Up and at it

Published On: June 8, 2018 09:22 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

10 ways to make every day the best day of your life
Many of us start our day by hitting the snooze button, and literally stumbling out of bed at the last possible minute. Then we rush to get ready, gulp down a cup of tea or coffee and then run out the door with a piece of toast in one hand and the car keys in the other. But you will quickly realize there are a lot better ways to start your day when you start getting up a little earlier than your usual time and make it a point to start your day on the right note. Apparently, the first few minutes of your morning are the most important time of your day and have the ability to set the tone for positivity and productivity for the rest of the hours. Being jarred out of sleep isn’t how you should be getting ready for the day. So, The Week has compiled a list of 10 really basic tried and tested things you can do to make every day a really, really good day.

Go for a run or exercise 

Those who jump out of bed and put on their running shoes often get a dose of adrenaline that those who have a lazy start don’t. When you start your day with a walk or a jog around the neighborhood, you are more likely to keep up the momentum throughout the rest of the day. But if heading out of home is too much effort for you, then put on some music and exercise for at least 10 minutes within the comfort of your living room. You can do pushups, crunches, or simply jump rope. It will make you feel like you have done something productive and make you feel energized and refreshed. There are some really great apps that let you get your morning dose of exercise in under 20 minutes. Studies have shown that a quick workout in the morning will flood you with mood-boosting endorphins that will last most of the day.

Stay unplugged 
If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your smartphone for messages or work email, you are doing yourself a disservice. You are immediately cultivating a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one, which will cause you to start your day in a defensive state, rather than a place of inner peace and control. Instead, try remaining detached from technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with present-moment awareness and a positive focus. With Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps on your phone, we know its hard not to check your phone as soon as you wake up but try it and you can feel the difference yourself. 

Make your bed
Tim Ferriss, author and podcast host (The Tim Ferriss Show) has interviewed more than a 100 highly successful people with diverse backgrounds and skillsets, and in a variety of industries. He always asks them what their morning routine is like. Along the way, he has collected five habits that he has incorporated into his morning routine, and one of them is making his bed. It may seem like a waste of time, unimportant, or unnecessary (you are just going to use it again at night), but making your bed is a simple action you can take in the morning that makes you start your day feeling accomplished, and what better tone to set than a sense of pride and accomplishment? Taking charge and completing simple tasks will give you the foundation to take on more and more throughout the day.

Meditate for a few minutes at least
Incorporating some type of mindfulness practice like meditation into your daily morning routine can help ground you and train your mind and emotions, which then influences how you react to challenges throughout your day. When you are meditating is also a great time to set your intention for the day. When you get clear on how you want your day to go or what you want to feel or accomplish, you can make sound decisions that help make your day go right. If you are not sure how to go about it, simply start by closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. The rest will come naturally as you practice it day after day. 

Drink water
Drinking a glass of water in the morning after going hours without a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. The Ayurvedic technique of adding lemon to a warm glass of water helps remove toxins from your digestive tract that may have built up overnight, provides a good source of vitamin C, freshens your breath, supports weight loss, and stimulates metabolism and digestion. Bottoms up first thing in the a.m. for a healthy and refreshing start to your day. Also, when you drink water first thing in the morning, you are less likely to feel thirsty and reach for soda or coffee soon afterwards. 

Eat well
Most of what they sell for breakfast at the grocery store is highly processed and full of sugar. The more you can stay away from processed foods in the morning, the better you will feel throughout the day. Consider eating oatmeal or a scrambled egg with toast for breakfast. Eating something wholesome and warm in the morning feels so much better than gobbling down ready to eat things like biscuits or a randomly put together ham and cheese sandwich. And, no matter how hard pressed for time you are, do not skip breakfast. Research has consistently shown that skipping breakfast can have short-term effects on mood, memory and energy level.

Make a to-do list 
After you wake up, make it a point to sit down by yourself, a cup of tea by your side, and write down all that you need to do during the day. We suggest you write down even the smallest of tasks you have to do. This way, you will not only clear your head and know what lies ahead but you will also be a lot more productive and won’t risk forgetting anything. Making a to-do list frees your mind to focus on other important things. You don’t have to remember everything and that will make you feel considerably lighter by clearing away mental clutter. You also give yourself a sense of purpose each day when you know what you need to get done. And there is something satisfying about crossing off tasks on your list – it really cultivates a sense of accomplishment.

Practice gratitude 
Before you even get out of bed, give silent thanks for another day on this earth. Then give thanks for the people who are most important to you. Give thanks for your food, shelter and clothing. Those may sound like simple things to be thankful for, however, realize that there are many people on this earth who would love to have the very things that you take for granted. Starting your day in gratitude will give you the right attitude for the rest of your day. Thoughts carry great power. If you think about negative things in the morning, that negativity will seep into your whole day so start your day right by thinking about good things and let it continue throughout the day. 

Read something uplifting
Many people start their day by reading the news. But this is a sure shot way to start your day on a bad note as, we all knows, news is mostly negative. All great minds around the world have been fascinated with reading. Elon Musk used to read books all day throughout his childhood and his life mission is inspired by the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy. Warren Buffett recommends reading 500 pages a day to become successful. According to him, knowledge is like compound interest, it adds up. Read something uplifting. Successful people obsessively read biographies and autobiographies of inspiring people. Reading will enrich your mind and is a great way for starting your day right.

Prepare the night before
One of the simplest morning productivity tips is to pack and prepare everything the night before. Before you go to bed, pick out your outfit for the next morning. Pack your bag, pack your lunch, lay out your towel and your morning accessories. Now they are all ready and accessible for use first thing in the morning. This minimizes your thinking in the morning and allows you to be quick and on your feet without using too much energy or brainpower. Plus, it will save you time and allow for a jumpstart on your day. This small act will reap big results. Taking 10 minutes in the evening to prepare for the next day will save you an hour of rush in the morning.  

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