Three tips for morning momentum

Ian Carroll

The start of your day is the most important part of it. It’s when your metabolism starts up and begins producing energy for the day. The morning is the time when your mind sets intentions and patterns. It’s a lot like opening up your computer after it’s been asleep. What you do when it first boots back up determines how well it functions and what it is ready to do. Do you start your mornings by rushing into all the old windows that were open from days past? Do you pull up Facebook and other social media first? Or do you give your computer time to boot up and start your day one page at a time?

The way you wake up matters. The first things you think about in the morning matters. Your routines are what make up your life, and they all start with the way you meet the morning. If you don’t already have a structured routine or morning practice designed to build momentum, then you’re missing out on the most important opportunity of your day.

So, today we’re going to dig into three of the most important things to do every morning. We’ll also look at some examples of how you can build each of these components into your own mornings. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll also take a look at some of the most important things to not do in the mornings. Because really, most people halt their own productivity and positive momentum before it’s even started.

If you feel like you lack direction in the mornings or are slow to start your days, these tips are sure to help you change direction, create momentum, and build healthy routines to maximize each and every day.

Build the right mindset in the morning

morning motivation
How you feel is how you live.

This is both the most important and the first thing on our list. Everything else all builds up to this. You need to create a healthy and positive mindset in the morning. If you start your day out motivated, grateful, and happy, you’ll take that into every other moment of your day. In order to build a positive mindset in the morning, there are a number of tricks you can leverage. First, be conscious of what it is you normally think of in the morning. Are you paying attention to the things you have to do that are stressing you out? Are you focused on all the bad things that happened yesterday? Or are you looking ahead?

Starting your day by writing down ten things you’re grateful for, ten things you’re proud of, or a summary of all the successes you had the day before are all great ways to start in a positive place. If you prefer to look ahead, then start by writing down a list of five goals for the day to come. It sounds simple, but it’s incredibly powerful. Just make sure that there’s at least one simple goal on your list. Something you can check off early to build momentum. For me, my first goal is always a short yoga session. Something I can do before most people are even awake.

It can also help to start your day with motivational videos or speakers. After all, if you’re not in the habit of motivating yourself in the mornings, why not let someone else help? YouTube is full of motivational videos from people like Les Brown, Jim Rohn, and Tony Robbins. It may feel corny at first, but if you start your day listening to one of these guys, I guarantee you’ll start to develop more productive habits and a healthier mindset in the mornings.

Exercise first thing in the morning

Morning exercises mean a healthy day.
Morning exercises mean a healthy day.

Exercise in the morning is one of the most overlooked parts of building positive momentum. It’s obvious that this can create a healthy mindset. After all, it’s not easy to get up when it’s still cold and dark and go for a run, or get out your yoga mat, or start working out. It sucks at first, but by the end, you feel empowered and strong. The effect of exercise first thing in the morning is obvious in your mind, but its effect on your body is just as important. Exercising stimulates your metabolism. Think of it like getting the machine all fired up and ready to roll. If you put the key in the ignition first thing, before you’ve even eaten breakfast, your body is doing a number of things.

First, it’s turning on your metabolism and digestive processes. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stimulate weight loss. It’s also an essential part of feeling energized throughout an entire day.

You can choose which type of exercise works best for you. Running is great. It builds toughness, resilience, and stamina. It’s certainly one of the best ways to stimulate your metabolism if you’re looking to lose weight. Yoga is my personal preference. Stretching your muscles, tendons, and joints first thing is a great way to prepare your body for more serious work. It also gives you time to focus, reflect, and set intentions for your day. However, any type of exercise that fits into your space and routine will work.

Achieve at least one goal first thing in the morning

You know that old adage about making your bed first thing every morning? They say that that way, you’ve already accomplished one goal, only a minute into your day. You’re starting it off with an achievement and creating positive momentum. That is exactly what we’re talking about here. And I’m not going to lie, I pretty much never make my bed. Well, to be honest, most of the time I’m sleeping in my car or tent, and my bed doesn’t really work that way anyways. But I like to tick off other types of goals in my mornings.

