Living your life with intention begins by living your days with intention. And what better way to set the tone for your day than to develop morning routines and habits that support the life you most want to live?
Even if you’re not a morning person, you’ve likely experienced (or, at least, heard about) the benefits of a productive morning. Regular habits as small as drinking a glass of water and making your bed can set a positive tone that reverberates throughout the rest of your day!
Small, actionable habits can actually lead to big, valuable changes in your life. And by integrating these small, but powerful habits into your daily routine, you’ll soon experience a happier, less stressful, more organized day; a day that actually aligns with the overall life you want to be living.
These are just a few of our favorite morning habits:
Drink water, first thing.
Start your day off fresh with a tall glass of water! And here’s a hint to help you remember: pour a glass of water and leave it on your nightstand when you go to bed. In the morning, you won’t even have to walk into the kitchen to get it!
Make your bed.
This wasn’t just one of those childhood-era admonitions. Starting your day as an adult with this simple accomplishment is well worth the brief effort. Making your bed brings a sense of pride and encourages you to get even more done. And It will only take a minute, we promise! Plus, there’s nothing like getting into a freshly made bed at the end of your day!
Meditate or read something inspiring.
Set aside some time to connect with yourself, with God, with the Universe—whatever best helps you to start the day hopeful and inspired. You might practice meditation. Or read your daily devotion or favorite motivational book. By implementing this habit, you’ll focus inward and center yourself on a daily basis.
A note on your reading material: Get physical copies of these books. Make notes in the margins and leave a date beside them. These books—much like your planner—will become valuable records of your life!
Prep for dinner.
Decide what’s for dinner first thing in the morning, and mark it in your planner right then. Before you leave for work or to take the kids to school, begin pulling items out of the freezer to thaw, start the crock-pot, or take a couple of minutes to chop up ingredients. Anything that can make dinnertime easier is well worth a couple of extra minutes in the morning!
Empty dishwasher + start laundry.
Spend a few minutes emptying the clean dishes from the dishwasher, and reload it with any dirty dishes from breakfast. Then, pop a load of clothes in the washer to keep the laundry moving. Cleaning dishes and washing laundry can often seem like a never-ending task, but it’s far less overwhelming when you tackle it little by little throughout the day and week.
Do a 10 minute tidy.
Do a quick walk-through the house, straightening up and put things away wherever needed. This is not a major deep cleaning; just a putting away of things so your home feels spacious and uncluttered! And here’s a helpful hint to keep tidying to a minimum: Adopt the rule of “never touch it twice.” In other words, don’t leave your shoes in the living room—you’ll just have to pick them up later. Give every item a “home,” then put the item back there after every use.
Review your planner.
Before you head out the door or on to your first task of the day, spend some morning time reviewing your day. Take a look at your top three priorities so that they are at the forefront of your mind. And prepare yourself for your activities and commitments, so you don’t feel caught off guard or accidentally forget about that important meeting or soccer practice. When your day is organized, scheduled, and clear in your mind, it’ll be far more likely to run smoothly and stress-free for you.
Limit phone time.
Like most times of day, you may spend a little too much time on your phone in the morning. It’s all too easy to have it be the first thing we pick up upon waking, then spend those precious morning moments sucked into the news, our social media feeds, emails, requests of our time, and more.
So allot some designated screen time, then set a timer! Be intentional with this time and make sure you’re not getting drawn into mindless social media screening and or responding to all of your emails. Use this time to check in where you need to, ensure there aren’t any emergencies you need to respond to, then turn your attention back to your morning—whether that means being present with your family, taking quiet time for yourself, or preparing yourself for a successful day.
As you can see, new habits don’t need to be big: by implementing smaller, daily habits like those we listed above, you can make a big, positive impact on your life starting today.
It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task either! Get out your planner now, map out your week, and get clear on how and when you will incorporate your new daily habits. As always, planning your days and filling them with positive new habits is about designing an intentional life that best supports you.