The past couple of years has brought into my life a lot of exciting and positive changes and I am sure that figuring out the right habits to fit into my daily routine has played a huge role in this. Today I would like to tell you little some something about these routines that I have been able to root into my life.
If you find this list unfamiliar to yourself today, it’s okay! It was the same for me 5 years ago but today I have understood the power of habits in our lives and I wanted to share it with you. I find it highly important to understand that how we spend our mornings determine how the rest of the day will go.
I’m writing this as a motivation to my dear brother Siim, for his birthday. Siim has, at one point in his life, done all these activities but he didn’t mastered them. But mastering a habit is where the secret lies – all these small things and activities that we do in our everyday life eventually shape our lives.
“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”
1. Getting an early start
Waking early is one of my favorite! 6 AM when everybody is sleeping, I can take a deep breath and have the morning for myself. I’m taking it as a head start. You’ll have 1-2 extra hours and we all know that there is no such thing as more time. There are 24 hours for all of us, so why not take some extra for yourself?
The alarm has to be far away from the bed so I have to get up and walk to it. Snoozing is for quitters! (and honestly, it does make the process of waking up only harder)
2. Drinking water in the morning
Right after getting out of bed I take a big glass of room temp water, occasionally I squeeze some fresh lemon in it too. Lemon water boosts metabolism and helps your body cleanse any bad toxins that have accumulated into the digestive system.
While sleeping the fluid balance in the body changes since we loose liquid while breathing or sweating. A glass of water right after waking up is ‘’kinda’’ essential for me.
3. Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate will kick in as hard (if not harder) as coffee and helps my brain get started. I discovered Yerba Mate some years ago through my virtual mentor – Tim Ferris. He recommended it as a substitute for coffee, giving you a better focus and concentration. Women like it cause it boosts metabolism and supports weight loss.
My five cups of coffee have changed into two-three cups of Yerba Mate instead and one Cappuccino (lunch break). I don’t consume any coffee at home and my alarm is always followed with Yerba Mate. With that decision milk and sugar have been eliminated from the house also. I can feel a huge change in my energy levels, my head is so much clearer and I don’t get tired during the day.
Changing coffee with an unknown liquid is difficult for sure but sometimes it doesn’t take more than getting started and persistence.
4. Green smoothie
The beauty in smoothies doesn’t lie in the healthy and beneficial part but also in the simplicity of it all. I don’t wake up at 6 AM to stand in front of the fridge trying to figure out what to eat. I don’t have the time for it. I want this process to be as automated and simple as possible and what better way than throwing some fresh ingredients into a blender, for extra power and energy, add 1-2 spoonfuls of Boost Yourself superfood, blend for a minute and eat it in 3 minutes.
It takes less than 5 minutes to make a smoothie and do all the cleaning up and the body has received everything it needs in a liquid form, making it easier to absorb and start generating energy. I recommend you to make your smoothies at home cause the nutrition from a bottled smoothies in a store doesn’t get close to the real deal! Smoothies at the store are pasteurized… so you might as well drink jam.
How to make your first smoothie? Read here: “How to Make Your First Smoothie”
I discovered meditation some years ago but it has only recently become a habit of mine. Getting to know myself I have realized that it helps me get my attention away from unimportant aspects, keep my head clear, become more creative in problem-solving, having more patience and become more grateful for the people who are in my life today.
When reading books or listening to podcasts about people who are successful in their professional and personal life it’s rare that they don’t suggest meditation as a part of the lifestyle.
How to start? You can meditate at home and it only takes 10 minutes but as mentioned before, it doesn’t kick in if you only do it once or twice. In the beginning, it will probably be thinking with eyes closed but that itself will be a huge help in clearing your thoughts.
My recommendation: Headspace Meditation App – Guided meditation and mindfulness techniques.
I’ve discovered that if you’re used to exercising in the mornings it’s easier to also keep up with any other plan that comes during the day. It’s so much easier to find excuses in the evening cause you’re tired from the day at work or there are some events or other activities. If you can check that off from your daily activities list right from the start, it will give you more confidence for the rest of the day since you’ve already done something you can be proud of (personally at least). And then..the evening is free to do anything that your heart desires.
If you work out in the morning, you’ll be charged with energy for the whole day and you probably don’t have to drink any coffee either.
7. Power shower
Actually, it’s called contrast shower (in case you wanna google it). The trick is quick and easy: After you’re done bathing turn the water as cold as you can stand it for 30 seconds, then as hot as you can stand it for 30 seconds, then back to cold for a final 30 seconds. Always finish with cold water. It’s as uncomfortable as it sounds, but the way you’ll feel afterward – refreshed and ready to start your day – is what counts.
The effect is both immediate and sustained: a clear head, better mood, and heightened focus. Besides exercise and yerba mate this has been my number one secret to a productive day.
8. Making your bed
This gives you an instant feeling of success and the feeling that you are on top of things. You feel organized and ready to take on the day. Once you get in the habit of making your bed, you’ll crave a little more order because you appreciate how it makes you feel. One day you’ll take a moment to look around your room and decide that it really wouldn’t take much more time to pick up a few clothes.
To sum it up
You might find this list a bit long but in the end the only activities that take extra time are exercising (20-45min) and meditating (10-20min).
You don’t have time? We only have 24 hours in a day… all of us! Just wake up an hour earlier or sleep faster, like Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
- Drinking water takes under a minute
- Yerba Mate instead of coffee
- Smoothie instead of sandwich
- Showering with a new technique
- Making bed takes under 10 seconds
“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.”
Don’t assume that I’m a Superman either and following up on all these activities on a daily basis. This is a description of my perfect morning and I have 3-5 of them in a week. There are plenty of uncertainties in a day so I do my best to at least follow through with these activities.
If you’re looking for some changes in your life, you don’t have to look far. Just take one or two from the above mentioned and give them a try. If it’s for you – voila! Make it a habit of yours.
Morning routines and daily habits can do a lot of good if we can get into the regular discipline of practicing them.