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5 Good Habits to Start Your Morning

December 20, 2023

Each of us has a list of habits we’re proud of and maybe one or two we’d like to tweak or eliminate completely. Finding good habits to start your morning with is a noble pursuit, and if that’s your aim then you’re in the right place. Whether one resolves to get more cardio or establish healthier nutritional habits, the new year is a time of reflection for many.

As we think about good habits to start implementing, ‘time of day’ is an element to consider. Morning can be a great time to add a positive practice to our daily routines because morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. A quick, early “win” under the belt can be super valuable in propelling us forward into the day ahead with an already established sense of accomplishment. With that in mind, check out these five good habits to start your day out right.

A green neon sign that says "Habits To Be Made"

5 Good Habits to Start Before Breakfast

Devoting a few minutes to ourselves before we start the day can build more than just discipline. While you may not feel much fondness of that 5am jogging habit when it’s 5am and your alarm goes off, lacing up your sneakers anyway can actually be an act of self-love and care. By setting time aside for our own health and wellbeing before we tackle the rest of our responsibilities for the day, we can reinforce the empowering message our brains receive — the message that you’re worth this time and effort.

Here are five surprisingly easy ways to help kickstart a daily habit you can be proud of this year.

Develop a Movement Practice

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, just imagine what ten minutes of conscious movement might do! Developing a movement practice is a good habit to start because (1) reaching the CDC-recommended 10,000 steps per day is deceptively difficult, and (2) how you practice is totally up to you! Yoga is a popular choice, but there are plenty of other movement practices to consider, like tai-chi or a stroll around the block.

Drink Two Glasses of H2O

In terms of good habits to start in the mornings, this one may give you the most bang for your buck. Not only is the daily habit of downing a couple glasses of H2O relatively easy and totally accessible for most, but the health benefits of drinking water are almost impossible to overstate.

Consuming enough water throughout the day is critical to both the survival and functionality of a human being. So, why not get a daily head start on your hydration quota, eliminate toxins, and wake up your internal organs in the process?

Pro tip: Invest in a reusable water bottle. Get one you like. Many large bottles have measurements for tracking intake, which is great. A non-disposable bottle functions physically as a reminder of your commitment and psychologically as something that you invested money in for this specific purpose. It may sound a little silly, but these touchpoints make it more likely that you will stick with your daily habit in the long run.

Most of us manage to drink enough water on instinct to stave off extreme scenarios like terminal dehydration (dying of thirst). Unfortunately, we also know that far fewer folks are consuming quantities that would optimize their daily functionality and help them avoid fatigue, dry skin, headaches, and other unwanted side effects of poor hydration (Quench).

Create a Mindfulness Routine

A child looking at a large mural that says "believe in yourself"

Even a ten-minute morning meditation can lead to significant increases in clarity, calmness, and focus. The effects of meditation are well-established, and while it may not be for everyone, some form of mindfulness practice is a scientifically proven way to focus our minds and better regulate our day-to-day experiences.

Boost Natural Energy with a Coffee Alternative

Drinking coffee does bring its own bag of benefits, but for those who tend to get jittery or just depend on caffeine more than they’d like, it may be worth considering the other readily available options out there. Mushroom coffee is very popular these days, for instance, with several brands offering significantly less caffeine and significantly more natural (fungal!) energy sources instead. Tea and matcha are a couple of other well-loved hot beverage alternatives.

Practice Targeted Reading

A healthy person reading a book while eating a bowl of grains and drinking tea.

Would mastering one or two specialized areas of interest or study substantially improve your life? What would those subjects be? Setting aside 15 minutes to educate yourself on something impactful in the mornings may very well be the long-term catalyst for an exciting career change, new relationship, and/or a healthy confidence boost.

Infuse Your List of Habits With Fun, Joy, and Excitement!

There’s no sense in setting goals if you set them so high that they just make you miserable. You are a human being, not the Terminator. Doing 1000 pushups a day might sound ultra inspiring and look cool on paper, but where will you be when that spark wears off? Will you be doing 1000 pushup per day a month from now? Three months? What if, instead, you focused right now on finishing 100 pushups per day, rewarding yourself with sips of a fruit-based breakfast smoothie in between reps?

We’re all built differently and have different goals, but that second routine sounds much more manageable on a daily basis for the average person hopping out of bed first thing in the morning.

A personal journal with space for feelings, tasks, good habits to start, and more.

Chances are that 1000 pushups a day is simply unattainable for a human being just starting out. Attempting this metric is also probably medically inadvisable due to the increased risk of tennis elbow and other injuries. On the other hand, finishing 100 or even 50 pushups per day? For many, this is doable and will foster a growing inner sense of accomplishment. The key to successfully challenging ourselves and avoiding burnout is to objectively assess our limits and then find ways to work and push within them.

Adding a little extra fun to the mix, whether by way of a power smoothie or some other element of positive anticipation, can be very helpful.

You Got This!

It’s one thing to look at a list of habits we desire, and it’s another to take action on that desire. But the ones who get it done are the ones who set wise goals, decide what they can realistically accomplish, and then take that first step. That’s all it takes in the first moment, and by that point… well, by golly you’ve already begun, haven’t you?

What New Daily Habit Will You Start Next?

Without getting bogged down by possibilities and the eventual burn out of trying to tackle too many things at once, consider taking a manageable first step: what is one healthy daily habit you can commit to trying in 2024? If it’s a daily habit in the morning, are there any ways you can infuse your budding habit with more enjoyment?

An inspirational silhouette of a person balancing jubilantly on a rock at sunset.

Our minds and bodies have needs that evolve as we move through different periods of our lives. As this happens, the routines and strategies above may represent good habits to start introducing into our lives as needed.

Further Daily Habit Resources

Explore other health habits, tips, and tricks -> 7 Simple Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

Discover ways to boost your immune system -> 5 Tips for How to Boost Your Immune System

Get the quality of shuteye you deserve -> How to Get Better Sleep (11 Sleep Hacks)

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