Life is hectic and unpredictable, to say the least. And while you don’t always have control over the changes in your schedule throughout the day (don’t you just love being pulled into impromptu meetings at work?), the morning can be yours and yours alone. Here’s how to reclaim your a.m. routine so you always start the day off right.

RELATED: 9 Tricks for Becoming a Morning Person

AM PACKING
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Get a Head Start the Night Before

Half the morning is usually spent picking out an outfit and making sure you packed lunch (and your gym clothes…sometimes). Take a few minutes the night before to put everything in one spot so you can just grab your stuff and go.

AM ALARM
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Adjust Your Alarm

No one wants to wake up to a blaring, beeping alarm. Set it to a less jarring sound (like chimes or birds chirping) instead. Better yet, sleep with the blinds slightly open so that a bit of sunlight is able to filter in and help wake you naturally.

RELATED: The Easiest Way to Stop Hitting Snooze and Get Your Butt Out of Bed in the Morning

AM STRETCH
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Stretch In Bed

Before you climb out of bed, take a few minutes to stretch everything out. Sit up and cross your legs in front of you. Fold over as far as you can and extend your arms long, while keeping your neck down. Hold for ten seconds, inhaling and exhaling deeply throughout. Switch legs and repeat to limber up your joints and muscles.

AM MEDITATION
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Clear Your Mind With Some Meditation

It’s all too easy to start thinking about your to-do list the minute you open your eyes. Instead, take a few deep breaths (after stretching) and guide yourself through a meditation program like Headspace. It will help clear your mind so you can start the day off calmer.

RELATED: 8 Things That Might Happen If You Start Meditating

AM SHOWER
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Shower in the Mornings

Though some people like to shower at night to save time in the morning, a quick rinse in warm water can soothe any stiff muscles and help you feel refreshed for the day ahead. Suds up with a citrus-scented body wash to invigorate your senses and really lift that mental fog.

AM HAIR
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Take Your Time to Get Ready

You’ve seen countless ladies in their cars (or in subways and trains) scribbling on eyeliner and wielding their mascara wands with their mouths wide open. It’s stressful just watching them, right? Getting ready should be about pampering yourself instead of treating it as another chore. So go ahead and take a few extra minutes to brush your hair or sweep on your blush instead of rushing through it.

AM RITUALS
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Create Your Own Ritual

Remember when your dad used to sit at the breakfast table every morning with his ginormous mug of coffee and the paper spread out? He was onto something. Having a morning ritual is grounding and gives you a moment to relax before you step out the door.

AM INSPO
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Do Something That Inspires You

Listen to a podcast, watch a motivational TED Talk, read, journal or repeat your favorite mantra...it doesn’t have to be difficult or take up a ton of time. Just as long as it puts you in a good mood and gets your creative juices flowing before you embark on your day.

RELATED: 11 Inspirational Quotes Guaranteed to Elevate Your Day

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