1. Visualize how you want your day to go before you get out of bed.
Just a few "I want" statements — "I want to finish that project proposal," or "I want to do 45 minutes of cardio at the gym" — will help you start your day with intention.
2. Do a quick Duolingo lesson.
Their lessons are fast, fun, and offer a nice little sense of accomplishment!
3. Send a text to someone to make their day a little better.
"I text someone and brighten up their day. It makes me happy to make someone else happy. Sometimes you get just a laugh and a smiley back, sometimes a friend who was otherwise really down is surprised to hear from you and lets a little bit of their tension out. Worth it." —Ravenwald on Reddit
4. Go on a morning date.
Yes, really! Many couples struggle to find time to spend together after work hours, but going to, say, a diner before (and maybe having morning sex after, who knows where the morning will lead you?) can be much easier to schedule.
5. Make that phone call you know you'll put off for the rest of the day.
If you know you need to book a doctor's appointment, get it out of the way first thing so that you don't have to wait until your lunch break or after work (and therefore dread it all day).
6. Put a charger in your bathroom so you can leave the house with a fully charged phone.
There's no faster route to a bad day than realizing you only have 20% battery left after your getting-ready routine and commute. A bathroom charger will make that all better.
7. Give jade rolling a whirl.
Jade rolling can de-puff under-eye circles, minimize fine lines, and help provide glowy morning skin and visible tightness. If you often experience puffy eyes in the morning, you might like the results of this — even if not, the ritual might still make you feel pampered and luxurious.
8. Set aside 10 minutes for a coffee or tea ritual.
Instead of drinking your morning cup with breakfast or while doing something else, make it a focal point of getting your day started. Pick a favorite mug or device, plop down in a chair, and sip away.
9. Meditate for 10 minutes — or even less.
Making a habit of meditating first thing in the morning might seem like wasted time when you're already rushing to get out the door, but you'll feel the benefits of getting in touch with your breath and practicing calming your mind as you move through your day. The Calm app has guided meditations in a variety of lengths that focus on areas like gratitude, happiness, managing stress, and more, as does Headspace.
10. Or, sit in silence without any technology for a little while.
This one comes via Redditor dr-drew: "Sit in silence with no phone, or TV or anything electronic. Do this for 30 minutes each day, and you will notice that your days don't seem as rushed or chaotic. I've been doing this every morning for about four years now, and it's amazing. I am more productive and have more focus throughout the day. 10/10 would recommend."
11. Create a morning skincare or beauty routine you love.
The simple routine of applying makeup or products can be as centering and relaxing as meditating.
12. Work in some stretches to activate your body for a day of activity.
"The goal is to be consistent — so instead of having expectations to do an hour-long workout every day, 7 days a week, make it a priority to do shorter stretches of activity. It is much easier to give up something because it seems too big to handle (or takes too long to finish), than it is to avoid accomplishing a small win that can boost not only your energy levels but your levels of optimism as well." —Nela Canovic on Quora
13. Create a checklist for your day, or look over some old ones for inspiration.
"I keep a stack of 10 or so checklists that I rotate and update occasionally. I pull out one checklist to read and contemplate for five minutes as a way to start each day. I find it puts my thinking in the right frame of mind." —Mike Schoultz on Quora
14. Prepare and eat a breakfast you look forward to.
It can be as simple as stocking up on a cereal you really love, or it can be as involved as eggs benedict. Either way, if it fills you up and makes you excited to eat it, it's a good choice.
15. Make a habit out of doing morning pages right after you wake up.
Yes, that means before any coffee or tea. Morning pages are three full pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing in an 8.5” x 11” notebook, done as soon as you wake up, as recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way. They're a great way to make personal breakthroughs, be creative, and overcome bad moods — all fantastic outcomes for a morning activity.
16. Listen to a special playlist of songs that always put you in a good mood.
You know, the ones that would make you run to the dance floor at a wedding or remind you of a happy time in your life.
17. Listen to a news podcast while you get ready.
It'll get you up to date on the news and keep you from going down a terrible rabbit hole, like you might if you read it.
18. And make your bed. Just do it.
There are so many reasons to make your bed every morning, but the most compelling one to me is what U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McRaven said in a commencement speech at the University of Texas. "If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed."