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If you’re struggling to make the most of your day, you may need to rethink your morning routine. The start of a new year is an excellent time to rededicate yourself to becoming the best version of yourself.

You can increase your energy, positivity, and cognitive abilities with a consistent morning routine, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Here is what you need to do.

Identify Your Goal

The specifics of your morning routine depend on what you hope to accomplish.

“Consider what you need to achieve and work backwards from there,” according to Popular Science.

If you must arrive at work on time, your routine should include showering, dressing, preparing coffee, eating breakfast, and so on. If you struggle with getting out of bed, motivating yourself, or focusing, you can work on creating good habits that help you overcome these struggles.

“Reserve your mornings exclusively for positive habits such as exercising, reading things that you find interesting, doing daily journaling, meditating, and focusing on your important projects,” according to Popular Science.

Incorporate Mindfulness

While you should choose habits you care about, starting your morning with mindfulness may help you focus on what’s important to you.

“When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being,” according to Mindful.

Being mindful doesn’t have to involve straying too far from your comfort zone. You can take a few moments each morning to focus on breathing and how you’re feeling about the upcoming day. Increasing your awareness can bring you in tune with your emotions to help you act with intention throughout the day. Mindfulness also can lessen how often your mind wanders and improve your ability to solve problems, according to Mindful.

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Eliminate Bad Habits

In addition to creating good habits, it’s crucial to identify practices that prevent you from starting your morning off on the right foot.

“You have to intentionally let go of these bad habits in the morning and, if you do have to do them, save them for another time,” according to Develop Good Habits.

One of the worst habits is hitting the snooze button, which ends up short-changing your sleep. That’s because the extra 5 to 10 minutes can disrupt your late stage REM sleep, potentially increasing your blood pressure and heartbeat, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Other bad habits you may want to replace with good habits could be surfing social media or checking email before getting out of bed, skipping breakfast, or chronically leaving late, according to Develop Good Habits.

Be Intentional With Coffee

Drinking a cup or two of coffee may give you an essential caffeine boost, but you can amp up its benefits by timing when you drink.

When you wake up, the cortisol hormone is at its peak, according to Advanced Sleep Medicine Services. This natural steroid regulates blood sugar levels, influences memory formation, regulates metabolism, impacts how your body responds to stress, and raises alertness. You can maximize your cortisol use by waiting until levels drop before drinking coffee, which should be about mid-morning.

Just avoid trying to make up for poor sleep by drinking coffee.

“Using caffeine to mask sleep deprivation can create an unwelcome cycle,” according to Mayo Clinic. “For example, you may drink caffeinated beverages because you have trouble staying awake during the day. But the caffeine keeps you from falling asleep at night, shortening the length of time you sleep.”

Consistency is vital in whatever habits you choose to establish in your morning routine. It can take 18 to 254 days to form new habits and 66 days for a new pattern to become automatic, according to Healthline. Start with one or two habits at a time, and let 2023 be the year to finally start your mornings off right.

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