With the New Year is sure to come a brand-new rush of ambitious resolutions. Whether you want to lose weight, make more money, be a better friend/partner/parent, whatever your goals for the coming year – it all really boils down to one thing: being more productive overall. This noble intention often seems elusive, but there are some things you can do to maximize your chances of success.
One of the most effective ways to increase not only your productivity but your health and happiness as well is to create a morning routine that sets you up for the best possible day. Follow these tips and you might just find yourself keeping your resolution this year:
Get enough sleep. This is one of the single most important things you can do for yourself. You might think you’re getting enough sleep, but the truth is adults need about eight hours of shuteye, and 73% of Americans say they don’t get that much. Try powering down your electronics an hour sooner and enjoying some reading and a hot cup of tea instead. How does this help your morning routine? You’ll feel fresh and ready for the day, making it that much easier to institute the plans you’ve put in place.
Eat, drink, and be merry! It’s true, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Add a glass of fresh O.J. to your meal. The fruit sugar will give your blood glucose a lift and the vitamins in it are good for depression.
Get frisky. Ignore the morning breath and get busy (yes, even if you’re not in the mood!). Testosterone levels are highest in the morning and intimacy produces plenty of endorphins, which act as natural uppers. Making love also increases blood flow and improves your connection with your mate through the production of the love hormone, oxytocin. Is there no end to the benefits?!
Make lists. It doesn’t matter if you make lists in a dedicated app that is Type A organized to the last little letter, or scrawled in broken crayon on yesterday’s grocery store receipt. Putting down in black and white (or green and purple) exactly what you need to accomplish for the day can make you feel in control. You don’t have to get it all done (who actually manages that?), but crossing off some of the items offers a sense of satisfaction and motivation to continue your organization into the rest of your week.
Get moving. Literally, move your body – if you live in an urban area like NYC it might be hard to get out and grab a few moments of grass and fresh air, so instead throw a yoga mat down and do some stretches. Exercise wakes your body and gets your metabolism revving. It also improves mood, which, let’s face it, most of us could use help with first thing at daybreak.
Spread the green. Particularly for apartment dwellers, foliage may be a sight that’s far too infrequent. Getting some plants is not only great for your apartment’s air quality, but it also makes you feel more connected to nature, and therefore more peaceful and happy. Flowers amplify that effect so go ahead, treat yourself!
All of this might seem overwhelming, but when you really break it down, it all amounts to just a few minutes each in your morning. The payoff in increased happiness and energy throughout the rest of your day will be worth the small effort!