We are all working to control the complexity and sometime chaos that swirls around us daily. What is the best way to get more control of the events of your life? The answer might strike terror into you if you are a Owl (you do your best work and you are at your best in the evening) versus being a Lark (you do your best work in the morning).
I will tell all of you that I am a Lark. Those that know me well, know that I am usually an early riser and this is when I am at my productive best. I realize we are not all like this but there are still things that you can do to help you establish a morning routine. The point of this article is to give you some tips on establishing your own morning routine and get better control of your day.
1) Sleep is important for all of us. The studies consistently show that those people that can sleep for 7-8 hours, feel better, think clearer and can recover from physical stress (exercise) better. I spent most of my life in a sleep deprived state saying “I only require 5-6 hours sleep per night”. The reality is I required more but I just didn’t allow my body to get more. I began forcing myself to sleep longer till this became a norm . I track the sleep hours and sleep pattern on my Fitbit and I now average over 7 hours per night. I can definitely think clearer.
2) Get Up earlier to allow yourself time to think, focus and plan. I am suggesting that you wake up 1 hour earlier than you normally do. Yes, I know, sleep is precious but what I am saying is a slight adjustment in your schedule. Go to bed 1 hour earlier and then use the extra hour in the morning. What do we do with this extra hour? Some people exercise- do some stretching, yoga, tai chi, Qi Gong or some other way to move your body. Yes, you are stiff in the morning-God knows I am …but the more I move, the better I feel.
I suggest moving before you start any meditation or mind work since your subconscious has already been doing quite a work while you were sleeping . Get your blood pumping. It helps you wake up naturally and you can think clearer. This extra hour will pay big dividends for you.Try not to hit the snooze button ( I still do occasionally) because I found that I feel better when I can get out of bed and move with the first alarm. If I hit snooze, I have found that I feel more lethargic getting up.
3) Focus Your Mind after your series of movements- maybe you want to speak aloud your favorite affirmation. Maybe you can read aloud a passage from a favorite book, psalm or poem. Speaking aloud is the important thing. Something about hearing your own voice with energize you and prepare you for the day with a sense of confidence.
Speak your words with CONVICTION. No negative self talk. The things going into mind at this time of the day should be positive and inspirational.
4) Define Your Day.Now comes the time to get more into your head and feed it with the right direction. How do you want your day to unfold? This is the time to do some meditation if this is a practice you have. I suggest this to be done about 10 minutes per day if you are just getting into it and expand it as you develop these skills.
Yes, I know it takes more time but trust me, when you begin doing these things and developing your morning routine, you will be able to rise even earlier because you will be motivated to do so. Why will you be motivated to do so? Because you will see how your morning routine helps you control your day better, deal with the stresses of life.
I know that mornings can be very stressful with getting kids ready for school or activities, readying for the commute to the office and on and on it goes but this routine should be done before everyone in the household is up and moving.
I promise you will be in a much better position to handle these stresses if you have done your morning routine before these other things.
5.) Be Present Now And Live In THIS MOMENT. I have done some reading on work done by Thich Nhat Hahn: He expresses this idea very well so I want to quote him. “Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”
The present moment is really all that matters. This is where you need to keep your attention focused. BE PRESENT. Make sure all of your senses are alive and focused on what is happening to you in the now.
6.) Ask Yourself These Questions They will help you to set the way you want your day to be.
- Who: Who do I want to be?
- How: How do I want to feel?
- Why: Why am I visualizing my day as I am? If I am feeling anxious and stressed, can I re-imagine things in a more positive light? Can I find a better-feeling thought?
7,) Listen. Listen to the inner voice within you. Listen to your guide , inner spirit or angel or what ever you wish to call it. This guidance will be there for you to help you through the decisions you make throughout your day. This guidance may be hard to hear, it may be so soft you have to strain to hear it…but it is there. The more you work on your morning routine, the easier it will be to hear this voice.
8.) Eat (or Drink) Breakfast if this suits you.I find that I like to continue to fast till around 10 am . It helps me metabolize better. Everyone’s body is different and you need to be in touch with your own body to see what is best for you. I am always working to efficiently eat and digest my food so this works best for me. Eat breakfast with high protein and low carbs to prevent energy crashes in the morning (afternoons too ) when you eat lunch.
Start with incorporating some of these things into your new morning routine. I can almost assure you that you will feel better. You will feel more in control. You will feel calmer and more confident.
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Until next time, Enjoy Your Morning and Carpe Diem!