On the blog, I have talked a lot about good habits and how adopting some good habits can change your life. I have also talked about how to make a morning routine and which morning habits you need to adopt to improve your life. And while we all have a general idea about the habits we should be doing in the mornings, we need to talk about this too.
These are the habits that are ruining your mornings and your day in general. And here’s why you need to quit these morning habits to make your day a whole lot better.
You see, waking up at a reasonable hour & working out each morning is great. But you will not see any real results unless you quit these bad morning habits. I have always been a morning person, ever since I was in school. yes, I am weird that way, maybe! But I usually have no problem waking up at 5 or 6 in the morning. And while all studies claim that waking up early is super helpful when it comes to getting your life together, I noticed that some days were better than others.
On some days, I had all the energy, I was feeling positive and productive about my day ahead. And on other days, not so much. And I began noticing what I was doing differently on these productive days. That’s where these bad habits come in. If you are waking up early, but still have these poor morning habits, your day will not be great. And you will not drastically change your life as everyone who says “wake up at 6 and change your life”.
So, let’s talk about these morning habits that you may be doing unintentionally. And how quitting these habits will change your entire day.
#1: Hitting snooze:
You knew this was coming. Didn’t you? This is one of those bad habits that everyones knows about. But you still find yourself hitting snooze every morning. There are numerous studies that have proved that you are more likely to have morning fatigue when you hit the snooze button.
So when you think you are giving yourself 10 more minutes to sleep, you are actually doing more harm than good.
And there is science behind it.
This study shows that even one night of fragmented sleep has negative affect on our mood and cognitive skills and attention span to the same extent as sleeping for only hours a night. Think about it. And it has in fact more effect than the total hours of sleep you get.
It’s quite simple really. Here’s an explanation:
Humans sleep in cycles of 90 minutes. And when you hit the snooze button, you are signalling your body to go into another sleep cycle. But, you wake up after 5-10 minutes. That doesn’t give your body enough time to be able to complete that sleep cycle. And when you wake up, you feel tired and lethargic because you are in a state of sleep inertia.
So no wonder you wake up half asleep and feeling zero productivity. So instead of hitting snooze get right out of bed. One of the tips that could help is setting your alarm at a distance from your bed. So you. have to physically get out of bed to turn off the alarm.
RELATED: 12 TIps to sleep better
#2: Checking social media:
Ever since our traditional alarm clocks have been replaced by our phones, we seem to have adopted this bad habit unintentionally. So you pick your phone to turn off the alarm and you see a couple of notifications on your phone. And you start scrolling through social media without even realising the harm it is doing to your mental health.
By doing this, you are not giving your brain a chance to wake up slowly. When we wake up, our brain is already quite stimulated from the fact that we have woken up. It needs some time to take in the surroundings and process and gather the thoughts.
But when you check social media first thing in the morning, you are not giving yourself enough time to gather your own thoughts. Forget about being more intentional.
Also, you start your day by comparing your life to other people on social media, intentionally or not. And that’s just a really pathetic way to start the day, isn’t it?
So make sure you are keeping your morning free of these distractions. And if it helps, get a traditional alarm clock instead. Make it a rule that you will not check your phone for at least 1-2 hours after waking up.
#3: Checking work/emails/analytics:
Maybe you don’t check social media first thing in the morning. That’s great.
But maybe you do check your emails, your work, or if you have an online business, you check your analytics. That’s isn’t doing you any good either.
Checking mails bombards your brain with all sorts of information. again, not allowing it to take its time and process things. And checking things like your analytics can affect your entire day if you see a dip in your numbers, which is pretty normal for any kind of business.
And checking all the work related things take away from your “me time” in the mornings. You start the day feeling stressed about the work that needs to be get done. Or you start analysing how you need to change your entire strategy because there was a dip in the numbers.
So, whatever you do, quit this habit if checking your work first thing in the morning. Take your mornings slow. Have some time for yourself and your family before you get sucked into work.
#4:Not planning your day:
Have you ever heard “If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail”?
And it could not be more true. When you start your day without a proper plan and without setting your intentions, you are bound to fail. This is not to say that you will not get anything done. But you certainly will not be as productive as you’d been if you had taken the time to plan your day.
Because when you don’t plan your day, you still have a mental note of things you need to do. But sometimes you’ll just not be able to decide where to begin. So it’s always a great idea to write your to do list and then also plan what you need to get done first.
Humans have a tendency of avoiding the difficult and crucial tasks. But when you plan your day and set your priorities for the day, you’ll know exactly what needs to be tackled first.
And when you get these crucial tasks done first, you will automatically have more motivation throughout the day.
#5: Not having breakfast:
Raise your hand if you are always so rushed in the mornings that you have no time for breakfast? And then you end up grabbing something to eat with your morning coffee, which is usually some kind of donut or a bagel.
