Do you find it hard to feel motivated in the morning? Don’t worry; you’re not alone.
Many people struggle to start their day right and be energized or inspired. Fortunately, there are strategies to help jumpstart your day and get yourself moving, no matter how you feel.
According to experts, here are ways to get motivated in the morning.
Dr. David Spiegel
Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine | Co-Founder, Reveri
Change your sleep habits; get at least seven hours of relatively uninterrupted sleep
The first thing to think about is that the lack of motivation could be due to poor sleep. Many of us simply do not get enough sleep. We could be:
- going to bed too late
- having light in the bedroom at night
- or problems such as sleep apnea
There are remedies for each of these problems. If you are not getting at least seven hours of relatively uninterrupted sleep at night, try to change your sleep habits.
If your partner notices that you snore a great deal, have a sleep laboratory evaluation for possible sleep apnea (episodes of breathlessness that partially awakens you due to excessive relaxation of your soft palate blocking your inhalation of air during deep sleep).
Anxiety is certainly a possibility. If your first thoughts of the day are primarily about problems that seem insurmountable or self-deprecating thoughts, you may be suffering from some level of anxiety or depression. There are suitable treatments available—both various psychotherapies and medications.
Lack of focus can leave you feeling assailed by more problems than you can handle, leading to despair rather than productivity. Techniques such as self-hypnosis are available on a downloadable app I developed to help you find your focus.
The technique involves learning to dissociate your physical arousal from mental tension and then narrow your attention to one problem at a time, helping you to picture one or more solutions and then carry them out.
Finding your focus is a great tension-buster and can energize the start of your day.
Balance your emotional and cognitive brain components
As a psychiatrist, I can assure you that good mental health means mastering the interaction between our emotional and cognitive brain components.
Emotions emerge from deep in the limbic system and include:
- and anger.
They can motivate or interfere with the higher-level cognitive portions of the brain, primarily the prefrontal cortex.
Emotion can overwhelm thinking, and thinking can control emotion. We do best when we balance the interaction of the two—we feel drawn to a task as an opportunity to accomplish something and then apply cognitive skills to plan how to do it.
Motivation is enhanced by focusing on what you are for, not what you are against. This leads to a plan with the promise of accomplishment rather than focusing on a fear of failure.
Use your waking moments as an opportunity to reflect and plan
When you can formulate the steps that could lead to accomplishing something worthwhile, you will feel better prepared for a productive and happy day.
Physical exercise is an excellent way to arouse your body to full wakefulness and be sure that you have a period of activity in your day. This is good for both physical and mental health.
So if you can start your day with a run, walk, bike ride, or swim, do it. And give your body the nutrition it needs after a long period without nourishment. Don’t skip breakfast; instead, enjoy it.
Dr. Jeff Ditzell, D.O.
CEO and Lead Psychiatrist, Jeff Ditzell Psychiatry
Develop and optimize your morning routine
Sometimes it can be hard to get yourself out of bed in the morning. Everyone has bad mornings. But with exercise, meditation, and other tools, you can turn every morning into your best morning yet.
There are many reasons why you might not feel like going to work, from personal dramas to unwanted guilt and so on. Before you even begin your day, you need to get motivated.
No matter what you’re doing throughout the day, you should be excited to start your to-do list. However, it sounds a lot easier than it actually is. The key to motivation is to look at it as a skill that can be learned.
The first step to morning motivation is to develop a routine. A routine that will help you get started in the morning, whether it’s a morning wake-up call or a cup of coffee, nothing gets the body and mind moving like starting your day with a positive attitude.
Optimizing your morning routine will set the tone for the rest of your day. You’ll get more done and be more excited to start another day.
Planning and preparation are always your best bet when it comes to success and maintaining consistency. The most important thing to remember as you get your day started is that you need to prioritize.
The beginning of your day sets the tone for everything else. Jump-start your productivity with an action item in your to-do list or task app. For example, getting up at the start of your peak energy level will make you feel great.
It’s easy to do a workout first thing or even take a walk around the block. You can also try to get your mind going with a motivational podcast or audiobook on your commute.
Consistent sleep is key to achieving peak performance
Starting your day on a positive note can be the difference between a productive day and one that feels tiresome. However, your days need to start with a good night’s sleep. Eventually, you will have enough rest to get up each day without dreading the prospect of waking up and starting the day.
Nothing can be more effective for your productivity, mental health, or physical well-being than a good night’s sleep.
Something else to note is that waking up at the same time every day teaches your body to fall asleep naturally and consistently. Consistent sleep is key to achieving peak performance.
And lastly, drinking water in the morning helps you feel:
- more alert,
- rehydrates your body,
- and kick-starts your metabolism,
all of which are essential for starting a healthy day.
Lisa Westerson, LCSW
Director of Residential Services, Mountainside Addiction Treatment Center
I have never been a morning person. I always found it difficult to wake up feeling refreshed and motivated enough to do anything in the mornings. Completing minor tasks was even a struggle.
I admit, there was a time when I was providing advice to my clients and staff about how to get motivated in the mornings without actually listening to my own advice.
After constantly feeling unmotivated and exhausted, I realized I needed to make a change for myself. A few years ago, I took on a rescue pup, and now my mornings start before the sun comes up at 5 a.m.
Of course, it took some time to acclimate to earlier mornings and thus earlier bedtimes. But I was able to do this effectively with three main actions that mimic the change I encourage from my clients.
