You don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to have a productive and positive morning. All it really takes is giving yourself enough time to not only accomplish everything you need to get done, but actually enjoy doing it.
Let's be real: waking up is hard to do, unless you have something positive to look forward to — and we've got four. After watching the video above, you'll be jumping out of bed instead of pressing the snooze button before you know it.
1. Eat a real breakfast.
How many days have you had only a few seconds to grab a granola bar before rushing out the door? Well, no more. By waking up an hour earlier, you can fill that extra time by filling up your stomach. Whether you make pancakes, French toast, or pour yourself some juice, a healthy breakfast jump-starts your day with the fuel you need to succeed.
2. Write a letter to an old friend.
People often lose touch with one another because they don't have enough free time to maintain the relationship, no matter how close they once were. You're probably never going to have some extra time just lying around, that's why you gotta make time! And there's no better time to make time than in the morning before you get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle. Whether you write an actual paper letter or type an email, you might be surprised by how big a difference this small gesture can make.
3. Hug someone!
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most hugs given by a single individual in a single hour was 2,436. While you don't need to go to that extreme, sharing a physical connection with a loved one — even for just a moment — will definitely give you an early morning boost. Hugs have even been proven to reduce stress and, believe it or not, help ward off the common cold. So a few extra in the morning will make you feel better all day long.
Many people want to volunteer more, especially at the beginning of a new year, but just that many people also feel like they don't have enough time to make an impact. With just an extra hour, however, you can donate clothes to a thrift store, donate your time to a soup kitchen, or whatever other causes matter to you. Even if you can't actually volunteer first thing in the morning, you can use that hour to do other important tasks, therefore freeing up another hour or two after work or over the weekend. Remember, it really doesn't matter when, where, or what you do to help, just so long as you do.
Cover image via Shutterstock / A. and I. Kruk.