Much has been written about the power of your morning routine to set your day on a positive course, and science backs those assertions. Research by a German biologist found that people are most proactive and productive first thing in the day, and research published by the American Psychological Association concluded that people who are more active early in the day (early risers) are less stressed, depressed and anxious than night owls.
A call for morning practices from entrepreneurs and businesspeople netted fascinating and creative rituals. These power players typically included practices that address five parts of your being—listed here. The key is to identify habits that resonate with you. Be playful and try different things until you find a groove that works. If the effects wear off or you get bored, switch it up with abandon.
“Within 10 minutes of waking up, I do 50 pushups. It clears my mind and instantly makes me feel like I’ve done something productive,” says Jason Parks, a digital marketing expert. Each morning Emily Skye, an Australian health and wellness influencer, goes for a barefoot beach walk with her boyfriend—leaving electronics at home.
These practices include slamming down a liter of water, drinking the juice of a fresh lemon, or otherwise enjoying a planned, healthy and satisfying breakfast.
Life coach Maria Salomão-Schmidt spends 20 minutes of chanting, yoga, meditating and journaling with her 13-year-old daughter. It is a practice that began when her daughter was going through a tough time and has resulted in household harmony. Others pray or read from sacred texts.
“Each morning for the past 10 years, I write two- to three-sentence love notes to my wife,” reports lawyer Craig Tractenberg. “Sometimes they are inventories of gratitude and thanks. Other times they are lovingly tawdry. I write them on a notepad and read the note to my wife when she is still in bed. Composing the note is meditative and often humorous.”
5. Mental and Intellectual
“In my first hour of the day I do something I enjoy—either an hour of DJ-ing in the bedroom, listening to my favorite motivational podcast or watching some old cartoons,” says London music producer Gareth Bishop.