Are you a single mom AU student, wanting to wake up in the wee hours to find time to study? Or are you a budding author, wanting to squeeze in an hour of writing before sunrise? Or are you frazzled in the morning, waking up last minute, rushing out the door, stressed? Author Katie Stone says, “If you start your day by snoozing your alarm, then eventually rushing around, hurrying to work – you’re telling your brain you are in stress, in survival mode” (0%). Instead, aim to make your mornings your luxury me-time, where you recharge, grow, unwind, and flourish.
Yes, go to bed early, and look forward to your morning fun time. Here is a list of me-time morning rituals that’ll skyrocket your success, according to Katie Stone, author of Morning Rituals: Increase Your Productivity, Success and Happiness with Just 30 Minutes Per Morning:
Meditate for a mindful morning. “Meditating every morning can bring you happiness and peace of mind, sharpen your focus and memory, and improve your decision-making” (26%). If I knew how meditation worked its magic on the brain, I would’ve meditated at least fifteen minutes a day during university. And why not? It’s a double whammy: meditation boosts your brain power while lowering your stress. Time estimate: 15 minutes.
Study or hone skills in your sweet-spot morning. “Often, our ‘main’ work fills most of the day, leaving us exhausted in the evening. That’s why using some of the time in the morning to further your personal goals is much better than trying to make time in the evening” (37%). One fellow student said she studied best in the mornings. Good for her! Early bedtimes followed by morning study sessions prime us for success. Even motivational speakers say early risers claim the prizes. Time estimate: 20 minutes or more.
Make your bed for a quick morning thrill. “Additionally, tidiness is actually a very beneficial factor for your mental well-being. A made bed adds to that tidiness in your home with just 10 seconds of work” (47%). I get a rush out of making the bed while tossing in a load of laundry to start my day. Top it off by scrubbing the dishes as soon as a dish dirties, and you’ll be the master of your morning. Time estimate: 2 minutes.
Ease into a good book that draws you toward morning mastery. “I would start by reading books in your field of expertise, including those closely related, to become an expert. Additionally, you can read books that are somehow related, but not directly, to broaden your horizon, giving you an edge over any competition” (55%). If I read every book that piqued my interest, I’d master nothing. But mastering your area of expertise in the mornings shapes you into a hot commodity. Time estimate: 15 minutes.
Prep an evening to-do list for morning smooth-sailing. “Every evening, prepare for the coming day by writing your to-do-list. Focus on 3 to 6 important tasks that need to be done and leave some time to attend everything else” (56%). One prof told me that too much choice, (in other words, too many options), can block progress. So, limit your tasks to three to six: “Many of the most successful CEOs recommend only having three to six real tasks per day” (59%). By planning the night before, you free yourself to cherish your smooth-sailing sunrises. Time estimate: 0 morning minutes.
Get fit and full of endorphins with a morning high intensity workout. “A study found that the effect of a short morning workout is as much as twice as effective as caffeine when it comes to increasing your cognitive performance” (62%). I recommend high intensity workouts because you get more gains in less time, and they’ll sculpt your body better than Leonardo da Vinci could. The secret to high intensity is to do cardio (cycling, running, jumping Jacks, etcetera) at super-fast speed for either 30 seconds, one minute, or two minutes, followed by a 30 second rest. And then repeat. Oh, you’ll look amazing. Your skin will glow. Your tummy will tighten. And your brain power will surge. Time estimate: 20 minutes.
Savor time to live your passions. “Spend some time every morning doing what you love, 100% focused on simply enjoying it, no worrying about the day allowed” (71%). If you dream of writing a book, learning to knit, making a robot, or creating a podcast, then live it up in the morning. Or maybe you just want to sip hot cocoa while listening to your 90’s playlist. It’s your time for pleasure. And it’s your right to enjoy pleasures throughout your day. It’s actually healthy. Time estimate: 15 minutes.
Go bananas over a mouth-watering super-healthy breakfast. “Eating breakfast in the morning has many benefits, not only providing your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs, but also regulating blood sugar levels and even increasing your mental performance. If you are concerned about your weight, eating breakfast plays a significant role in helping you lose weight” (80%). The trick is to mix and match your favorite proteins, carbs, and fats. These days I eat Fiber 1 cereal with flaxseed, blueberries, and milk followed by an apple. When the budget is there, I love to substitute plain Greek yogurt for milk and add a side almond butter smothered banana. Oh my! But don’t forget to do dishes to create a tidy, happy dwelling. Time estimate: 30 minutes. Yes, savor it!
Morning fun-times lead to successful lifetimes. So, let that sunrise find you zesty, relaxed, and pumped—tickled to tackle most any task.