Setting the Tone for Your Day

How many times have you wished you could just start your day all over again when trouble takes over? Digging deeper, you may discover the root of the issue is that you have yet to design a morning routine that sets you up for success. Rather than hit the snooze button before dragging yourself out of bed, throwing wrinkled clothes on, and hurrying out the door, it’s essential to learn how to fine-tune a morning routine that doesn’t leave you wanting to reset your day.


One of the first things to realize about a morning routine is that they aren’t about packing your mornings with as much activity as possible before you head off to work. Instead, they’re about making you feel empowered and fully prepared for the day ahead. That looks different for everyone, so don’t think you need the same morning routine as a CEO or entrepreneur.


No one knows your triggers for stress and frustration better than you do. It’s vital you’re honest with yourself about what commonly brings on a tide of anxiety and aggravation. That way, you can frame your morning routine around strategies that keep that stress at bay. For instance, if you often feel overwhelmed by the number of daily tasks you’ve got to take care of, take out a few minutes in the morning to write down what those tasks are and assign them a number based on importance. A “1” task is something you need to take care of ASAP while a “3” task is one you can leave for later on in the day. Get a handle on stress before it gets a chokehold on you.


Scientists say that producing positive energy seconds after you wake up can have a lasting effect throughout your day. Once your alarm goes off and you rise out of bed, smile. Tell yourself, today will be a good day and that you’ll be able to accomplish every challenge thrown your way. Beginning your day with positive encouragement and reinforcement will change the way you act and react to situations through your entire day. Put some of your favorite music on while getting ready for work and do it with a smile.


If you’ve never really had a morning routine, it’s best you take things slow. That way, you can easily tune in to what truly works and what seems to be ineffective. The key is for your routine to feel custom tailored to your strengths and goals. Also, cut out as much wasted screen time as possible. You’d be surprised at how many minutes you give yourself when you aren’t forever scrolling through memes, pictures of food, and online quizzes. Trade time-sucking apps like Facebook for productivity apps that help you organize your mind, body, and soul.


It’s perfectly okay if you have to switch up your morning routine every now and then, especially when you first make one. Make a journal of where and how you truly maximize your time and productivity and where you seem to be doing more harm than good. If you’re having trouble deciding what to cut and what to keep on your routine, focus on your goals. Do you want to do/feel better at work? Do you want to get ahead of tasks at home that seems to pile up during the week? Are you trying to carve out more time to exercise? Once you know what’s knocking your day out of whack, you’ll know how to get your routine on track.


You can take your morning routine a step further by kicking it off with a night routine. Decide on your outfit for the next day, use your phone to set reminders for anything you know you’ll likely forget, and map out your day, so you know what you’re doing and when. Let your brain know it’s time to chill out by refraining from looking at your phone, tablet or anything else that gives off blue light, which can throw your circadian rhythms off. To keep from being jolted out of relaxation by texts or calls, use the “Do Not Disturb” setting on your devices. To make it easier to fall asleep, you can read a book, do some meditating, or listen to music. Over time, and when you perform your evening routine at the same time, your brain will start to recognize when it’s time to start powering down. It becomes that much easier for you to drift off to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to dive into your morning routine.


Morning routines can’t deflect every mishap throughout the day (you’ll need Wonder Woman’s bracelets for that). That said, they definitely go a long way in helping you outpace avoidable fiascos. Use your routine to add a cup of Zen to your morning that’s almost as revitalizing as that first cup of coffee. Almost.