The late Steve Jobs started his mornings by asking himself this question: “If today were the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?”
If he answered “No” for days in a row, he knew that it was time for a change.
“What good shall I do this day?” was what Benjamin Franklin asked of himself before starting his, and from the looks of it, he did plenty, and so much more.
You don’t have to be the CEO of a billion-dollar company or president of a country to take a similar approach to making the most your day, but hey, you are the CEO and president of your life. In fact, here are 3 signs that you should be waking up to the questions I’m about to share with you:
You’re constantly starting off your day feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and lost.
If you’ve ever gotten lost in the rush of the morning and found yourself wondering: “What am I doing all this for?”, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’re also desperate for more calm, meaning and likely, change. You’re living in a black hole of to-dos, work, obligations and everything else that’s allowing you to survive, but you’re not thriving. You were, once upon a time, driven and purposeful, and you want to get that feeling back.
You feel like you’re drifting through your days and accomplishing nothing.
You’re just going through the motions of getting through work and life, but every moment feels like filler for the ‘real’ life you should be living, the amazing relationships you should be having, and the career leaps you should be making. But…nothing’s moving and you can’t seem to muster up the energy or enthusiasm to get anything beyond what you know, going.
You’re struggling to be healthy.
You’re feeling like a slave to your food. “No” is impossible when there’s food in front of you, you can’t seem to keep your monstrous sugar cravings in check, and the number on your waistline has been creeping upward steadily. You’ve tried exercising before but it just gets too painful and difficult to sustain because you never feel like doing it and life keeps getting in the way.
Will going vegan solve your eating problems? Maybe. Probably not.
Maybe you just need more productivity tips to become more, well…productive and successful.
Or maybe, just maybe, you need to move to a new country for a fresh start.
Except that the problem with these ‘solutions’ is that they’re not really solutions—they’re merely band aids that you’re tempted to slap on top of your problems to mask the real issue at hand, which is this: You’re jumping into your day, every day with no road map or plan, so you end up nowhere.
To start turning things (and your life around), here are 3 key questions to start asking yourself each morning:
Question #1:“How do I want to feel?”
How do I want to feel?”
How do you want to feel in your body?
Is it…more energetic? Lighter? More confident? In less pain? Stronger? Or maybe you just want to feel at peace in your own skin, more like ‘you’ again, if you haven’t felt this way for some time. Answer this question without allowing the judgement of others sway you. It is, after all, your body.
If losing weight is your goal, the earlier you get the ball rolling, the better, since research shows that the early hours of the day are when your willpower or self-control is at its strongest, and depletes as your day progresses. Morning is the perfect time to put together your meals and snacks for the day so you’re in control of your food (not the other way around), and if you want to, work out so you don’t have to struggle with the temptation to put it off later in the day.
If starting your day off feeling centered and calm is a priority, then your A.M routine needs a meditation practice that will you help slow down your breathing, focus your attention and take control of your stressful thoughts.
Your morning routine Rx: Decide how you want to feel in your body, then pick one tiny step you can start taking to get closer to achieving it.
Question #2: “Who do I want to be?”
Think back to who you were in the last week, month or year: Who have you been as you’ve moved through your life, and how has it been affecting you and the people around you?
Has the ‘identity’ you’ve been wearing been fueling and driving you forward, or making you drag your feet as you go through the motions of your day, day after day? Has it been helping or hurting the people around you? Has it been inspiring you to become a better person each day, or causing you to constantly react negatively to everything and everyone around you? Is it making your life feel expansive or constricted?
Deciding who you want to be tomorrow will not only help you define the space you want to fill in the world, it will also help you figure out how you want to fill it, and zero in on the behaviors that will help you get there.
Your morning routine Rx: Pick one action or behavior that will help you embody the person you want to be, and start doing it.
Question #3: “How do I want to live?”
All of us have a different idea of what it means to live a happy, fulfilling life.
For some of us, it means climbing the career ladder, driving a Maserati or wearing the latest designer threads. For others, it means living simply and opting out of the rat race, or single-mindedly dedicating their life to a particular mission or purpose.
The thing is, there is no right or wrong here—any option is yours, and yours alone to choose. But as with making any kind of decision in life, here’s something you’ll need to consider: Is how you’re showing up in the world making you feel happy, healthy and whole?
If your answer is a solid “HELL, YES!”, rock on. If it’s a “No” or “I don’t know”, it’s time to revisit this question, and start taking the necessary steps to get closer to how you want to live.
Your morning Rx: Create an intention for your day and start making your decisions around it.
What will your morning be like tomorrow?
Want to have a healthier, happier and calmer morning, every morning? I made The Good Morning Guide: 6 Steps To Reclaiming Your Sanity & Winning The Day to help you do just that. You can download your copy HERE. No spam. Just helpful, good-for-you stuff. Pinky swear.
Originally published at www.michelelian.com