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What you do in the minutes after you wake up in the morning is vital in setting the tone for the rest of your day.

With busy lives, kids, pets, work, and a plethora of other responsibilities, morning is often chaotic and anything by routine. Waking up rushed, worried, or surrounded by chaos can send us into the rest of our day without the ability to focus or be productive.

Fortunately, there are several ways that we can optimize this time, take control of our morning, and start the day out well.

1. Set yourself up for a good night’s rest.

Set your home in order before you go to sleep. Make sure that it’s a place you want to be when you wake up in the morning. Exercise during the day. Drink some tea before bed. If you are having trouble worrying about all the things on your schedule the following day, keep a note pad on your bed side table and write things down as they come to mind.

2. Be intentional with your first moments.

When you wake up, before you even get out of bed, set the tone for your day. You can think of something you’re grateful for, read some inspirational literature, or simply determine that today you will be present or productive or kind. Yoga and meditation are a fantastic way to learn mindfulness. Whatever you decide, do it first thing in the morning and let it carry you throughout the day.

3. Be prepared.

Before you go to bed, have a few things ready so that your morning routine goes more smoothly. Choose your outfit for the following day. Make your lunch. Set out your workout clothes. Have your workstation tidy and ready to go. Do as much as possible to prepare your kids for a new day of school. Whatever you need to do to ensure that the morning goes smoothly, do that before you go to sleep.

4. Write down your goals.

Begin the day by making a list of a few items that are important. This will help you get focused on the important tasks for the day and give you the opportunity to check things off as you complete them. You can also write down the intention you set for the day so that you’re reminded of it as you accomplish your goals.

5. Be flexible.

While we all want our mornings to go smoothly, life happens and there are tons of things we can’t control. However, we can control our attitude throughout the day. A botched morning routine can either set a tone of chaos and frustration for our day, or we can pause, take a deep breath, and start over wherever we find ourselves.

The beautiful thing about morning routines is that they can be changed. If yours isn’t working for you, try something new! Don’t allow a rough start to determine the tone for the rest of your day. Your attitude belongs to you and only you can change it. Find a morning routine that makes you happy, adds peace to your life, and enables you to approach focused and ready to accomplish your goals.

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