Want to set up your day for success? Taking time the night before to do things like lay out my clothes and put together a to-do list can make SUCH a big difference in my day.
Here are 15 things I try to do every morning that help my day go better:
1. Make My Bed
I’ve found that when I make my bed, something is signaled in my brain that says the day has started and that it’s going to be a good day. When I walk past my bed during the day and see that it is made, my heart does a little flutter, and I feel like I’m in a good place. It’s like starting your day with a little win!
Need some motivation to make your bed every morning? Watch this.
2. Pray and Read God’s Word
If I want to be able to give to others, I have to be intentional about filling myself up and replenishing my own supply. I don’t want to be completely drained and tapped out — or giving my family and friends the leftovers. One of the best ways for me to do this is by spending time in God’s Word.
I love the studies from SheReadsTruth.com. Over the years, I’ve also enjoyed The Daily Light, My Utmost for His Highest, and Jesus Calling for devotionals.
3. Count My Blessings
Each day, after I have read my Bible, I take time to write in my gratitude journal. I remember the wonderful things that God is doing in my life and some of the things He has done in the past. I love to use my gratitude journal because I can read over it later on. Every day, there is something that you can be thankful for, you just have to take time to pay attention to it!
Related: How Choosing Gratitude Has Changed My Life
4. Breathe and Spend a Few Minutes in Quiet
Our souls need a quiet space to breathe. I try to find a few moments in the morning to be completely silent and let my mind be quiet. Here’s what I’m learning: when I take the time to be still, it allows me to process through things, think more carefully, pay closer attention, give myself space to feel, heal, and breathe.
5. Read a Chapter From a Good Book
Maybe you are saying, “I don’t have time to read a chapter each morning!” That’s okay! Sometimes I don’t either. But I always try to begin each morning with reading at least a few pages from whatever non-fiction book I’m currently reading.
A few pages might not seem like much, but it adds up over time! And it’s a great way to start your day with good inspiration and to get the creative juices in your brain churning.
Related: My Top 10 Reads From 2015
Even it if it is only 5-10 minutes, a little bit can make a big difference when it comes to exercise. Getting your heart pumping will help you to have a whole new outlook on life. It makes me feel more energized and ready to take on the day!
7. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
I used to skip breakfast all the time. I would actually go for half the day without eating at all. It wasn’t healthy for me and I would wind up feeling shaky.
Those few minutes I would save by not eating would cost me because I couldn’t focus and be productive. Not only that, but by the time I would sit down to eat, I’d usually be so hungry that I’d reach for foods that weren’t very nourishing.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to take the time to eat a healthy breakfast. Make a plan. Make it a priority. Then, make it happen!
Related: 8 Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas
8. Dress For the Kind of Day You Want to Have
Ask yourself, “Do I want to have a lazy day or a productive day?” There is nothing wrong with having a day where you stay in your comfy pants, but that shouldn’t be the norm.
Dress for success. If you want to get a lot done, wear something that helps you feel motivated, professional, happy, and focused.
Related: How I’ve Simplified My Wardrobe
9. Make a Plan
Every night before I go to bed, I map out what I plan to do the following day. This helps me to stay focused. I just look at what the next thing on my list to do is, and do it.
If you don’t start out with a simple plan, you’ll likely spend your entire day walking around, putting out fires, and not getting much done.
10. Turn on Music
I have fallen in love with Amazon Music. Apparently I’ve been living under a rock or something because, until recently, I didn’t realize that Prime Music was free for those with a Prime Membership.
I’ve been listening to music almost every morning. Each day, I get up and decide what I’m in the mood for and then turn it on! It’s a great way to immediately lift your spirits!
11. Stay Hydrated
Usually, when you get up in the morning, you’re going to be dehydrated. The first thing you should do when you get up is to rehydrate yourself by drinking some water. When you’re well hydrated, you’ll feel more energy and you’ll function better!
12. Smile at Someone
Take the time to smile at someone. It is a free gift that you can give to anyone in the world. It is also a gift that you can give yourself, because people will probably smile back at you. This is the perfect way to lift someone else’s spirit as well as your own.
13. Do Something For Another Person
What is one little thing that you can do for another person? One thing that I like to do is text a few people every morning and say something encouraging.
When I know someone in my life is having a hard time, a simple text will cheer them up and let them know I care. Plus, when you focus on others and serving them, it helps you to stop thinking about yourself and your own problems and discouragements.
I don’t know what it is, but when I sing, I can’t feel grumpy. I just can’t! Try it and see if it works for you, too! Even if you don’t sing well, turn on a song you like and sing! I bet you’ll feel lighter and happier when you’re done!
15. Tackle The Hardest Thing First
It is amazing what a difference it makes to tackle your hardest thing first. When you don’t feel like doing something in a day, go ahead and get it out of the way. I find that it takes burden off of me and helps me to have more of a spring in my step and more productivity the rest of the day.
Related: Eat That Frog
What helps YOU start your day well? I’d love to hear!
JoJo Liner says
I agree completely about the getting dressed part. Especially for those struggling with depression or mental illness issues. Getting dressed is the difference between a good day and a bad day. A shower and a pair of clothes that are comfortable, clean, and make you feel confident …. a little makeup can go a long way when you’re sad or feeling unproductive. It doesn’t have to be a 3 piece business suit and a full face of makeup , but your favorite yoga pants and a t shirt … a little mascara and lip gloss can do the job too if you’re like me and have a plethora of kids and daily chores to tackle every day. <3 I love your blog. And your spirit.
