Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Winning in Life Starts in the Morning

Good Morning! I'm so excited to be posting my first Get Sorted blog post. 
In case you didn't know, I'm a self-improvement junkie- productivity, organization, attitude, health, business, writing. If I can learn something that's applicable and will make my life the slightest bit better or easier, I'm in!

I tell you this because for years I've been learning how important mornings are but I've never really applied it until this year. This is what I've learned.

Winning in life starts in the morning. 
Tweet: Winning in life starts in the morning. @amandaaksel

First, I want to share three keys I've learned for making the most of your morning.

1. Get enough sleep. 
So many of us are truly sleep deprived. Do you wake up to an alarm clock in the morning? Yep, then you're sleep deprived. Do you need coffee at three o'clock in the afternoon to make it to five? Yep, sleep deprived again. 

This year I've been fortunate enough not to HAVE TO wake up to an alarm. So I did a little experiment and started tracking my sleep and my energy throughout the day with a journal. I found that if I got the amount of sleep I needed, I was much more effective and had more energy throughout the day. It turns out I need more than 8 hours of sleep. And that's okay because it's an investment in my day. 
Makes for a better morning too!

So if you have to be up at a certain time, make sure you go to bed early enough that you'll be fully rested come morning. 

2. Make Your First Hour Count
Brian Tracy calls this the "Golden Hour". This is when you set your mind up for the day and arm yourself against the troubles that are thrown at you as soon as you get on the highway. Tracy recommends reading something positive or educational. This is also the best time to meditate or pray, do yoga. Something to get  plugged in to your greater self. 

3. Breakfast! 
I cannot stress this enough. If you're running on no sleep and no food and you're miserable, it's easy to see why. You're literally running on fumes. Your body needs fuel in the morning. If you're saying, "I'm not a breakfast person." Start saying, "I'm not a breakfast person YET."  
If you're body is trained to go without substance until lunchtime, you can train it to crave substance first thing. 

I totally recommend drinking 8-16 ounces of water first thing upon waking. Your body is very acidic in the morning. Water neutralizes that acidity making you less prone to illness and preparing your body for food. Then have your breakfast and THEN have your coffee

Wanna hear about how I spend my mornings? Read on . . . 

1. Sleep
Like I said, I get enough sleep. I keep water on my nightstand and immediately drink it when I wake up. I started doing this three years ago. Before that, my stomach would hurt shortly after waking if I didn't eat right away and lead to nausea, hence decreasing my appetite. With 16 ounces of water working for me, I don't have that issue anymore. 

2. Breakfast
I open the windows in my bedroom, put on some easy or feel good music, and make the bed. That's when I'm ready for BREAKFAST. I used to eat cereal or oatmeal with fruit, but the past few weeks I've been drinking this smoothie and I'm addicted

Click here for the recipe. 

3. Spiritual Time
As soon as I'm done with my smoothie, I have my "spiritual" time. I practice Nichiren Buddhism and so in the mornings I chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo. When I'm chanting, I make a determination to succeed in my day and for the happiness of others. This practice makes me feel 10 feet tall, so all the problems that come up in my day are easily or at least more easily surmountable. 

4. Mind, Body, and Puppy
When I'm done chanting, I continue to get my mind right by listening to something encouraging or motivational. I like to pull up a YouTube video or Podcast. Here's one I listened to recently. I put in my earphones and take my dog for a walk. This is a four in one for me (Inspiration, Nature time, Exercise, Puppy time.)

Okay, now I'm ready to take on the world. 

If you're thinking that you don't have time for ALL this in the morning, then tailor it to fit your life, but make it a priority. I challenge you to tryout these three tips for one week and see the improvements in your life. 

Now I have to ask:

What do you do in the morning that gets you ready to take on the world? 


What will you start implementing in your morning routine to make you more effective throughout your day? 

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