Much like a first impression, what you do in the morning can have a lasting impact on the rest of your day. Establishing a morning routine – or “ritual” – ensures that your most significant tasks get squared away first and can make getting up an event you actually look forward to.

 

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Too often, we spend our mornings getting swept up in our calendars, feeling flustered or rushed. What’s even more deflating is when a completely “checked off” to-do list leaves us with a sense of emptiness at the end of the day. That void is often the result of not taking part in activities that are actually meaningful to us.

Whether it’s taking the time to nurture your spiritual self, enjoy the pleasures of nature or simply extend gratitude to someone who helped or supported you, there are a number of ways that you can create your own “feel-good” morning routine that you love waking up to each and every day. So, next time you are tackling a long, drawn out to-do list, put the pencil down (or put your iPad away) and consider some of these tips that may help you feel grounded and open to possibilities that lie ahead.

Put mind over matter.

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Breathe life into your day with fresh thoughts that put you in a positive state of mind. Don’t let clutter and chaos we all encounter in daily life cloud your mind from the start. For me, that’s letting inclement weather dampen my mood when I check the weather on my phone. Now, I aim to at least set aside a moment to do something like giving thanks for a good night’s rest.

Make room for you.

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If you give your body and mind the amount of sleep they deserve, you should hopefully wake up feeling refreshed for the day ahead of you. This feeling of rejuvenation can tempt many to start tackling the tasks that need our attention and care. Instead of being pulled in a thousand different directions from the get-go, center yourself by making yourself your first priority.

Doing so will create a sense of well-being that provides you with the necessary energy to give to others throughout the day – be it your co-workers, kids or close friends and loved ones. If we all chose to serve ourselves first, we could increase our capacity to serve others with fuller hearts and minds.

Set aside all screens.

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To make the morning truly valuable and nurturing, it may mean going technology-free.

Most of the day we are required to be connected digitally. Designate the morning as a time when you aren’t. If turning off the alarm on your phone is an automatic gateway to checking your social media feeds, invest in an “old-fashioned” alarm clock to avoid any temptations.

Do something small but significant.

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Productivity comes in all shapes and sizes. Don’t try to swallow big tasks whole. Instead of feeling responsible for cleaning out the entire pantry in one sitting, dedicate a morning to tossing out all the used items first. Leave organizing and restocking for another day. And don’t forget to applaud yourself for what you’ve accomplished along the way. Sometimes bite-sized pieces are the best way to work through a major assignment.

Choose joy.

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If you are lucky enough to have found things in life that make you smile, do them first.

This looks different for everyone, but whether it’s handwriting your thoughts in a journal or daydreaming about what your future holds, do that “something” unabashedly and often. It will help you discover more purpose and passion within your daily practice and help with prioritizing what you hold most dear.

Using your morning as a time to soak up the present moment is a habit that I believe sets the tone for a day where you’re able to satisfy yourself with what really matters.