Let's face it. Most mornings aren't pretty. Not all of us are morning people, yet we've had to adapt to the usual schedule of the workplace. And there are many things that need our attention in the morning. Chances are that the way your morning goes will dictate the tone for your whole day. The thing is, between all the menial tasks that we have to take care of in the morning and the limited time we have to do it all, it's hard to find time to focus on the bigger picture and establish what our biggest priorities are for the day. Do these 4 things right before you go to sleep and start your day fresh.
Review your day
Before you say goodbye to today, make sure you review your day and put in perspective the things that happened. Take the time to see what could have been handled in a better way, but also to find at least three things that you are grateful for. There's power in consciously looking at the things that you're grateful for: a 2005 study on gratitude showed that gratitude journals caused the longest lasting effects on participants' life quality. Focus on the positive, but also on lessons learned for the future.
Decide on next day's most important tasks
To start your day fresh, it's good to have it clear in your mind what you want to accomplish. Of course, priorities can change during the day and it's important to stay flexible, but having at least an outline of what needs to get done will make it easier for you to focus on those things. Take a look at your to-do list in the evening and see what you want to start your day with. Decide on at least three tasks (but no more than 5) that you absolutely must take care of tomorrow. Of course you'll get more done than that - but the idea is that no matter what, these few tasks will get you closer to your goals tomorrow.
Prepare your outfit for next day
This one might make you feel like you're back in kindergarden, but choosing your outfit and preparing your clothes in the evening can save you a lot of headache in the morning. Deciding on an outfit can take between 10 to 15 minutes, according to a 2011 Travelodge study. Having your clothes ready will take one decision out of your morning routine and place it at a time where you're not rushed to make a choice because of time pressures. It will also help you feel better about the dress choices you make, since you had actually put thought into it instead of throwing on the first thing you found in the closet. And the feeling of confidence will translate into everything you do throughout the day.
Pack your lunch
Packing your lunch the night before ensures that you have a lunch to take with you. This will take a load off your morning routine, and will help you sustain a healthy energy level throughout the day. By noon, your body will be tired and will need refuelling. Denying it a healthy lunch, or even worse, compensating with fatty or sugary foods and coffee, will reduce your focus and energy levels for the rest of the day. Not to mention that it will make it more likely for you to overindulge at dinner!
With all of these things out of the way and clarity about tomorrow, you can go to sleep peacefully… but don't forget to set the alarm clock!
Do you have any tips on starting your day fresh? We'd love to hear them! Let us know in the comment section below.