Do you ever feel like some people just have it all together? Maybe it’s the dance mom who never seems frantic on Wednesday afternoons with her perfect outfits, perfect hair, and perfectly manicured nails, or the co-worker in your office who is always sitting at his desk sending out brilliant ideas via email before you even make it into the office.
If it seems like some people can produce a type of daily lifestyle efficiency you feel is unobtainable, know that nothing is stopping you from being just as prepared, organized, and optimistic, except for your daily habits. By adopting the following five proven-effective morning habits of highly successful people, you too will be able to do it all with Zen, no matter what the day throws at you.
Follow a Consistent Wake-Up Routine
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even on the weekends) not only trains your body to fall asleep and wake up more quickly, but it also allows you to be consistent in your morning routine. Nothing sets your morning off on a rough start like running late. If you consistently oversleep, you set yourself up for the panicked morning rush and the anxiety it brings or failing to do something you need to set your day off right—like eating a healthy breakfast.
Wake Up Early. Like, Really Early.
Not only do you want to wake up at the same time every day, but you’ll also want to wake up early. Some of the world’s most successful people report that they wake up at five or even 4 a.m. If you must be at work by 8 a.m., and you have a 30-minute commute, a 7 a.m. alarm won’t give you the time you will need for healthy habits like meditation, exercise, and eating a healthy breakfast. Commit to slowly moving your wake-up time backward, even just five minutes a week until you are part of the pre-sunrise morning crew.
If you’re wondering what to do with all the extra time you have in the morning, use it to get active. Daily exercise—even 20 to 30-minutes, can help reduce stress, burn calories, and help keep you fit. Not getting enough exercise can leave you feeling sluggish, fatigued, and unmotivated. A morning jog, yoga session, or workout at your local CrossFit gym will leave you feeling confident and ready to take on your world.
Take time, even if only five minutes, to reflect on what you’re grateful for, and what you hope to accomplish that day. Many successful people rely on a hand-written to-do list to help them organize and prioritize their tasks for the day. Your list may include personal responsibilities, work requirements, or a mix of both. Throughout the day, check-in with your list, cross off what you have accomplished, and adjust where needed. By the day’s end, seeing how many vital tasks you completed will give you a sense of confidence that will motivate you to tackle tomorrow.
Before you say that meditation doesn’t work for you, know that there is no right or wrong way to meditate, as long as you take even five minutes to breathe with intention and reflect on what makes you feel grateful, happy, or content. For more tips on how to meditate, review this article from our experts.
Our final piece of advice is not to be too hard on yourself if, on any given morning, things go off the rails. Life happens to all of us, and even the best-laid plans often go awry. When life’s interruptions and disruptions occur, recommit to your morning efficiency plan, and try again. We promise, if you ask all the people in your life who seem to be winning the morning, they’ll tell you that even they have bad days too, but their secret to success is perseverance—and now it’s yours too.