Establish a routine at night as well as in the morning
Sleep is essential. However, we probably all struggle to get enough rest each night. It is essential to establish a routine at night as well as in the morning to get a full eight hours of sleep,
I try to go to bed every night at the same time, regardless if I have to work the next day or not.
Limiting distractions can be helpful when trying to fall into a deep sleep. For my nightly routine, I limit evening TV and screen time. In addition, I turn off all electronics and leave them outside my bedroom.
Instead of using electronics, I often read or journal before it is time to sleep.
I also complete any needed tasks before bedtime, so my mind is not preoccupied with any distractions.
Lastly, I like to end my day by thinking about three positive things before sleep:
- What I have done for someone
- What someone has done for me
- What I have done for myself
This gratitude list helps me prepare for positive sleep thoughts.
Develop a schedule encompassing all your morning responsibilities
I created a morning routine that includes time to complete tasks and enjoy some personal time. But this didn’t happen overnight. It took some trial and error to develop a schedule encompassing all of my morning responsibilities.
For me, knowing I have enough time for everything that I need and want to do before I leave for work has been very helpful. I set my alarm to wake up at the same time each day, regardless if I am working or not.
I make it a point to do the same tasks daily, such as:
- feeding my dogs,
- making my bed,
- and washing any dishes.
Although these might be minor tasks, knowing I have accomplished something right at the start of the day is a great feeling.
I ensure I also include some self-care or “me” time. This might look like having a cup of coffee on my terrace or practicing a short meditation.
Related: 17 Best Meditation Books
Completing small tasks and setting aside time for self-care in the morning makes me feel:
- and ready to tackle the day.
Set small and short-term goals
Every day I try to identify one very small goal that I may be able to accomplish that day. Whether performing an act of kindness for a client at work or something more personal, setting goals keeps me looking ahead toward the future.
As mentioned before, sometimes a goal can be something as simple as washing dishes or cleaning out a junk drawer. Having a purpose and meaning, especially in the morning, motivates me to get up and do what needs to be accomplished.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Exercise early in the morning and balance all other responsibilities
I haven’t always been a morning exerciser but was sort of forced to become one to ensure that I can exercise every day and balance all of my other responsibilities.
I also know myself well enough to know that, despite my best intentions, I just won’t go to the gym in the evening (or anytime after 10 am). Once my work day starts, I rarely make time to get to the gym.
To make sure I get to the gym each morning, these are a few things I do:
Lay out my clothes the night before
A quick Google search tells me it was Benjamin Franklin who essentially said, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
One of the reasons I have become committed to working out in the very early morning is that I know very few things can pop up unexpectedly that would prevent me from working out.
There are some days when I am getting ready in the morning that just about any excuse would prevent me from actually going to the gym. Having to comb through my drawers to find the right clothes is definitely one of those things that could quickly become an excuse when one more hour of sleep sounds so enticing.
So, in my efforts to prepare and avoid “failure,” I remove the searching for clothes as an excuse. I lay out my gym clothes and shoes in the bathroom before I go to bed, so I have one less reason to skip my workout. At 4 am, anything helps!
Get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off
I will admit this was a tough one but also a significant one. When you are setting your alarm for the morning, try creating a when-then statement for yourself.
Something as simple as “when my alarm goes off in the morning, I will get out of bed right away“ will do the trick. It may even help to choose an alarm tone different from any other one you already use.
Related: Why and How to Wake up Early?
Why does this help? It’s pretty simple, actually. These statements are called “implementation intentions.” Implementation intentions help us turn our motivation into specific action.
Researchers have shown time and again that having a specific plan will greatly increase the chances that you will actually do the planned behavior.
Making a small change from “I will wake up early to exercise” to “I will wake up as soon as my alarm goes off“ means your exercise is much more likely to happen.
Use my social connections to build in some accountability
When I first started working out at 5 am, I knew one woman (vaguely) from work. After a month or so, I knew most of the people who came in at 5 am.
When we moved two years later? I cried on my last day at the gym because it felt like I was leaving my family behind. These connections took time to develop, so don’t expect to show up on the first day and already have a social network, but take steps to get to know the people there.
There were so many days when I would wake up and think, “maybe I’ll skip today.” This thought was almost always followed by something like “but if I don’t go, I’ll miss Ashley’s birthday” or “I won’t see Heidi for another few weeks if I’m not there today.”
Whether they knew it or not, my social connections were often my last line of defense on days when I just didn’t want to go to the gym. Having a social support system that encourages exercise has been found to increase exercise behavior in adults, regardless of race, sex, or work status.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable introducing yourself to everyone on your first day at the gym, but perhaps decide to say hello to someone who has been there almost every time you’ve been after a week or so.
Even if these relationships don’t develop into close friendships, you’ll be surprised at how helpful they are at getting you to the gym on the days you don’t want to go.
I have found that after months of getting out of bed early, I no longer rely so heavily on these things, but they are so ingrained into my routine that I still do them—and they certainly don’t hurt my chances of being motivated in the morning. And I think it bears repeating that at 4 am; anything helps!
John F. Tholen, PhD
Retired Psychologist | Author, “Focused Positivity: The Path to Success and Peace of Mind“
Identify dysfunctional thoughts and shift your attention to reasonable alternatives
Although it seems that our feelings and motivations result directly from the events and circumstances we encounter in life, they are instead reactions to our self-talk.
