Besides coffee, how do you spend the first 60-90 minutes of your day?
The morning is the time of day where we tend to have the most control, so use the first hour or so to get your day off to the best possible start by doing something to stimulate your mind, body and spirit (or at least one of them!) It’s a great time to exercise, meditate, read something interesting, inspiring or stimulating, or listen to an inspiring podcast or audio book. Getting up at the same time every day helps to create a routine or ritual that supports us.
The two main outcomes we’re looking for from a morning routine are
- getting yourself in a strong and confident state of mind
- having a clear intention on what you want to achieve in the day and focusing your attention on that.
Here are some ideas to play with to help you get started –
Exercise. What you love to do to move your body? Walk, run, stretch, yoga, gym, dance, box? Decide what you’re going to do the night before, then get up and take action. There are some lovely websites with classes you can do from home if you don’t have much time. I do 10 minutes of stretching in the morning and an hour walk later in the afternoon. Find what works best for you.
Mind. How can you stimulate your mind? What can you do to get yourself excited or enthusiastic about the day ahead? This could be reading, listening to a podcast or audio book, watching a TED talk…whatever inspires you. Journaling is a very powerful thing to do too. It’s an especially good way to do a ‘brain dump’ and get any worrying or unhelpful thoughts out of the way. I usually listen to something inspiring while I’m eating breakfast.
Spirit. Meditation or mindfulness practices have huge and proven benefits. They can calm the mind, improve concentration, increase self-awareness, change our perspective, increase happiness, deepen our compassion, reduce stress. If you’re just starting out, try apps like Headspace, Calm or Omvana to guide you.
I struggled on and off for years trying to meditate, but really cracked it when someone gave me this simple idea to visualize: Imagine holding a cork under water. It takes a lot of effort and tension, especially after a long time. Now imagine just letting it go. It will natural float…Just find that easy, free feeling as you sit quietly.
5 steps to building a powerful morning routine
- Start small and simple. Make it easy to succeed.
- Add one new habit at a time and commit to doing it for 21 days.
- Plan the one thing you are going to do the night before.
- Have everything you need ready. It seems obvious, but if you’re going to try journaling, have a journal ready. Yoga class? Have your yoga mat and clothes handy. Listen to a podcast? Have it downloaded and ready to go.
- Be super kind to yourself. If it doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself up. Just make a new decision and start again tomorrow.
What will you commit to doing to make your mornings a powerful start to your day?