Changing Habits

Fuel your Mornings with Small Victories to Propel your Days

wrote this on September 3, 2014
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Like me there are a lot of people who find it hard to get out of bed in the morning; for us, every day the struggle begins anew.

My wife is one of those people who are a beacon of energy in the morning.  She begins her day full of energy on a regular-basis. While she sprints from one morning chore to the other, I lumber behind her with a coffee mug in my hand and a grouchy expression.

I’ve noticed a few things she does differently and that might be the reason why she’s so pumped while I’m still rubbing off cobwebs out of my eyes…

First, she goes to sleep earlier. I tend to linger a bit during the evenings.

Second, she wakes up earlier which give her a head’s start to do the things she needs to do.

Third, every morning before she leaves the house she makes sure she already has several small morning victories under her belt.

While I’m struggling with morning drowsiness, she’s already checked off a few things off her to-do list; a practice that propels her to conquer the rest of her day.

I’m always baffled by our oppositeness, but the answer, upon closer inspection is quite simple.  She has routines that allow her to start her day strong.

I decided to give it a go and start my day earlier with hopes of getting as many wins as possible before I go to work.

I must admit that I copied a few routines from her, but I’ve also created a few of my own. My focus with these routines is to supply me with quick wins that will lift my spirit and will help me gain momentum by starting my day strong!

# Meditation

There’s a sort of calmness in the morning, in those hours in which the birds begin to chirp that makes it perfect for meditation.

Waking up early in the morning leaves you more time for yourself.  As a way to shake the last cobwebs and prepare for the rest of my day, I enter into a meditative state and tackle the things that I’m about to experience during the day, prior to facing them.

While you relax, you can mentally plan your day or at least make a mental note of three key things you’d like to accomplish.  Knowing where you’re headed prior to being there helps to reduce your stress levels so when you’ll face the task that needs to be done, you’ll have some preparation.

If meditation is not your cup of tea, exercising on your own will give you the needed alone time to consider your upcoming day with the added bonus of making your healthier.

# Breakfast

Prior to my quest to become a morning person, I rarely ate breakfast. My breakfast was simply a cup of coffee.  My wife on the other hand invests in her morning meal.

This morning she prepared excellent French crepes, fresh juice and topped it off whole grain toast with guacamole, a breakfast worthy of royalty.

I know that a lot of people told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I wonder if they’ve explained why…

Eating a healthy breakfast jumps starts metabolism and helps balance your energy levels throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you’re signaling your body that there’s a lot of food to be had throughout the day, your body doesn’t try to preserve energy.  This will eliminate prolonged feasting symptoms like lack of focus, no patience and fatigue.

# Learn something new, mornings are the best time to do that

Nothing fuels my enthusiasm more than learning to do something new in the morning; it’s both an easy win and a practical tool.

Waking up earlier helps me create this new habit of learning and giving it a specific time frame cements it. I know that in a specific time each morning I sit down and do a specific thing, no distractions and nothing to divert me from my goal for the required period.

# Leave home happy (Most important)

This little (big) victory is all about closing you front door with a big smile on your face.

Making sure that everyone’s happy before you leave the house prevents your mind from dwelling on what’s left behind.  Even if this gets you to work with a slight delay, it will be offset with a productivity boost for you and anyone around you!

Remember, spending an extra few minutes helping your spouse or your kids is time well spent.

If you’d like to jumpstart your mornings, keep these final thoughts in mind:

  • You might be tempted to go crazy and try to start several routines at once. My advice to you is to shoot for quality not quantity.
  • Although I copied a bit you might be better off choosing routines that most resonate with you.
  • Routines need to be practiced on a regular basis to be effective. Commit to it and do your best to be as consistent as possible.

Until next time!

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