Your day begins when you wake up, right?
No. It begins sometime before you go to bed the previous night. Let me explain.
Everybody pretty much understands the importance of beginning every morning with the best foot forward. If you start off with the right mood, right attitude and well rested, you will feel much more in control of whatever the day throws at you. Your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.
But then, what sets the tone for your morning?
Turns out how you end your previous day has a lot to do with it. If you close your night on a good note, you will start your morning on an even better one.
Here are few things I have learnt, tried and found to be useful in my desire to create a perfect morning (and thus, a day):
- Do a review and recap of your day.
Reflect on what went right, and what could have gone better.
Reflect on things from today, that you feel truly good about, proud of, or thankful for.
- Make a few decisions automatic for the next morning.
For example, if you know that you will be working out in the morning, set out your work-out clothes, your yoga-mat, tennis shoes (or whatever other contraptions you need!) at the right place, so that you don’t have to make that decision in the morning. If you know you need to drink a litre of water, how about setting that jug full of H2O right where you can see it when you wake up. The idea is to minimize the number of decisions you have to make in the first few hours because, science now proves that the energy consumed in this decision making depletes our will-power and decision-making ability as the day progresses.
- Create a plan for the next day.
First write down your most important and impactful action for the next day. If you get nothing else done, what one thing if done, would still leave you feeling satisfied, and move you closer to a big goal. Then, list out your other 2-4 MVPs (Most Valuable Priorities), the main 3-5 connections you need to make that day (calls, emails, follow-up etc). Also, think about what kind of day is it going to be? Admin day, Creative day, action day, rest day?
- Finally, as you slip into sleep, keep a positive frame of mind.
You could recall something positive, do a prayer, ideate (but be careful with this one – because it can suddenly energize you and keep you awake for the rest of the night).
This whole ritual should take no more than 5 minutes of your time. The returns on it though, will be disproportionately positive. And the compound effect of this routine over the next few years will literally astound you.
In the next post, I will share with you how to get your mornings right so that you can have a great day.