By Rick Ornelas
Buzzzzz! Buzzzzz! The alarm clock begins shaking on your nightstand. It’s beckoning to you as loud as it can and you are not ready to answer. Maybe is the fact that is 7 AM Monday, the time and day you dread the most. Perhaps it’s because you didn’t complete your work on Friday and you know the pile will be waiting for you on your desk. Most likely, it’s due to that third glass of wine you just had to have the night before.
Whatever the cause of your morning dread you are not setting yourself up to have a good day. You are setting yourself for another one of “those days”. You know, the kind where everything and everything that can go wrong does.
Waking up late has set you behind so you spill coffee on your shirt as you attempt to grab breakfast. You hit every red light on the way to a jam-packed freeway full of extra bad traffic. You arrive to work late to find your boss waiting for you with a new project. And so on, and so on, and so on. The day continues like this until your head hits the pillow hoping it will not happen all over again as you wonder There has to be a better way.
You’re in luck. Better days for you are on the horizon. You only need to make small changes and you will see big results.
Here are 3 habits you can begin right now to upgrade today and every day.
1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier
To someone who is struggling to get up after pressing snooze multiple times, the thought of getting up even earlier sounds crazy I know. Trust me, it works. When you repeatedly press snooze and wake up later than you should you unknowing put your body and brain into an excited and anxious state. Think “Fight or flight”. This may have worked for your ancestors who were in danger of being chased by a saber-toothed tiger but it doesn’t work for you. It keeps you on high-alert all day which means you don’t have the down-time needed to recover throughout the day. By waking up in a calmer state your mind and body will be primed and ready to go more naturally.
2. Claim the day for yourself
If you don’t claim the day for yourself, others will hijack it and claim it for you. Begin each day by spending some of the time you’ve gained by waking up earlier for you and only you. This means, close your eyes and practice stillness or meditation in complete silence. Meaning, before you pick up your phone or turn on the news or go wake your kids. Doing any of these things will give your day away to others before you even realize it.
Claiming your day can be done before getting out of bed or sitting in a comfortable place but it has to be done first. Envision yourself having a positive and wonderful day that is yours. Actually, go through each positive experience in your mind and feel the feelings you will have throughout. If it’s difficult to not think about work then simply plan out the top three things that you need to accomplish that day and go no further. Finish up by telling yourself you are going to have an amazing day, and believe it!
3. Take 5 minutes to end your day with Gratitude
Now that you’ve had an incredible day it’s extremely important to supplant the positivity in your mind by showing gratitude for it. When you show gratitude you tell yourself and the universe that you welcome it into your life and you want more of it. The easiest way to attract more of something positive to yourself is to accept it and be grateful for it. Before you go to bed pause and reflect on all the incredible things you are grateful for. Write them down in a journal, the notes on your phone, or one of the many apps available. Don’t go to sleep until you have written down at least one. It can be anything as long as you are grateful for it. Even if it’s that the traffic was not as bad as usual it’s still a win and worth being thankful for. Make this one of the last things you do before heading to bed including anything else on your phone. Once you practice this for a few day’s it will be easier and easier to think of multiple things to be grateful for.
Any of the three tips above will have a powerful impact on your days, yourself, and even others which makes them worth doing. If the thought of changing your routine seems daunting just remember, one of the best ways to eliminate bad habits too by replacing them with new “good” habits. Make the commitment to do this for a week and you will feel the impact and want to continue. Once established any struggle of change will be a distant memory. Plus, it’s something you can add to the list of things you are grateful for.
Rick Ornelas is the author of 12 Hours of Heaven: Lessons for a Better World. He coaches businesses and individuals to ultimate success and brings together those who seek to make the world a better place. Schedule a free coaching consultation at isparkchange.com.