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5 Tips to Start Your Day

How to Take Control of Your Day through a Meaningful Morning Routine

If you are anything like me, you need some time to get going in the morning. If you’re not, you may be frantically rushing around to get out the door. In either case, you may want to read on for some helpful tips to set yourself up for success.

We have all been there. The bed is just so warm and cozy that we don’t want to get up. We snooze and snooze, then drag ourselves out of bed last minute, creating a stressful frenzy to get out the door on time.

Then on the weekends, we hope to finally get to sleep in and start our mornings off exactly how we’d like.

What if we could do more to incorporate our ideal morning into our everyday life? Imagine the impact that could have on our mood, our mindset, and the whole day ahead.

Here are five tips to help you start off your day in a way that’s rejuvenating and meaningful to you.

Stop Snoozing

I know, I get it. There is something so comforting about hitting the snooze button and drifting back off to sleep. That is, until you’re rudely awakened by your alarm five minutes later, and then again, and then again. Ever notice that you feel groggy all morning or sometimes even all day?

Most of us experience REM (rapid eye movement) sleep in the late stages of our sleep cycle, meaning we are usually in REM right around the time our alarm goes off in the early morning (REM cycles are usually around 90 minutes long). This is that deep, yummy, sleep where you have vivid dreams. Our alarm goes off and jolts us out of that deep sleep. Fine, right?

As long as you get up, right then.

You see, if you snooze, your brain is going to think that it’s okay to go back into REM sleep so, you fall back asleep and your body tries to pick back up on that REM cycle. Then within minutes, you’re jolted awake again. You repeat this over and over, never actually completing that full REM cycle. It confuses the heck out of your body. The result? You’re groggy and tired feeling all morning or even all day.

The solution? Get out of bed the first time. Does it suck? Yes. But guess what? By the time you walk to the bathroom and start brushing your teeth, you’ll be awake. It’s over. You’re up for the day and you’ve likely avoided that groggy feeling you would have experienced if you snoozed a few times. It takes discipline, but if you’re able to (literally) launch yourself out of bed, it’s already over.

Bonus – you’ll have more time each morning!

Ditch the Phone

Many of us have formed a habit where we are attached at the hip to our cell phone. For those who have not, I commend you!

Here’s the thing – you’ve got to ditch this habit, at least first thing in the morning. Although it may be tempting to start checking your emails, Facebook notifications, etc. from the comfort of your bed each morning, there is a major problem with this.

The second you start thumbing through your phone you have given away any hope of some precious “me” time before your day gets started.

Your phone? All those notifications? That’s all other people’s crap. The second you get sucked in, you’re giving parts of yourself away. You’re responding to other people’s needs. You’re doing this before you even have a second to tend to yourself.

The result? You’ve already given away and depleted some of your precious energy before the day has even begun.

Try leaving your phone in another room overnight. If you use if for an alarm, practice discipline by shutting off the alarm and refusing to check your phone’s notifications. Leave it there at least for the first 30-60 minutes of your day and see what a difference it makes.

Center Yourself

This can be different for everyone. It can be anything from spending a few minutes doing some deep breathing, all the way to a morning ritual / meditation practice.

Before you launch yourself into your day, take a few moments of precious quiet time. Clear your mind, get grounded, and ready to take on the day.

Remember, you’re doing this before you ever look at your phone, as that will have your mind hijacked and distracted.

I personally like to use a guided meditation app. There are tons out there if you do a quick search. I recommend incorporating this into your daily routine from here on out. It’s made a phenomenal positive impact in my life.

Set Your Intentions

This is something that I find many of my clients are missing in their day to day routine and it leaves them feeling flustered and overwhelmed.

If you don’t already have a journal, get one! Not only can it come in handy to jot down anything that comes up during your morning meditation / centering practice, but it’s a great place to write down your intentions for the day.

Intentions can be anything from tasks you want to accomplish that day (go to the gym, hit a yoga class, go grocery shopping, etc.) to ways you want to be (loving, kind, confident, connected, etc.).

When you track this in a journal you can look back at the end of the day and see what you accomplished in terms of doing and being.

Quick tip – keep it simple. Set between 3-5 intentions so that it’s realistic for you to accomplish and so that you’re not overwhelmed with a huge to do list.

Another thing that I personally do when setting my daily intentions is to also jot down 3-5 things that I’m grateful for. I let the feeling of gratitude wash over me before starting my day and it gets me feeling really high vibe and happy.  

Move Your Body

Take a few minutes to loosen up your body. For some this may be a quick walk around the block. For others it may be hitting the gym before heading off to work. For me, it’s daily yoga.

If you’re able to find time for this each morning, I highly recommend it.

First, it will have you feeling accomplished and ready to take on the day. Second, it will eliminate a situation where you’re forced to drag yourself to the gym after a long day when you’d rather just go home and relax (or god forbid you skip the gym that night and end up shaming yourself all night for not going).

Short on time each morning? Make time. Go to bed an hour earlier. Wake up earlier. Or if you’re a chronic “snoozer”, you can buy yourself a ton of extra time each morning by dropping that habit.

Aristotle once said, “through discipline comes freedom”.

By creating a meaningful morning routine and having the discipline to stick to it, you will find yourself feeling happier, lighter, and entering each day with a sense of ease.

If we can master ourselves we have the freedom to live any way we choose. We are no longer victims of our own lack of control. We take back our power. We take back control over our lives.

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