It seems like we often categorize people into either morning people or night owls. For much of my life, I was a night owl. As an avid reader when I was young, I often read with a flashlight until late. I declared myself a night owl and hater of mornings, and that was my identity for a while. Over the years, a few of my apartments have been below ground level with limited sunlight.
When I moved into the first apartment, where bright morning sunlight filled my bedroom, I started rising almost as soon as the light hit my bed. I started shifting into an all-hours person and appreciating everything each day has to offer.
Now that I am accustomed to a daily routine, I love the mornings and have noticed positive results.
These are some of my favorite ways to start the day. I try to do all of these, but sometimes I’m human, and I fail, but every morning allows me to try again.
Start Your Day With Intention & Gratitude
We have so much more power than we often give ourselves credit. Every situation presents us with an opportunity to choose how we react to it. Some of those reactions are closer to the surface, seem further from our control, and require some learning.
My mother always tells me that she wakes up every day and chooses joy, which I carry every day. Each day I wake up and ask myself, “what do I want to accomplish today?” Sometimes it’s big lofty goals, and sometimes I choose to rest, and all of those choices are important and necessary. Once I have set my intention for the day, I say out loud at least five things that I am grateful for and send thanks and gratitude to those things.
Up to 60% of our bodies are water, and we lose some of that water while we sleep. It is essential to start the day in abundance by replenishing what your body has lost because hydration is essential for good health. It also feels good not to be thirsty (except for the frequent bathroom trips, but hey, I’ll pay that price to stay hydrated). I fill my bottle up each morning before I leave the house and will usually fill it up a couple of times throughout the day when I get a chance. Invest in a water bottle you enjoy, and you will quickly see a change in your habits.
Move Your Body
There is a reason we often wake up and stretch before we even think about it. Allow your instincts to guide you and get moving when your feet hit the floor. I start my day with at least 10 minutes of flow right after I wake to set the tone for my day. Our bodies need to move, and since I am often writing in front of a screen, I need to move whenever I can. We need to normalize moving throughout our day because we’ve been sedentary for the past couple of years. I went to a dance class with A Rakeim White, and he said something I’ve been carrying, which was “Your body is not a tripod for your mind.” So move those bodies the way they deserve to move each day and thank your body for carrying you through.
Make your bed
It is nice to come home and get into a nicely made bed. This duty is the one I was most often guilty of neglecting, but it’s something I am committed to working on because I do see how it sets the tone for the day and yourself. I started looking at it as a gift to my future self, which made it easier to take a few minutes to get it done each morning. You will also start your day with a win, a check off the list that might make everything else that much easier to accomplish.
Set yourself up for success
I have been listening to Atomic Habits, and one of the things I have been working on is setting myself up for future success. My days are usually varied, so I always check my planner in the morning to ensure I’m prepared and dressed appropriately. Also, I fill up my water bottle and refill the pitcher, so the water is cold when I come home and hydrate before bed. In addition, I spend a few minutes each morning cleaning so that things won’t pile up.
An Apple A Day
I don’t know how accurate the saying is, “An Apple a Day Keeps The Doctor Away.” (My preliminary research indicates that it may not be true) Still, I often wake up hungry and don’t always want to make a complete breakfast right away. So I started having an apple first thing each morning, and it quickly became a habit and increased my apple intake. It’s an excellent way to start my day off with some fruit and ensure I always eat a little something to start each day.
I treat my mornings like my time to give to and nourish myself before going out into the world and giving to everyone else. It is an opportunity for me to imagine the day I want to have before creating it. The more time, intention, and love I can infuse into these daily opportunities, the better my morning is, and usually, by extension, my day will be.