Comfy pants are my norm — and that’s ok.
Jamie @ Medium Sized Family says
Love these tips for starting the day right. I’ve struggled with not being a morning person for years. Some days are better than others. But just having a couple of quiet minutes to start the day sounds wonderful!
Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life says
Really good advice! The other day I slept in too late and then didn’t get dressed and ready for the day and my whole day felt off. I like to get up at a decent time, get dressed and ready and eat breakfast right away. A few minutes of quiet really helps too.
My life is currently filled with young children. I’ve found that I have to find new ways to start my way with quiet and calm now that young kids are in the mix. I wrote about starting my day with Snuggle Time as Meditation here: http://everydayintentionalliving.com/snuggle-time-as-meditation/
This small shift in perspective has made a huge difference for me.
Crystal Paine says
I LOVE this! Thanks so much for sharing!
Haha…you forgot to add that another great way to start to your day is by popping onto one of your favorite websites to see what your cyber friend Crystal has to share. 🙂
Crystal Paine says
Aw, you are TOO kind!
I start out each day with at least 30 minutes of devotions with my hubby. As soon as I’m done reading my Bible, I write down at least 5 blessings in my gratitude book (due to your suggestion quite a while back). I’ve been doing the gratitude book/journal since February of 2015. It started out as a 30 day challenge, and I haven’t stopped. I make my bed (again due to your suggestion), and it does make a huge difference for some reason, seeing your bed made. I throw a load of laundry in, and exercise. I try to accomplish all of those things before my kiddos wake up and then get them ready for their day.
Crystal Paine says
Such great advice! Thanks so much for sharing!
Great post! I do almost all of these and definitely helps. I started a happiness journal recently, writing down something that made me happy day.
These are great! I’m in my second trimester of pregnancy now and the dress for success one is a little difficult. My dressier pants are uncomfortable but I’m not in maternity pants yet. I compromise by wearing all black yoga pants but pretending they are nicer black pants and I match a nicer or cute shirt with them. The shirt covers the yoga style belly and I’m more comfortable but still “dressing up” a little.
So good! Having a morning routine makes such a huge difference.
Having a plan of only my top priorities written down. I’m not talking the thirty line checklist but a list of if I only get two things done today – these are the two. I read a great book on essentialism and love the concept of focusing on the essentials and cutting everything else. It’s made a huge difference.
A different perspective on dressing…I’ve found that if I put on a “nice” outfit I don’t exercise because I don’t want to have to take a shower again, change clothes, etc. I work full time but work from home and start working around 6:30 am. I’ve found it’s best for me to spend most of the day in clothes that I can get out and walk in. I try to do one LONG walk each day and then shorter ones throughout in between calls/meetings. I shower later in the day. Additionally, I don’t do housework in anything but exercise or bummy clothes so if I’m dressed in my non-exercise clothes, I don’t take the 10 minutes here and there to do chores because again, I don’t want to get dirty. 🙂
My recommendation would be for women to try both and see what works best for them. I tried showering, getting dressed in “nice” (not fancy!) clothes, etc. to start my day for several months and it just didn’t work for me.
I am exactly the same way. On weekends especially it is yoga pants or something similar to get chores done, get outside, exercise, etc. For me to get things accomplished at home I cannot wear nice clothes. Then I am afraid to do anything because all my nice clothes get ruined with cooking stains or dirt stains, etc. Crystal has mentioned this several times before in posts and the tone seems to be that if you don’t dress in something nice you will not get as much done. For me the truth is the exact opposite (aside from going to work during the week – obviously I dress up then because I have no choice!). I can believe that this is true for some people, but for someone with my personality (and it seems like yours as well) this advice just isn’t good. And also tends to make me feel bad, like I should always look nice at my house.
That particular message is one I’ve seen a lot, particularly in mom blogs. I have no doubt that for some women it does make them feel better, etc. and if that’s the case, they should absolutely do it! My experience is like yours, though, that I just am not as productive for exactly the reasons you state. First, I have an intentionally small wardrobe and I don’t want to stain the nice clothes I do have. Second, it’s kind of like brushing my teeth. Once I’ve brushed my teeth, I don’t want to eat anything else…once I’m cleaned up and dressed nicely, I don’t want to do anything that would mess that up. 🙂
It’s definitely not a one-size fits all but I think it’s worth people trying to see what works for them!
Crystal Paine says
I definitely agree that different things work for different people! I think it’s most important to dress in something that makes you feel great! If yoga pants make you feel great, than that’s fantastic!
I’m split down the middle on this one. I’m just getting started as a real estate agent, so being prepared to dress “nice” is a priority for me. However, since I essentially work for myself, I have other priorities as well. This article is actually getting me thinking more about how I should handle my day. First, I should start showering at night (I’m a morning shower-taker). Then get up around 5:30 to study my Bible and get to the gym. After that, it’s all a bit iffy. It will depend on how well I organize my schedule. Maybe I can build my schedule so that I have one day off during the week just for housecleaning, etc. I should mention that I have two teens in school as well.