There’s a whole slew of bad habits people do first thing in the morning. Some of them may seem innocent enough (like slamming your hand on the snooze button and sleeping in a few extra minutes every weekday), but according to master life coach and mentor Bruno LoGreco, recurring bad morning habits may not only set your day off on a downward spiral, but they can lead to negative health implications that can sabotage your life.
“In order for people to really break a bad habit, they have to first recognize the reward their getting from that bad habit, and then they’ve got to replace it with something more constructive,” said LoGreco, who has helped mentor and transform lives on such programs as “Style by Jury” and “Save Us from Our House.”
For a more productive day, LoGreco suggests breaking these five bad morning habits:
Hitting the snooze button in the morning for a few extra minutes of sleep can unintentionally give you a late start to the day and cause you to stay at work longer.
“By the time you get to the office, you’ve got to sit down, you’ve got to get acclimated, you’ve got to check your e-mails, you’ve got to figure out what’s going on for that day. You’re already behind the eight ball,” said LoGreco.
Instead of rewarding yourself with a few extra minutes of sleep, remind yourself that if you get to work on time, you’ll have more time after work to do the things that you want to do.
“Look at it and say: ‘I’m going to get up early today,’” said LoGreco. “I’m going to get through everything that I need to get through and that will allow me to come home early, on time, and spend more time with my family or my loved one.”
What normally follows after people hit the snooze button is bad hygiene—mainly because people may already be running late for work, or getting their kids ready for school.
Take the time to practice good hygiene (like showering and brushing your teeth). Taking a shower can also help “cleanse” your soul and prevent you from carrying over bad energy from the previous day.
“When you’re not taking a shower, you’re not rinsing that stuff off,” said LoGreco.
People who wake up late and are rushing to get ready tend to skip breakfast, which is probably the most important meal of the day, because you’re depleted of energy.
“The prefrontal cortex needs energy,” said LoGreco. “And when you’re sleeping all night and you haven’t had any food in your system for about 12 or 13 hours, your prefrontal cortex is depleted. So not having proper nutrition actually slows you down and drags your morning.”
To avoid exhaustion due to poor nutrition habits, try making breakfast ahead of time for busy weekday mornings, or prepare a healthy on-the-go breakfast snack that could easily be stored in a tight container and thrown in your work bag. That way you’ll still be able to enjoy a healthy breakfast, but won’t have to be in a rush to prepare it every morning.
Since poor nutrition can lead to fatigue, some people load up on energy drinks in the morning to get an extra boost. Unfortunately, according to LoGreco, it’s simply an artificial energy boost and these people will “come crashing down in just a few minutes.”
Nix the energy drink and opt for a healthy, protein-packed peanut butter banana smoothie—this will give you a natural energy boost and it also makes a great “make-ahead” breakfast that could be consumed on-the-go.
The worst habit that people could have during the day, or when they first wake up, is not knowing what they’re going to do that day — something that typically comes about due to lack of planning.
“When (people) wake up, they become very reactive to their life…they’re constantly running late, they’re making up for shortfalls, they’re not controlling their life,” said LoGreco, who notes that it could ultimately lead to people feeling unfulfilled in their personal and professional lives.
The night before you go to bed, take five to 10 minutes to figure out what the following day is going to look like and what you want to accomplish. That way you’ll be controlling your life, rather than having life control you.
“The reward that people get from controlling their life, is that there’s no failure, there’s no fear, there’s nothing that they have to worry about,” said LoGreco.
“But if they recognize that, (they can) say ‘I’m going to put myself out there, I’m going to put my vulnerabilities out there, and even if I fail, and I do something—I’m going to accomplish something at the end and that’s going to be my reward. And in return, I’m going to feel more accomplished and more fulfilled.’”