Being happier is a choice that starts with consistent, positive habits. And there’s no better time to start than early in the morning.
If you want to become a happier person in the coming year, your morning routine is a good place to start. It’s all about setting the tone for the rest of the day, and smart people know there are specific actions that can help spark this transformation.
In this article, I’m going to share 9 things you should do every morning if you want to become a happier person next year.
These are not complicated or time-consuming tasks, but simple habits that can make a big difference.
Let’s dive in and see how you can pave the way to happiness every day.
1) Start your day with gratitude
The concept of gratitude has been around for centuries, but has gained significant popularity in recent years, especially in the field of positive psychology.
Gratitude is essentially about focusing on the good things in your life – the things that bring you joy, the things you are grateful for. And it turns out that this simple act can have a big impact on your happiness level.
Think about it. By starting your day by acknowledging what you are grateful for, you essentially set a positive tone for the rest of your day. You choose to focus on the good, rather than getting caught up in what’s wrong or what could be better.
How can you incorporate gratitude into your morning routine? It can be as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for every morning, or taking a moment to mentally acknowledge these things.
It’s not about just making a list. What matters is that you sincerely acknowledge and appreciate these aspects of your life.
Start your day with gratitude. Not only will it set a positive tone for your day, but over time it can significantly increase your overall happiness level.
2) Include exercise in your morning routine
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I can’t stress enough the importance of physical activity to your overall well-being. And believe me, I speak from personal experience.
For years I struggled with maintaining a regular exercise routine. I started off strong, but lost motivation after a few weeks. The problem was that I was trying to schedule workouts at the end of a long day when I was already exhausted.
Then I decided to try something different: I started exercising in the morning.
And I can tell you: it was a game changer.
Not only did I feel more energetic throughout the day, but my mood also improved significantly. Even on tough days, I found that if I started my morning with some form of physical activity – even if it was just a quick walk around the block – I was better able to handle whatever came my way.
If you want to become a happier person next year, I highly recommend incorporating exercise into your morning routine.
It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous; even something as simple as stretching or a short walk can make a big difference. Trust me, your future self will thank you.
3) Eat a healthy breakfast
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is like filling up your car before a long trip. It gives your body the nutrients it needs to handle the day and keeps your energy levels stable.
Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. Research even shows that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight and generally eat a more balanced diet.
Additionally, eating a healthy breakfast has been linked to better memory and concentration levels, as well as a better mood.
If you want to become a happier person next year, consider making a healthy breakfast part of your morning routine.
Whether it’s oats, fruit, or eggs, choose something that you enjoy and that gives your body the nutrition it needs to thrive.
4) Practice mindfulness
We live in a fast-paced world where our minds are often filled with thoughts about the past or worries about the future. This constant barrage can make us feel stressed and anxious, which certainly doesn’t contribute to happiness.
This is where mindfulness comes into play. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. It’s about taking a step back, slowing down and really experiencing the moment you’re in.
Practicing mindfulness in the morning can help you start your day with a sense of calm and focus. You can do this through meditation, mindful eating, or simply sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing.
Mindfulness is not about emptying your thoughts, but about observing them without getting drawn into them. It’s about recognizing the here and now, which can help promote a deeper sense of happiness and contentment.
5) Set your intentions for the day
Starting your day without a plan can leave you feeling directionless and overwhelmed. But taking a moment each morning to set your intentions can give your day purpose and structure.
Setting your intentions is all about deciding what you want to focus on that day. It could be a specific task you want to accomplish, a mood you want to cultivate, or even a way you want to treat others.
This practice can give you a sense of control and purpose, which can significantly contribute to your overall happiness. Plus, it’s a great way to make sure you’re spending your time on what’s really important to you.
Make it a habit to set your intentions every morning. It doesn’t have to be anything big — even small, daily goals can make a big difference in cultivating happiness.
6) Connect with loved ones
In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to get carried away with our to-do lists and forget what really matters: our relationships. Humans are naturally social beings, and meaningful connections with others are an essential part of our happiness.
Starting your day by connecting with a loved one can set a warm, positive tone for the rest of your day. It could be a quick phone call to your parents, a heart-to-heart with your partner over breakfast, or even a cute good morning text to a friend.
These moments of connection remind us that we are loved and appreciated, which can bring a deep sense of joy and contentment. They give us insight into what is really important in life and help us start our day well.
Every morning, make an effort to connect with your loved ones. It’s a small action that can make a big difference to your happiness.
7) Limit your exposure to news and social media
In today’s digital age, we are constantly bombarded with news and updates. And while staying informed is important, overexposure to news and social media can cause a sense of anxiety and negativity first thing in the morning.
I learned this the hard way. I started my day by scrolling through my social media feeds, but found myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed before the day had even properly started.
So I made a change. I decided to limit my exposure to news and social media during the first hour after waking up. Instead, I used this time to focus on positive and uplifting activities, such as practicing gratitude, exercising, or reading a good book.
The difference was astonishing. I felt calm, more centered and ready to tackle the day with a positive attitude.
If you want to become a happier person next year, consider limiting your exposure to news and social media in the morning. It’s a small change that can have a big impact on your overall mood and happiness level.
8) Listen to uplifting music or podcasts
Music has the power to influence our mood and emotions. Starting your day with your favorite songs or an inspiring podcast can lift your spirits and set a positive tone for the rest of your day.
Whether you like rock, jazz, classical or pop: choose something that makes you feel good. Likewise, there are countless podcasts on topics such as personal development, mindfulness, motivation and more. Find something that resonates with you.
By integrating this into your morning routine, you’re essentially setting the stage for a happier day.
Go ahead, play that favorite song of yours or tune into that inspiring podcast. Start your day on a high note.
9) Be kind to yourself
This may be the last item on this list, but certainly not the least. Above all, don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Life isn’t always easy. We all have our struggles and challenges. But the way we treat ourselves during these times can have a huge impact on our happiness.
Start your day with self-compassion. Talk kindly to yourself, forgive yourself for your mistakes and acknowledge your strengths and achievements.
You deserve love and kindness – especially from yourself.
Final Thoughts: Happiness is a journey
The search for happiness is an individual journey that is deeply personal and unique to each of us.
As psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “The good or healthy society would then be defined as one that allows people’s highest goals to be achieved by meeting all their basic needs.”
And while the path to happiness may vary, starting your day on a positive note can pave the way to a happier life. The habits we discussed are not just random suggestions, but well-researched practices that have been linked to greater happiness and well-being.
Whether it’s practicing gratitude, exercising, or simply being kinder to yourself, each of these habits can help you develop a more positive mindset and ultimately lead to a happier you.
So as you begin your journey to a happier life next year, remember this: happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey. And every morning offers a new opportunity to choose happiness.