Days when you open your eyes from a night’s slumber, completely wide awake and clear-headed, and hop out of your bed and into action are the best! You wake up before the alarm is set to jingle and without arguing with the snooze button (or your significant other) about what time it actually is and how long your morning routine and commute are.
Instead, you’re completely rested. It’s almost as if it’s the middle of the day and you never slept at all. That clairvoyant feeling can strike you as strange, because it’s uncommon for you. What if you felt like that every morning?
That’s the nature of creating positive habits for yourself. There’s an excitement that comes with setting goals for yourself to lead you through your day, week and month. Every night, you go to bed relaxed and at ease because you planned out the day ahead of you. When you wake up, there’s a thrill as real as the first day of school that you have a purpose to move through the day with.
Waking up each morning feeling reenergized and rejuvenated is not a fluke. After setting goals, there are some easy ways you can improve your daily routine to enhance your mood and hit your goals faster.
Before you wake up ready for success, you need a good night’s sleep! Many people take for granted the impact a consistent amount of sleep has on mood and well-being. In fact, researchers from Harvard believe the problem of sleep deprivation is as serious as smoking!
Everyone is built a little differently, but experts say seven hours of sleep each night is essential to maintaining a healthy weight, sharpening cognitive skills like memory retention, creativity and attentiveness and lowering stress.
In addition to the amount of sleep you get, your quality of sleep is important, too. Creating an environment that makes sleep a comfortable, calming experience is just as important as the number of hours you sleep. The best shut-eye is had in dark, quiet environments, so creating that atmosphere for yourself is an easy way to help your body be prepared for the night’s sleep.
The best way to ensure a good night’s rest each day is to set a simple schedule for yourself. Bed times aren’t just for kids!
Wake Up Early
Early bird gets the worm and other such cliches have long been used to describe the importance of rising early and recently science is backing up the nomenclature. Research shows that early-risers are more optimistic, more proactive, better problem-solvers and better planners, all things that lead to long-term success and happiness.
By just getting out of bed and doing something — from reading the newspaper to stretching — you will shake the early-morning cobwebs quicker. Overcoming grogginess to spring out of bed and into your morning routing can earn you 15 more days of time spent awake in a year! Imagine how much more you can accomplish!
So, what happens when you’re tired later in the day? You take a power nap! Whoever says nap time is just for kids is doing it wrong!
More and more research is bringing to light the impact clean eating has on clear-headedness. It’s no secret that eating fruits and vegetables are better for you than sweets and meats. Did you know that there are foods that will actually make you happier and more productive, though?
Experts say that foods like avocado, whole grains, fish and so-called super foods like kale will not only help your metabolism work better, but it will increase your focus and cognitive abilities. Overeating any of these foods will, of course, be counter-productive, though. Rationing out what you eat and when will make healthy eating more manageable and lead to a positive habit that sticks.
It’s hard to find the time to spend even an hour a day at the gym when you need to buy groceries, make dinner, help the kids with homework, study for school or read the next chapter in that book you love. By making physical activity a habit, though, you greatly increase your productivity and happiness.
Research shows that those who exercise daily are better off than those who exercise regularly, but inconsistently. Another fun fact is that peak happiness is actually reached after 20 minutes of exercise, making the idea of finding time for fitness much more manageable.
Skipping the elevator to take the stairs and going for a walk on your lunch break are both great examples of fitting exercise into your daily routine without going out of your way to do it. With a friend by your side, it’s even more enjoyable and less of a chore.
Family & Friends
Maintaining a job that is fulfilling and enjoyable is certainly important to happiness. As much as you may enjoy your work and the people you work with, it’s still no substitution for time spent with friends and family.
Loneliness is a crippler to human health and it sometimes can be tough to recognize. Just because you are surrounded by people, such as in a work setting, doesn’t mean you aren’t experiencing loneliness. If you already have regular engagements with friends like book clubs and recreational sports or make time for family dinners, you’re already on track! If you find yourself going days on end without chatting with someone who knows you well, you’re much more likely to experience a decline in happiness and productivity, even if you don’t realize it.
Scheduling time in your work week to make a short call to a relative or meet a friend for a run is a great way to decrease stress and keep you focused on the positive changes in your life.
Set Daily Reminders
The most successful people act with a singular purpose in mind: to hit their goals. And they make it look so easy! That’s because they plan each day in advance and set reminders for themselves throughout the day.
Whether in the form of calendars, post-it notes or alarms, these reminders are the key to keeping them on task and focused. That beautiful landscape of the Mediterranean Sea or Mt. Fiji hanging in your friend’s room or framed on their desk may actually have a greater purpose than to make their personal space more pleasant and inviting. Visual representations of your goals in are some of the best reminders and are proven to help people visualize their goals.
Recently, the best ways to stay on track of reaching your short and long-term goals is through text messaging services, like Caterpilly. After setting the intention each day to complete small behaviors (i.e. taking a 20 min. walk at lunch, eating meals on a small plate) you’ll receive daily reminders, tips, and inspiration right to your cell phone and greatly increase your likelihood of creating positive habits.
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