Control your morning, control your day. Here’s how.
Almost every famous/successful/high-functioning person in the world talks about how important it is to control your morning routine. It is especially important these days, when it is so easy to roll over and grab your phone to see what is going on. Boy is that a MISTAKE.
Once you grab your phone, you have given control of your morning, and most likely your day, to reacting. In fact, most of us spend most of our time these days, reacting to things, rather than controlling our time. It’s all part of what is known as “the attention economy” where our attention (and the clicks and data it generates) are big bucks. For this reason, it can be immensely powerful to start your day on your terms, and set the tone and intention for the day to achieve your personal goals.
Here are the 6 things I do to start my day right.
- Meditate: The science behind the benefits of meditation are catching up with what philosophers and mystics have known for centuries: meditation is one of the most important factors of well being in life. For me, the benefits are a sense of calm, a sense of gratitude, and a sense of focus. I try to meditate for 20 mins each morning, before I even leave my warm bed, but sometimes it is only 5 minutes. C’est la vie. 1 minute of meditation is better than none. And don’t be afraid to use a meditation app (Headspace, Waking Up), they can be so useful in helping you to establish a practice.
- Make My Bed: This seems silly, but actually lots has been written about why this is important (don’t believe me? google it). For me, two things resonate: 1) it is an accomplishment right off the bat, and 2) I am highly affected by my visual space, and when my surroundings are tidy, my mind feels tidy too.
- Stretch or Move: I am not a morning work-out person. I like to work-out in the afternoon, but I always try to do a least a good 5-10 minute stretch when I wake up. It helps loosen up my body, and resets my posture for the day.
- Drink: I start with water with lemon, and then usually have my favorite CBD Matcha Latte. I practice intermittent fasting, so this drink holds me over until I eat, around 10 or 11.
- Write in My Gratitude Journal: I follow a prompt every day where I write down 3 things I am grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great, and 3 positive affirmations about myself (I am…). This takes less than 5 minutes, but my mind is in a pretty open space in the morning, so the sentiments are pure. I have been amazed over time to notice how simple the things I am grateful for are (my husband, my children, my home, healthy food) and how little else I need in the world to be fulfilled. I follow up my morning writing with an evening prompt: 3 great things that happened today, and 3 things that could have made today better.
- Timeblock: timeblocking is scheduling your calendar so that you have periods of time to focus on what is most important. Start by prioritizing what is MOST important to accomplish during the day, and then make sure you schedule time for those activities (to the degree you can). I don’t mean create a to-do list. To-do lists often have time sensitive, but maybe not important tasks. My timeblocks include time for work, family, exercise, and communication. I highly recommend the book The One Thing. It is an easy to follow guide to finding your purpose, and then setting up your life to make sure you achieve your goals.
This whole routine takes only about 30 minutes, and that is when I do a long meditation. Just think about it, do you have 20-30 minutes each morning to set your whole day up for success? It sure beats scrolling through social media, which takes your focus away from your goals, and your life, and gives your attention to Facebook, which is right where they want it to be.
Written By: Shari Boyer, Founder, Plant Society