What’s an ideal morning routine for a happy, healthy and productive day?

An ideal morning: it is not the same for all of us.

It depends on your personality, your definition of “happy,” the things and activities you feel passionate about, and most of all – on the purpose of making your mornings an important part of your day.

Here are several things you can do to develop an ideal morning routine for YOU:

Keep a gratitude journal. When you wake up, take a notebook and write 3 things you are grateful for today: it can be something as simple as a roof over your head, food in the fridge, a warm bed, running water; a positive relationship with people you love the most; an education that allows you to read, write, and learn from endless sources including Quora, etc. Practicing gratitude about what we have going for us can restructure our brain to focus on the “haves” instead of steering to the negativity of the “have nots.” This exercise should take only 5 minutes.

Try meditating. This small practice doesn’t require a lot of time, it’s simple to follow, and it has many benefits, including better focus throughout the day, more concentration, and a greater sense of calm. Meditating early in the day can clean your brain of any cluttered thoughts and prepare it for the day ahead. To get you started with just 10 minutes, try the Headspace app. It’s fun and easy to use.

Get moving. Pick any activity that requires your body to move. It can be a visit to the gym for an hour, but it can be a shorter activity too: a morning yoga routine, a set of hindu pushups or sun salutation poses, a 20-minute power walk or a brisk run before hitting the shower. The goal is to be consistent, so even a short 30 minute workout will energize you and prepare you for the day.

Have breakfast. And never skip it. It’s your fuel for starting the day and it helps you to feel alert, energized, and motivated. Choose something that is balanced, light, yet filling, such as a combination of protein, healthy fats, fresh fruit. Some breakfasts ideas are:

  • Overnight oats (no cooking needed): mix a few spoonfuls of oats, 1 teaspoon each of chia seeds and flax seeds, some walnuts, almonds, raisins; add a bit of almond milk or water to blend; leave in fridge overnight and top it off in the morning with some fresh fruit.
  • Parfait: layer Greek yogurt with granola, walnuts/almonds/cashews, and fresh fruit (papaya, banana, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, apples, pears, mango).
  • Oatmeal with chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, dates, shredded coconut, raisins or cranberries; blend with a spoon of peanut butter and add fresh fruit on top.

Final tip: Get inspired.

To really get excited about creating an ideal morning routine, I recommend listening to a podcast called Achieve Your Goals which is hosted by Hal Elrod, the author of a book called The Miracle Morning. It is a useful guide to structuring your mornings so that you can accomplish things early in the day, feel more productive, and grow your happiness muscle.

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