It's well known the way you start your morning affects the rest of your day. A productive morning leads to a productive day. But preparing for your day the night before can make your days even more successful. Here are four steps to make sure tomorrow starts the way you want. 

1. Plan your outfit, breakfast, and work bag. 

Willpower works like a muscle, and making simple decisions can wear it out. Selecting clothes at the end of the day means you don't exert your willpower muscles before you're ready to use them and gives you a feeling of being prepared for the day.

By preparing a healthy breakfast the night before, your next day starts with a nutritious meal. Many health benefits come from consuming a nutritious breakfast, and it helps give you the energy you need to be productive. 

Finally, make sure your keys, wallet, water bottle, or anything else you need for the next day are set aside where they're easy to grab. In other words, bring order to the chaos of getting out the door in the morning. 

2. Review your day. 

Going from one day to the next without considering the day's events is like taking a lecture course without ever testing your knowledge of the course material. At the end of your day, take time to answer the following questions: 

  • Did I get everything on my to-do list done? Why or why not?
  • What went well today?
  • What did I do right? How can I do more of this?
  • What didn't go well? How could I handle things differently?
  • What were my interactions like with others? Is there anyone I need to make things right with? Is there anything I need to do to improve my interactions with others?
  • How can I have a better day tomorrow?
  • What good have I done today?

3. Practice gratitude. 

Studies show practicing gratitude before bed leads to a more refreshing and longer sleep. Expressing gratitude improves your mood and relieves stress. Even just creating a list of things you're grateful for is enough to receive the benefits of gratitude. 

4. Plan tomorrow.

After you've thought about and wound up today, it's time to plan tomorrow. Check your appointments, your to-do list, and identify your hardest or most dreaded task (your frog). Set aside time early in your day to "eat the frog." If you can, mark out every hour of how you want to spend your day in a planner. 

By taking a few minutes every night for these simple preparations, you can make tomorrow even more productive and less stressful.