3 Things You Should Do Every Morning If You Are Serious About Living Your Best Life

How our day ends depends a lot on how it begins.

James E. McGinley, PhD
4 min readMay 15, 2022


Silhouette of person against morning sunrise.
Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

We all know how important habits are. They are the anchor of our daily lives. We are told that they also shape our character. What we do is who we are and vice versa. So, how should we start our day? What are our best daily building blocks, really?

Every day is a new day.

It is an inevitable, and blessed, truth that the sun rises on a new day each and every day. The morning calm is both a resting point and a decision point. It is up to us to decide how we will enjoy it and how we will take advantage of the opportunity that it brings.

It is easy to create a long list of all the daily self-care and self-improvement activities we should do each day. But honestly, if you are like me, long lists are a recipe for failure. I simply have trouble with them.

I am like a co-worker I knew once. He kept a long to-do list on his desk. In bold letters he kept ‘world peace’ permanently at number five. His message? If your task was below him solving world peace, it probably wouldn’t be getting done anytime soon.

So, what is on my top 3 list?

Be grateful for a new day.

Let’s start with the most important thing first. That is to wake up and simply be grateful for being alive. We live our lives in comparison to everyone else. This misleads us into chasing all sorts of things we may or may not ever have. Before we begin the chase each day, we can simply remember that we are still here and that alone creates an infinite opportunity for us to choose to be happy.

Being thankful is quickly becoming a lost art in the world today. A friend at work brings sub sandwiches to a meeting each week and then gives away the leftovers. He walked up to someone and asked if he wanted one. The person replied, in a rather condescending manner, I don’t know what do you have?

My reaction probably was not the best in the world. I grabbed the sandwiches away from him and said, he has free ones, that is what he has! Then told him he gets nothing if he can’t be thankful.



James E. McGinley, PhD

James McGinley, PhD is a professor, author, certified life coach, and licensed counselor.