Waking up motivated in the morning was always a struggle for me, until I adopted these 7 new habits

Mia Zhang by Mia Zhang | May 1, 2024, 5:58 pm

We all have mornings where the warmth of our bed seems infinitely more appealing than the world outside.

You might wake up each day and spend a few too long moments wondering if you truly have the energy or motivation to start your day, or question whether this is just the typical grogginess everyone experiences.

How do you know if your morning sluggishness is something more challenging, or just the usual struggle of leaving dreamland behind?

After reflecting deeply on my morning routines and those of my friends, I’ve curated a list of 7 new habits that have transformed my dawn-time demeanor. If these resonate, it might be time to revolutionize your mornings.

1) Embrace a mindful morning routine

We often kickstart our mornings in a rush, our minds already encumbered with the day’s to-do list. The alarm clock rings, we snooze, it rings again, and we finally drag ourselves out of bed, rushing through breakfast and barely having time to breathe.

But what if we could change that?

I started by dedicating the first 30 minutes of my day to mindfulness. This doesn’t necessarily mean meditation – although that can be a part of it. Instead, it’s about being fully present in these moments, whether that’s while drinking a cup of tea, eating breakfast or even just sitting quietly.

By focusing my attention on the here and now, I found myself waking up with a sense of calm and readiness to face the day. It may sound simple, but this tiny shift in how I start my day has been transformative in boosting my morning motivation.

2) Resist the urge to check your phone

In this digital age, our phones have become virtual extensions of ourselves. The first thing most of us do in the morning is reach for our device, checking messages, emails and social media feeds before we’re even fully awake.

Well, this habit might be doing more harm than good. Research shows that checking your phone first thing in the morning can increase stress and anxiety levels, making it harder to start your day on a positive note.

Instead, I’ve made a conscious decision to not check my phone for the first hour after waking up. It felt uncomfortable at first, but soon I noticed a difference. My mornings felt less rushed, I was more focused and above all, I started my day feeling more in control.

3) Create a gratitude practice

It may seem strange to think that simply expressing gratitude can affect your level of motivation in the mornings. Yet, I’ve found that starting my day with a sense of appreciation has made a significant difference.

Each morning, before getting out of bed, I take a few moments to mentally list three things I’m grateful for. It could be as simple as a comfortable bed, the warmth of the sun, or the aroma of morning coffee waiting to be brewed.

This practice shifts my focus from potential stressors and tasks awaiting me, to positive elements in my life. It’s a gentle reminder that there are always things to be thankful for, no matter how small they might seem.

Creating this habit of gratitude has not only helped me wake up feeling more motivated, but it has also cultivated a more positive mindset that carries throughout the day.

4) Hydrate immediately

We all know that staying hydrated is essential for our overall health, but did you know that it plays a significant role in our energy levels as well?

After a long night’s sleep, our bodies wake up naturally dehydrated. Even a slight decrease in hydration can cause feelings of fatigue, lower mood, and reduced concentration.

With that in mind, I’ve adopted the habit of drinking a full glass of water as soon as I wake up. This simple act replenishes lost fluids and kick-starts my metabolism, helping me to wake up faster and feel more alert.

Starting your day with a glass of water might seem like a small change, but its impact on your morning motivation can be surprisingly significant.

5) Allow room for flexibility

In my quest for morning motivation, I’ve come to realize that not every day is going to be a home run. There will be mornings when getting out of bed feels like the toughest challenge and the thought of a morning routine is overwhelming.

And that’s okay.

It’s important to remember that motivation isn’t a constant, unwavering force. Some days you’ll have it in abundance, other days it’ll be scarce.

I’ve learned to allow myself some grace on these tougher mornings. Instead of forcing myself through a rigid routine, I might choose just one or two simpler habits to focus on, or give myself an extra few minutes in bed.

6) Skip the snooze button

Hitting the snooze button every morning may seem like a harmless habit, but it isn’t. 

This habit can lead to a state called sleep inertia – a period of grogginess and reduced performance caused by fragmented sleep.

I’ve noticed that when I resist the urge to hit snooze and instead commit to waking up as soon as my alarm goes off, my mornings are much more productive. It’s not always easy, but getting up immediately helps me to wake up more quickly and start the day with more energy.

It may seem challenging at first, but once your body adjusts to this new habit, you’ll be surprised at how much more motivated you feel each morning.

7) Set a daily intention

The idea of setting a daily intention might seem a bit abstract, but it’s a practice that has brought a newfound clarity and motivation to my mornings.

An intention is not a goal; it’s more about how you want to feel or what you wish to embody for the day. It could be as simple as wanting to be patient, focused, or joyful.

Each morning, after my mindfulness practice, I take a moment to set an intention for the day. This helps me create a mental roadmap and gives me a sense of purpose that guides my actions throughout the day.

This practice of setting an intention has made my mornings feel more meaningful and has fostered a sense of direction and motivation that stays with me throughout the day.

The importance of personalizing your morning routine

While these habits have worked wonders for me, it’s important to remember that we’re all unique individuals. What works for one person might not work for another. Our morning routines should not be carbon copies of someone else’s, but rather, personalized rituals that cater to our individual needs, preferences and lifestyles.

The key is to experiment with different habits and see what works best for you. It’s about creating a routine that makes you look forward to waking up in the morning because you know it’s a time dedicated to nurturing yourself.

But remember, building new habits take time. So, be patient with yourself. You might not see a drastic change overnight.

But stick with it and soon, you’ll start to notice how these small changes can lead to big shifts in your energy and motivation levels.