Submitted by Juan P Rodriguez
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. (the alarm clock sounds after having been snoozed for 5 times already) Crap! I over slept again! Oh my God, I´m gonna be late for my own presentation. My boss is gonna kill me. Am I forgetting something… where the hell are my car keys? …no, I´m not gonna have any breakfast, there´s no time, I´ll pick up something to eat right after my presentation. Uhhhh my stomach is growling. I hope I get there in time, Crap!
Haven´t we all been there a couple of times in our lives? This could actually be a typical scenario for a couple of us who can´t stop watching the next episode of our favorite series in Netflix way past our bedtime the night before. I know this was true for me back when I watched Dexter.
What kind of results should we expect from a day that starts like this? Should we expect to have everything turn out right for us when we start the process wrong? Should we expect to be calm, happy, not stressed out, organized, have time to plan ahead or to be successful? Or should we expect the opposite results?
It should come out as no surprise to us that by starting something wrong, it should finish wrong. Amazingly, some people lack the ability to see this and in turn complain about traffic, being tired, or something else. Nothing is their fault, it´s always something else responsible for them being late, ill-prepared in life or un-successful as a whole.
Experiencing these sorts of things is just a matter of discipline, or lack thereof. So in order to obtain better results from our day, live a better quality of life, not being stressed out and becoming a highly effective person, we need to set ourselves up for success at the very start of the process as this will provide us with the best chances of producing our desired results.
For the next 3 months, get out of your comfort zone and follow these 10 simple steps and start seeing for yourself how small changes every morning can result in huge benefits in your life.
Step 1, It always starts the night before
How many hours of sleep does your body need to feel rested and to wake up on its own? Well, that varies from person to person but as a rule of thumb, plan for a 7 hour sleep every day. If you know you’re getting up at 5:00 am, plan to be asleep at 10:00 pm the night before. Just as in takeoff, when the steward says turn off all portable, (or in this case could be non-portable) electronic devices, do this at least 1 hour before going to sleep. This will reduce or slow down your cognitive stimulation preparing you for sleep. If you would like to read more about this topic, check out Power Down for Better sleep from WebMD.
Step 2, Wake up at the same hour every day
Your body prefers routines that it can learn to prepare for. Your body will probably adapt to a new routing in about 3 months, not 21 days as many people think according to James Clear in his Huffpost How long does it actually take to form a new habit? (Backed by Science). If you go to sleep at 10:00 pm every day, your body should start waking up at 5:00 am every day by itself after it has learned this new routine or habit.
One common trait among highly successful people is that they wake up early. At 5:00 am, it is quiet; the sun has yet to come up (in most locations) and you should have time for yourself.
Step 3, Drink a glass of water
Most of the people live their life dehydrated so waking up dehydrated should come as no surprise. We all wake up dehydrated. After all, we just spent 7 hours without drinking any water. Not only did our body worked on many different processes that require water during our sleep but we also lost much of our water content through our breath. Have a glass of water right after you wake up and start rehydrating yourself.
Step 4, Meditate
Meditation has been known for centuries to have profound effects in humans. The benefits of meditating everyday are immeasurable. It is a shame that our culture does not promote or utilize meditation as a way of life. Nevertheless, as people become more aware of their emotional state, meditation becomes an invaluable resource for self-control and self-improvement.
Now a day, it is really simple to start learning how to meditate. Really cool technology such as Muse, which helps train your brain to meditate and actually provides you with stats that track your development through their app at choosemuse.com, or simple apps such as Headspace (headspace.com), should make starting meditation really simple for you.
Step 5, Read something positive
This could be something as short as a quote or as long as a couple of chapters on the latest personal development book your reading. The important thing is to set the tone for the day. Do not start with negative information such as the news. Who wants to prime their day by reading the latest war story? Start the day with inspiration.
Step 6, Affirmations and being grateful
Program yourself with positive affirmations. Say them out loud. Have you ever heard that whenever you call yourself some negative remark, your subconscious will actually start believing it? Well, use the same logic but for the opposite result. Call yourself positive remarks so your subconscious will actually start believing them. You can start by saying I am _____ and fill in the blank with a positive remark. For example, I am capable, I am a good father, I am smart. You can also use the variations I can and I will.
Also, take a couple of seconds to acknowledge things you are grateful for. As you do this, you will stop thinking about things you are not, things you don´t have or feeling pity for yourself.
Step 7, Stretch and Exercise
Kick-start your metabolism. First, start by stretching, even better if you do yoga. After a quick stretch, get your metabolism going by either having a full workout or at least doing a couple of jumping jacks, sit-ups, squats and pushups.
Step 8, Bathroom routine
Take care of your toilet needs at this point. Better to do it in your bathroom than anywhere else.
Have a cold shower. The benefits of showering with cold water are plenty. According to Medical Daily, benefits such as increased alertness and stimulating weight loss can be had by turning the H knob in your shower completely off. This might take you some time to get used to but eventually, it will be second nature to you.
Step 9, Eat a healthy breakfast
This goes without saying. You need to be well fed, with nutritious, hi energy foods, in order to have the fuel you need to correctly start the day. Having eaten a healthy breakfast should also keep you from feeling like you have an empty stomach which in turn might cause you to eat junk food in between meals. Try making eggs. This should not take much of your time to cook or eat and they should keep your stomach satisfied and your body healthy. Avoid sugary drinks, not only at breakfast but during the day. Drink water.
Step 10, Plan getting to work 10 minutes early
Having 10 minutes to spare will give you the peace of mind in case some unexpected event happens on your way to work. When you get to work 10 minutes early, this gives you time to get organized, plan your day and your boss will appreciate it. All of these things should make your work more enjoyable, and less stressful.
So, give these steps a chance, be consistent with them through these next few couple of months. Getting organized, working on your discipline, acquiring new habits and having start your day correctly can´t harm you, they can only improve your life.
Art by: flickr, Andris, Javier Avellan Veloz, milomingo, Nicholas A Tonelli, Moyan Brenn, Ryan Hyde, Rob Franksdad