It’s the internal monologue that streams endlessly through our waking consciousness, interpreting our every experience and creating our perspective on both ourselves and the world around us.
The thoughts that spontaneously “pop” into our self-talk—our automatic thoughts—are determined by our early life programming—a complex interaction between biology and experience, neither of which was under our control as children.
As a result, our automatic thoughts are often dysfunctional—causing distress without inspiring constructive action. And when dysfunctional thoughts are allowed to occupy the focus of our attention, they:
- infuse our self-talk,
- trigger a negative emotional reaction,
- inhibit our self-assertion,
- and disrupt our peace of mind.
To set ourselves up for the most productive possible day, the best available strategy is to identify dysfunctional thoughts and respond by collecting and shifting our attention to balanced and reasonable (functional) alternatives more likely to inspire hope and motivate self-assertion.
This is the 4-step focused positivity strategy:
- Becoming mindful of our thoughts by recording and examining the ideas that occupy our minds when we are distressed or inhibited,
- Identifying the dysfunctional thoughts that have become the focus of our attention,
- Collecting more reasonable, balanced, and functional alternatives that reassure, inspire hope, or motivate self-assertion, and
- Systematically refocusing our attention away from the dysfunctional thoughts and toward the functional alternatives.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the psychological treatment approaches that can be considered “evidence-based.” CBT works because it is one of the most efficient methods of challenging our dysfunctional thoughts, and the most efficient form of CBT is focused positivity strategy.
Our best way to address a negative feeling or improve our motivation is to employ the closest thing we have to a “superpower,“ our ability at any moment to shift the focus of our attention to a more functional thought.
When we hope to get motivated in the morning, therefore, we are likely to benefit from reviewing functional ideas such as:
- “This new day provides me with another opportunity to learn, grow, and pursue greater well-being with respect to my health, relationships, spiritual/philosophical balance, work, and creative self-expression.”
- “By acknowledging my gratitude for [list all the reasons you can feel grateful], I have a good chance of brightening my mood and optimism for the entire day.”
- “Everything I need to thrive is within me or my reach.”
- “There are no failures, only discoveries.”
- “I may not be able to control what comes my way, but I can do my best to respond constructively.”
- “There’s a limit to what any person can do in one day, and whatever I manage to accomplish today will be enough.”
- “I can at least be wise enough to find the time for those things I know will be good for my state of mind tonight
- (e.g., exercise, playing with kids, buying or making something for my mom, community service, etc.).”
- “By challenging the dysfunctional thoughts that underlie my negative emotions with balanced and reasonable (functional) alternatives, I can improve my mood and motivation.”
- “Given my inherited biology and life experience, everything I feel and do is perfectly understandable.”
- “Like all humans, I have hidden strengths, untapped potential, and the ability to grow in profound ways.”
Wellness and Lifestyle Coach | Pharmacist | Health Advocate
Practice gratitude; begin and end each day with three things you’re grateful for
Here is what I hear over and over from my patients: “I’m having trouble managing my work/home life, managing my daily to-dos. Because of this, I can’t sleep/can’t maintain my energy/can’t show up fully at work or for my family/can’t _____ (fill in the blank).“
This is why I offer personalized one-on-one coaching for my clients, to help them re-establish balance in their lives, which brings me to the point of getting motivated in the morning.
As a career-driven woman and former competitive athlete, I inherently overload my plate. When I do this, it drains me of my motivation and energy, decreasing my productivity.
But now I know how to manage that and get myself back on track. This is how people get sick and become discontented with their quality of life.
Research shows that our minds are often more creative in the morning hours. Our morning hours are crucial because they set the tone for our entire day.
I use two techniques to motivate myself in the morning:
Gratitude. As a woman, I particularly understand the importance of embodiment and that we hold our energy (good or bad) in our female organs—primarily our ovaries.
So each morning, when I wake, I place one hand over my heart and one hand over my ovarian area (lower abdomen) as I say five things for which I’m grateful. This physically connects the energy between the gratitude in my heart and the energy I hold in these organs.
Why is this important? Because gratitude is felt in our heart but experienced in all parts of our body. This is an important and useful technique to practice gratitude and release bodily tension.
Gratitude produces positivity, which releases hormones that improve our mood, drive, and motivation. This sets the stage for a productive day.
Also, when we express gratitude:
- we treat others better,
- have a more positive outlook on life,
- and attract more abundance and success into our lives.
Another technique is to begin and end each day with three things you’re grateful for (best to write them down).
“Morning pages“ is a technique that increases motivation because it allows an offload before ever leaving the house in the morning. It is the idea that you take the first 15 minutes of your day in the morning just to write. Good or bad, write down anything that comes to mind.
This exercise aims to offload everything on paper that could get in the way of our productivity and intrinsic motivation for the day. When we get in our own heads, it affects our mindset, our productivity, and our health.
Morning pages is a nice way to remove those roadblocks from the mind so that we can get out of our own way and maintain motivation throughout the day.
Gratitude practices and Morning Pages make a great formula for increased motivation and productivity improvement.
Alyssa Burnison, MS, RD, LN
Director of Program and Nutrition, Profile
Make the start of your day personally meaningful to you
Mornings are hard, and that snooze button is all too tempting. Becoming a motivated morning person takes time and effort, but there are ways you can reshape your thoughts and behaviors that will have you jumping out of bed in no time.