Check off your goals.
Check off your goals.

Like I mentioned before, my first goal is usually some sort of exercise. My second goal is usually some sort of healthy meal. The third is often an early morning word count to write, an article to edit, or post to publish. These are all just goals that fit into my lifestyle and allow me to start my day by feeling accomplished. It gets me thinking about what else I could do, how much more success I could have.

It can be helpful to set these goals the night before. That way, when you wake up, you already have the map laid out for you. Not only that, but the last thing you think about before you fall asleep becomes something that you process while you sleep. You’ll wake up more ready and focused if you ended the day before by setting goals and intentions.

Do not open Facebook first thing in the morning

What you don’t do first thing in the morning is really just as important as what you do. The biggest habit that’s holding most people back in the mornings is social media. Sure, it’s tempting to check in with the world, scroll through your news feed, watch some funny videos of cats. That’s starting your day off with positivity, right?

Use your phone wisely
Use your phone wisely

Wrong! What that’s doing is starting your day off in bed, on your phone, looking at other people’s lives instead of focusing on your own. At best, this makes you happy by providing quick and easy stimulation. But you’re still lying in bed, being inactive, and not attending to your life. At worst, this makes you angry at other people’s posts, stressed about responsibilities, or distracted by meaningless media.

So, keep Facebook and other social media out of your morning routine. Your media feed will still be there in an hour. For most people, this should also include the news. After all, the news is packed full of negativity, stress, and problems. That’s what gets views. But it also gets you going on the wrong tracks first thing in the morning. Unless you work in stock or real estate and it’s essential to your job, keep the news out of your morning routine as well.

Do not start your day with the snooze button

One of the most deadly habits for productivity and positive motivation is the snooze button. If you are in the habit of hitting it once, twice, three or more times, then you’re probably not waking up excited to get out of bed. And I get it, your bed is soft, and the world is hard. But that’s no reason to run from what’s to come.

morning motivation
Once you wake up, don’t go back to bed.

You’re going to get out of bed eventually. If you try to ignore that by hitting the snooze button over and over, you’re trading a couple of extra minutes of escapism and comfort for an entire day of wishing you were still in bed. You can’t spend all day in bed. Tomorrow, just set your alarm for ten minutes later and get out of bed when it goes off.

If you have trouble mastering your mind first thing in the morning, set small goals to get your feet on the floor. For me, on particularly tired mornings. I start by tensing my muscles, yawning, or stretching in place. Anything to get the blood flowing. Then I usually hug my knees into my chest tightly and extend my legs fully. Anything to get your body moving, your blood flowing, and your gears turning. Once you retrain your brain to have a different morning routine, it will be easier to do. But you’ve got to build positive momentum first thing when you wake up. Hitting the snooze button is like a preemptive strike on productivity. It sabotages the systems before they ever even get booted up.

Do not start the day with a negative mindset

This is what it all comes down to folks. Your mindset determines your reality. As Tony Robbins likes to say, “what you focus on, you will feel.” It’s all about directing your attention towards positive forces, positive attitudes, and your own capabilities and achievements.

But so many Americans wake up every day wishing they could just go back to bed. They’re not excited about their day, or about their breakfast, or about what they did the day before. It doesn’t matter if you live the most mundane life in the world, it’s all about your mindset. Life is about how you meet every day, not what you do, how much money you make, or what kind of job you have.

Remember all the cool things you’ve done to help stay motivated.

If you’re starting off your day already unhappy about what’s to come, the chances are that you won’t be happy when the day actually comes. However, if you start up with the intention of whooping this day’s booty and achieving your goals, then chances are you’ll enjoy whatever life throws at you, even if it’s less than perfect.

So, start your days right. Get out of bed early, exercise, then eat a healthy breakfast. Set intentions and goals and build self-confidence by thinking of your successes and the things you are grateful for. Keep distractions like Facebook and other social media out of your awareness until you’ve at least built some positive momentum. And then do it again the next day.

A healthy lifestyle is a habit, and it’s something you build day by day. Your morning is the most essential part of developing a productive and healthy way of living day in and day out.

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ian-carroll is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival