How was your morning?
Mine was awesome. And it wasn’t by accident.
We all have choices to make every day and you can choose, right now, to make tomorrow awesome.
Here’s how you can do it:
**Disclaimer: Not all of this will fit everyone’s lifestyle. Take what you like and leave the rest.
- Prime Yourself. You can’t prime yourself while you’re sleeping, so let’s start with before you go to bed. Assuming you haven’t been drinking and are going to bed at a reasonable hour, take 10 minutes in bed to prepare yourself for tomorrow morning. Think about opening your eyes and looking at your clock. What time does it say? See the clock in your mind. Then see yourself sitting up and taking a deep breath. Continue to do this visioning exercise until your first family/work commitment. Then get some rest, because tomorrow is going to be awesome.
- Take Care of Your Body. After you rise and take a deep breath, drink a tall glass of water. Every nutritionist and physical trainer will tell you to do this. You are dehydrated after sleep, and it’s the first thing your body needs. Next, do something physical. If you don’t like to work out in the morning, that’s okay. Just take ten minutes to stretch or do some light calisthenics. By this time, you should be awake for 30 minutes and it’s time to eat a small meal. It’s called breakfast for a reason – you’re breaking a 12-13 hour fast.
- Meditate or Pray. Exercising and awakening your mind is just as important as getting your body moving. Again, this doesn’t have to be a 30-60 minute session with incense and candles. Just find a quiet, comfortable place and be present. You can pray, or focus on something specific (like your breathing), or just analyze the random thoughts running through your head. There are some great apps for your mobile device that can actually assist with this if you need help (like me).
- Be Thankful. Research tells us that people who are thankful and have gratitude are happier and have a positive outlook on life. I recommend that you keep a gratitude journal and just jot down three things that happened to you yesterday. The key here is to write what that thing was and why you are thankful for it. Just yesterday, someone told me they try to write three emails, make two phone calls, and write one note to people they are thankful for. Try doing that once a week!
- Review Your Values/Vision/Goals. That’s it. All you have to do is read them. Read them twice for good measure. Just read them and reflect on them for a minute.
- Brainstorm Your Activities. Take a moment to jot down all the things in your head that you would like to accomplish that day. Put them into categories (e.g. Personal, Work, Family, etc.). Try to rank each category’s list, putting the things that must get done at the top. Simply getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper has a calming effect.
- Review Your Schedule. Take a look at your calendar and see if there are any large commitments that may affect your productivity. Try to schedule chunks of time for meaningful work (i.e. NOT EMAIL). Apply the priming/visioning technique mentioned in the first tip – see yourself walking through the day and being very successful.
- Breathe. That’s it. Take 30 seconds, close your eyes, and take 5 deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Nice and easy.
- Get in the Zone. This means different things for different people. But do whatever it takes for you to get hyper-focused. For me, it’s putting on my Bose noise-cancelling headphones and listening to music without words (usually ambient drum and base). When I do this, I find that I get in zone and can really crank out my tasks.
- Check-in with Yourself. Don’t let yourself go the whole day without checking back in with yourself. Lunch time is usually a good break for this. Has something got you worked up or out of whack? If so, revisit tips 2,3,4, and 8.
I truly hope you are able to accomplish tips 1-9 BEFORE opening your inbox. Resist the urge and start the day right. For me, 1-5 happens at home and takes about 45 minutes. I engage in 6-10 at work and it usually takes about 20 minutes.
I hope you find this useful. And more importantly, I hope you have an awesome day tomorrow.