When you get up each morning, what is the first thing you do? What habits—intentional or unintentional—do you have in place? Do you immediately check your phone and scroll through social media? Hit the snooze button? Fill your mind with your to-do list about the day ahead? Are you awakened by your children and shift your focus entirely on them? Does your day start in a way that feels beyond your control and even borders on chaotic?
But, what if there was a small shift in your perspective, your actions or your attitude that could dramatically transform the remainder of your day? That you can be victorious from the get-go and set yourself up for a day filled with productivity?
There’s a quote by the best-selling author of the 4-hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss, that says, “If you win the morning, you win the day.” But, how do you infuse some of those winning elements into your morning when you’ve felt out of control for so long?
It’s been proven that many high performers start by integrating positive habits into their morning routines. As Navy Seal, Admiral McRaven, said in his world-famous graduation speech, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.”
The most simple of tasks or habits, making your bed each morning, is representative of the successes you can achieve as you start your day: if you do the little things right, it makes the big things possible.
So, why not try focusing on one.simple.thing to kickstart your day in a positive way? One thing that high performers do ahead of time is actually set their objective in the morning. By focusing on just ONE thing, you are setting yourself up for success and being realistic with your goals. This can create a shift in your entire perspective, and that focus and sense of accomplishment creates the ripple effect necessary to generate some big energy for a productive day ahead!
Hal Elrod, the International best-selling author of The Miracle Morning, has said, “By simply changing the way you wake up in the morning, you can transform any area of your life, faster than you ever thought possible.” Having control over your day from the get-go, simply by starting with one key objective, sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
So, what are some ways and habits that you can develop to take charge of your mornings for a more productive, energized day? It could be as simple as making your bed, spending five minutes journalling or committing to doing a quick yoga routine. It could be reading pages of your favourite motivational book, sitting in silence and meditating (if you have kids, this could be a tricky task!) or even doing a visualization exercise to elevate your mood. It could be taking time to focus on your creative activities for the day or completing one task on your to-do list. By setting that objective, you are achieving one small goal that is creating energy and momentum for the day ahead.
Your morning routine sets the tone for the day, better allowing you to control your schedule, rather than feeling a frenzy in the morning and rushing from one activity to the next. As you start each day fresh with a singular focus on one task, you can better focus on what is in front of you, and from there, how to prioritize your time, and, ultimately, how to increase your productivity.
So, what does Team Jilly do to take charge of their mornings in preparation for the busy days ahead?
I like to wake up one-hour before everyone else to enjoy a hot coffee and some solo time (minus the dogs begging for treats at 6:10am)! A few habits that I love, though they’re not earth shattering are tidying the house or scrolling Instagram (call it R&D – research and development). But, imagine how much more powerful it would be if I could get my ass on the Peloton for other healthy habits! Either way, I look forward to that small bit of alone time and a hot coffee with dog snuggles!
I like to wake up at 6am every morning, have a coffee in bed, turn on the news or read something (currently reading about all the Johnny Depp updates lol…) and “slowly wake up.” At 6:30am I like to do a workout, either jump onto my Peloton, do a HIIT session, or a barre class… then shower and get ready for my day!
1. I like to wake up between 5:30am – 6am and refrain from looking at my phone for the first 30 minutes of my morning. I also set up my “do not disturb” feature on my phone so it silences notifications for me from 8:30pm – 7am and it is GLORIOUS). There is nothing worse than being bombarded with emails right before falling asleep or right when you wake up … talk about throwing yourself into fight or flight mode before trying to “turn your brain off” or before you have even rubbed the sleep out of your eyes!
2. I also like to read one chapter out of a book followed by writing in my Cultivate What Matters book or my Five Minute Journal. This helps me set the pace for the day ahead and also look forward to what’s coming down the pipeline in the future. Not to mention, it allows me to reflect on things I am appreciative of and grateful for.
3. Work out for 20-30 mins, then get showered up and ready for the day!
Okay, here’s the thing… I am not a morning person. However, knowing this about myself I’ve had to get creative on how to get my morning off to a great start and that routine/habits starts at night! Every night I make sure my work space is tidy, the coffee machine is ready to go, my emotional support water bottle is filled (iykyk lol) and, if there’s a lot on my mind, I make sure to write out a to-do list (both personal and professional). This ensures that when I wake up all I have to focus on is getting ready while I drink my water and coffee—oh and of course more time to spend with my rescue pup, Winnie! My mornings are now that moment of peace to get my mind ready to take on the day.
I always start my day with breakfast and coffee in bed. I am not a morning person, so this gives me some much needed time to wake up! Because I work from home, I try to walk my dog before starting work each day. Going for a walk gives me some structure when working from home and it is so nice to get some fresh air!
So our challenge for YOU: Is there ONE thing that you can do tomorrow to gain control of your morning in a positive way? Can you commit to doing this ONE thing every day for the next week? And then, month? Start with a few simple habits, then build from there!
Once dedicating yourself to your one objective, start to reflect on just how this has shifted the energy for your day and take stock of your levels of productivity. It’s incredible how a small action can yield such tremendous results, including feeling a surge of positivity as you take charge of your day!
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