It couldn't be simpler: If we don't get a handle on our mornings, then we can't get a handle on our day. Living intentionally means that we engage every day in making positive decisions so that we set ourselves up for success. The morning hours are the most vital in that process, and it can very much set the tone for the hours to come. If there is one thing I know I am not alone in, is the occasional pang of disappointment that I get when the alarm goes off early on a Monday Morning. No one wants to hear it, because the bed is nice and warm, or we didn't get nearly enough sleep, or maybe that job we're about to head off to doesn't exactly leave us fulfilled. However, what if I told you that with a few steps, and a few slow changes in habit, we can get out of that bed like a bolt of lightning, get our day going, and set ourselves up for success all day long? It can be done, and not only that, the sooner we get with this program the sooner you will see benefits you're not thinking of right now.
HIT IT STRONG IN THE AM
1. Plan Tomorrow Tonight -- When I get home from my day job, I make sure my email is cleared, and the last 30 minutes of my day (I work a second shift) I write down all the things I need to address the next day. Then I look at that list and I determine what two or three things are the priority items, and I star them. Then me and my journal and the book I'm reading head for bed.
2. Get some sleep -- I usually get home during the week around 10:45pm. I try to be in bed around 11:30 or midnight. I set the alarm for 7:30, so I try to get around 7.5 to 8 hours. Now, there are folks who can get along on less sleep. I'm not one of those people. Setting myself up for success means I get the sleep I need to function. If I miss out on sleep, I dig a hole during the course of the week that I can't get out of without.
3. Snooze Is For Losers -- Seriously, don't avoid the inevitable. As tempting as it is, don't start the day procrastinating. Take a few moments to think about your best possible day, and then dont just get out of bed, Turn on the boosters and launch. Water first -- Drink some water first. I drink a bottle of water and a can of v8 before I hit the caffeine. Yeah, I need the caffeine, but it's more important to flush out the system.
4. Get moving -- Got a gym membership? No? That's ok. Go for a walk. I walk about a mile first thing in the morning, just to get the brain and the body moving. Free Your Mind -- When I get back from walking, this is when I take the opportunity to reflect on my Dharma for the day, and sit for my first 15 minute meditation. I calm my thoughts and just focus on the breath. This brings me back to my center, and then I'm ready to get to work.
5. Hit it strong -- Here's where I grab my list and get to work. Hit those first two or three big priority items that need to get done. I know I have until about 11:00am to work before I have to think about getting ready for work at the day job, so I work on my big ticket items, then process my email, check my feeds for post or show ideas and file items away for research. If I have time after that, I'll see if there's any other items on the list I can hit before my stop time.
6. Mind the gap -- if I have time after I get ready for work, I'll use that to tie up any loose ends or get other items competed. I'm out the door at 12:15pm for work.
You can get up in the morning and make some positive choices to get your morning going, accomplish the things that matter to you, and still be ready for the rest of your day.
Do you have any tried and true morning routines? Tell me about it in the comments.