We had the pleasure of catching up with Rachel Scoular | APD Dietitian & Social Media Influencer | @Healthyhappyhabits. Check out her guest blog post below!
How to Start the Morning Strong
As we’re now a week or so into the new year, it’s time to start ticking off those 2018 resolutions. Take some time to ready through my 5 fail-proof ways to ensure you get going on the right track.
- Pick Protein
Cue the quote that breakfast is the most important part of the day ???? … But seriously. It is. Your body has been fasting for the past eight or so hours, so it needs some proper fuel, so make sure you include protein on a daily basis. Protein takes longer to breakdown in the body than sugary cereals (put down the Cocopops, please.) Plus, it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Look to have at least one serve of protein every morning – 2 poached eggs, 200g yoghurt, a protein smoothie or a small handful of unsalted nuts with your muesli are all great options to pick!
- Let the brain run blind
Many productivity experts suggest spending time the night before to prep for the next day. Planning the evening before is super effective because, let’s face it, we have a limited amount of willpower. The thought of making too many decisions in the morning will slow down productivity and drain your brain for the rest of the day. Allowing your brain to switch off for the first hour of the day will prove super helpful when 3:30itis kicks in.
Take a moment to write a daily to-do list the night before (also helpful for step 5). So, pre-pack your lunch (and SoL Cup!), lay out your work clothes and sleep in your gym shorts. All little hacks to let you wake up stress-free.
- Focus on the mind
Personally, I take roughly 5 minutes each morning to mentally refresh and re-centre. Here’s a
few ideas to get you going…
- Recite your three biggest goals.
- List five things you are grateful for.
- Two minutes of meditation.
- Three things you’re looking forward to in the next week and why.
Keep it simple. Make it practical, I often take time on my morning commute to do the above, it’s easy to do and flexible with my constantly changing routine.
- MOVE Often
Let’s be real, a sneaky sleep in is almost always more temping that getting up an at ‘em. But you will be thankful once it’s over. Promise. Besides the hit of feel-good endorphins, the benefits linger throughout the day. Your increased heart rate will boost your metabolism and result in more calories burnt over the day, so make sure you’re fully fuelled and hydrated.
It’s not like you needed any more convincing, but… Morning exercise has been found to improve productivity and can improve mental clarity for up to ten hours post-workout, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.
- Deal with the dreaded… first.
Once you’ve got the mornings down-pat, it’s time to progress into a productive day. I’m a huge believer that you are best to tick a big one off first, straight off the bat. Look to build a habit of beating the biggest (aka the most daunting!) task first, it’s going to give you a huge boost and set you on the right track for the day.
More of an afternoon person? That’s fine, but not an excuse – take 5 minutes to build a plan of attack, if you’re pushing the job till post lunch. A recent study from Harvard Business Review found breaking tasks down to a more incremental process leads to increased productivity in the long run!