How we start our day has a covertly powerful influence on how the rest of the day rolls out. Here are three more strategies to combine with last week's to help you take control and create a morning routine that will help you start your day right.
Read part one here
4. Get grateful before your feet even hit the floor
This is such a good tip for bringing more ease and lightness to your morning. When you press snooze on your alarm* start listing things in your life you are grateful for. Happy moments from the previous day. Just start listing them and developing this as a habit. You will probably snooze back off but this at least gets your brain with the programme that we are now choosing to start the day on a positive note. You will be surprised how quickly this becomes a habit: Alarm beep. Oh, okay, what was good about yesterday? What were my happy moments? What am I grateful for? It breaks the bad habit of waking up and within seconds being on the anxiety train of "oh God, I've got to get X done today, and then Y is probably going to..." while you are still between the sheets.
Break the habit by establishing a new, far more empowered habit of starting your thoughts each morning with appreciation.
*Unless you are some kind of human unicorn who bounces out of bed before their alarm trilling "I'm a morning person, hello world", in which case, you need no help, you've got it covered.
5. What would I like to go right today?
One of the reasons we sometimes have a bad day is because we self-create it by expecting to have a bad day. We wake up and our mind automatically starts off on a train of thought about how underprepared we are about that meeting, and that we are going to be really pushed to get to the dentist and back, and I bet the traffic will be really bad too and if Tom doesn't sort that thing out like he promised ... and so on. It's a really easy train of thought to follow, we start with one thing that might not go that well, and then it links seamlessly to another and another, so before we know it we are stressed out about our day before we are even out of our pyjamas.
You can change this by consciously directing your thought. We humans can have a real tendency to gravitate towards the negative without realising it, so help yourself turn that around by popping a post-it note on the bathroom mirror where you clean your teeth. As you brush, ask yourself the very deliberate question What could go RIGHT today? And then link that to something else that could go well, or that you can think of an ideal outcome. Start deliberately challenging your focus towards the positive.
What are three things that could go right today? What would be an ideal outcome?
6. Stop looking at technology first thing
I know I go on about this a lot. Technology is our friend, and so fantastic in so many ways, but honestly, if you are looking for a day that's calm, focused and full of fun/achievement/peace of mind/whatever it is you are after, then checking your email and social media when you are still in bed or shuffling about in your PJs is not going to serve that. Unless you are a heart surgeon or similar, no email is that important/time sensitive it cannot wait 15-30 minutes while you ease yourself into your morning.
When you check your tech you are immediately taking yourself out of your own agenda and headspace and immediately putting yourself into someone else's. Reading that email about the problem with production splits your mental focus before the day even begins. It takes the focus off you, and what you (and your family) need to set you up optimally for the day, and puts a large percentage of it in the office/school/someone else's stuff. Start the day in your own stuff. If you want to be calm, happier, more successful in whatever it is you are into - have those few moments at the start of the day, focused on what you want. It will allow you to start the day with clarity and perspective.
I commit to not checking my tech, and staying in my own stuff until .......... am.
That's six strategies to help you start your day off right.
See here next week for two more to help you get out of bed on the right side.