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7 Simple Habits for an Awesome Start to Your Day

Image by R’eyes (license).

.“A person is a success if they get up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”
Bob Dylan

The alarm bell goes off. You slowly open your eyes. A new day lies before you.

A day of unexplored potential and opportunities. How can you make it more likely to become a positive and good day?

Today I’d like to simply share 7 habits that I have used to make my mornings and whole days better.

1. Have a reminder on your bedside table.

How will you start your very first moments and minutes of the day?

One good way to get off to a good start is to have a note, a reminder on your bedside table that will be one of the first things you see after you have woken up.

A couple of suggestions for what to write down on your note:

  • A low bar for happiness. Write down: “Today I will set a low bar for happiness”. Read it and try to keep it in mind during the day. This one helps me to appreciate things more. The food, my work, the weather, the people and the small events of the day becomes not everyday stuff but something I feel happy to have. The small things or what may be something one takes for granted becomes something I now often pause for a moment or two to take in and appreciate.
  • Your top 4 priorities in life. To keep your attention in the right place it is essential to remind yourself every day of what is truly most important. So what is most important for you this year? An important project at work? Your family? Improving your social life? Your blog, photography, soccer or debt? Think about it and reduce what is important in your life to the top 4 most important priorities.

2. Give one genuine compliment.

Giving one genuine compliment to your partner, a family member, friend or co-worker during your morning can not only lift his or her day but also make yours a little brighter and happier.

So tap into what you can appreciate about a person in your life. Then tell him or her that.

If you can, make it something that may be a bit unexpected and something that person hasn’t heard a hundred times before. For example, a compliment about her great taste in music or his wonderful way with animals may be more appreciated and powerful than a compliment about looks and other more superficial stuff.

3. Positive information intake over breakfast.

Instead of watching the news or reading the papers and getting a negative and perhaps depressing start to your day do something that will inspire you.

  • Read one or a couple of new posts from positive, funny and uplifting blogs or websites.
  • Read a chapter from a book that inspires you.
  • Or simply have a fun and warm conversation with the people around your kitchen table.

4. Start your workday with your most important task of the day.

If you do then the rest of the day will feel lighter and easier. You will feel better about yourself and more confident as you move on to other tasks.

If you have trouble getting started with the most important task then just make a deal with yourself to work on it for 3 minutes. Then you can stop if you like. But you may not want to once you have gotten started. That seems to be the case for me most of the time.

Getting started is most often the hardest part. So make that part easier for yourself.

5. Go slow.

When I go a bit slower it becomes easier to fully focus, to keep the stress down and I most often do a better job with something the first time around.

I work with more clarity and I do not get stuck in doing busy work very often.

It may feel like I’m not getting enough done but at the end of the day I usually get more quality work done than if I tried to maintain a high speed through the day. Partly because the lower stress levels keeps my mind fresh and energy up even through the last few afternoon hours of the workday.

Try going a bit slower. See how it works for you.

6. Work out.

My favorite time to do some free-weight exercise is about an hour or two after breakfast. By doing this 2-3 times a week I boost my energy and hormone levels. This makes the rest of the day lighter and I feel more decisive. Inner doubts and tensions lessen and my mind becomes more optimistic.

I highly recommend doing some kind of exercise in the morning. If you can’t go to a gym or work out from home early in the day then maybe you can walk or bicycle to work or school.

7. Do the right thing in some small or big way.

This one boosts your self-esteem. It puts a spring in your step and it at least makes me feel happier.

So do what you deep down think is the right thing.

A few examples that may resonate with you:

  • Perform a random act of kindness. Hold up the door or point out the way for someone who seems lost.
  • Help someone out practically or just by listening.
  • Encourage someone.
  • Get started with putting a dent in the most important challenge in your life.

Build upon just a small step, a small thing if you like. Start building an upward spiral of positivity and good feelings within. And then take further steps upward. Towards what you know you really want and you know are the right things for you in your life.

