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Rise & Shine: Seven Steps to Making Every Morning a Great One

pink alarm clock with pink sleeping mask

You wake up, stretch, and swing your feet out of bed, hoping to start your morning right. While everyone begins their day differently, what you do after waking up sets the tone for the following hours. Whether you’re constantly reaching for the snooze button or skipping breakfast for an early meeting, morning imbalance can affect how you function the rest of the day.   
So how do you bring some calm, connection, and inner peace to your morning? Here are eight steps to making every morning a refreshingly good one.

Wake Up 20 Minutes Earlier.  

Technically, this requires some planning the night before, but it’ll go far in helping to structure your mornings more effectively. Use this extra time in the morning to: 

  • Sip your coffee or tea on the back porch.  
  • Read the newspaper or a book.   
  • Sit in silence for just five minutes or do some deep-breathing exercises.   

Your morning routine should be relaxed instead of rushed. Waking up earlier gives you time for introspection and gets you into the right frame of mind for your day.  

Name Your Feelings.  

Take a minute to recognize how you’re feeling each morning. Ask yourself these questions and jot your answer down in a journal or say them out loud:   

  • What am I grateful for today?   
  • What excites me right now?   
  • What’s causing tension or feelings of uneasiness?   

Identify your feelings, embrace the positive, and note how to move forward without the negative.   

woman drinking coffee and petting dog

Rewire the Way You Think.  

Turning negative thoughts into positive thinking can also help you see things differently. For example, instead of thinking, “Nothing is going how I planned,” rewire your brain to think, “I woke up, had a healthy breakfast, and made my bed. I’m doing well so far!” Recognize these small wins, and you’ll soon notice their significant impact on your mood.   

Another way to do this is by asking yourself, “What would I say/recommend to my best friend? This gives you a chance to see your situation from the outside, which can help you make logical decisions.   


This small act makes a big impact. If you aren’t a morning person, smiles may be in short supply; however, taking the time to look in the mirror and smile at yourself creates a positive ripple effect on the rest of your morning.   

When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides that help fight off stress. Smiling also releases neurotransmitters called dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, increasing our happiness. In short, we can trick ourselves into feeling happier by saying, “Cheese!”  

Visualize How You Want Your Day to Unfold.  

Think about how you want to feel, what you want to accomplish, and what you want to happen during your day. You’ll be more likely to live out that vision by visualizing everything. Set goals for your day with these best practices:   

  • Write your goals in advance.   
  • Set an average of three daily goals (but no more than five).   
  • Use goals as guardrails, not a set of rules.   

Snooze Your Phone Instead of Your Alarm.   

When you wake up, your first instinct may be to check your phone for texts, emails, and social media notifications. When you do this, you immediately cultivate a reactive mindset for your day. Instead, don’t pick up your phone during the first 30 minutes of your morning.   

It’s essential to start your day with a sense of presence and focus and avoid the things that can bring stress, like unopened work emails and missed messages from a friend.  

Looking for more healthy phone habits? Check out these smartphone habits to adopt right now

Work Up a Sweat.  

Just as smiling releases neurotransmitters, physical fitness can have the same effects. You only need a brisk 30-minute walk or 30-40 minutes of at-home exercises to get your blood flowing. Your body releases endorphins and dopamine during activity, reducing stress and making you happy.   

This, coupled with a healthy, at-home breakfast, clears your mind and sets you up for a more successful day.  

Make Your Bed (or complete another quick task on your to-do list).  

Tuck in your sheets, toss on your throw pillows, and in two minutes, you’ve already completed one task that sets the tone for the rest of your day. Whatever you tackle, just set a small goal, and make it happen. One task will turn into another, then another until you’ve accomplished a whole list of things.  

Ready to Start Your Morning, Right?   

Creating a routine takes commitment. But taking small steps to make every morning right will lead you to success. So tomorrow, when you wake up, try following these seven easy tips to help start your day on the right foot.