Morning Routines for Success in the New Year
Hello, new year! Goodbye old habits. Let’s kick-start 2022 right by creating a successful morning routine that even a busy executive like you will love.
While many hardworking professionals begin their day with a booming alarm clock, a large cup of coffee, and a quick phone scan to catch up on the latest news, emails, and texts — that’s exactly what the majority of highly successful people say ‘not’ to do.
Arianna Huffington stated, "A big part of my morning ritual is about what I don't do: when I wake up, I don't start the day by looking at my phone. Instead, once I'm awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day."
Establishing a beneficial morning routine is crucial to your success.
By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be equipped with new tools and practices for creating an impactful morning ritual, so you can:
Reduce stress and facilitate relaxation instead
Foster good habits to match your goals and aspirations
Energize your body for peak performance and productivity
If you’re ready to achieve your goals and improve your life overall in the new year, then keep reading for my favorite morning habits.
Morning Habit #1: Don’t Be Alarmed
While it’s easy to burn the midnight oil, you’ll benefit greatly from going to bed at the same time every night. This will help to set your internal clock so you don’t have to wake up to a jarring alarm in the morning.
I aim to be in bed by 9:30 pm each night and asleep by 10:00 pm. This allows me to get the recommended 7-to-8 hours of sleep per night, as I normally wake up sometime between 5:00 am to 6:00 am every morning. If you decide to follow my pattern, you’ll be surprised to find yourself naturally waking up a few minutes before it’s time to get up now that you’ve reset your circadian rhythm.
Don’t trust yourself that much just yet? That’s ok. Try ditching the scary buzzer and opting for a more gentle wake-up by using a sunrise or ambient light alarm clock.
Remember, the goal is to lower stress in the morning; so your nervous system will benefit greatly from awakening gently, versus shocking yourself into attention.
And before your feet hit the ground, try beginning your day by thinking of three things you’re grateful for that morning. It’s an amazing habit for starting your day in a positive mental state.
Morning Habit #2: Choose H₂0 Over Coffee
For many, grabbing a cup of coffee first thing in the morning is a glorified ritual, but you’d be better served (and more energized) by turning to H₂0 instead. By the time the first ‘Cup of Joe’ is ready in the morning, you’ve already gone several hours without water so your body is in a state of dehydration. Coffee is a diuretic that will only dehydrate you further, so I recommend kick-starting your day with 8-to-16 oz. of room-temperature spring water instead.
Not only does it help you rehydrate by refreshing all your organs in the morning, but it will also help to flush toxins out of your system after a long night of resting and digesting. Want an extra kick? Add a little lemon juice, for its detoxing properties, as well as a pinch of mineral salt for electrolytes, and you’ll have an energizing elixir that will serve you far better than the caffeine.
Actress and author Cameron Diaz swears by this practice and recently stated in Forbes, “It's very important to start your day off with a lot of energy," she said. "For me, that starts with getting up, brushing my teeth, and drinking some water." An invigorating glass of water is a refreshing way to prepare your mind and body to tackle the day ahead.
Morning Habit #3: Fuel Your Body
Now that you’ve gently begun your day and are hydrated, it’s time to fuel your body through mindfulness, movement, and meal prep.
I recommend meditating for 10 minutes first thing in the morning and visualizing your ideal day. How will your meeting go? Who will you meet? What will you accomplish?
Taking the time to begin your day in a state of peace and calm is so important given that the majority of modern illnesses are stress-related. Instead of rushing in the morning, enjoy a few “hush” moments focused on your breath and daily aspirations. You might also benefit from silently reciting an empowering mantra as you begin your day with zen for the win.
Next, gently wake up your body with movement. Instead of an intense workout, which can elevate cortisol levels and increase your overall stress load, consider taking a 20-to-30 minute leisurely walk. You can make it a mindful practice by staying in a state of prayer as you continue your meditative mantra while strolling.
However, if you’re like me, you might prefer an uplifting message in the morning? If so, I recommend popping in an inspiring podcast or upbeat music playlist to kick-start your day with positivity.
Too cold to walk outside? Try light indoor stretching or yoga. There are tons of free tutorials on YouTube, and many local yoga studios now offer digital classes you can enjoy at home in the comfort of your organic sweatpants.
Lastly, I recommend fueling your body with a nutritious breakfast that isn’t too hard on your digestion. Remember, by the time you turn to the refrigerator in the morning, you probably haven’t eaten anything for 10-to-12 hours, so your digestive tract needs to be turned back on slowly. 30% of your (daily) energy goes toward digestion, so try starting your day with an ‘easy-to-digest’ (and more importantly) easy to absorb breakfast.
My go-to’s are:
A nutritious shake full of leafy greens, celery, fruits, high-quality protein, and green powders
Some scrambled eggs and cooked veggies
A warming bowl of organic, steel-cut oats with fruit
Also, having ginger tea with your breakfast is a great way to naturally add enzymes to help you further break down your food. If you’re a “skip breakfast” type of executive try one of these easy and nutritious options. I promise your mind, body, and taste buds will thank you!
Since you’ve read this far, I believe you’re serious about reaching your wellness goals in the new year. If so, having an established morning ritual is a must.
These tips are a great start, but if you’d like professional support working with an executive health coach, click the 'Contact' button in the top right corner or simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free discovery session.
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