Mornings can be hectic, but they are also a critically important time in terms of setting intentions for the day. If you are struggling to simply get out the door on time in the mornings but are looking for ways to get off to a better start, don’t think you need to reinvent the wheel. Try a few of these suggestions to start small. It can be as simple as 17 minutes to turn your manic mornings into motivated and success-filled days. Here are our top tips to help you start your day right.

Breath Intentionally

Meditation has received an incredible amount of attention in popular media today, and there’s a real reason for it. The simple act of breathing can reset your brain and put you in a better head space for a great day. Take as little as 5 minutes to practice conscious breathing right at the start of your day to really focus your mind and relax your body.

Get Your Exercise

Morning exercise is an amazing influence on the rest of your day. Science has told us time and again that a stationary lifestyle – particularly one where we are sitting at a computer all day – can have serious negative consequences. Getting at least 20 minutes of rigorous exercise in each and every day will help keep your weight in check, your mood balanced, your energy levels up, and your stress down. Granted, it can be difficult to stay motivated to get in that early morning workout, but on the days when you can fit it in, you’ll be far better off.

Morning exercise doesn’t even have to be a full workout at the gym. Consider going for a run or walk to get your blood pumping first thing in the morning. Biking to work, if you can manage the commute, is another great way to fit exercise into your morning routine. A little yoga or floor exercises at home when you first wake up can also have a great impact on your day. Just a few minutes can make a big difference.

Journaling Gratitude

The act of writing down positive things that happen to you can have a great influence on your attitude and sense of self. Focusing on the good things, the things you enjoy or feel happy about will reset your brain which is likely otherwise hardwired to dwell too deeply on the negative. We are constantly thinking about all the things that do and can go wrong in our days. But by re-centering our thoughts around what we are grateful for, we are better able to keep everything good and everything bad in perspective. Taking as little as a minute to jot down one thing that you are glad that happened to you will help put you in a better mood.

Map Out Your Day

Another quick and easy trick to set yourself up for a day of success is to plan out your time. Thinking ahead and being intentional about how you spend your hours will help you feel more accomplished and more effective. And it only takes a minute to look at your day in this way. That little investment of your time first thing in the morning can be just enough to keep you from getting stuck in a reactive mindset as you take on the day at your best.

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