It’s a fact: The wee hours of the morning are the healthy person’s best-kept secret. Odds are good that you’re not a “morning person,” and really, who is? Getting up early is a decision to place success over the snooze button – and, once you repeat this behavior several mornings in a row, it becomes a habit … even if getting out of bed never gets easier (and it doesn’t).
Why are the early morning hours so critical? It’s the only time of day during which nobody needs you. You can focus on your needs alone, with no interruptions. And it’s amazing how much you can accomplish during just an hour or two of this precious time.
Turn in a bit earlier, set your alarm and practice these smart habits before sunrise:
Banish the snooze button. Do you really feel more refreshed after 9 more minutes of hazy sleep? Place your alarm clock across the room from your bed. Promise yourself that once you’re up, you’re up. Commit to action.
Exercise. Stuck in a cycle of either skipping exercise altogether or saying “I’ll just do it when I get home”? Life gets in the way. You’re going to run into a million obstacles over the course of your day that will derail even the best intentions. Keep your workout clothes next to your bed so they’re the first thing you see. Whether you hit the road for a walk or a run, go to a nearby gym or exercise at home – even just for 10 minutes – you’re going to feel more accomplished, more focused and more alive by the time the obligations of your day begin.
Review your top “to-dos” for the day. Before bed, write down your three biggest priorities for the following day. Read them in the morning when you wake up. If you can knock one of those items off your list – preferably your biggest task — or at least make progress on it, you’re well on your way to a successful day. This smart habit helps kick procrastination to the curb. Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel knowing that you’ve already worked on your most pressing item by the time your day begins.
Do a quick email scan. Allow yourself to take a preliminary took at your inbox, and address any urgent emails now, before the workday begins.
Drink a big glass of water, then eat breakfast. Water fills you up, of course, but it has other benefits. It hydrates the body after a long night’s sleep, it’s good for the skin and reportedly good for your metabolism, as well. For breakfast, keep it whole and healthy – something that delivers natural energy, like THRIVE Premium Lifestyle Shake.
Listen to something positive and/or educational. Instead of grumbling about your commute, use the time to your advantage. Podcasts are a smart way to set yourself up for a successful day. Check out Happier with Gretchen Rubin, 99 Percent Invisible, This American Life, How I Built This and Ted Talks, to name but a few of your choices.
Reflect and be grateful. Write down three things you’re grateful for today. Meditate for five minutes. Set your intentions for your day, and enjoy these few moments of silence.
The next time that alarm clock goes off, consider that what happens immediately afterward is what will determine the course of your day – and, ultimately, your success.