What is motivation?
Motivation is the driving force behind making a change or reaching a goal. The Self Determination Theory represents motivation on a continuum from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation.
- Extrinsic motivation is controlled by outside forces:
- getting good grades,
- receiving praise from your boss,
- or seeing your weight change on a scale.
- Intrinsic motivation comes from within and occurs when behavior is aligned with your identity and core values.
Think of the difference between eating broccoli to lose weight (extrinsic motivation) and eating broccoli because it makes your body feel good (intrinsic motivation).
The same applies to your mornings: there’s a difference between dragging your butt out of bed because you have to (extrinsic motivation) versus feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day because you want to (intrinsic motivation).
Once starting your day becomes personally meaningful (or intrinsically motivated), you are more likely to be the “early bird that gets the worm.“
Be a morning person
Being a morning person who is fueled by intrinsic motivation can allow for positive experiences in other areas of your life, too.
Incorporating a few of these tips can significantly impact your motivation level and keep you rising and shining every day.
- Assess your values
- Plan your day the night before
- Create a morning and evening routine
- Stay properly hydrated and fueled
- Engage in regular physical activity
- Start journaling
- Get a hype squad
Emergency Medicine Physician
Many people find it hard to get motivated in the morning. They may hit the snooze button several times, feel sluggish when they finally get out of bed, and have trouble getting started with their day.
Related: Why Do I Wake up Tired?
There are a few simple things that can help you get motivated in the morning and make the most of your day.
The best way to have a good morning is to have a good night
Make sure to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep and thus feel well rested when you wake up in the morning. Ideally, wake up before your alarm clock goes off.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast
Eating a nutritious meal will give you energy and help you focus throughout the day. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water as soon as you wake up. Dehydration can make it harder to focus and be productive.
Take some time for yourself in the morning to do something that you enjoy
- reading a book,
- going for a walk,
- or meditating,
taking a few minutes for yourself will help you start your day feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Set realistic goals for the day ahead
Finally, make sure to set realistic goals for the day ahead. Having a plan for what you want to accomplish will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.
Rashad Skinner, LCSW-S
Therapist | Founder and Executive Director, Sapphire Therapeutic Services, Inc.
Build each day in small steps
Finding that motivation to get out of bed in the morning begins with your view of your personal growth. The obstacles in our lives and the things we have been through are seen as barriers that thwarted our growth. We tend to miss the progress we have made.
However, if we change the view to a building perspective, each day is easier to get started.
The life experiences you have overcome throughout the years have developed you into a better person now. For example, a veteran athlete is better after years of playing a sport than in their rookie year. Instead of seeing the experiences as scars, see them as building blocks.
With this outlook, you build each day in small steps. A stream of water dug away the Grand Canyon. Don’t wake up each morning looking for giant monumental changes. You will become overwhelmed with the enormity of trying to change your world in a day and give up before starting.
Set an obtainable task that will be completed in one day
The night before, set an obtainable task (not a goal) that will be completed in one day.
Goals can take weeks or days to accomplish and sometimes seem overwhelming to the point where you lose motivation to get started. Tasks are the building blocks to goals.
Think of it like building a wall. Task #1 pick up a brick. Don’t think, “I have to build this wall.” Think, “Just for today, pick up as many bricks as I can.“ Then tomorrow, set another task that builds on this first one.
Christine Marie Quigless
Holistic Life Coach and Founder, Sparrow Holistic
Take a deep look at your goals and purpose on this planet
Morning motivation becomes a lot easier when you are waking up to a day and life that you want to live. If you struggle to get out of bed to “face” life, look deeply at your goals and purpose on this planet.
It would be more valuable to you and those you impact the most (family, friends) than figuring out how to “make it work” or work yourself up to get into your morning.
Get hyper-specific about what you are doing when you do it
Let’s say you have the life you want and are getting ready to do the work you want to do, but you’re just not a morning person. Choose mindfulness. I mean, get hyper-specific about what you are doing when you do it.
There are so many benefits that elicit from the decision to be present with yourself and where your feet happen to be. Here are a few:
Time slows down
When we are present and mindful of our actions, our perception of time seems to slow down because we are not stressing ourselves out to meet self-imposed exterior deadlines.
Try it a few times, and you will be so pleasantly surprised that everything you need to do gets done and that you don’t have to stress yourself out to meet your goals.
Related: Mindfulness: Will It Make Me Happy?
You magnetize yourself to attract what you want
Eckhart Tolle talks about the “Power of Now,” and he is not embellishing. In the morning, if we are thinking about the future, we are in the future, and what we want assumes that we want to keep wanting because we keep focusing on the future—in the wanting.
Instead, when we choose presence:
- ideas seem to come “out of the blue,”
- learnings seem to land,
- answers to questions we forgot that we asked land,
all from choosing to be present, specifically in the morning.
Can you imagine how you will go into the rest of your day, armed with so many exciting realizations flying at you and empowering you at the beginning of your day?
You gain awareness of thoughts and actions that do not serve your greatest good
In contrast to jumping from one activity to the next in service to a deadline, starting mindfulness gives you the space to let those sneaky actions and thoughts (that typically go unnoticed because your attention is elsewhere) get noticed.
