Building Healthy Morning Habits

How do we develop habits?

It isn’t common to see healthy habits in a society that values consumerism and excess. When we see media depictions of how people should live, discipline is often overshadowed by self-indulgence. 

But why is this important?

Discipline is difficult to build, but having discipline allows you to live a more fulfilled life. It is built every day by the conscious choices you make. Navy SEAL Jocko Willink says that “discipline starts every day when the first alarm clock goes off in the morning. I say first alarm clock because I have three. The moment the alarm goes off is the first test, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is not a complex one. When the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed or do you lie there in comfort and fall back asleep. If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win. If you’re mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life.”

Making small commitments every day and building routine is a part of discipline. Building a morning routine is a great way to develop this self-control in more areas of your life. Here are some things you can do to help develop discipline.

Sleep and Wake Up on a Schedule

Setting a regular sleep schedule improves sleep quality by helping you not just mentally but physiologically as well. Good sleep leads to having more energy and productivity during the day. Regular sleep also assists in maintaining the schedule of your body’s internal clock helping you sleep and wake up easier! 

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Fuel your body and mind with a healthy breakfast! When you are rushed, it is difficult to prepare a healthy breakfast, often leading to increased consumption of processed food. Having more time allows you to be more conscious of your nutrition. Common health benefits of healthy eating in the morning include steadier blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels. Breakfast helps you succeed during the day by giving you fuel for your body and mind. Adding more fruit to your breakfast is beneficial as they are a great source of natural sugar during the morning!

Exercise

Early morning exercise provides increased energy, helping you get a head start on your day. If you’re looking to lose weight, it is advantageous to do so in the morning as your body metabolizes fat more efficiently then. Working out early frees more of your schedule allowing you to finish your exercise before most people have even begun. Get an edge on the competition by exercising early! 

Get Work Done

In the early hours of the day, there are fewer distractions, allowing you to focus on more tasks easier. There are typically less people, social media notifications, and interferences that could interrupt you. Mornings are a fantastic time to journal, pray, meditate or just to do things that are important to you. Make your work and study more efficient by taking advantage of mornings free of distractions!

Many cultures have maxims about habits and they all seem to say the same thing about how habits are formed. “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character”.

 

 Resources:

Adopt Good Sleep Habits - Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Get Enough Sleep - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Benefits of Eating Breakfast - WebMD

Cost-benefit analysis: morning workouts - Equinox

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