You don’t have to be a morning person to start your day on the right foot. In fact, if you hate mornings, a healthy and productive routine can lessen the stress of getting up early. Here are just a few habits that can give your mornings a nudge in the right direction.

  1. Wake up at the same time every day. This includes weekends and holidays. Your body will come to expect it, so even after staying up late, you’ll find yourself naturally waking up at the same time.
  2. Wash your face. The cold water can help you wake up and give you a fresh, invigorated feeling. As a bonus, the physical act of cleansing yourself can put you in the right mindset to tackle the rest of the day. Showering is another option, but even if you don’t have time for full-fledged personal grooming, at least wash your face.
  3. Get moving. Hit the gym if you’re into fitness, or take a simple stroll around the neighborhood to watch the sunrise. You can even do something like going on YouTube and following along with a free yoga video. Any exercise is good exercise, and being able to check that off your list first thing in the morning will give you a natural boost of momentum.
  4. Eat something with protein. Even if you aren’t a breakfast person, it’s essential to get some fuel in your tank for the day ahead. Protein is a good choice since it can keep you feeling fuller for more extended periods; you’ll be less likely to snack before lunch and more likely to make healthier choices at lunch.
  5. Complete a 30-day challenge. It can be something as small as stretching every day or writing a short entry in a reflective journal. The point isn’t the activity itself; it’s the process of setting a goal, consistently working at it, and reaping the eventual satisfaction of achieving it.

These are just a few ideas for establishing a morning routine. Whether your goal is to lose weight, be productive, increase your energy levels or simply get more done in the mornings, creating a routine can be the first step to a more positive lifestyle overall.