In the same way how we might remove seeds from an orange before we eat it, we can:
- pick out the thoughts and actions,
- maybe take time to investigate them (depending on how much time you have in the morning),
- and give ourselves back that mental real estate.
Move and ground yourself
Gentle movements like Qi Gong, a few Sun Salutations, or whole-bodied slow-motion cheering will be just as powerful if not more helpful than that first cup of coffee or tea. Trust me, it engages every part of your body and always includes laughter!
Grounding yourself by putting your bare feet or whole body on the ground or digging into a bit of dirt, feeling the earth in your hands, is also a significant way to engage with your base and activate all of you to show up for your day.
The mind is only one part of the holistic puzzle. Actions like grounding and movement encourage the other three parts: the spirit, the body, and the emotions.
There are so many ways to get motivated in the morning, but what matters most is that the shift comes from within. And that we let the “without” supplement our experience rather than create or signal it.
When everything we are exposed to in the world outside of our home and the online world is motivated by commerce, it is up to us to choose to begin with integrity, with the question of how we can best serve ourselves to be of greatest service to the world.
Joy Puleo, M.A., PMA-CPT
Director of Education, Balanced Body
Working out in the morning sets you up for success throughout your day
Let’s face it, the best time to work out is the time of day you can commit to working out. There are benefits to working out in the morning that make it a perfect time for the body to experience exercise, specifically for mind-body-focused exercise, such as Pilates.
When you wake up, your body is in a state of fasting. Without getting overly “science-y” about this, the body’s glucose stores are depleted. As a result, early morning workouts tend to tap fat stores faster.
If you eat first, choose something light before your workout, and always hydrate as needed.
After a good night’s rest, your mind has had time to think, organize and prioritize. This is why we often wake up clear-eyed and fresh for the new day. This is a great time to introduce exercise, which taps this sense of well-being.
What you are doing is starting with your nervous system and mind grounded; as you move, you are reinforcing this sense of well-being and groundedness.
Now, getting a bit science-y about it, you are training your parasympathetic nervous system, the part of your nervous system that controls breathing rate and heart rate variability and returns the body to a resting state.
The reason you want to train this is that strength, power, and overall health have as much to do with how we recover as it does with how we push ourselves.
The more we can calm the nervous system, the less reactive it is to stressors, such as spin class, and the better we can handle the intensity.
The last reason working out in the morning is great is that it sets you up for success throughout your day. You do not have to think about when you will “fit” in your workout; it is already in your rearview mirror.
- You will feel good
- You will feel energized
- You will feel able to tackle what lies ahead
Tips to get motivated in the morning:
- The first step is the hardest: set the alarm and get up. Once it becomes routine, you will actually desire the early mornings.
- If you are getting up earlier, then it makes sense to go to bed earlier. Start shutting down your life an hour earlier than usual. Turn off the TV, power down your computer, and put the do not disturb on your phone. You will find that by powering down, the body and the mind will follow suit.
- Whenever possible, take your workout outside. Morning is a particularly great time to work out outside as the morning light is inspiring, and the air smells fresh and crisp. Nothing will help center you than the sensations of a brilliant morning.
Doctor of Audiology
Wake up early to spend some quiet time with yourself and get organized
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.“—Richard Whately
How you start your day is crucial. If you wake up feeling sluggish and unmotivated, it’s going to be a long day. On the other hand, if you wake up feeling invigorated and ready to take on the world, your day will be much better.
Wake up early to spend some quiet time with yourself and get organized. Take some time to start the day off well with a soothing alarm sound. Nature sounds like the ocean or water is a gentle and relaxing way to wake up.
Do a morning meditation to help get you focused for the day. Meditation offers so many health benefits and will help you feel grounded, refreshed, and motivated.
Get out for a refreshing morning walk to help wake up your body and prime your nervous system for a productive day.
Then spend some time doing something you enjoy:
- read something interesting,
- do some sketching,
- or watch an episode of a show you enjoy.
After spending time getting your mind and body ready for the day, make a plan for what you’d like to accomplish today. Then get ready for a great day!
Ryan C. Warner
Team Wellness Expert | Clinical Psychologist, 1AND1 Life
Give yourself time to ease into the day
Many people wake up and rush to work, especially with hybrid models; some start working while they are still in bed. Having a waking-up routine that prepares you and gets you in the right mindset to face the day is vital.
If you give yourself time to properly wake up and get in a good mood before work, you will probably:
- make fewer mistakes,
- won’t feel like your whole day is sucked in by your job,
- and you can get ahead on your hobbies.
This can look different for everyone. It can be:
- a workout
- reading something non-work related
- preparing breakfast
- having a bath routine
The important thing is to give yourself time in the morning to make yourself happy and start the day with the right foot forward.
Founder, Fitness Equipped
Try out different techniques and see what works best for you
There are many different techniques that people use to get motivated in the morning, but not all of them work for everyone.
Here are a few tips that might help you get started:
- Make a list of things you need to do that day. This can help you focus on what’s important and give you a sense of purpose.
- Set your alarm a few minutes earlier than usual and use that time to do something you enjoy, such as reading or listening to music. This can help you start the day in a positive frame of mind.
- Take a brisk walk or run outside. The fresh air and exercise can help wake you up and give you energy for the day ahead.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Having a nutritious meal will give you sustained energy throughout the day.
- Avoid checking your email or social media first thing in the morning. This can help you avoid getting bogged down in distractions and negative thoughts.
