Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The First Few Minutes of Your Morning

In the first hour of our day, we are setting the frame for everything that follows. Do you have a morning ritual that helps you get started on your day in a positive mindset? Greeting the morning with a focus on recharging your inspiration can pay big benefits throughout the remainder of the day. Try on these possible scenarios:

1. You wake up to the disturbing clang of your alarm. You are late. You scramble to get ready, feed your dog, grab the newspaper, and drive through McDonald's drive-thru for an egg mcmuffin that you wolf down with some hot coffee while you grind your way though the freeway traffic. You feel panicky, flushed, and your stomach hurts a little. You are listening to angry talk radio blare.

2. You wake up early. You lie in bed for a few minutes doing a mental inventory of all you are grateful for. You make a little tea and fruit, and read for a few minutes from a great inspirational book for some encouragement and perspective. You play with the dog for a few minutes after you feed him. While outside with the dog, you stop to notice the morning light in the sky, and what is blooming in the yard. You get dressed and get going on your way. You choose some favorite music to listen to on your drive to work. You feel content, and intent on making it a good day.

Which day is off to a more promising start? Clearly, it's the second scenario. We are receptive and open to input for a window in time in the morning that is closed later in the day. Recently, I ran across a new book by writer and speaker Clifton Anderson titled "A Year Wiser." This book is written with one brief section to read each day, some of them original writing by Anderson, and others being motivational quotes from other positive thought leaders, with commentary by Anderson. You might want to look for "A Year Wiser," or another powerful text which you could incorporate as a part of your new morning routine.

Try sprucing up your morning ritual with your own morning mix of inspiration, reflection, gratefulness, noticing nature, exercise, connecting with a pet, prayer, journaling about your dreams, or meditation. Share and compare morning routines with your partner or a close friend so that you can encourage each other to become the architect of your morning and set the positive leadership over your thoughts and feelings for the day. A calm, grateful, and reflective morning is a wonderful prelude to whatever happens later. Who knew that the first hour of our day is so important ? It's well worth being intentional about it.

As writer Louise Hay wrote, "How you start your day is how you live your day, and how you live your day is the way you live your life." Make it a great morning, and see if that can be the starter for good things to follow all day long.

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