How many times have you given up on a healthy day because everything started off crazy? Your workout clothes were dirty, the dishwasher didn't get started, and you were out of yogurt so you couldn't make your smoothie. May as well skip the gym and grab a doughnut on the way into work, right?
The key lies in establishing a nightly routine to help you stay on track the next morning. Below are some ideas you can use to help you do just that - tonight!
- Make sure your car has gas. Odds are you won't have any extra time during the morning, and having to stop at the local gas station during rush hour can really burn up a chunk of precious time you could have used to eat a healthy breakfast...
- Because, you need to eat a healthy breakfast to start your day on the right track nutritionally. Plan what you're going to prepare for breakfast tomorrow, and set the ingredients aside in a convenient location so that you can attack your breakfast preparation assembly-line-style in the morning. Set out any utensils, plates, etc., ahead of time, and make sure that all food preparation equipment (e.g., pans, blenders, etc.) is clean and at the ready as well.
- Round up your workout clothes and lay them out in a strategic location so that you can snap them up and get moving in the morning without a hitch. Try putting your clothes in the area where you'll be changing (e.g., the bathroom, etc.). Be sure to remember your workout shoes as well, so that you you're not fumbling around tomorrow morning looking for that elusive left shoe. Get your workout bag packed with any additional things you might need like headphones, water bottle, towel, toiletries, clothes you'll change into after, etc.
- Many of us use our smartphones to help us with our workouts via apps that can play music, monitor heart rate, count steps, etc. If you're a fan of tech-assisted fitness, be sure to charge your phone or any other device the night before so that a dead battery won't put a damper on your momentum.
- Speaking of smartphones, try to cut all screen time off at least one hour before bedtime. Studies have shown that staring at screens late at night actually suppresses your melatonin levels, making it harder to fall asleep or get good rest. This can negatively affect your energy level and alertness the next day, which can get you started off on the wrong foot. So make sure to go the preventative route by powering down your electronic devices well before bedtime.
Research has shown that people who establish some type of daily routine typically experience less stress than those who fly by the seat of their pants every day. By creating a well-thought-out checklist, you can add an element of predictability to your life during a time that can set the tone for the entire day. Keep the above ideas in mind to help you establish an effective morning checklist you can complete the night before that will set you up for success.