- Give yourself a pep talk. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and what you’re capable of. This can help boost your confidence and motivation.
- Set small, achievable goals for the day. This can help you feel a sense of accomplishment as you check items off your list.
- Find a motivating mantra or quote to repeat to yourself. This can help you stay positive and focused on your goals.
- Take a few deep breaths. This can help you relax and clear your mind, making it easier to focus on what’s ahead.
- Reward yourself for completing small tasks. This can help you feel motivated to keep going and achieve your larger goals.
Try out a few of these techniques and see what works best for you. Remember that it’s okay to have off days, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t feel motivated every single day.
Related: How To Stop Beating Yourself Up
Just keep trying, and eventually, you’ll find a routine that works for you.
Spiritual Healer and Mentor | Founder, Awaken Collective
Have a productive routine that touches your body, emotions, mind, and spirit
The ingredients to a beautiful morning start with having a productive routine that touches each component of the body, emotions, mind, and spirit (BEMS).
We are holistic beings, and each of these parts makes up 25% of our whole. I call this your BEMS, and each one needs a little attention in the morning, which can be done in as little as 20 minutes (5 minutes in each area).
Moving your body in some capacity at the beginning of the day will help you release endorphins, known as our natural pain killers, which assist your mind in being more optimistic.
Getting out your journal and writing down what is on your mind and heart for just 5 minutes is known to create emotional balance.
Filling your mind with something positive and inspirational helps your brain focus on better-feeling thoughts, and then meditating to engage and connect with your spirit helps you feel more aligned with your purpose.
These four components, when strung together, create the motivation to have a good day because you are starting from an intentionally aligned place. Creating a cornerstone spiritual routine like this prepares you to:
- unlock your own self-support system,
- step into a self-loving relationship with yourself,
- and spark truths you have forgotten due to the hustle of your daily life.
It takes time, consistency, and implementation to really find your flow. But I encourage you to hang in there—every step matters.
Dr. Suzanna Wong, DC
Chiropractor and Co-Founder, Twin Waves Wellness Center
Think of positive things that you are grateful for
Starting the day thinking of all the things you are grateful for can put you in a happy, positive mood, making you more motivated to get through what you need to do.
It could be as simple as being grateful for the food you are eating or being thankful for having a house to live in. Think through what you are actually grateful for, and watch your motivation soar!
Write a list but use positive words
If you have lots to do, write a list, putting the most important things at the top. When we write lists, we often don’t get even halfway through them, so prioritizing the most urgent things is best.
Be smart with how you write your list; rather than saying “Things I want to do today,” say “Things I will do today.“ Small changes to words can make a big difference in how things feel.
Set yourself 20-minute time spans
Setting time spans helps keep you focused on the task you need to do. That way, if it’s something you don’t want to do, you know that after 20 minutes, you can take a break.
Using 20-minute work ties and 5 or 10-minute breaks can help you get through even the most challenging jobs and stop you from wandering off the task.
Copywriting Expert and Marketing Educator | Mental Health Advocate, and Podcaster
Incorporate simple small rewards first thing in the morning
Growing up, I was a chronic oversleeper. Every morning my parents would anxiously beg me to get ready for school. I even slept in on Christmas morning when all the other kids in the house would be chopping at the bit to see what Santa had left them downstairs.
But something changed once I went into business for myself. I realized that the most peaceful time when no one required anything of me was the hours of 6-9 am.
I began filling that time with nourishing things:
- I bought a fancy coffee system,
- I got a beautiful smelling candle,
- I sought out some content that made me tap into my creativity and feel inspired.
Over time I began adding things to the mix. Because I started with small, simple pleasures, I was able to move on to bigger and better things like:
- deep journaling,
- creative brainstorming,
- and even transcendental meditation.
In his book “Atomic Habits,” James Clear expands on the idea of forming new habits by making those habits as attractive and as easy to execute as possible.
For me, getting motivated in the morning simply came down to figuring out how to make myself look forward to that particular time. You’d be surprised how incorporating simple small rewards first thing in the morning can completely set the tone for your entire day.
Founder, The Karate Blog
Do morning phone calls with someone dear to you
Based on popular opinion, coffee is a great way to start your morning; but there are other helpful ways to find morning motivation, and one of these many ways is phone calls.
Hearing the voice of someone you hold dear every morning will help boost your mood and might supply you with the needed motivation. It may be someone:
- you’re in a romantic relationship with,
- a close friend,
- your favorite family member,
- or someone you recently started talking with.
Phone conversations with people we love always help our mood.
An efficient morning routine also helps you find the motivation to take on the day
A routine organizes every activity between waking up and getting to work, so you’re not tasked with deciding the next thing to do after completing an activity.
With a routine, you don’t need to think about the best way to schedule your time every morning. Spending too much time planning can make one lose motivation, but a routine reduces the time spent on planning your mornings.
Also, knowing that your morning activities are already organized will encourage you to start your day.
Exercises should be included in your routine; they help you:
- stay alert,
- loosen cramped muscles,
- boost your energy,
- put you in a better mood,
- improve your focus,
- and combat fatigue and tiredness (a major enemy of motivation).
Listen to uplifting and motivating music
The role of good music in the morning cannot be ignored; waking up to music you love is pure bliss. Nothing beats good music in the morning, and the best thing about it is that it doesn’t interrupt your morning.
