11 Simple Steps to Motivate Your Morning

When that alarm clock rings, many of us want to get back under the covers and pretend it's still sleep time. Who wants to get up at 6 a.m., get dressed, and actually deal with traffic and office BS? Well, you will if you're motivated to make morning a priority and something to look forward to. Every day is a blessing and you just need to get your spirits high. The sun is rising, birds are chirping, and you will soon be up and at 'em with these 11 simple steps to motivate your morning.

1. Set the Coffee Maker

Waking up to the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee is sure to persuade you to get out of bed and into the kitchen for a sweet, warm cuppa Joe. Knowing it's waiting for you is a delight, so set the coffee maker timer to go off just as your alarm clock does. Give yourself a treat with a flavored blend or a tasty creamer. Make coffee time your alone time (if possible) and relish in every smooth sip.

2. Lay Out Your Clothing the Night Before

Fumbling around in your underwear drawer and reaching into your closet in the dark for something that's not wrinkled is no way to start off the day. Pick out a cute outfit the night before so the pressure's off come morning. You can even set out a week's worth of looks on a Sunday evening. Make sure you cover all the bases, from clothing, to shoes, to undergarments, even your handbag or briefcase. All you'll need to do is shower and dress. Time saved and clothing crisis averted!

3. Leave Yourself an Affirmation

If no one's around to tell you to have a nice day or that you're looking great, tell yourself! Leave a Post-It note on your bathroom mirror, on the front door, or pack a quick message in your bag. Remind yourself you're a great employee, a hard worker, a fabulous friend, and a special person. Waking up to a little positive feedback (even if it's from yourself) gets your morning moving with a smile.

4.Make Overnight Oats

Starting off the day with a wholesome breakfast is guaranteed to fill your tummy and mind with goodness. But who has time to make breakfast in a time crunch? No worries, cook oatmeal in a slow cooker overnight. Use slow cooking oats, mix in some nuts and fruit, and a dash of cinnamon. Come morning, everything will be soft, warm, perfectly cooked, and most importantly, delicious!

5. Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier

Before you say "that's crazy," consider giving yourself a little breathing room before the day takes off. You will have extra time to catch the headline news, read the local paper, do your hair and makeup a little fancier, and talk with your family about the day to come. You won't be frantic or rushed to make it out the door. You may even have a little extra time to head out early to avoid the rush hour traffic – a gem in itself!

6. Step Outside for Fresh Air

A deep inhalation of the fresh morning air is a pick-me-up that will invigorate you and fill you with peacefulness. No matter the weather, take a moment to catch a breath outdoors to get your body in motion and ready for a new day to come. It will be quiet outside and you'll feel connected to the world around you before the daily grind takes over.

7. Workout First Thing

Get your fitness on in the a.m. and you'll have a peppy glow all day. Blood will flow, your body will be ready for what the day brings, and you'll feel strong and healthy. Plus, you won't have to worry about fitting in a workout after a long day. After a few days, the habit will set in and you will look forward to your morning workout sessions. See if a friend will join you for company and motivation.

8. Stretch it Out

If you don't have time for a full-on workout, try a little stretching first thing. You will get your muscles limber and circulation going. Work on deep breathing as you reach high and bend low. Each day, strive for more flexibility and stamina. When you are done, you will feel loose and light and ready for a big day.

9. Carpool

Save money and the environment and make the morning commute one to look forward to with a friendly carpool to work or for school drop off. The time together will be fun, you can chat about the news of the day or lighthearted topics, and you will get some personal time in with pals first thing – all stuff to motivate a momentous day!

10. Walk the Dog

Mornings with your mutt or canoodling with the cat will put your mind into a special place that can only make for a magical morning. Pets are unconditional lovers and make any morning moping a thing of the past. Pet your little buddy to release endorphins and remind you what life is all about… the simple stuff!

11. Pump Up the Volume

A little music in the morning will get you in the mood for a great day. Play something upbeat or inspiring to set the tone for the day ahead. Dancing about while packing lunches and getting dressed is youthful, lighthearted, and a real motivator. The beats will play in your head all day, making work a little easier so nothing can get you down.

Are you looking forward to putting these ideas into use tomorrow? Promise, you will feel better about starting a new day with a new outlook. The early bird may catch the worm, but you'll catch the bug for motivated mornings!

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