Checklist for starting each day off with success

Success is how you define it.  But when it comes to early mornings, success can seem insurmountable.  Here are two keys for having a successful start to your day:

  • Create opportunities for small victories.  Success does not need to mean solving the world’s problems as soon as you wake up.  It can be small - anything to get your started positive
  • Stick to your routine.  It is easy to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, ignoring the routine.  Avoid the comfort of your bed and stick to the routine you’ve set for yourself

Here is a checklist that includes ideas for starting each day off with success:

  • Make your bed
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Do some exercise
  • Take time to think without distractions
  • Read
  • Write down your thoughts
  • Eat a hearty breakfast

Let’s walk through why each of these things is important and how they will start your day off with success:

  • Make your bed.  This is the first step to having a successful start to your day.  This is a small victory that takes less than a minute.  Your bed does not need to be made like a professional housekeeper.  Just tidy up the pillows and your blanket and call it good.  The purpose of doing this is to show respect to your future self and come back to a clean bed that is in proper order
  • Drink a glass of water.  When you wake up you are dehydrated.  Kick start your day by having a glass of water to rehydrate yourself.  This will help you maintain energy throughout the morning and will be beneficial for…
  • Do some exercise.  This does not mean run 15 miles or bench press 225 pounds 10 times.  Exercise is what you make of it.  The important thing is you get your body moving.  This starts your energy for the day, activating your body and mind.  You may choose to go for a 10 minute walk, or do a 50 minute yoga class.  Whatever it is, make sure you start moving to activate the body and mind
  • Take time to think without distractions.  Meditation has become popular of late and is certainly one way to think without distractions.  It is not the only way, though.  It may mean you exercise without distractions (no phone, music, TV, etc.).  Thinking without distractions allows you to clear your mind and focus on what is important to you for that day
  • Read.  Setting aside time to read in the morning allows you to think of things from a new perspective.  You may read fiction or nonfiction, but by reading you are pushing and challenging your brain early in the morning.  This is definitely a success
  • Write down your thoughts.  Journaling isn’t for everyone, which is OK.  But if you write down your thoughts first thing in the morning, you’re able to free your head from itself.  Just putting down your thoughts and ideas on paper will free your mind from any thoughts that have been stuck in there for some time, allowing you to focus on new, bigger, or more important thoughts or ideas
  • Eat a hearty breakfast.  “Hearty” is up to your discretion, of course.  But consuming a good, quality breakfast to start the day is vital.  Consider this your first trip to the “gas station,” where you’re fueling up for the road trip that is the day ahead.  If you fill it up with junk, or with nothing at all, the road trip will be a challenge.  Make sure to eat some food to start the day off right

Saying you’ll do these things is easy, doing them regularly is hard.  Challenge yourself to attack each day with vigor and a positive attitude.  Starting off with these activities will allow you to do just that.

Is this list required to have a successful day?  Absolutely not.  Customize this and see what works best for you.  Make sure, though, that you focus on creating small wins, because the morning can be hard, and stick to your routine.  Turning the morning into auto-pilot with a positive, beneficial routine will turn the rest of your day into a better, more positive experience.