As you exercise, go through your morning routine, have breakfast, and get on the road to work, your favorite songs can play in your ears. However, because you seek motivation, it’s best to listen to uplifting and motivating music, the kind that soothes your taste.
Finally, preparing the night before helps put in order the things you’ll need for the following day. Combine this with the previously-listed factors, and you will surely enjoy your mornings.
Catherine vanVonno, Ph.D
President and CEO, 20four7VA
Find a routine that works for you and stick to it
Morning shifts can turn out to be tiring and extremely hectic. These feelings should not be a hindrance to your productivity. You must find ways to get motivated in the morning to accomplish as many tasks as possible.
Here are some tips on how you can do just that:
- Get enough sleep. It is vital to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep so that you can feel fresh and revived in the morning. Well-rested people are usually more productive than those who are sleep-deprived.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need to get through the morning. This jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you focus on your tasks.
- Exercise. Remote workers in a WFH setup often face the challenge of finding the right time to take care of their physique. Taking a quick walk or doing light exercises can help you wake up your body and mind.
- Set realistic goals. Don’t bite more than you can chew. Start your day by setting realistic goals that you know you can accomplish. Trying to accomplish too much in one day can be overwhelming because you are pressured to do so much at a limited time.
- Take breaks. If you feel getting overwhelmed or tired, take a few minutes to relax and rejuvenate.
- Drink some water,
- step away from your work area,
- and take some deep breaths. These mini-breaks will help you come back to your tasks with a clear head.
As you push through your days, you will realize that not every morning will be the same. You will have good days and bad days.
The most important thing is to find a routine that works for you and stick to it. With these tips, we hope that you will be able to get motivated in the morning and power through your workdays.
Senior Editor, Tandem
It’s 6:00 am. The sun has barely risen. Your eyes are open, but your body lies firmly in your bed. You have a meeting at 8:00 am, and you know if you aren’t on the road by 7:00 am, that pesky rush hour traffic might make you late.
You know you need to get up, but you have no motivation. Zero. Zip. Zilch. How can you get motivated in the morning?
Think of the bigger picture
Going to work today doesn’t just affect your day. It can affect your entire life. If you do well at work, you can excel in your career. As you excel, you can make more money. The more money you make now, the earlier you can retire.
So you aren’t just working to pay your bills. You are also working to better your future. If you think about this bigger picture, it might help to give you some motivation in the now.
Think of the smaller picture
For some people, they prefer to take it one step at a time. There was even a TV show in the US (and a recent remake) called “One Day at a Time.” It’s okay to take smaller steps if that is what will motivate you.
If it’s Monday, you don’t have to worry today about making it to Friday. Just focus on making it to the end of the day.
Think of more than yourself
Whatever it is that you are trying to get motivated to do, don’t just think about how it will affect you. Use your actions (or lack thereof) as motivation to complete something.
Maybe it’s that if you go grocery shopping this morning, you are going to make your family happy. Or, if you mow your overgrown lawn, you’ll make your neighbors happy. It feels good to think of more than just ourselves.
Focus on the positive
If you are trying to get motivated to work out, it might hardly seem worth it considering the muscle aches and pains you’ll need to endure. Instead of thinking about the negative aspects, focus on the positive.
After you work out, you’ll look and feel healthier and have more energy. Isn’t that motivation enough?
It can be hard to get motivated, especially when we need the motivation to do something we really don’t want to, and especially when it’s early in the day. But if you can motivate yourself, you can accomplish anything.
CEO, Hello Music Theory
Mornings are a grim reminder to surrender to the monotony of life. People with a hectic work schedule or strenuous academic courses might feel like mornings are the worst time, forcing them to leave behind the comfort of their bed to hustle endlessly.
However, the secret to staying motivated throughout the day of hassle-free hours is to get appropriate doses of motivation in the morning itself.
It is said that “morning shows the day,” i.e., the whole day can be predicted just by seeing the morning. So it is up to us whether or not we want a robust and productive day full of inspiration.
There are a few hacks that can help you in getting motivated in the morning.
Set an uplifting alarm tune
An alarm tune is the first thing you will hear in the morning, so make sure it is soothing. Getting up to an uplifting or least annoying alarm tune automatically gives some respite from the stress that is about to follow.
A sweet melody of the violin, piano, or natural tunes of chirping birds or a waterfall is calming enough to help you start your day on a positive note. It is the first step toward getting motivated to begin the day.
Always start the day with flowers
After freshening up, spare a few minutes to smell fragrant flowers or arrange them in vases. You can also take a quick stroll in a nearby garden to inhale the freshness of the morning flowers in full bloom.
Another great option is to set up a small garden by assembling less space-consuming artistic ceramic pots on your balcony. Greenery and flowers are underrated motivators.
Treat your taste buds with a flavorful breakfast
A healthy breakfast that brings a tsunami of flavors to your mouth can fill you with much-needed energy, which will, in turn, inspire you to excel in whatever you do throughout the day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it is consumed after a long gap. From dinner till the yoke, you wake up after sleeping; nothing healthy goes into your stomach (besides midnight snacks and munchies). So a good breakfast spread can do wonders by motivating you by fulfilling your appetite.
Lastly, a gratitude journal with daily quotes that one can read to feel blessed to get up in the morning is the ultimate source of pure “morning motivation.”
