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Every January, personal promises (read: resolutions) are made that focus primarily on self-improvement. According to Ipsos: 31% of Canadians made New Year’s resolutions this year, while 88% committed to improving their overall well-being in 2016.
If you are a part of the overwhelming percentage of Canadians resolving to make lifestyle changes this year, consider that starting the day off right could help you achieve your daily, monthly and yearly goal! But, as most of us tend to resemble Ron Swanson (rather than Leslie Knope) in the morning, here are 5 tips on how to become a morning person in 2016!
1. Use an alarm clock!
Living in the new media age means technology – cellphone, laptop, tablet – have become our lifeline. The majority of Canadians use their phones before sleeping, and are on their phones first thing in the morning. However, having your phone within arm’s reach means you are more likely to hit snooze and limit the time your body has to ease into an active state.
Try switching to an alarm clock that is placed away from your bedside table – forcing you to get out of bed. By using an alarm clock rather than your cell phone you are also avoiding exposure to emails that can cause anxiety and stress before you’ve even had a chance to crawl out of bed!
Nanda RunawayAlarm Clock ($40 USD) http://www.nandahome.com/
Banker’s Alarm Clock ($125.00 USD) Design Within Reach
2. Have a Morning Ritual
With so much competing for your attention, having time to relax in the morning is crucial to starting your productive day on a positive note. Set the tone of the day with yoga and meditation.
Try an early morning Bikram Yoga session at BeHot Yoga, focused on rejuvenating the body, relieving tension and reducing stress. Not enough time to attend a class? Before jumping into your e-mails, work, itinerary, errands, etc.: try 5-10 minutes of meditation at home or taking a morning walk around your neighbourhood.
BeHot Yoga: http://www.behotyogatoronto.com/schedule
3. Have a Cup of Coffee
Even the most enviable of morning people need their coffee (or tea) in the morning. Incorporate a walk to the local coffee shop into your morning ritual.
Try treating yourself to one of the “bazillion kinds of beans” at Everyday Gourmet, found on the ground floor of St. Lawrence Market. Read the newspaper – okay, check your e-mails – while enjoying the marble roast at Balzac’s. Dreading the trek in January weather? Then pick up Balzac’s limited edition winter blend to make at home. Not a coffee person? Try a cup of “some velvet morning” tea from DAVIDsTEA.
4. Nourish Yourself!
No, coffee doesn’t count as breakfast. After a restful night’s sleep your blood sugar and metabolism are lowest, which means a healthy breakfast is essential in providing you with the necessary energy to tackle the day’s challenges.
St. Lawrence Market remains one of the best and most fun experiences for food shopping, so why not take advantage? When buying your breakfast essentials look to local and organic vendors – Golden Orchard Fine Food, Harbourfront Organic Foods. Or if you’d like to venture a little further east try The Healthy Road.
5. Stay Consistent
As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”Once you settle into your own rhythm, try not to break the flow! On the weekend book an early morning yoga session or sign up for the Running Room|Running Club (meeting every Sunday morning)! On Sunday, plan an early-ish brunch with friends at Hank’s.
If that isn’t enough to keep you motivated, consider this: a study conducted by the Rotman Research Institute concluded that “morning-people” tended to be happier and reported higher ratings of feeling healthy!
Wishing you all happy mornings!
 An independent market research company that operates worldwide. (http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=7096)
 Runs away when you hit snooze.
 Pictures sourced from: www.pexels.com , havingtime.com, localmilkblog.com, www.citybyheart.com