I used to believe that if your day got off to a bad start, hey, it could only get better from there. Now that I’m a little older and wiser I know that your morning mood usually affects the rest of your day. If you wake feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll ride that self-pity train right on through.
BUT if you wake feeling inspired and vibrant, you’ll take that positive energy all the way into your evening.
So if a great day starts with a great morning, here are some ways to ensure you get it started on the right foot.
‘Cause why would you leave something like that to chance?
One of the reasons I believe your morning mood sets the tone is because of confirmation bias. When you believe something, you’re biased towards things that back up that belief (and tend to ignore or overlook anything that might go against it).
So if you feel like the world is out to get you before your feet even touch the floor, everything will irritate you and only serve to “prove” what bad luck you have.
On the flip side, when you wake feeling great, you’ll naturally gravitate towards good thoughts and ideas. You’ll feel like everything is working in your favour and nothing will phase you.
So the way you start your day has a huge impact on how the rest of it will unfold.
Here are some things you can do first thing to be sure you’re setting yourself up for success.
1. Inspire yourself
I’m not going to tell you to stay off your phone first thing in the morning because you’re only human. But be sure that what you’re looking at is something that actually motivates and inspires you. Something that makes you want to jump out of bed and take on the world.
If you find you get sucked into the black hole of social media, consider looking at a vision board instead (even if you do it through Pinterest). Or try read a few pages of an inspirational book, or say some affirmations.
You could even write down your big and small goals (on paper or in a note taking app) and use the morning to read over them so that your priorities are fresh in your mind as you set about your day.
Whatever the source, start your day with a little sparkle.
2. Dress your bed
I’m not always the best at this but the days I dress my bed are the days I feel most “together”.
It doesn’t have to take a long time – I literally spend seconds doing it. Straighten the sheets and blankets/duvet, and plump up and arrange the pillows.
When you jumpstart your day with a little “win”, you instantly feel a sense of achievement. It will be the start of a snowball of success that should see you ticking off the rest of your to-do list as the day goes on.
3. Drink a glass of water
I’m sure you already know all the benefits of drinking water so I won’t labour the point here, but suffice it to say that the body functions better when it’s hydrated. And since morning time means it’ll have been a while since its last drop, take the time to top up your H2O.
You’ve been pretty stationary for several hours so now’s the time to stretch it out and limber up. I’m not talking a full-on gym session if you don’t have the time or inclination (though props if you do), but just getting the blood pumping again and the muscles warmed up will help relieve any aches and pains and tell your body that it’s time for action.
5. Dress to impress
Not anyone else, but yourself. Put on clothes that make you feel both comfortable and confident. Find the cuts and colours that match your personality and highlight the things you love most about yourself.
Dressing well (which is entirely subjective and, for you, might mean anything from slouchy jeans and a baggy t-shirt to a full three-piece suit and polished shoes) will go a long way towards making you feel like you can take on anything.
Your clothing is both your armour and your art. Be fierce and bold with it.
6. Eat a filling, nutritious breakfast
I know not everyone is keen on eating first thing (myself included), but try re-fuel at some point in your morning.
If you can’t face a big meal (I hear ya), eating several small portions over a period of time will help your body adjust. Think: a small bowl of porridge, a piece of fruit, a slice of wholegrain toast, a boiled egg, a small yogurt, etc. spread out over an hour or so.
Eat something that, overall, will make a positive impact on your health. There’s no point packing yourself with only sugar or caffeine and then hitting a major wall later in the morning because your body’s fuel tank is now running on fumes.
It’s going to be a long day so kickstart your metabolism and energy levels with some nutrients.
7. Review your to-do list
Before you officially start your day, it helps to get a quick heads up on what you can expect. Take a moment to look at your list, mentally map out how you expect the day to go, make any necessary adjustments, and double check that you have everything you need.
When you have a clear vision of your day – where you need to be, what you need to do, and the things you need to bring – you’re much more likely to make it a reality.
Now chin up, chest out, and best foot forward. The day is full of possibility and, if you’re prepared, is yours for the taking.