The Most Effective Ways to Start Your Day

And it was so much fun.

In college, I had a roommate who had a very clear, personal rule that said no one was to speak to her until she got back from her first class. To say that she was not a morning person was an understatement.

So I had a lot of fun with her.

“Good MORNING, Debbie! How are you this morning? Is this a great day, or what?!”

Yes. I was that roommate.

That was a long time ago, and today, you’ll be relieved to know, I’d probably be more respectful. At least a little. :)

And yet, how you manage your energy in the morning matters. It sets the stage for how the rest of your day will go, and that in turn has a major impact on your productivity, effectiveness and long term success.

Ever noticed how many of the greatest symphonies start with an overture? Or how the best movies and books have opening scenes that make you eager to see the rest of the story?

That’s what starting the day right does. It’s the very foundation of living your life – and building your business – on purpose.

Here are a few tips for starting your day off right.

1. Review your day the night before.

Seriously. DO this.

If you’ve ever raised kids, you know that it helps to get their lunch ready, make sure their backpacks are loaded and by the door, and pick out their clothes the night before.

That kind of prep makes the mornings better for everyone. No mid-day trips to school to take the lunch that someone forgot to pack.

The same thing applies to your business. When you review your day the night before, you’ll be less likely to forget important deadlines or other obligations. You’ll wake feeling prepared for what’s coming.

But take that one step farther.

What is the ONE thing (not two or three) you really want to get done that day? Is that on your calendar? Do you have time marked off to work on it?

Do that too.

2. Treat your sleep schedule as if it were sacred.

Morning routines are built on solid bedtime routines. That means going to bed on time, and getting up at the same time, every day, on more days than not.

Skip the sleep aids, including TV or music. (Saw you roll your eyes just then!) Turn off any screen at least 30 minutes before it’s time for lights out. Train yourself to sleep in the quiet and the dark.

Sooner than you think, your body will learn to be sleepy at the same time each night, and you’ll fall asleep more quickly and easily. You’ll also wake up with more energy.

And even though, like my roommate, you, too, may not be a morning person, this will work for you too.

Virtually every successful person you study will tell you they have a habit of getting up early.

There’s a reason for that.

3. Follow these three morning rituals to kick-start your super power.

Get centered.

I start every morning with 15 minutes of simple meditation, before I do anything else. Sometimes I use an app like Headspace or Zen12. Sometimes I just sit in silence and focus on my breathing.

Get moving.

Your body needs to move. If your work involves a day at the computer, or a lot of sitting, this is even more important. Take time each morning to move, whether that means a little yoga, a full blown work out routine, or a 15 minute walk around the block.

One of my favorites? A little heart-moving, soul-lifting, happy dancing with Uptown Funk.

Get clear.

Set an intention for how you want your day to go. Visualize the ease with which you’ll accomplish your key goals for the day. Imagine good things happening that will surprise and delight you as the day unfolds.

If you’ll put these principles in place, you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel, and how much you get done, day after day after day.

Even you night owls. :)

How about you?

What’s your most effective, most empowering, morning routine?


Photo Credit: Michael Napoleon on Flickr

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