Nine simple morning strategies to help you win the day!
I'm always on the lookout for fresh ideas and clever tactics to help make my life easier.
However, one thing that I know I do well is mornings. That wasn't always the case. But as I've matured, I realized that to have a successful day, you need to build off of a successful morning.
Strategy #1: Get enough sleep and have your clothes ready and waiting
Make sure you're getting enough sleep every night. Believe me, I know that sometime's it's difficult to put that book down or turn off the TV and close your eyes, but if you don't, you'll pay a price. I like to get enough sleep so that I'll wake up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. If my alarm wakes me, I know I haven't gotten enough sleep. I also select my wardrobe before I go to sleep. That's one less thing to stress about in the morning.
Strategy #2: Prayer
Before your feet hit the floor, say a prayer. I start out my day by saying, "Good morning, Lord. It's your daughter, Megan." That reminds me who I really am! Then I pray for my attitude during the coming day, for challenges I might face, to have the thoughts that God wants to me have, and for those I know are going through difficulties. I don't wrestle in prayer for hours, usually a few minutes is enough for me to connect spiritually and to put me into a good mindset.
Strategy #3: Action
Do something easy that you can accomplish in less that three minutes. I like to make my bed (provided my honey isn't still sleeping!). Once my bed's made and the room looks tidy, I feel more comfortable to get on with the day. I'm grateful every evening when I can slip into a bed that's been made.
I once saw a quote by Naval Admiral William McRaven. He said, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
Now, if you don't want to make your bed (and I don't know why anyone wouldn't), you could water some houseplants, straighten up a counter or a dresser, organize your shoes neatly. Find something that you can accomplish in a few minutes, and do it.
Strategy #4: Eat well
Every morning, I eat a healthy breakfast. Every morning! Sometimes I'll prepare breakfast in advance by pre-cooking bacon or sausage I can quickly heat up to eat with an egg. Protein is important to get me moving and keep me filled up during the morning.
Strategy #5: Make your list
While you're eating breakfast, or waiting for it to cook, jot down a list of things you need/want to accomplish today.
Strategy #6: Morning meditations
For me, that means morning Bible reading. I usually start reading my Bible as I'm finishing breakfast. I'm up early and eat alone. On days I'm eating breakfast with my family, I read my Bible either before or after our meal is finished, whichever works best. I probably don't spend more than 10 minutes reading scripture. Again, it's not a big time commitment, but it helps me focus on spiritual matters and gives me a good perspective.
Strategy #7: Wash your dishes
Before you leave the kitchen, load your dishes into the washer, and wash any pots or pans you use. You'll be glad you did when you want to eat lunch (if you're spending the day at home) or when you get home. It's not pleasant to come home to a messy kitchen with dirty dishes. Blech.
Strategy #8: Prepare to hydrate
Water consumption is so important to keeping our bodies functioning and well. Every morning, I fill up my giant water bottle. I finish it by the time I go to bed, if not before.
Strategy #9: Leave on time
Keep an eye on the clock, and budget enough time to enjoy your morning routine. Check the traffic on your route so you won't have any surprises. Leave home with plenty of time so you don't show up last minute to work or to an appointment/meeting.
Take this advice, and you'll be prepared to tackle anything the day brings you. Go get 'um!