|Image: Slightly Everything via Flickr|
Build in time for unexpected occurrences - If you wait to get ready until the very last minute, you'll be stressed out by the smallest delay. Stepping in a cat mess, having a great impromptu discussion with a family member, or a dog who desperately needs some love are all a part of life, so allow a few extra minutes for the unexpected.
Take some time away from the computer - It might be hard not to check your email first thing in the morning, but I highly recommend staying off the computer for at least 30 minutes. Make a morning ritual that you can look forward to each day. Try reading a book, spending some quality time with a pet, or enjoying a cup of hot tea.
Wake up a little earlier - This is a goal that I struggle with often, but I have gradually adjusted my average waking time to 6:00-6:30 am. Give yourself permission to take some time in the morning just for you. There is a peacefulness to a quiet morning, before the world has begun to move again. Enjoy this special time of day and use it to center yourself for a more peaceful day. If you need some help waking up earlier, check out this post on Zen Habits.
Consider exercising - I love being strong and in shape, but laziness used to win out a few months into my workout routines. Then I started exercising in the morning. I love the feeling that, no matter what happens later that day, I have accomplished something. I use exercise videos that are easy to follow, even when I'm tired. Physical movement leaves me energized and ready to face the day.
Enjoy a morning meal - Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. I love drinking a post-workout smoothie daily, but your breakfast could be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Breakfast is a great way to jump-start your metabolism and give yourself energy for the day.
Looking for more tips? Check out these other articles to simplify your morning: hair, makeup, and shower routines.