Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning

By Craig Ford on 3 August 2012 (Updated 4 June 2014) 9 comments

Wake up. Shower in a rush. Brush your teeth. Rush out the door. Worry that you're going to be late. Sit down at your desk, and take a deep breath as you get ready for your work day.

Does that sound like some type of secret recipe for a disastrous day? Or like a typical morning?

Typically, our mood or attitude for the day is set in the first hours of the day. In fact, if you can learn to do some important activities every morning, it will make a tremendous difference not just in how your morning goes, but your entire day.

You'll be more productive, and you'll be more pleasant to be around. (See also: 9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person)

1. Lay in Bed for at Least Five Minutes After You Wake Up

If you are a person who prays, this is a great time to pray. If you meditate, then this is a great time to meditate. By having a minimum of five minutes of downtime, you remind yourself that time is not so valuable that you cannot invest in your own health. Remember, it's important to do this before checking email, Twitter, Facebook, or any other updates. By checking in, you're inviting some responsibility to negatively impact your first waking moments of the day.

2. Exercise

Morning exercise should be an activity that you enjoy and something that gets your heart pumping. 

3. Leave Home Five Minutes Earlier Than Necessary

On the highway each morning, there are two types of commuters. The first are the racecar-style drivers who weave in and out of traffic. They brake often and accelerate quickly. They hit the steering wheel when anyone costs them an extra two seconds on their commute. Then there's the driver who's got time to spare. He might arrive at work five minutes later than his speedway co-worker, but he also arrives in a better mood. Give yourself some margin for the morning commute.

4. Tell Your Family You Love Them

Give hugs and kisses all around. In our lives, we often forget to connect with the people who are most important. We think it would be a tragedy to be five minutes late to a meeting with a complete stranger, but not having even a moment to connect with family in the morning seems like a sensible trade off.

5. Eat at Least a Piece of Fruit, and Sit Down at the Table for a Bit

Eating something healthy gives you a positive outlook on the day. And by taking some extra time to sit down, you'll relax and have time to read the paper, talk with your family, enjoy a joke, and sip a cup of tea or coffee. Just sit — the world won't end.

As you can tell, the focus here is to slow down. Sure, that might require getting up a few minutes earlier, but if you could completely rewrite your day by just getting up earlier, wouldn't you? By creating a little bit of extra margin every morning, you can turn super stressful delays into mild inconveniences that won't put you in a sour mood for the rest of the day.

What activities do you do in the morning that make a big difference on how the day turns out?

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Meg Favreau's picture

I love how exercising in the morning helps me wake up -- and it makes me less antsy when I'm sitting my computer for most of the day.

Guest's picture
James

Before getting out of bed, I say my morning prayer and smile as I say Amen. I feel more cheerful in the morning when I do the smiling part.

Craig Ford's picture

James,
I love the idea for smiling when you say Amen. I think smiling as your start your day will have a huge impact on the remainder of your day.

Guest's picture

Its so true that the way you spend your morning before heading to work sets your tone for the rest of the day. In the morning I like to wake up early enough to do everything I need to without rushing. Just being able to take the time I need to wash my face, brush my teeth and make my coffee at a slow pace, puts me in a good mood. Also, some upbeat music doesn't hurt!

Craig Ford's picture

Kelly,
Did I really forget to add music to the list? I definitely agree.

Guest's picture

I'll vouch for morning exercise. I've started waking up at 5 am to exercise at my local gym for no more than 30 minutes and it's been doing wonders. I suggest everyone try exercising in the morning: it feels great, your mood improves for the rest of the day, you feel less tired (although it would seem the opposite) - it's awsome!

Craig Ford's picture

Thanks Veronica. Since I live in Wyoming I'm finding that the cooler it is the harder it is to get out of bed and get outside. I think I'll need to consider a gym membership :).

Guest's picture

These are very nice tips. Importance of taking a few moments for yourself is often underestimated.

Nice cup of tea with some fruit and a cookie does the work for me :)

Guest's picture
Guest

waking up early and breathing fresh air makes me wonderful all day.