Do you remember when you were young, and people used to tell you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day?
The advice was so cliché that it became stale. So by the time you were in college you probably skipped breakfast all the time.
It turns out, this was actually really good advice.
But this goes far beyond just breakfast. How we start out day in other ways is equally important.
A lot has been said about how successful people start their day. We want to know the little tricks and tips that contribute to their achievements, and if we look at their morning routines, we soon see some patterns emerge.
What’s equally important though, is to study failure. So here are some things that successful people NEVER do. If you notice any on the list sound a little too familiar, get to work on banishing them for good.
Here are 7 morning mistakes that successful people never make:
Starting the day without warming up their body.
Have you ever seen a cat or dog get up after lying down? They typically stand up and stretch their bodies before jumping into action.
Our bodies also need warming up before they get going, and in fact, because of the sedentary nature of modern life, we need a lot more than the occasional quick stretch.
Start your day with some form of challenging physical exercise, whether its weight lifting, running or yoga and you’ll immediately start to see a massive increase in your energy levels and focus across the first half of the day.
Hitting the Snooze Button.
When you wake up to an alarm you have a choice to make, and this choice sets the tone for the rest of your day.
If you choose to the hit the snooze button, you’ll be missing out on a great opportunity to strengthen your willpower.
Successful people choose to get up when the alarm goes off every day. They know how important it is to hit the ground running, so they don’t entertain sleepy rationalizations about why they should stay in bed.
Try keeping your alarm far away enough that you have to stand up and walk to turn it off. That way you won’t be tempted to instinctively hit snooze and roll over.
Waking up next to their phone (or tablet or laptop).
Turning to your cell phone or tablet as soon you wake up is a terrible way to start the day.
What happens when we check emails or texts is that we immediately kick our thoughts into over-drive. That means you don’t get the adequate quiet time your brain needs to start the day effectively.
Add to this that electronics with LED screens give off what is known as blue light. This type of light tricks your brain in to thinking it is still daylight, which—when kept next to your bed—can make it harder to fall asleep and get the same amount of deep sleep every night. The general health risks of cell phones aren’t yet clear, though the World Health Organization has warned that usage may be linked to cancer—so keep it out of reach, or better yet in another room.
If you are going to set an alarm, it’s much better to do so on a watch or traditional alarm clock than with a smart phone. It’s easy to swipe your phone and then, in your sleepy state, get sucked into the vortex of email and social media.
Eating the wrong foods.
Do you start your day with coffee and toast? Or even worse, sugar-covered cereals?
Though these may seem like quick solutions to a rushed morning, they are not giving you the energy you need to take on the day. Both sugar and caffeine give you a quick boost of energy, but they’ll cause you to crash earlier in the day.
What you want is something that has slow-release carbohydrates, is high in fibre, and preferably has some protein. A bowl of oatmeal with some fresh fruit and nuts is a good example of a meal that ticks all the boxes.
Watch T.V. (Or YouTube)
Watching T.V should be a reward for a long day, not something you do instinctively when you wake up. Most people feel the need to watch the news first think in the morning to catch up with the world. But most news is rehashing’s of old stories and just leaves you either angry or a little confused.
“Anything important in the news will get to you within 24 hours.” – Anonymous
In fact, in our age of social media, this is probably more like 12 hours.
Leaving the House without a To Do List.
Ask any successful person you know and chances are they have a to-do list. They not only help get you focused, but they calm a lot of peripheral anxiety around the vague cloud of ‘what needs to be done.’
It’s as simple as writing down the one most important thing that needs to get done. Do so on paper rather than a computer, and make sure to carry the piece of paper round in your pocket all day.
Forgetting to practice gratitude
The scientific benefits of practicing gratitude are not to be overlooked. Research by psychologist Robert Emmons at UC Davis found that well-being and life satisfaction can significantly be increased by keeping a gratitude journal.
These habits are very commonplace for the majority of people. Take a concerted effort to make your morning free of these 7 mistakes, and you’ll start each day off with the momentum you need to guarantee success.
Would you like to take complete control of your mornings?
Then grab a FREE copy of our new eBook: Morning Mastery: the simple 20 minute routine for long-lasting energy, laser-sharp focus, and stress free living
Ben is a freelance writer, and the co-creator of Project Money Mind – a blog for the 21st century solopreneur and young professional who wants to chase their dreams and create a world changing life.