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Hey, did you put off working out this morning (again)? We’re guilty too. That’s why we looked into all the surprising little things you can get out of the way in the morning so that by the time your day is done—and you just want to put on a pair of fluffy slippers and collapse into bed—you’ll feel so much more satisfied.

RELATED: 4 Baby Steps That Will Completely Transform Your Morning Routine

woman writing to do list
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Create Your To-Do List

Instead of waiting until you’re at your work computer, make your to-do list and schedule as soon as you wake up in the morning. Scheduling forces you to confront the reality of how much time you actually have and how long things will take, notes Cal Newport, professor of computer science at Georgetown University and author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. By looking at the whole picture, you can fit more work into your day and slot it into the times when you’ll do it best. Win-win-win.

Sponsored V8 breakfast
Twenty20

Jump-Start Your Food Goals

Whether you’re following a specific diet or not, hitting the daily recommended intake of fruit and vegetables is key to your overall well-being. But it’s hard enough to get out the door in the morning let alone remember to pack veggies in your lunch bag. An easy way to check it off first thing is with V8 Original. Each 5.5-ounce can is packed with one full serving of vegetables, plus it’s an excellent source of vitamins A and C with no added sugar. Look at that, one less thing to worry about when you get home.

woman sketching map at table
Twenty20

Work On Your Passion

Maybe it’s sketching, maybe it’s working on a YA novel, maybe it’s learning a new language. Whether your hobby is creative or not, you certainly won’t have the energy to take that time for yourself when you’re unwinding from meetings and worrying about what to cook for dinner. Carving out the time for your passion and making it a habit is important, according to Laura Vanderkam, a time-management expert and the author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.

woman stretching in white bed
Twenty20

Set Gratitude Reminders

Feeling thankful for what you have sounds like a no-brainer. But according to Harvard Health, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin, author of the best seller The Happiness Project, suggests setting gratitude reminders that you’ll see first thing in the morning. For example, make your kid’s birthday the pass code to your phone or computer, or position a photograph of you and your friends near your doorway where you can see it as you rush out of the house in the morning.

woman hugging dog outside
Twenty20

Exercise with Your Pet

We know exercising, whether it’s in the morning or at night, isn’t everyone’s idea of a relaxing time, but it can really do your body and mind some good. In the morning, carve out 15 to 30minutes to walk (or even play in the backyard) with your doggo. It’s a fun way to get your legs moving after a sweet slumber, plus getting some fresh air in your lungs will perk you up for the day ahead. If you’re a cat person, try doing some gentle yoga or stretching while Mittens quietly purrs beside you. Before you even head off to work, your smartwatch will have clocked a bunch of calories burned and steps taken. Ahead of the game much?

RELATED: 8 Ways to Make Your Morning Routine More Relaxing

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