The alarm sounds on your smart phone. It’s an unwelcome start to the day, so you make it better by ‘rewarding’ with a Facebook update, email check, and a quick re-tweet or two.
It typically ends like this:
A friend posted photos of their holiday – you wish you were there.
You read about world destruction and animal cruelty – you’re angry and upset.
A good friend has messaged you to relieve themselves of their previous days’ worries – you’re already emotionally drained.
Your day is now interrupted, and even more energy is required to correct its course.
Since becoming aware of my ‘bad’ habits, I have found activities such as this – immediately turning to ‘info tech’ first thing in the morning for example – are a self-destructive interruption to my awakening, and lead to a less than productive day.
The morning is an important time for my mind to awaken to consciousness and start building thoughts, ideas and objectives for the day. I want these thoughts to be as positive and motivating as possible in order to provide me with ‘forward’ momentum for the day, not ‘backward’.
Therefore, I have made some conscious changes to my morning ritual (and daily habits) that have transformed my life – helping to generate clarity, energy, and inner peace. So much so, I wanted to share them with you.
I’m not perfect, and although I have practiced all 8 of the following habits, I have rarely comleted them all in a day, every day. My aim is to do so, and for now I attempt to trial them, adjust as necessary, and adopt them (and my lifestyle) to suit my needs.
It’s all about give and take, and finding what works best for you.
1. Mindful awakening
A good friend introduced me to this concept not too long ago. It’s been a great addition to my morning, as I find the process of active awareness very helpful to gain clarity and focus in the mind.
It is best described as follows.
Instead of bolting upright and charging into your day upon awakening (either natural or by alarm), take stock and breathe, becoming slowly mindful of your consciousness, your state, your position in bed, whom you are with, and how good it feels just to lie in silence.
Practice for as long as you need. I do this for 3-5 minutes before rising.
NOTE: If you are prone to falling asleep after an alarm sounds, it may be a good idea to use the ‘snooze’ function to be sure you don’t accidentally sleep in!
This is the most important step for your daily health and wellbeing.
The body consists of almost 80% water, and during your sleep phase is the time your organs choose to repair, re-energize, and refuel your body. In thee process, excreting toxins and waste.
In order to flush these toxins away and rehydrate, it’s important that you consume adequate clean water BEFORE you ingest any further material. I aim to consume at least a litre of water within 30 minutes of rising, and this frequently turns into 1.5 litres. The more the better.
Incorporating this habit also aids in reducing your hunger level, and subsequently the amount of food you consume in the morning – a great tip for those looking to lose weight.
Meditation is a far-reaching topic in which I am certainly no expert. I have only just begun exploring the true value of this practice in clearing my mind and improving my self-control ability.
I was introduced to the concept of an ‘8-minute meditation‘ by a book recommendation from a friend. Essentially, you begin practicing meditation for an easy-to-digest 8 minute session per day, using a stopwatch to measure. I find a defined duration extremely useful in providing a ‘goal’ for the meditation session in the early days of meditation practice. As time progresses, you can choose to extend it if comfortable.
I find meditation helps to ‘centre’ my thoughts, which is extremely useful to have upon wakening. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘should do’s’ and the string of positive (and negative) thought patterns of the past, present and future. Meditation is a way to practice the art of recognising these thoughts and controlling them so that they don’t control you.
4. Positive affirmations
The subconscious mind responds to what it is regularly told, so it’s important to start the day telling it good things!
Affirmations can be phrases, quotations or just inspirational sentences that give you a ‘pat on the back’ feeling. They will be unique to our taste and what areas of life you feel the need for a boost, so take the time to make a list of 5 affirmations you can recite 5-10 times each.
A great list of affirmations to get you started can be found here.
Find a comfortable, seated position (I find on the edge of my bed a great spot), put the affirmations where you can easily read them (I have mine posted on the wall beside my bed), and let the good vibes flow.
The subconscious mind doesn’t only respond to words.
Images are a useful way to manifest what you are aiming to achieve. I’m sure if you’re actively practicing personal development (like me), you’ll be aware of the ‘vision board’ concept, and using it to visualise future objectives, manifesting them to realisation via the law of attraction. The vision board is a useful prompt for your visualisation time. It’s also a way to repeatedly visualise objectives, which is necessary in order to cement them into your subconscious.
Fill your board with graphical representations of your objectives (material wealth, relationship desires, lifestyle design etc.) and place it in a suitable position (like on the wall next to your bed) where you can easily refer to it every morning. Take about 5 minutes to look at each image, close your eyes, and imagine living the objective it represents as if it were real.
You can find out how to make your own vision board using this helpful resource.
There’s nothing more energizing than blood pumping through your arteries, so start the day with exercise.
It doesn’t need to be heavy. It could be as simple as some yoga or light stretching, or you could choose a run or weight lifting session.
It’s totally up to you what you choose, just get those limbs moving and focus on deep, wholesome breathing to re-energize your blood with oxygen.
Your body consists of energy.
We are constantly creating and using energy through chemical processes in our body. As such, we need adequate fuel.
This will be another unique factor that you’ll need to play around with. I’ve experimented with different diets over the years and have decided the following works best for me:
- A large glass of Vital Greens, Pea Protein and filtered water within 30 minutes of waking (normally before meditation)
- A wholesome, mostly plant-based breakfast with no sugars or grains (avocado, eggs, spinach, beans, mixed vegetables, sweet potato, wholesome oils and seeds)
- A cup of green tea (differs depending on mood) and/or warm lemon water to digest.
Filling my morning with alkaline greens and protein gives me fuel, gives my muscles repairing nourishment, and leaves me feeling energised and fuller for longer.
8. Tackle creative tasks first
What’s the number 1 killer of effective work?
Mundane, repetitive, ‘tick and flick’ tasks.
Checking email, tweeting updates, social media surfing, ordering food online for your cat….. you know what I mean.
These are ‘feel good’ tasks. – tasks that make you feel like you’re being productive, when in reality you’re weaving all over the place without addressing the important stuff (like writing wonderful blog posts 🙂 ).
Drop all the little bits and pieces and hit the ‘hard’ stuff – the tasks which see you kicking goals towards your passion – first. You’ll have a greater focus, stronger mental capacity (without the constant stop-start or various tasks), and increased effectiveness of your workload.
If you’re finding there ‘aren’t enough hours in the day’ or ‘I never seem to make any progress’, I recommend you stop, look at your day, and see which of the following 8 mindful habits you can implement in order to find your mojo:
- Mindful awakening
- Starting with creative tasks.
I’ll point out that these habits are provided as a guideline.
I’m sure there are many more useful practices that could be used to give your day a boost (e.g. now in a flourishing relationship, I regularly add intimacy with my partner since we awaken at similar times. This intimate connection with another fills my ‘love tank’ and gives me energy and vitality). Feel free to add, subtract, or modify their order as you please.
You are unique, so what works will be up to you to determine through experiments.
These 8 habits have helped me substantially, and I hope you can work towards a more mindful, effective day for yourself, now that you have an awareness of them too.
Are there any habits that you find help kickstart your day in a positive way? What tricks do you use to be effective at your work? I’d love to hear about them. Please leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading my work.
Like it? Please share with your friends on social media. The more people I can inspire, the happier I’ll be.
Until next time…..
Yours in inspiration,
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