Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it. – Richard Whately
Getting up early every day to start the day off right has a huge effect on the rest of our day. Unfortunately we can not always completely trust our morning selves, especially if we are lying in a warm cozy bed and there is no immediate pressure to get up (Or we can delude ourselves with pressing ‘snooze’.) To combat this, a healthy and balanced morning routine works wonders, and especially doing it for 30 days to make it a habit. A morning routine sets the tone for the whole day to come. The goal is to work on what’s important instead of reacting to what’s being asked of you. Such a personal ritual will put us in the right mindset and help to avoid morning procrastination.
Just remember, keep it simple but stay disciplined!
1. The Day Before Tomorrow
A good morning routine actually starts the day before. Prepare the morning. Finish what needs to be finished. Write down the things you might forget. Pick out your outfit and, if necessary, pack your lunch. Clean up afterwards. And last, review the daily goals you’ve set this morning. Don’t worry, I will get to that in a minute.
2. What Just Happened?
After waking, don’t immediately jump out of bed. First, notice how relaxed you can feel. Be as snug as a bug in a rug. Then take a moment to be amazed how you suddenly got into being. First there was nothing, then, poof! Everything!
3. Dream Journal
Most of us forget that we spent hours in magical worlds while dreaming. Remembering dreams can be a source of joy and inspiration, it will help you to get more lucid while dreaming and will increase your mindfulness practice and boost your memory. Have a notebook next to your bed and write down all the adventures you have experienced in your dreams. This will have a huge effect on your recalling skills.
Every animal stretches immediately upon waking. You have just spent many hours lying down with a minimal of physical activity and your ’filmy fasciae’ has hardened somewhat. If you don’t stretch or move certain parts of your body often enough, it will limit full range motion and might cause physical impairments. Watch the ‘Fuzz Speech‘ to get convinced.
A great, quick and easy way to stretch your whole body are the Five Tibetan Rites. For more information read this article or Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth. You
can also do your own stretches or any other yoga practice.
You’ve just spent 4-10 hours without any liquid and, after the stretching, your body needs rehydration. While drinking, try to be mindfull of what the body tells you. How good it actually feels to drink an ordinary glass of water. Happiness lies in the simple moments of life.
This is the most important thing in my morning routine and I highly recommend it to everyone. Because if our mind is not focused we will easily become distracted and start doing things which we might regret. I’ve written extensively on meditation here and here. You can watch a wonderful video with Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is a Professor of Medicine Emeritus and the founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, at Google Tech Talk here and read another great introduction here. And keep an eye out for my upcoming post ’The Science of Meditation’.
7. Daily Goals
This is something I have not tried before but I have heard alot of praise for setting daily goals. I will write down three goals each day. The first is a short-term goal I have to finish that same day, whether it is writing a first draft of an article or reading an interesting paper, I have to finish it that day and preferably right after the morning routine. The second one is doing one step of a mid-term goal, this could be reading a chapter of a book or training for my marathon. The third goal will be a step toward my long term goal like finishing university or make HE the best community on the web. For each goal I will write down the benefits and the steps I need to make to accomplish it.
8. Cold Shower
The big finale of my morning routine is taking a cold shower. It has many health benefits and there is no better way to feel ALIVE!