06/16/2014 11:35 EDT

Good Habits: 10 Things You Can Do Each Morning To Feel Awesome

Shutterstock / Maridav

If you dread mornings, you’re not alone; Googling “Dreading mornings” lands you 2.8 million page views. There are ways to turn that dread into the perfect start to your day. Sometimes it takes a little preparation, your favourite tunes, and perhaps a programmable coffee maker.

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1. Aim for a good night’s sleep

It may sound odd, but creating the atmosphere for a good night’s sleep can lead to a better morning. That means ensuring your bedroom is optimized for rest; make sure you have supportive pillows and a good mattress, while at the same time minimizing excess light and sound disturbances. Create your perfect sleeping environment and maintain it.

2. Prepare your morning the night before

Lay out your outfit for the next day, prepare your lunch, pack your things, and have them all ready to go. This saves you time and lets you start your day in a relaxed manner, instead of rushing about and stressing yourself out before you even leave the house.

3. Schedule some You time

Ok, night owls, this one might not appeal but try getting up a little earlier in the mornings. Even if it’s just an extra 15 minutes, that time lets you slow down and savour your morning routine (and perhaps enjoy that extra cup of coffee).

4. Exercise

Why exercise in the morning? Not only does it trigger release endorphins, it kickstarts your metabolism, it energizes you, clears your mind, and makes you feel (and look) better. You don’t have to go for a 10k run, but try to build in time to do some form of exercise for at least 20 minutes.

5. Meditate

No, we don’t mean an excuse to hit the snooze button, we mean actually sitting down and focusing on yourself for a few minutes. By taking this time to really focus on yourself, your body, and your mind, it can help you calm your mind, which can help your day be awesome.

6. Music

If you’re not into the whole mediation thing, then why not try blasting your favourite tunes? Whether it’s your favourite pop song, a raging rock song, or a hip-hop hit, playing your favourite song can get you into the right state of mind. If you do decide to play “Eye of the Tiger,” try to be near some steps. (Hoodie optional.)

7. Try a different route

Most of us can probably commute to work with our eyes closed. Shake up your day by trying a different route. The new route will get your mind moving as you see new places and deal with new streets. Ideally, try a less-travelled route; there’s no need to suffer from road rage because of more traffic.

8. Make a morning coffee date

Make plans with a colleague for a morning coffee date — whether it’s a short walk to the nearest coffee shop, or to the office kitchen. The regular ritual adds just a little social interaction to your day before you spend the rest of the day answering emails.

9. Create a to-do list

Creating a to-do list the night before gives you control over your day. You can prioritize your tasks in order of importance: what has to be done first, what can be done after and what can be moved to another day. This act of creating and organizing your to-do list lets you start your day knowing that you’ve already organized it.

10. Stay informed

Staying up to date with the news not only keeps you informed, but it also gives you the social lubrication you need when interacting with others. Besides, you never know when the next big idea might come from. As they say, knowledge is power.

Just a few small changes in your life can lead to you having great mornings. Soon you’ll be wondering why you ever dreaded them!