? Incentive motivation is concerned with the way goals influence behavior.[1] By all accounts, it works if the incentive being used holds significance for the person.

      The Roots of Incentive Motivation

      Incentive motivation’s roots can be traced back to when we were children. I’m sure many of us have similar memories of being told to “eat all our veggies” so that we would “grow up to be big and strong,” and if we did eat those veggies, we would be rewarded with a weekend trip to a carnival or amusement park or playground of choice. The incentive of that outing was something we wanted enough to have it influence our behavior.

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      Growing up, incentive motivation continues to play a major role in what we choose to do. For example, while we may not have relished the idea of spending years studying, getting good grades, pursuing advanced degrees, and graduating with sizeable debt from student loans, a great many of us decided to do just that. Why? Because the end goal of a career, a coveted title, and the associated incentives of financial reward and joy in doing something we love were powerful motivators.

      One researcher who believes in the power of incentive motivation is weight management expert, co-author of the book State of Slim, and co-founder of the transformational weight loss program of the same name, Dr. Holly Wyatt. Her work with her clients has proven time and again that when motivation fizzles, incentives can reignite those motivational fires.

      “Eat more veggies, exercise, keep track of my weight: These things and more DO work, but bottom line, you gotta keep doing them. Setting up rituals and routines to put your efforts on auto-pilot is one way. And along the way, the use of both external and internal motivators helps keep people on track. External motivation sources are those things outside of ourselves that help to motivate us. They’re powerful, like pouring gasoline on a fire. But they may not last very long. Internal motivators are more tied into the reasons WHY we want to reach our goals. In my State of Slim weight loss program, we spend a lot of time on what I call ‘peeling back the onion’ to find the WHY. I think the internal motivators are more powerful, especially for the long-term, but they may take longer to build. They’re the hot coals that keep our motivational fires burning.”

      Examples of Incentive Motivation

      In the way of incentive motivation, specific to the external motivators, Dr. Wyatt challenges her clients to commit to changing just one behavior that will help them reach their weight loss goals. Clients must then agree to a “carrot” or a “stick” as either their reward for accomplishing what they say they will do or as their punishment for falling short. Those incentives might be something like enjoying a spa day if they do the thing they said they would do or sweating it out while running up and down the stairwell of their apartment building a certain number of times as punishment for not following through.

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      Whatever they choose, the goal must be something they really want, and the incentive must be something that matters to them enough to influence their behaviors in reaching those goals. Some people are more motivated by some sort of meaningful reward (a carrot) whereas, other people are more motivated by some sort of negative consequence or the taking away of a privilege (the stick).

      Another example of incentive motivation is playing out currently with companies and government entities offering perks to people who get the Covid vaccine. Nationwide, offers are being made in the way of lottery tickets, cash prizes, concert seats, free admission to events and discounts for food, and even free drink at local restaurants and bars. The list of incentives being offered to the public to increase vaccination rates is pretty extensive and quite creative.[2]  These incentives are financial, social, and even hit on moral sensibilities. But is this particular incentive motivation working?

      Remember that a key to incentive motivation working is if the individual puts importance on the reward being received on the ultimate goal. So, not all incentives will motivate people in the same way. According to Stephen L. Franzoi, “The value of an incentive can change over time and in different situations.”[3]

      How Does Incentive Motivation Differ from Other Types of Motivators?

      Incentive motivation is just one type of motivating force that relies on external factors. While rewards are powerful tools in influencing behaviors, a few other options may be more aligned with who you are and what gets you moving toward your goals.

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      Fear Motivation

      In many ways, being motivated by fear is the very opposite of being motivated by incentives. Rather than pursuing some reward, it’s the avoidance of some consequence or painful punishment that sparks someone into action. For example, married couples may “forsake all others” not out of love or commitment but out of a fear that they may be “taken to the cleaners” by their spouses if their infidelities are revealed.

      Another example wherein fear becomes the great motivator is one we’re hearing about more and more as we’re coming out of this pandemic—the fear of being poor. The fear of being poor has kept many people in jobs they hate. It’s only now that we see a reversal as headlines are shining a light on just how many workers are quitting and refusing to go back to the way things were.

      Social Motivation

      Human beings are social creatures. The desire to belong is a powerful motivator. This type of social motivation sparks one’s behavior in ways that, hopefully, result in an individual being accepted by a certain group or other individuals.

      The rise of the Internet and the explosion of social media engagement has been both positive and negative in its power to motivate us to be included among what during our school days would be called “the cool kids” or “cliques” (jocks, nerds, artsy, gamers, etc.). We probably all have experienced at one time or another the feelings associated with “not being chosen”—whether to be on a team to play some game or as the winning candidate for some job or competition. Social rejection can make or break us.

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      Before You Get Up and Go…

      Know that, especially during these challenging times, it’s “normal” and very much “okay” to feel a lack of motivation. Know, too, that external motivators, such as those we’ve talked about in this article, can be great tools to get your spark back. We’ve only touched on a few here. There are many more—both external and internal.

      Remember that these external motivators, such as incentive motivations, are only as powerful as the importance placed on the reward by the individual. It’s also important to note that if there isn’t an aligned internal motivation, the results will more than likely be short-lived.

      For example, losing a certain amount of weight because you want to fit into some outfit you intend to wear at some public event may get you to where you want to be. But will it hold up after your party? Or will those pounds find their way back to you? If you want to be rewarded at work with that trip to the islands because you’ve topped the charts in sales and hustle to make your numbers, will you be motivated again and again for that same incentive? Or will you need more and more to stay motivated?

      Viktor Frankl, the 20th-century psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of the best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is quoted as having said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” As important as external motivators like incentives may be in influencing behaviors, the key is always to align them with one’s internal “why”—only then will the results be long-lived.

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      So, how might incentive motivation influence you and your behavior toward goals? Knowing your answer might keep you energized no matter what your journey and help to further your successes.

      Featured photo credit: Atharva Tulsi via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Britannica: Incentive motivation
      [2] National Governors Association: COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives
      [3] verywellmind: The Incentive Theory of Motivation

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