A Morning Routine for Reaching Your Goals
7 Simple Steps to the Energy and Focus You Need to Sustain Change
Whether you’re changing habits, changing jobs or changing your life for the better, research proves that an integrated approach to change is always the most effective. Meaning you need your mind, body and environment all on board.
Let’s say that for 2021, after months of feeling isolated your goal is finding community by expanding your network to meet other people who are also interested in getting in shape.
You think about how you need to do this every time you feel lonely and isolated, but when you’re in that place, the last thing you have the energy to do is reach out to someone new.
Building new habits means trying on new behaviors, which requires mental and emotional energy. You need all systems on board to sustain you when the going gets rough.
Your Morning Routine
How do you start your day? Do you roll out of bed to find yourself immediately swept into a sea of distractions? News, family, pets, work, you name it, all vying for your attention. With barely time to down a cup of coffee, you forge forward, dealing with the day as best you can before you run out of steam or the hangries set in.
We tell ourselves we don’t have time for anything more, including a morning routine. Really we don’t.
Yet starting your morning right, as in positive, organized, and energizing, doesn’t need to be time-consuming. It’s actually a short and sweet must-do to reduce stress, maximize happiness levels and keep track of your goals.
Better yet, a mindful morning routine helps to manage your emotions and get ahead of the reaction curb, which can derail our attempts to prioritize our goals.
Start your day with a proven, 7-step morning routine for reaching your goals;
1. First-hour device-free
If your typical routine is to roll out of bed and head straight to your cell phone, try a pattern interrupt. This simple shift puts you in the driver’s seat, as you intentionally decide what and when to address your to-do list, instead of being sucked into reactionary mode by your cell phone.
2. Grab some gratitude
According to Harvard Health, gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Wow!
In the words of the Dalai Lama, “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day”. So ask yourself first thing, what are you grateful for?
3. Reach for the light
There’s a fundamental relationship between light and energy. As you wake, the light you see signals your visual system to provide the most fundamental level of instruction about when you should be alert.
Adding natural daylight to your routine can be an important signal to your brain to wake up, but most indoor lighting is much dimmer than natural lighting, so as soon as you have the opportunity, take in some daylight, even on overcast days.
4. Just Breathe!
A morning deep breathing routine helps to wake your body by boosting the sympathetic nervous system. Try a seated breathing practice, or try Breath of Joy; a quick energy-boosting standing exercise.
Breath of Joy
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel, knees slightly bent.
• Inhale one-third of your lung capacity and swing your arms up in front of your body, bringing them parallel to each other at shoulder level, with palms facing the ceiling.
• Continue inhaling to two-thirds capacity and stretch your arms out to the side like wings to shoulder level.
• Inhale to full capacity and swing your arms parallel and over your head, palms facing each other.
• Open your mouth and exhale completely with an audible ha, bending the knees more deeply as you sink into a standing squat and swing your arms down and back behind you like a diver.
Repeat up to nine times: Don’t force or strain the body or breath; simply be absorbed by the peacefully stimulating rhythm. Return to standing. Close your eyes and experience the effects. Notice how quickly your heart beats; feel the sensations in your face and arms, and the tingling in the palms of your hands.
Can controlling your breath really change your life? YES!
Download THE BREATHING HABIT - 10 Days to Breakthrough Stress Reduction
5. Find your focus
Take a moment to think about your day and what you plan to prioritize. Studies suggest that people who have mentally prepared for and thought about the upcoming day—or “reattached” to their goals—are more productive throughout the day.
6. Rethink your drink
So simple! Start with a large glass of water to stabilize blood sugar and energy levels all morning long. Skip the juice, coffee drinks, and smoothies. All contain surprisingly high levels of sugar, so whole fruit is a much better energy-balancing choice.
And if you wait an hour for your healthy cortisol levels to peak before your first cup of coffee, you’ll get the most of that caffeine boost and maintain your energy levels through to the afternoon.
7. Pump up the jam!
My favorite! If you use a music streaming service or subscribe to music channels, find a happy station. Or take the time to create your own playlist. It’s an instant energy boost and those favorite tunes will keep playing in your brain long after the music ends.
Try some or all of these quick morning happiness hacks to start on an upswing and carry it through all day long.
Wondering if these tips really work for you? Track your progress! For the next 10 days, schedule a mid-morning check-in at the same time each day. Assess your mood and energy levels on a scale of 1-5 and write it down. Compare and contrast to see what works for you. Send me an email, I would love to hear how it goes!
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