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Gurbaksh Chahal: The Winning Wake-Up Strategy for a Successful Day

Your morning alarm blasts you awake. You swear and hit the snooze button. You roll over for a few more minutes of sleep. And then, in what seems to be a nano-second, it rings again. You know you can’t ignore it this time and reluctantly haul yourself out of bed. Does this sound like you? […]

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Your morning alarm blasts you awake. You swear and hit the snooze button. You roll over for a few more minutes of sleep. And then, in what seems to be a nano-second, it rings again. You know you can’t ignore it this time and reluctantly haul yourself out of bed.

Does this sound like you?

It’s an everyday routine for many Americans and it’s not the start to the day that’s likely to be productive for any budding entrepreneur.

Everyone’s heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even more important is the first few minutes of the day. The mindset that you wake up with and how you handle those first few precious minutes sets the tone for the next twelve hours at least. It can make the difference between motivating or demotivating; between being creative or unimaginative; between success or failure.

So, what kind of wake-up strategies can you employ to vitalize every day of your existence?

No snooze

First of all, get out of the habit of relying on the snooze button. Make sure you get the sleep that you need. Some of us are lucky, and don’t seem to need as much sleep as others. But sleep refreshes your body and mind, so don’t skip the hours that you personally require.

Studies show that when you drift back to sleep your brain begins its sleep cycle all over again. When the alarm sounds again you’re probably in an even deeper sleep than before. Result: you feel more groggy, irritable and reluctant to get going. So, get rid of the snooze.

Give thanks

You’re awake. You’re alive. It’s a new day. Each new day is a new beginning. A fresh start. If your first thoughts dwell on the negative outcome of a meeting the day before, or some other cloud hanging over your life, push them to one side. You need to start THIS day with positivity. Think about the good things in your live and give thanks for them. Be grateful.

If you want more negatives in your life go ahead and think about the negatives. If you want more positives, think about the positives. It’s your choice. What should you give thanks for? Your health? Your parents? A loving relationship? The successful business you’ve already built? The thousands of people you have been able to help one way or another through your creativity and leadership? Let the good things permeate your very being.

Wish good things for others. That’s as important as wishing good things for yourself. It’s good karma. And, no matter how great the provocation, don’t wish ill on those who have done you harm.

Give yourself time

Busy entrepreneurs can quickly get sucked into the whirlwind of the working day, deluged with demands and decisions, bombarded with conference calls and meetings, maybe even juggling requests from multiple time zones. Before you know it morning has become night and the day passed in a blur. 

Those first few minutes of the day might end up being the only time that truly belongs to you. Make them precious. Make them your time to do what you want. Like what? Maybe time to meditate. Or write in a diary. Or simply quietly reflect on the things that are going on in your life. Or read some pages of a book you know you’ll be too tired to read at night. Listen to a self-help program. Maybe take a longer hotter shower. Only you really know what works for you. (Tony Robbins prefers plunging into a cold pool and keeping himself submerged for a full minute!)

Plan your day

Take charge of your day. Organize in your mind a positive outcome before you even get started. Ask yourself questions such as, “What good things will happen today?” “What’s the #1 result I want?” “What can I do to ensure success?” “What are the best things about my life?”

There are cosmic forces at work that will bring rewards to those who strive for them. It’s amazing how much attitude is key in transforming one’s life. In effect, you train your brain to focus on nothing but positive outcomes. The energy you transmit will bring your destiny to pass.

The power of music

Make music a part of your life, if you don’t already do so. Put together your own playlist. Choose stirring, feel-good music that will lift your spirits and dampen the darkness. Neuroimaging research has shown how regions of the brain related to emotion and motivation can be fired up when you listen to music you like.

So make music part of your morning mantra—not the TV news. You can find out later what’s going on in the world, but you know the news is mostly negative. That’s what makes it news. You want a positive outlook.

Nourish yourself

Take time to enjoy a cup of coffee or herbal tea, and hydrate with a glass of water which kicks your body’s metabolism into gear. Fuel your body and your brain with a healthy breakfast. If you run out the door with a cup of coffee in one hand and a half-eaten doughnut in the other you have definitely started the day on the wrong foot.

And talking about running…even dedicating a few minutes to a light work-out or brisk walk will energize you for the rest of the day. Getting fresh air and absorbing the sunshine (if you’re lucky enough to live in that kind of climate) also reboots your entire spirit.

If you’re anything like me your mind is working overtime every waking minute of the day (and probably when I’m asleep, too). Your best chance of using the power of your mind is the first few minutes of the day, when it is in a most relaxed state, and when it is most receptive. That’s also the time when you can probably keep the world at bay for a while. Make the most of it.

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