“Wherever you are, be there”
A healthier start to the morning
Work out a morning ‘boot up’ that works for you. Wake up earlier.
Many of the resources I have used point to the importance of engineering the start of your day to work for you. While messages and mails may be a part of this the goal here is to carve out time to do the things you want to set your day up for a win – and embed those all-essential new habits at the start of the day while you can. The list below may seem extensive but you can pick and chose what to include and how long to spend on each – it gets easier (and smoother) with practice (don’t expect to get everything in on day one and or for the first few days to be smooth).
- Choose what activities/practices to include, the sequence and the allotted time frame for each practice.
- Plan and prepare (the night before) so the practices run smoothly.
- Work out how much time you need and get up early enough that you complete your morning with a “coffee” (or drink of choice) in your hand ready to start work when you are done.
- Get Up: When the alarm goes off, get up. No delays. This kick start is key. Don’t forget to squat when you… see side bar 🙂
Add a task: Make your bed (if you don’t already) – many references point this simple task completion being a great habit to get into
- Drink as much (quality) cold water as you can (at least half a liter/one big glass) and brush your teeth (scrub your tongue)
- Mindfulness: Apply your chosen type of meditation…. Or just quiet time (avoid Emails, messages… and social media before this – hence you may need to get up ahead of your current routine, don’t worry it’s worth it.)
Add a twist: Forgiveness, Happiness or Understanding exercises
- Journal: Use a journal as part of your morning routine. Writing things down has an impact that thought alone doesn’t have (see ‘Journaling’ below).
- Food and or Exercise Log: A food and or drink log can help you keep your diet focused where you want it to be. You can also track/record/plan exercise
- Gratitude: Write down three things you are grateful for. From relationships to blessings. From simple pleasures to things about yourself.
- Focus: Write the words – “wouldn’t it be great if…” and list 3 things that you want to happen or achieve that day (linked to your vision and affirmations below).
Add a twist: “Today, I am looking forward to…” (this can be harder than it may look at a glance!).
- Vision: Your focus and vision should tie in with your affirmations for work, family and play. Use a couple of minutes to focus on parts of your vision
- Affirmations: Write out your affirmations beforehand, keep them in your journal (again they need to be aligned with your vision/focus).
- Read: Even if it’s a couple of pages. Something inspirational or work/business related. Nothing complicated here… have an inspirational or work related book to hand and read for your allotted time (see side bar and Resources for ideas – the Daily Stoic works brilliantly for me at the moment).
- Activity: You might want to plan a full exercise routine in on some days but the important thing is you do something as part of your morning.
- 20 press ups
- Stretches – yoga or breathing exercises
- Or try four minute routine in the side bar
- Cold Shower and coffee
Here is how it might look
Journaling helps with my retention (I note key meditation and stoic principles), clarifies my thoughts and feelings and it a great follow up to meditation and prep for thoughts on what I want to do. It also helps me with my principle of ‘what gets measured gets managed’ without stressing me out.
I have tried several different ways of journaling including electronic and and pre-printed pages. This is a personal choice but what has worked for me best is just a thick note book where I use one page a day and hand write everything. The pages follow a similar format but are messy with lots of scribbles. For me this helped me focus on the fact that this was my journal, there was nothing to prove and no competition or points to score. Sure a digital version may allow you to compile stats or see on your phone and alike but to what end? You may also find a too formal or rigid approach to add to stress rather than reduce it. Your choice.