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  • Good Guy Robert September 21, 2012, 4:23 pm

    If I can do 1, 2, and 7, it usually makes for a great day. For my bedside reminder, I like to list things I’m most thankful for, and list goals for the day and why they excite me. I find this works best if I write them before I go to sleep!
    Compliments aren’t something I’m naturally inclined to give, so making a point of doing at least 1 per day is a pleasant surprise for those around me, and I end up feeling good about the day and possibilities it holds!

  • Dennis the 'Richmeme' September 22, 2012, 6:56 am

    I love your No. 7 and I can’t agree more! :)

    Randomly, if I could, I will help those needy. Not too long ago, I helped a needy. Indeed, I felt very very happy! The feeling is just as great as I achieve something great in my life…


    p/s: the place I am living now is crowded by beggar. I don’t give beggars unless I can “feel” the needs. You know some beggars who are young and energetic, with complete arms and body but still ask for money. Sorry, I just don’t help these people…

  • Asta September 22, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Great tips! Your blog is awesome! :) xx

  • Natasha September 23, 2012, 4:06 am

    Thanks for this great advice. I really liked the idea of focusing on your top 4 priorities. It’s alot better than focusing on what is going wrong throughout the day. Giving a compliment each day is a great idea too because you are focusing on other people and what they are doing right. Thanks again.

  • Adrynna September 25, 2012, 5:42 pm

    Im new to your blog.Was introduced by a friend (whom I will soon thanked for doing so). I will start my day tomorrow by doing no 4&5.
    I usually end my day by recreating my to do list for the next day.But often,I would tend to skip the hardest/complicated task to later,thinking that if I start with the easiest,I would get more things done (which is usually not the case).I agree that getting started is the biggest obstacle.It would requires me a big effort to tackle the “big” stuff,but I WILL do it! :-)

  • Matt September 26, 2012, 8:19 pm

    I like to use this Android app called Talking Alarm Clock. (Free) You can record a message that will play as your alarm, or you can create a text version of the message that will be read aloud by your phone. Works great for motivational messages or reminders.

  • Brace Phillips September 27, 2012, 1:13 pm

    I found this site on Google. It was excellent and very informative. As a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed. I found a lot of informative stuff in your article. Thanks for posting.

  • Henrik Edberg September 27, 2012, 1:42 pm

    Thank you all for your wonderful and helpful comments! :)

    • Hui liu October 9, 2012, 12:06 pm

      I think that you must be a positive man ,I like the smile on your face very much,good luck to you!

      • ?? October 9, 2012, 4:13 pm

        your smile is very beatiful!

  • Tony September 27, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Giving a compliment to someone is good one, I tried that and it worked great. Thanks!!

  • Igor G. October 2, 2012, 5:45 am

    These techniques really works! As soon a you start applying them to your daily life, you will notice positive changes in your life at once!
    Thanks, Henrik for your wonderful site!

  • Lars Andresson October 2, 2012, 8:17 am

    This 7 steps really good for our health And the most important the post which give us step by step lesson this lesson are the finally or healthier for everyone.Good post..

  • Kripa Rangachari October 2, 2012, 11:09 pm

    Good one!

  • Sustainable Earth October 5, 2012, 2:53 am

    I find that just keeping an open mind and lending your ears to someone in need makes the difference.

  • KeithB October 5, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Another good post and there are some tips I need to put into practice too. I would just say that complimenting one person as you start the day is a great idea but can get a little mechanical and sound insincere. I have found combining this with doing the right thing by somebody throughout the day (points 2 and 7) works better – in other words complimenting someone or simply having an uplifting chat with someone who looks like they need it works for me. And you never know who you might positively influence at the same time.

  • carol October 9, 2012, 2:54 pm

    Hi ,what you write is really great

  • Kiran October 16, 2012, 11:55 am

    Great post. A 5-10 minutes of meditation would add tremendous mental freshness also. It is also helpful in reducing stress.

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