We humans are fragile creatures. One moment, life is good and we feel like we’re on top of the world, but in the blink of an eye, we can be full of doubt and question ourselves. Feelings of insecurity are often triggered by something small and insignificant like a hurtful comment from a stranger.
Your state of mind is THE critical factor in how you will react to the challenges you face.
When you’re upset about something, doesn’t it usually seem like the whole world is against you? Like nothing is going your way?
Conversely, when you’re in a good state of mind, when you’re excited about what you are doing; the world seems to work for you.
It’s because we are so dependent on state that we need to take special care to create the right state of mind every day. Doing so sets us up for success and prepares us physically and mentally to face the world.
Introducing, the morning routine
It’s critical to develop a morning routine to foster theright state of mind to face the day. This morning routine should be a set of actions that you do each morning to prepare yourself physically and mentally.
Here’s my morning routine and some suggestions for developing your own:
I wake up and the first thing I do is turn on the lights. This helps to raise my awareness. Then, I drink a glass of water because your body becomes dehydrated through the night. This also helps me wake up. Finally, I jump straight into the shower. All 3 of these steps help me to become alert for the rest of my routine.
After showering comes the most critical aspect of my morning routine: spending quiet time alone with a journal. Now this isn’t just typical journaling time, I’m not necessarily writing about my day or exploring deep thoughts. If there is something on my mind that I want to explore I will do so, but the primary motive of my morning journaling is to set my focus; to get my head right.
I do this by asking myself questions, determining my priorities for the day, and reminding myself of what’s important. I switch my journaling around from time to time, but the core questions are as follows:
-What are you thankful for? I don’t just list random things or write the same thing every day. I genuinely ask myself the question and I write about what occurs to me and why I’m thankful for it. This forces me to set aside time in the morning to realize how lucky I am in some ways, to appreciate it, and to get myself into an attitude of appreciation and gratitude….proven ways to improve your mood.
-I review my major goals, the top 3-5 goals that I am currently focused on achieving in my life. This is as a reminder of what is important in my life and what I need to be focusing on.
-What are my priorities for the day? Here, I try to boil down my day into the top couple things that I want to accomplish that day. I usually come up with 1-3 work related and 1-3 personal priorities. Sometimes these are recurring because I like to come up with daily habits that will help me achieve my major goals. These daily habits are always top priorities.
-Who do I want to be? This is where I write about the kind of person I want to be for the day, how I want to experience life, how I want to interact with others, what effect I want to have on people, etc. It’s just a sentence or two that gets me to think and express who I want to be. It helps me to be more aware and live consciously.
Other questions I ask sometimes: What can I do today to improve the life of someone I care about? Who do I need to call that I haven’t talked to in a while? What can I do today to get closer to my major goals? What can I do to make the life of a stranger better (brainstorming random acts of kindness)?
Journaling is the major portion of my mental readiness routine. Sometimes, if I am up early and have extra time, I will either read or listen to books that put me in the right state of mind. I try to stick to inspirational, self improvement style reading in the morning because the primary purpose is to mentally prepare myself for the day.
Another great morning activity is meditation. It’s proven to be good for your mind. I’ve never been able to stick with the habit long enough to see the benefits, but if it works for you, consider adding it to the mental readiness portion of your own morning routine.
After I’ve finished journaling, I usually put on some upbeat music and do the following to get myself physically ready for the day.
-High Protein, High Vegetable Breakfast– I don’t stuff my face with carbs in the morning like a lot of nutrition advice would recommend. I avoid things like oatmeal, cereal, and toast, as they just leave me craving more food 2 hours later.
My typical breakfast consists of eggs, coffee, a vegetable shake, and sometimes bacon or nuts. If I am working, I usually eat 3 hard-boiled eggs because they are easy to cook in mass quantities and eat.
The most important aspect of the breakfast is the vegetable shake. I combine about 20 oz of water, a handful of berries, a splash of orange juice, and as much green leafy vegetables (typically kale) as will fit into the blender. I’ll drink half of the shake (a full glass) with my eggs and save half for my dinner.
This shake alone provides me with more vegetables, vitamins, nutrients, minerals, etc that 99% of people eat in a day. It is my secret nutritional advantage on the rest of the world and it comes at little cost: the ingredients are cheap, it’s easy to make, and you can drink it in less than 1 minute.
Most of my friends have adopted the veggie shake into their own diets.
Optional: Some mornings, for whatever reason, I’m just tired. If this happens, I try to physically wake myself up by moving around fast, jumping, clapping my hands, singing, and/or making noise. This helps to get my blood flowing and jolt me awake.
Also, when the option is available and the mood strikes me, I love to have morning sex. This might be too much info, but nothing sets my day off on the right foot like making love in the morning. I don’t do this every day, but when it happens, it’s a big help in getting me into the right state of mind.
The final thing I do before I face the world is I remind myself to smile and try to “give a gift” to everyone I interact with. This doesn’t mean give an actual gift, it just means that I want to try and be positive with people, have fun, compliment them, smile, and generally leave them feeling better. I remind myself of this before leaving and try to set a standard by smiling and talking to everyone I see on my way out of my apartment building to my car.
I challenge you to develop your own morning routine. The one above works for me because it gets me physically ready, reminds me of what’s important in life, and helps me to focus on who I want to be and what I want to do.
Just remember what determines your state of mind:
-Body language and Posture
-What you are focusing on
-Your overall attitude and beliefs
Now see if you can be creative and figure out ways that you can initialize yourself for the day. I guarantee if you do, you’ll have a lot more good days and a lot fewer bad days. The universe will conspire for your success.
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