“If you take care of the first hour of your day, the rest of the day will take care of itself”
I love the above quote, because of the truth it holds. Life is all about momentum and you have to create your own positive momentum each and everyday. If you want to have an amazing, happy, pleasurable day, you are going to have to intentionally create a morning that makes you feel like a million bucks.
Here are 8 tips for creating a morning that will rock your world:
1. Wake up at a decent time
This could mean a different time to everybody. Depending on what time your work starts, make sure that you wake up at a decent time that allows for an easy, leisurely yet powerful morning.
I’m not going to recommend waking up at 5:30 AM, as I personally believe there is a “motivation overload” out there and everybody is yelling at you to work harder and wake up at the crack of down, while they snore into the late morning. No, I’d rather say this: Wake up at a time that makes you feel good about yourself and makes you feel like you have plenty of day left to tackle.
Most likely, this falls somewhere in between 6-9. For you early risers, go wild at the crack of dawn. For you night owls like me, suck in every last minute of sleep you can get, just don’t waste the day by sleeping till noon.
2. Eat something healthy for breakfast
This is a no-brainer and I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before. But be honest with yourself, how do you feel after eating 4 pancakes and 5 pieces of bacon drenched in maple syrup? I know when I have a big breakfast like that it simply makes me want crawl right back into bed and sleep for another 3 hours. And that completely violates the first tip on this list!
Look, all I’m recommending is that you eat something relatively nutritious and make sure you consume plenty of water. It will make you feel refreshed and energized and ready to tackle the day.
3. Do some exercise
Like #2, this is probably one you’ve heard a million times before. But what I’m suggesting is that you simply make it a point to get your body moving in the morning. Whether it’s going for a walk/run, doing yoga, doing 5 minutes of floor abs, doing some jumping jacks, going to play basketball at a local gym, or getting a full blown 2 hour work out in…do something physical!
This way, your state will be feeling great and your will feel more awake and energized to tackle the rest of the morning, rather than just moving through your morning like a zombie and waiting for lunch to wake you up. I personally am not a fan of working out in the morning, and to be honest I’m not a fan of mornings in general. But whenever I’m up early and do some jumping jacks or go for a brief run, I always have a more productive day. Then I get my real workout done later in the evening.
4. Take a cold shower
Okay, okay…bear with with me here (Don’t let this point scare you off from reading the rest of the article!).
I learned this strategy from Brendon Burchard, the world renowned motivational speaker and high performance coach. At his exclusive High Performance Academy in San Jose, CA, which I had the pleasure of attending, Brendon shared that taking a cold shower in the morning wakes your nerves up in a way that cannot be matched. It makes you feel more alive than ever before and that’s not a bad way to head into your day.
Now, Brendon also empathized with the fact that morning showers are a special time for a lot of folks and he certainly did not expect them to give up their 10 minutes of warm goodness at 7 AM. What he suggests getting started with is a 10 second trial at the end of your shower each morning. After you finish washing your hair and scrubbing your private parts, rinse off but don’t get out yet. Instead, add an extra 10 seconds to your shower and turn the faucet to cold. Sure, it will be a very uncomfortable 10 seconds, but it sure will wake you up!
I’ll be honest, I am not able to do this every morning and it is a very big struggle for me. See if you can out match me, okay? 🙂
5. Do yoga
This is a quick spin off of tip #3. Yoga is a great way to get your body moving and feeling amazing. Not only will yoga help you get into the best shape of your life, but it will also make your body feel as if you could run a marathon.
I’m not a big yoga person myself, but whenever I incorporate some simple stretches and poses into my morning, I always feel better.
6. Avoid looking at screens for the first hour
This will probably be the biggest struggle of all for myself, and most likely for you too. We are all addicted to our cell phones, and there is no sense denying it anymore. Seriously, now that the smart phone has entered our world, I don’t think we could ever live without it. They may as well be attached to our body because most of us wouldn’t dare go anywhere without our precious iPhone.
The recommended solution is to avoid looking at computer screens, televisions, or phone screens for at least one hour before bed, and at least one hour after you wake up. I know, I know, ridiculous right? I have yet to accomplish this mission fully. But that doesn’t mean that I should not continue to try.
The reason it’s smart to avoid screens before you go to bed is because it strains your eyes and makes it harder for you to fall asleep. The reason you may not be able to fall asleep very quickly is because you are torturing your eyes with light beams and then instantly expect them to be in “rest mode”. This causes stressed out sleep patterns.
The morning is also a time that you should avoid straining your eyes. Give your mind and soul time to wake up before checking email, Instagram, Facebook, etc. There is no reason to stress yourself out with other people’s problems before you master your morning.
Meditation has been a recommended practice for centuries. Not only does it allow you to completely shut down your mind and let go of your current problems, it also energizes your body and refreshes you in a way that cannot be matched. Although I am not as active of a meditator as I would like to be, whenever I do take the time, I always feel more energized and refreshed.
(Notice a trend here, everything is revolved around getting you feeling the right way)
Meditation does not mean you have to sit with your legs criss crossed and mumble “Ommmmmm” for 90 minutes straight. All you really need to do is relax your body, sit or lay in a comforting way, close your eyes and focus on nothing. Focus on the darkness and beauty of your mind.
8. Tell your loved ones “I love you”
This just may be the most important thing you can do in your morning. By sharing with your loved ones, whether it’s your wife, mom, dad, brother, best friend, girlfriend, etc, you are radiating love and pleasure into yours and their life. You are creating a bond for the day with people you care about. Because in the end, love is the strongest emotion anyone can feel and it is so positive. By exuding love for another human being, you are opening yourself to all the bliss in the world.
Also, when you share with your loved ones how much you love them, they are most likely going to share it back. And guess how that’s going to make you feel? 😉