Founder and CEO, Squad
Start your day as grounded as possible
As a CEO, how do I get motivated in the morning? What are my rituals? In the morning, it’s essential for me to start my day as grounded as possible.
The first thing is that I sleep with my phone in my kitchen. I make sure not to use my cell phone (especially for social media within the first hour I am awake). I wake up at five am each morning and start my day by reading an inspirational quote from a book I have that lists one for each day of the calendar year.
I sit in a moment of gratitude with light meditation and walk down the street to Chelsea Piers Brooklyn for a morning workout class or a personal training session.
Once I am done with that, I return home to prepare for the day. And before I leave my apartment, I sit at my kitchen table and go over my tasks for the day. I separate these into “absolutely must be done“ and “can wait if needed.“
I then leave my apartment and head to my office for the day to begin my official workday.
CEO and Founder, Lift Vault
Have a rock-solid morning routine
As an entrepreneur, getting motivated in the morning can be hard, especially if you have been working on your business all night. However, having a rock-solid morning routine that includes some physical activity you enjoy is a great way to feel excited about starting the day.
Having a morning routine that gets you excited helps you know exactly what you’re doing each day.
Many individuals who have to head to work first thing in the morning will likely feel the stress of an oncoming workday before they feel excited or invigorated to get ready. That stress or anxiety can encourage someone to press snooze or even dread getting started in the morning.
Instead of having the first thing on your mind when you wake up is work, add something that invigorates you to your mornings. One of my favorite things to add to a morning routine is physical activity towards a goal.
Train for a 5k race, a powerlifting competition, or get ready for an intense hike.
Having a purpose behind your physical activity will get you excited about hitting the gym while doing something you enjoy will be less of a chore and boost your mood and creativity.
Once you start falling into this routine, you’ll likely start planning your mornings the night before, going to bed earlier, and eating in ways that support your activity, so you can continue to wake up excited and motivated each morning going forward.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why I’m lazy in the morning?
• Lack of sleep: If you’re not getting enough quality sleep, it can leave you feeling exhausted and unmotivated in the morning.
• Poor sleep quality: Factors such as stress, anxiety, and an uncomfortable sleep environment can impact your sleep quality and leave you groggy in the morning.
• Unhealthy habits: Alcohol, caffeine, and unhealthy eating habits can all interfere with your sleep and leave you feeling sluggish in the morning.
• Boredom with the routine: Feeling uninterested or unchallenged in your daily routine can sap your motivation and leave you feeling lazy.
Why do I wake up tired and with no energy?
• Sleep disorders: Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia are all sleep disorders that can leave you feeling tired and drained in the morning.
• Stress and anxiety: Chronic stress and anxiety can impact the quality of your sleep and leave you feeling tired when you wake up.
• Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as anemia, depression, and thyroid problems, can cause you to wake up feeling tired and with no energy.
• Poor sleep habits: Going to bed at inconsistent times, using electronic devices before bed, and not creating a relaxing sleep environment can all impact the quality of your sleep and leave you feeling tired in the morning.
What is the best time to wake up in the morning?
Generally, it’s ideal to wake up during the lighter stages of sleep, which can help you feel more refreshed and alert. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, so you should aim to wake up after completing an adequate number of sleep cycles.
To determine your optimal wake-up time, pay attention to your body’s natural cues and track when you naturally feel most alert and energetic in the morning. Additionally, using a sleep-tracking app or a smart alarm clock can help you wake up at the ideal moment in your sleep cycle, resulting in a more rejuvenated morning.
What are some healthy habits to adopt for a better morning routine?
Becoming a morning person involves making some lifestyle adjustments that help align your body’s natural rhythm with your desired waking time. Here are some tips to help you become a morning person:
• Consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. Consistency helps regulate your body’s internal clock and makes it easier to wake up feeling refreshed.
• Gradual adjustments: Instead of making drastic changes to your sleep schedule, try shifting your bedtime and wake-up time in 15-minute increments. This will help your body adapt more smoothly.
• Morning sunlight exposure: Expose yourself to natural sunlight in the morning to help regulate your circadian rhythm. Sunlight signals your brain to wake up and be alert, making it easier to adjust to your new routine.
• Create a bedtime routine: Develop a calming bedtime routine that signals to your body that it’s time to wind down. This may include activities such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
• Limit screen time before bed: The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Aim to stop using electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to improve your sleep quality.
• Optimize your sleep environment: Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Investing in a comfortable mattress and pillow can also make a significant difference.
•Exercise regularly: Engaging in physical activity during the day can help improve sleep quality and make it easier to wake up feeling refreshed. However, avoid intense exercise close to bedtime, as it may stimulate your body and make it harder to fall asleep.
• Nutritious diet and hydration: Eating a balanced diet and staying well-hydrated can help support healthy energy levels. Be mindful of your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening, as it can disrupt your sleep.
What are some things to avoid in the morning to stay motivated?
• Hitting snooze: Resist the temptation to hit the snooze button, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling groggy.
• Checking your phone immediately: Avoid looking at your phone or other screens right when you wake up. This can lead to increased stress and make it harder to focus on your morning routine.
• Skipping breakfast: Missing out on your first meal of the day can lead to low energy levels and increased hunger later on.
• Rushing: Give yourself enough time in the morning to complete your routine without feeling rushed or stressed.
• Negative thoughts: Try to start your day with positive affirmations and gratitude rather than focusing on negativity or worries.
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