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Seven Steps to a Successful Morning

7 steps to a successful morning, via lagarfias.com

It is one thing to write down priorities and even schedule them into our busy lives. It is another thing entirely to get out of bed and do them.

I struggle with this constantly. In my 20s, I bounded out of bed before dawn each morning, excited to tackle the day’s challenges.

I now wake with a groan, rub my arthritic joints, and wonder if today the roll will be called up yonder (I’ll be there!).

Fed up with my own morning sluggishness, I recently re-evaluated my morning routine. In an experiment, I took the following steps to change my actions and attitude. The results have been astounding: morning cheerfulnes has returned, energy has risen, and productivity has increased.

You can try the morning experiment, too. It just takes a few minutes to brainstorm the following [scrap paper and pencil strongly recommended]:

  1. Envision what morning shouldbe:
    • What would a perfect morning look like?
    • Where will your mental focus be?
    • How will you feel as you great the day?
  2. What should be accomplished – and what should not be part of your early morning?
  3. What steps should be taken?
    • Jot how much time each priority/action should take (don’t under-estimate!).
    • Arrange in chronological order.
  4. When should you wake?
    • Working backwards from your public morning time (when you must be at work, homeschooling, etc.), calculate your new rising time.
    • If this is significantly earlier than usual, gradually move your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier every few days to adjust (make necessary omissions from your morning routine in the meantime).
  5. How can you prepare for success?
    • Find ways to prepare each night for the following morning (ex: lay out clothes, program coffee maker).
    • Write them down so you don’t forget!
  6. Post it!
    • Write your new routine clearly, in order.
    • Place either minutes for each task or time of day for each.
    • Allow margin for sleepiness or unexpected interruptions.
    • Add evening preparation activities at the bottom.
  7. Live it!
    • Remember, it takes weeks to set new habits.
    • Be patient and flexible.

I have fallen off the morning routine wagon several times, but every day I get it right I feel amazing. Do you have tips for a successful morning? Be sure to let me know on facebook or twitter!

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