Having an awesome morning is though, I know. Suddenly we have to get all our systems ready for another high-energy day. Personally, I wasn’t doing too well on this front until I made some real changes. I set out with one single goal in mind – to make my mornings awesome!
I mean, it’s so easy to get stuck snoozing in bed for half an hour, right? Or perhaps you walk around half-asleep for the first two hours of a new day? To get away from this, I realized I had to take drastic measures to change my habits.
So what do I mean I say awesome? Basically, this:
- A great start
So without any further explanation, these are the 4 key principles that truly lifted the quality of my mornings.
4 Principles for an Awesome Morning
1. Wake up fast and get energetic
First things first, in order to change my mornings I had to (1) get up on time and (2) have enough energy to make something of my mornings.
So after a lot of trial and error I made three key distinctions to really make me wake up quickly in the morning. Straight away after I’m up, I first drink a full big cup of water. This jump starts all the systems in my body.
Next, I go directly into a 5-minute power training session. Here’s an example of a personal favorite, which includes three rounds of:
- 20 Jumping Jacks
- 20 Burpees
- 20 Air Squats
And finally, I eat. And I eat a lot. The fact is that so many of the people I have helped to gain more energy have simply not eaten enough in the morning. According to research, up to 80 per cent of your energy storage from when you go to bed is gone once you wake up. Therefore, it’s vital to refill quickly if you want to get both your body and mind going.
These three things – water, exercise and food – is what made principle number 2 even possible.
2. Stay focused and walk the talk
To fulfill my goal of an awesome morning I realized that I had to be able to get stuff done. For me, that meant getting down to serious business.
When I decide to write a blog post, then that’s the only thing I’ll do that morning. That’s focus. When I decide to work on my Chinese studies (very long-term goal of mine…), then that’s all I will do. That’s focus. Whatever I decide (the day before) to do, nothing will come in my way. That’s focus.
So every morning, I have what I call a single task of focus. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not striving to become a working robot, I just want to use the fact that my mind is at its peak in the morning. And the best way I’ve found to accomplish this is to really focus on one single thing that I love. I believe this mindset can be applied to whatever you want to spend your mornings doing – whether it’s being with your kids or reading a book. Just put 100% of your attention at what you’re doing and you’ll feel great.
It’s so easy to procrastinate or multitask these days, but in my opinion, this is not always the way to accomplish great results. Related to your single task of focus, it’s also important that you…
3. Don’t let anything disturb you
You have new emails to read. Perhaps a missed phone call. A newspaper to check out. So much information is at our hands when we wake up. But instead of getting myself into this, like I used to, I decided to shut it out for the first 2 hours in the morning.
The reason is because I truly believe the morning time to be incredibly precious. It’s the time when your mind is peaceful and at ease. You haven’t been bombarded with all those ads and news stories yet. This makes your thinking fresh. It makes you come as close to a Zen state as possible without any need for meditation or other spiritual practice.
So why ruin that by putting our head straight back in the noise of the world? Simply don’t. Try to remain calm, peaceful and focused for at least 30 minutes after waking up. I guarantee you that this feeling will blow you away.
4. Set yourself up for success
After I started practicing these first three principles above, I could notice an amazing difference in the quality of my mornings. BUT, as soon as the normal day started again I got right back to square 1. All gone was my calmness, my focus and my feeling of success…
So I started spending as little as 5 to 10 minutes every morning trying to outline my day. I asked myself simple questions such as:
- What is my primary goal with this day?
- What motivates me to accomplish this goal?
- What can I be happy about today?
For each question, I just thought about the answer; no need to write it down. But I did involve my feelings. If I asked myself about motivation I instantly started to feel that motivation like a burning flame inside of me.
This simple little exercise has helped me carry that awesome morning feeling throughout the day. By planning my day and making sure I’m focused, motivated and happy, I have managed to set myself up for success in a much higher degree than ever before.
So as you can see, I now have the type of mornings I dreamed about. They are productive, focused, calm and give me a great start. But most important, they are also happy! I feel alive from the first minute I’m out of bed.
So with these 4 principles at hand, I believe many more of us can lift up the quality of our mornings. So please, let me know how your mornings look like and what you do to make them as good as possible.
This guest post is contributed by Matthew M. McEwan, the creator and author of Early-Riser.com. His blog is loaded with tips, tricks and strategies for how to sleep well, wake up early, and have an awesome morning.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.