What you do the moment you open your eyes defines the quality of the day ahead.
Unfortunately, for many people, those first few minutes of each morning start off dreary. You roll-over and hit the snooze, stay in bed a few minutes longer than you should, and then feel rushed, drained, or lethargic as you start your day.
All of a sudden, it seems, you’re stuck in a rut, and you’ve only just gotten up.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
But, taking control of your morning – and your day – isn’t as hard as you might think.
There’s a simple process you can follow that will help you to wake up with a purpose, reshape your morning, and feel more naturally energized, excited, and eager for the day ahead.
1. Set Your Intention the Night Before
The first step to waking up on purpose actually begins the night before.
What you think about the last few minutes before you fall asleep has a dramatic impact on the quality of your sleep.
This means that if you want to have a good start to your day, you need to have a good end to the day before…but how, exactly, do you do that.
- Shut Off Your Screens – A nearly impossible task in the digital age, I know, but eliminating (or at least severely limiting) your screen-time before bed works wonders to help you have a deep, restful night’s sleep.
- Meditate or Say a Few Short Affirmations – This doesn’t mean you have to sit down in the lotus position for half an hour. Even a few minutes of quietly closing your eyes and focusing on your breath will help to provide distance from whatever happened that day, and help you to find center and calm your mind.
- Decide What You Want To Accomplish The Next Day – Take a few seconds to mentally choose the single most important thing you want to do the next day. Don’t linger on this step. The goal is NOT to create a long task list or let your mind get away from you, but to set a single, clear intention for the next morning.
- Decide What Time You’r Going To Get Up – This point is key, yet so many people overlook it. When you are clear about when you want to start your day before you go to sleep, you effectively give your body notice about what it can expect in the morning. With a bit of practice, you might even find you can set your internal alarm and always wake up on time, without fail.
- Imagine Your Goal – Lastly, as you’re lying in bed drifting off to sleep, use your imagination to visualize your longer term goals, and see yourself achieving them. The clearer you are in your visualization, the more likely you are to imprint empowering beliefs into your subconscious mind while you sleep. These beliefs play a major role in what drives you, and help you to feel excited about a goal, even when it’s a long way off.
2. Create a Bulletproof Morning Routine
When the alarm goes off, you should feel confident, eager, and excited. One of the best ways to get to this point is to know exactly what you’re going to do for the first hour or so of your day.
I’m a firm believer that having a morning routine is an essential part of building positive momentum towards your goals. Done correctly, it will help you to raise your energy and get a jumpstart on the day.
So, what goes into a good morning routine?
The specifics are up to you (customizing a few clear actions that resonate with you rather than following a single template or formula is important to raising your energy and helping you stay motivated in the long term), but, there are a few key ideas to consider.
Do A Short Meditation
Meditation is one of the best ways to clear your mind, and put you in a centered state of mind. In addition to the innumerable health benefits, meditation will help you to eliminate any negative self-talk or mental chatter that may have seeped into your mind while you were getting up and brushing your teeth.
Instead, it allows you to begin the day on your terms, giving you space to feel into the sensation of natural, inner joy that is an innate part of you. As you tune into this feeling (I call “joy-bliss-love-light”), you begin to think more clearly, and you empower yourself to act from a state of knowingness and well-being, which, in turn, automatically helps you to have a positive intention for the day.
Your morning meditation doesn’t have to be formal or long. A few moments sitting quietly and focusing on your breath is enough to help you find center.
Journal, Visualize, or Say a Few Positive Affirmations
After you mediate, one of the best things you can do is to take 5-10 minutes to write in a journal, visualize your long term goals, or repeat a few positive affirmations.
Again, none of these actions needs to be complicated. I find that including at least one of these immediately after my meditation is most effective, as that’s when the mind is clear and more likely to receive creative inspiration.
It’s also important because when you are relaxed, you have a higher ability to impress the subconscious mind with your aims and desires. So, visualizing, journaling, or affirming the idea of what you want or who you want to become is the perfect post-meditation routine.
Get Your Body Moving
Another key component of your morning routine should be to get your body moving. This doesn’t have to be a full exercise session, but simply taking a minute to get up and stretch, do a few jumping jacks, or take the dog can do wonders to get the blood flowing and wake up in a good mood.
Do Something Fun…Just For The Sake of It
Lastly, I always like to include something in my morning routine that is pure fun. This is because it is easy to fall into the trap of making your morning feel too serious. There will likely be days when even your preferred routine starts to feel like just one more task you have to get through.
Including something fun (that changes with time) is a great way to prevent that fatigue, and keep your mornings fresh.
Personally, I like to leave this time to either play some piano, read, or listen to an audiobook or short podcast (usually something inspiring or spiritual).
I like to find a balance between something I find fun and relaxing, while also something that continues to wake-up my brain and get the juices flowing before I start to work.
Review Your Goals for the Day
Lastly, whatever your routine is, I recommend you end it by reviewing your goals for the day.
Whereas earlier you focused on your long term vision, taking a few minutes to center-in on what you want to do, today, is a major factor that will help you to focus and start the day in a productive zone.
Exactly how long you spend on each of these areas is going to depend on how much time you have to fit your routine comfortably into your schedule.
And, your routine might shift slightly over time, as you have other demands and variations in your life.
The important point is to find the key structure that works with you, and commit to sticking to that structure, creating a clear, positive habit that starts your day.
3. Remember What Inspires You
Lastly, one of the best ways to guarantee that you wake up with energy and feeling motivated for the day ahead is to keep your focus on the things that inspire you.
This could be anything, from thinking of your loved ones to acting towards a long-term goal that you have.
The more that you can focus on what inspires you, the more your mind will find cues that help it to move towards those aspects of yourself.
This leads to a high degree of intrinsic motivation, which is not dependent on circumstances going well for you. When you have a high level of intrinsic motivation, you are more likely to feel eager and enthusiastic, with a drive to move forward.
If you can act on these 3 points every day for a week or two, you will start to notice an immediate shift in your energy. You’ll start feeling excited about the day before you begin, and you will never lack the drive to get out of bed.