5 steps to motor through your morning routine this fall

(NC) A productive morning can help increase your motivation and productivity throughout the day. However, new research from Centrum shows that a third of Canadians (33 per cent) don't think their early routine impacts the rest of their day.

“We tend to over-estimate how much we can get done in a set period of time — morning routines help mitigate the negative effects of this common cognitive error,” explains Dr. Brynn Winegard, a business-brain expert. “Working with your natural tendencies instead of against them is the best way to create better habits and more productive days.”

A routine can also help calm nerves and anxiety about the day ahead, Winegard says, noting that a smooth flow of morning tasks and can decrease uncertainty and help start the day with a sense of control.

If you'd like to add exercise or meditation, leisure or family time to your morning routine, having a plan is key. With the fall upon us and shorter winter days ahead, there's no better occasion to start. Here are a few ideas:

Get quality sleep. Going to bed at the same time every night is the first step to waking up rested. Shut off electronics an hour before you plan to sleep, and use that time for relaxing. Set a reminder each night for bed time, just like any other important appointment.

Don't “fall back” into bed. It can be hard to resist the temptation to use that extra hour to sleep in. Instead, get up and give yourself extra time to go about your routine slowly and stress-free.

Have a healthy breakfast. Now's the time to get into the habit of preparing a healthy breakfast and adding a multivitamin to help fill any nutritional gaps.

Get going. Go for a morning walk, do a few push-ups, or ease into your day with some stretches. Working out in the morning will make you less likely to skip a regular exercise routine.

Stay motivated. Think about what you'll do with one extra hour of the day before you go to bed. Once you've started waking up earlier, keep the momentum going by setting new morning goals for yourself.

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