"Wait, I thought they say that routine is the enemy?"
Correct. They do say that. In reference to stale and boring fitness routines that have you trudge through boring workouts with little to no intensity. However, when it comes to certain aspects of health and wellness, routine is wildly important.
Something a lot of people neglect is their morning routine. Does this sound like you?
6:00-Alarm goes off, hit snooze
6:10-Again, snooze. It's only 10 minutes
6:15-Oh, damn. I have to make breakfast, get the kids lunch, clean the house and at some point shower.
6:37-I forgot the conference call!
6:54-I'm late. Again
You get the idea! A frantic morning start only sets the temp for the rest of the day to go badly as well. You spend the next 6-8 hours playing catch up and never really getting caught up.
Follow the easy steps to ensure that your day starts right:
1. A Good day starts the night before. Make sure your sleeping environment is free from social distractions (cell phone, computer, TV etc). Try to make the room useful for one..well, two things. The darker the better. Don't eat a large meal right before bed either. Make sure you get approximately 7-9 hours of sleep, 8 being ideal. This may vary for some people, experiment to find your perfect time.
2. Wake up on time, do not hit the snooze button. That 15 minutes of extra sleep can throw your day off completely. That's 15 minutes you don't have to make a quality breakfast, that's 15 minutes you have to make up for in traffic. Thats 15 minutes you are late for work. See what I mean? It's the classic snowball effect.
3. When you wake up, start your day off with something invigorating. A warm or cold shower can really get the blood flowing. A nice little workout can release endorphins and get your heart rate up. Reading or watching something uplifting can set the tempo for the day. Follow that up with a nice stretch and you're good to go.
4. EAT BREAKFAST. I cannot stress this enough. Eating a good high quality breakfast can do a lot of good for you. It keeps you from grabbing those pop-tarts at the gas station, it keeps you full until lunch and it actually can help you lose weight. Studies suggest that when people skip breakfast, they tend to eat more calories in the day. Start out with some bacon, eggs, an avocado and some sweet potatoes and you're all set.
5. Appreciate the day. Go outside, take in a deep and breath of fresh air. Sip your coffee, realize how amazing life is.
6. Don't start the day with bad news. I know its easy to start the day by rolling over and scrolling through Facebook, but you and I both know that it's only full of bad news. Instead, try writing down any ideas you have while your mind is fresh and fully recharged. Start a gratitude journal!
And Finally, number 7. Attack the day. Don't just sit around and wait for things to happen. You have to set-out with the goal to obtain something of value from each of your days. Be a motivation for others.
Following these guidelines for the rest of your life will improve your outlook just about as much as diet and exercise. The key, however, is making it work for you. Take a few of these principles if you can and start to apply them one at a time. Eventually, you'll find what works best for you and your schedule.