Or maybe you are eating a bowl of cereal because it’s “healthy”. But cereals aren’t really healthy, no matter what their packaging says. They are often only carbs and full of sugars. And what you need is proper nutritious breakfast for your body to function properly.
So focus on consuming whole foods and complex carbs throughout the day. And include more fruits and veggies in your diet. A great way to incorporate more greens in your diet is having a green smoothie in the mornings. I usually make one by adding spinach, cucumbers, kiwis, a banana and coconut water. And I always top it with chia seeds and a mix of nuts and other seeds. That’s a great way to add in healthy fats in your diet.
Here are some healthy breakfast options:
- Eggs (in any form) with whole grain toast and topped with veggies
- Steel cut oats pudding topped with berries
- Overnight oats and chia pudding topped with seasonal fruit and nuts
- Multigrain toast with avocado and egg
This is just to give you an idea. Having proper breakfast is important and it doesn’t have to take that long either. And if you are really pressed for time on most mornings, you could try meal planning and prepping on the weekends. And things like overnight oats and chia pudding can be made the night prior to have breakfast ready to go.
#6: having coffee first thing in the morning:
Whether you want to hear it out nor, I am just going to say it anyway. You morning cup of joe, that you have first thing in the morning is not really good for you.
Research has shown that starting your day with coffee is in fact not good for you. While drinking moderate amount of coffee later in the day is considered good for your health. Coffee is dehydrating and that’s certainly not the first thing you body needs in the morning.
Your body has been fasting all night and needs to hydrate first. So you should be starting your day with a tall glass of water instead. And drinking water has so many health benefits too. I always drink lime water with honey or water with apple cider vinegar. And it is such a good way to start the day by flushing out toxins from your body.
So, make it a habit to hydrate first. And leave your morning coffee for later.
#7: Not having a routine:
Not having a morning routine that works for you is the worst you can do. Even if you wake up at 5 or 6 in the morning, not having a routine will mean you being indecisive what you should do. And you will end up wasting your precious time on procrastinating.
Having a proper morning routine also makes it easier to adopt new habits because it tells you exactly what you need to do every morning and in what order. There are numerous ways to start a morning routine and what should be a part of it. But in my opinion, no one knows you better than you know yourself. So it is upto you to decide what you want to do.
Try this simple practise.
Visualise your ideal morning. And write down things that you want to get done in the mornings before you start your work. Maybe you want to have a healthy breakfast, get a workout in, do some reading. So whatever you decide. Now write down all these things on a piece of paper.
Now write down the sequence in which they make sense. So let’s say, for me, I can’t workout after having breakfast. So I like doing that before I have my breakfast. And post my workout, I always take a shower. SO workout, shower and then breakfast, this sequence makes sense for me. Because it works for me.
But it maybe something entirely different because we are different individuals. So, write down a sequence in which you’d want to do the things in the mornings. And for 30 days refer to this piece of paper every morning as you go through these activities. And do them in the exact same sequence.
After that period of time, it will start coming naturally to you and you’ll no longer need to look at the paper. And that’s when these habits will become a part of your routine.
#8: Not decluttering:
Decluttering has so many benefits and I can probably talk about it for hours. Don’t worry, I won’t. Bit decluttering in the mornings can be life changing.
And if you are not decluttering in the morning, you are missing out. When you declutter your house, even if it is just a quick 10 minute declutter, you start your day with a win. And you carry that win through your day and it shows in your attitude towards other tasks throughout the day.
Moreover, the feeling of knowing that you will get to go home to a clean and organised space is very relaxing and calming. So make your bed, put away your laundry, wipe the surfaces, load the dishwasher etc in the mornings. All these activities don’t take more than 10-15 minutes to do and they make such a huge difference.
#9: Not journalling/Working on personal development:
If you are not journalling, you are missing out. Yes, really. Journalling can be helpful in so many ways because it allows you to work on your inner self. it helps you get to know yourself better and to understand your emotions and feelings better.
If you have no idea where to begin, you can always start with journal prompts that will guide you to write about a certain topic everyday. And once you get the hang of it, you could journal without the prompts as well.
Journalling also makes it possible to work on your limiting beliefs and boundaries that you have set for yourself. So much of what we do and what we achieve in life has to do with the mindset we have towards things. And working on transforming these mindsets allows us to achieve what we are truly capable of and to live a fulfilling and enriching life.
And mornings are the perfect time to work on your personal development. Because so often we get so caught up in work and are so tired by the end of the day, that we don’t have the time for it. And even if we have the time, your thoughts are already heavily influenced with how the day was. So to truly understand your limiting beliefs and to work on yourself, it’s best you do it in the mornings, when your mind is still fresh and free for all the stimuli.
And that’s it. 9 bad habits you should quit to make your mornings better. When you work on adopting good habits and letting go of the negative habits that are holding you back, you make it easier for yourself to level up like you want to. These habits that may seem really small, often have huge impact on our lives.
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