Another morning. The sun is barely up, you drag yourself from the bed to the shower to the closet. You sit down at the breakfast table, you eat some toast, drink some coffee, read your morning paper.
It's not always fun waking up. You feel tired and lousy and the snooze-button sure seems tempting. What can you do?
Well, here are a couple of ways to improve your mornings. You are most likely already incorporating one or a few of them into your morning routine. In that case, take the others out for a spin. Maybe you'll find something that really makes a difference.
Ask your morning questions.
I really like this one and first heard about it from Tony Robbins (on Personal Power II). Here's what you do; every morning ask yourself five empowering three-part questions in this way:
What am I ______ about in my life right now?
What about it makes me _______?
How does it make me feel?
Put in your own value in the blank space. For instance, a couple of my questions are: What am I happy about in my life right now? What am I excited about in my life right now?
It's important that you really feel how it makes you feel. When I think about the last part about what makes me happy right now I really feel it. These morning questions are great because
a) the way they are set up makes you recognize things you take for granted
b) and then they really get you to feel those positive feelings.
And they work in the afternoon or evening or whenever you need them too.
Start your day by not reading the newspaper
Instead, while having your breakfast:
Listen to a personal development-cd or read a couple of pages about self-improvement.
Pull out your dvds and watch an episode of your favourite sit-com.
Read some of your favourite fiction.
Listen to a couple of your favourite songs.
Get a positive start on your day.
Don't let the news get you down as soon as you are out of bed. At the moment my breakfasts are accompanied by this excellent time-lag video and a bunch of other stuff.
Actually eat breakfast.
It's the most important meal of the day. You have heard a million times before from your teachers and your mom. It's easy to associate a good breakfast to a slightly nagging feeling from your childhood. Don't let that drag your day down. Time to refocus.
Some of the advantages of eating breakfast:
You stop being hungry and your mood and energy most likely improves.
It might make you slimmer.
It will refuel your brain and improve your concentration.
You might not feel like eating breakfast, maybe you aren't that hungry in the morning. But you might also feel tired and fatigued a few hours later. Know yourself and plan ahead. If you think you can get by without a breakfast just try to eat a good one anyways for week. Maybe it will make you feel even better and more energetic?
But eating a nutritious breakfast doesn't have to mean eating bark and gravel in a bowl with a bit of milk on top. Your body might like it but you probably won't be in a good mood. Find a balance and eat something both healthy and tasty.
Think the night before
Pack your bag for school or work. Sort all the papers you need for the morning meeting, presentation or class and make sure they're in the bag. Doing all these small things the night before reduces stress in the morning and gives you better results (meaning: you won't forget that one important thing while running around in the morning with coffee cup and the toothbrush trying to get organized).
Make it a small 5 minute habit in the evenings and your mornings will feel a lot easier.
Create a flow
This one might not apply to everyone. But if you are a student like me, it's easy to not get your day started at all (or it might take a few hours). Maybe you don't have any classes some days or you might not find some of them all that useful. I find it good to create a flow early each day so you don't waste it all away.
To get started I use the all the things above. And even if you don't have anything to pack it can be good to use 5 minutes each evening to go through what you could, should or must do the next day. You could write it down using pen and paper for different lists. I did that for a while. I wrote down a new list every evening on what I should do the next day and once a week I revised another list of more long-term tasks and goals.
It quickly became too much paper. And when I couldn't get at quick and easy overview I started to procrastinate or forget stuff I really had to do.
Now I use My Life Organized instead. So far it's a whole lot better.