GPS FOR THE SOUL
02/15/2016 01:20 pm ET | Updated Feb 15, 2017

5 Habits That Will Supercharge Your Morning Routine

5 Habits That Will Supercharge Your Morning Routine

One of the most important tenets to achieving our goals in life is the underlying necessity to embody an empowering morning routine. What we do in the morning most certainly sets the pace for the rest of the day, and in turn, the quality and outcome of our lives.

The truth? Most of us lack the good morning habits that will help empower us; rather, we tend to repeat bad habits that hold us back. In fact, our mornings are usually spent reacting to life's events rather than tackling things head on before they can turn into harmful or potentially disastrous situations.

We're usually so busy running around trying to get ready, dashing out the door at the last minute, that we forget to address the areas of our lives that need the most attention and improvement such as our physical health, mental wellness, and of course, our goals and aspirations.

If you have children, then undoubtedly this is even harder. We all know how much time goes into helping the family get ready for the day. But regardless of your personal situation, developing an empowering morning routine should become a priority if you want to achieve some of those lofty goals you set for yourself.

And, while there are plenty of good morning habits can help largely benefit you at the start of the day, five habits in particular will help to supercharge your morning routine, taking it to the next level. Because, let's face it, without a platform of good habits that help to support us in the morning, achieving our goals can seem next to impossible.

#1 -- Wake Up Early

An absolute necessity to building an empowering morning routine is the habit of waking up early. While we might not all be morning persons, we all know, deep down inside, that without waking up early, executing an empowering morning routine can be down right difficult.

This doesn't mean you have to go from zero to hero overnight. In fact, if you do that, you're far more likely to throw in that proverbial towel. Use the micro-changes approach to accomplish this. The goal? Wake up at least 2 hours earlier than you're waking up right now. But don't do it quickly.

For the first week, set your alarm back just 15 minutes. Yes, 15 minutes. That's all it takes. Adjust your body to waking up 15 minutes earlier and do it every single day for the next 7 days. Then, adjust back another 15 minutes the following week.

Do this for at least 8 weeks straight until you're waking up 2 hours earlier than you are now. Habits are formed over time (studies indicate they take an average of 66 days to form), and it's far easier to institute any good habit or even break a bad habit if it's done slowly.

Cold turkey might work for some people as long as they have a deep-enough reason, but for the most part, the micro-changes approach is far more likely to succeed and can help to put your desire for self improvement on autopilot.

#2 -- Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Most of us don't need someone to tell us that eating a healthy breakfast is a great morning habit to have in your routine. We know the benefits of it. We've heard them extolled time and time again. Yet, we're all well aware that even though we might know that something is good for us, it doesn't mean that we necessarily do it.

But eating a healthy breakfast shouldn't be something that's ignored. Not only is it an essential meal, but eating a healthy breakfast has a number of benefits, both physically and mentally. Not only does it help to maintain a healthy body weight, but it also lends itself to lower cholesterol levels, increased focus and concentration, and a decreased likelihood towards eating junk throughout the day.

When we just snack or only drink coffee, we're really robbing our bodies of the essential vitamins and nutrients necessary to get us through the day. Avoid fatty foods in the morning such as donuts and opt for healthy foods such as whole grains and lean proteins. This is a simple and effective way to really supercharge your morning routine.

#3 -- Do a Light Workout

Another great habit to have in the morning is to workout. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to run a 10k every single day; it just means that you need some lightly-strenuous activity to get the blood flowing and the mind going. Even if it's just a brisk 15-minute walk around the block a few times, working out should be an essential part of your morning routine.

While 15 minutes of brisk walking might not sound like a lot, similar to the habit of waking up early, it's the momentum that will help to improve your life. If done regularly, those 15 minutes of brisk walking might turn into 15 minutes of light jogging. And after a few more weeks, it might turn into a rigorous run.

It doesn't have to be difficult and you don't need to commit to something huge in the beginning. All you need to do is get the momentum on your side by taking action little by little. Remember that an object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest, well, we all know that it likes to stay at rest.

The benefits of working out in the morning can be monumental. Not only is it physically beneficial in that working out oxygenates and increases the blood flow, it also aids in the release of happy hormones into our minds and bodies such as dopamine and serotonin while limiting those pesky stress hormones such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine.

#4 -- Practice Morning Gratitude

How often are we grateful for the things that we have in our lives, no matter how small or minute they might be? Oftentimes, we complain about the things that we don't have rather than celebrate the things that we do have. We get caught up in the status quo and tend to compare our lives to people who have more than us rather than those with less.

When we do that, we live in a state of lack. We look upon our lives negatively, steeped in complaint, living in the midst of anger, fear, regret, stress, and anxiety. Anytime we live in a state of lack, not only does it affect us mentally and emotionally, but also physically as well.

Stress, anxiety, worry, and fear can easily translate into physical ailments, limit the ability of our immune systems to fight off diseases, and even decrease reproductivity while also increasing the chances for serious illnesses such as heart disease. The goal? Stay away from living in a state of lack. And move towards a state of abundance.

To live in a state of abundance, we have to be grateful for what we have in the here-and-now. Even if all we think we have are problems, there are plenty of people in this world who would gladly trade your problems for theirs in a heartbeat. There are people who lack the basic necessities in life, live in impoverished countries, or are immersed in the misery of totalitarian regimes.

There are plenty of things to be grateful for when we stop to think about it. Spend every morning, for at least 15 minutes, writing out what you have to be grateful for. Do it for a minimum of 90 days and watch as your life transforms before your very eyes. It won't happen overnight. But it will happen. It will just take time.

#5 -- Daily Goal Setting

The last, but certainly not least, good habit to help supercharge your empowering morning routine is daily goal setting. It's not enough to just set goals in our minds or even in the long-term. While our goals need to be written out and specified, they also need something to fuel them on a daily basis. Your goals need a massive action plan.

Daily goal setting helps give fuel to the fire of your long-term goals. They help to guide you towards the milestones and over the uphill battles. When you know what needs to be done on a daily basis, it's harder to get sidetracked. But, when you look at the enormity of a major goal, it can seem overwhelming to say the least.

Spend the mornings setting daily goals. You can define this through your Most Important Tasks of the Day (MITs), or simply detail out a set of things that need to be done today to move you towards your long-term goals. In time management, these are also known as your quadrant 2 activities, the not-urgent-but-important tasks.

Before you begin your workday, set some daily goals. If you've already laid out your long-term goals and you've broken those goals down into shorter-term goals such as monthly and weekly milestones, setting daily goals shouldn't be too difficult. If you haven't done the former, then that needs to happen first.

The biggest problem when we begin our days is that we can get drawn into one thing or another. There's this push-and-pull that occurs of our time, and we're torn by having so many things to do, which is often enough to overwhelm us. But, when we take care of the important things first, and clearly outline that through daily goal setting, we feel just a little bit more at ease, reducing some of that mental clutter that's crowding our minds.

But, regardless of which habits you choose for your empowering morning routine, make sure to stick to them and make them count. Don't get discouraged if you can't form them overnight. Build up your good behaviors by doing a little bit each day until they become full-blown habits.

Remember, habits aren't created in a day; they take time through constant repetition. Keep that in mind as you flesh out your empowering morning routine.

Image Credit: Shutterstock