If you woke up this morning feeling tired, groggy, and like the treadmill of your life was already moving too fast for you, you’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be like that! How you start your day sets the tone for everything that happens afterwards, and makes all the difference between having just another manic Monday (or Tuesday, or Wednesday, etc.) or choosing to have your best day ever.
Your first smart choice is getting to bed on time the night before. If you’re sleeping less than seven hours a night, you’re shortchanging your body and starting the day in the debit column. We cheat ourselves out of the rest we need by rationalizing our bad choices; we’ll catch up on the weekends, or we don’t really need to sleep as much as most people, or we can make it up with caffeine. Wrong! Research shows you never really catch up on lost sleep, and you’re definitely not at your best, physically, emotionally, or intellectually when you’re operating with a deficit, so starting from behind is a losing proposition.
But what you do when you wake up is every bit as important. Having your best day ever isn’t something that just happens on its own. It’s the choices you make and the actions that you take that make the difference. Are you ready to take charge of your mornings?
Here are three ways to kick start your morning for your Best Day Ever, every day.
- Mantra it up – Come up with a phrase for how you want the day to go. For me, my variation usually involves how I want to feel. “I love my life. My life feels good. Everything I want comes to me easily and effortlessly. I relax.” Or “I am so excited about today. It is going to be the best day ever! And, during my meeting with my team, I am going to be relaxed, easy-going and a great listener!” Bonus points if you can say this with a huge smile on your face, because your parasympathetic nervous system will kick in and reward that smile with a great big feel-good dose of dopamine.
- Confirm your schedule and your top priorities – Take a quick look at your schedule and finalize your top priorities. What really needs to get done today? Do that first! Do not get sidelined into meaningless, trivial activities until those priorities are accomplished first. And don’t let others steal your time with interruptions, pointless emails, or questions that can wait. Once you’ve conquered your must-do list, you can deal with other, less-important things without the pressure or distractions of those must-dos hanging over your head.
- Fuel for the Win – Many people don’t like to eat breakfast (myself included) so my breakfast generally is some sort of protein shake or something that is easy to do on the run. It’ s key that you give your body and your brain something to wake up with besides coffee so that you have the energy to make it through your important, priority-driven morning. Plan this the night before; if you don’t, you’ll be stuck grabbing something less than healthy (donut drive-through, I’m looking at you) or going hungry.
Use the positive energy you create in the morning to sustain you all day long. You will notice the difference it makes the first time you try it. From there, you’ll be on the road to your Best Day Ever.