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Good Morning! Stay in the Zone All Day Long

morning routine

Everyone has a morning routine. The question is, how effective is yours? Are you accomplishing the goals you want to reach? Are you filled with energy and vitality as you move through your day? Do you have the things you say you want, or do you find yourself falling into habits of procrastination, posting pictures on social media, and getting distracted by other people’s demands?

Studies have shown that a morning routine that gets you up and moving, and focused on what you want, will help you to REACH IT. Science also shows that willpower is the strongest during the morning, so creating a daily morning practice is more likely to work than if you try to the important things later in the day.

Here are three steps to create a morning routine you can stick with.

Three steps to creating a morning routine you can stick with : Click To Tweet

Step One: Wake Up Early

wake up early

Wake up at dawn. In fact, the earlier the better. Set your alarm to go off sometime between 5 am and 6:30 a.m. This is one of the simplest ways to get a huge jump on the day. It’s quieter then, no ringing phones or pings from your computer or phone. Often other family members are still sleeping, so you have time to focus on yourself and the day ahead.  Never check email or texts first thing. Why? Because then you’re allowing others to control your day by reacting to their schedule and desires before you consider your own. You want to be proactive, rather than reactive to other people’s requests.

You want to be proactive, rather than reactive to other people’s requests. Click To Tweet

Step Two: Get Moving

morning exercise

As soon as you wake up, get your body moving. Exercise! It’s crucial to get the blood flowing so that your body can get energized and ready for the day. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise such as spending an hour at the gym. It might be as simple as going for a brisk walk in the neighborhood for 20 minutes or doing some stretching. Why move? You will feel better, the endorphins will be flowing, and you’ll approach the day in a more optimistic mood.

As soon as you wake up, move your body. Get the blood flowing and energize your day. Click To Tweet

Step Three: Strategic Thinking

writing in the morning

After moving your body, it’s time to take control of your mind and emotions. Let’s call this your “strategic thinking hour,” which can be divided into 3 segments:

Part 1: Spend the first 20 minutes “doing your gratitude’s.” Literally, set a timer for 20 minutes and list all the big and small things you feel grateful for. It might be your cozy warm sweater, or the partner you have… Or it could be the job you landed, a deal you closed, or the color of the sky right now. Write down whatever comes to mind – don’t question it.

Writing a gratitude list each morning sets you up for more flow and ease in your life. Click To Tweet

Part 2: Spend the next 30 minutes exploring your deepest needs and desires. Imagine sitting down with a mentor or coach – someone you really respect. This person is asking you: “What do you want?” Now listen to how you respond to the question. Ask the question over and over to get below your initial, surface responses into the deeper answers, which may surprise you.

Next, write your answers down in a journal. Do not underestimate the importance of this step. The possibilities are endless, but might include a new home, a fit and healthy body, a fun vacation, or maybe a love relationship – whatever you’d like. Nothing is off limits, but write it down.

Now, ask yourself: “Why do I want this? Then write down the reasons why each item is important to you. Keep asking yourself “Why?” until you get to the emotional core of why you want what you want.

For example, you might say you want to attract a particular type of romantic relationship. Ask yourself why is that important? The answer that comes to mind at first might be something like, “Because I want to travel to Europe and I’d like someone to share it with.” Now dig deeper… Ask yourself again: why do I want that? The answer that pops into your head might be something like, “Because it’d be fun.” Or, “I want the warmth and closeness of sharing my life with someone special.”

Now you’re aware of why you’re looking to attract this relationship: you want to share the joy and fulfillment of being with someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Next, ask: What is the feeling I will experience when I have this? Having this clarity will propel you into action; procrastination will no longer be an issue.

Part 3: Spend the last 10 minutes of your strategic thinking hour focusing on your specific goals. Let’s say, you want to lose 20 pounds before your next reunion. Or maybe you want to make more money this year. In order to achieve your goals, you have to break it down into smaller segments. If your reunion is in 6 months, how much weight do you have to lose each month? How much each week? What can you do today that will move you closer to your goal? If it’s to make more money this year, how much do you want to make over the next 12 months? Where do you have to be in 6 months? How about 3 months? What about a month from now? What do you have to accomplish in the next week to stay on track with this goal?

Once you know that, choose 3 things that must get done today and focus on those 3 items. Make sure you choose things that are “big rocks” – the 3 key things that if those were the only things you got done today, you’d be a step closer to accomplishing your goals.

Being clear on what exactly you want each morning, whether it’s to close a deal at work or spending more quality time with your family, can make all the difference in accomplishing your goal. A morning ritual sets you up for success, not only for that day, but for the rest of your life. Make a commitment to yourself that you will try this for one month, and then see what happens. Your days will become a lot more productive – and a lot more FUN!

Being clear on what exactly you want each morning, can make all the difference in your success. Click To Tweet

 

regan hillyerRegan Hillyer is a personal branding expert and author of the book Be Your Brand: From Unknown to Unforgettable.  She offers many practical ways to build a personal brand that reflect one’s true values.

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