Bad breath is the LEAST of your problems.
You wouldn’t think of leaving the house for your first appointment of the day without brushing your teeth, would you? No way; such basic physical hygiene is a habitual part of your morning routine. Skipping it would definitely lead to some awkwardness and, very possibly, less-than-ideal results.
But what about mental hygiene? Do you have a mental morning routine that sets you up for success in the coming day?
Tony Robbins, one of the many very successful entrepreneurs who puts a high value on a positive mind set, calls his routine his “hour of power.” Mike Dooley, creator of Notes From The Universe, has created magical results by starting his day out with just 5 – 10 minutes of visualizing how he’ll feel when he’s achieved his current big goal(s).
The beauty of creating this success habit for yourself is that you can choose whatever activities put you in a place of confidence, calm, and positive expectancy. In other words, the exact activities you include in your morning mental hygiene routine are less important than doing them consistently and focusing on how they make you feel.
So what are some of the things you could experiment with to see how well they work for you? Here, in no particular order, are some great activities to choose from.
No, it doesn’t have to be for an hour. Starting out with even five minutes will give you a little bit of calm to begin your day.
I personally like guided meditations. I have enough decisions to make during my day, so I like to start off by letting someone else suggest a mantra to use or a visualization to practice. If this sounds like it might work for you, you can check out my go-to meditation resources: The Chopra Center and musicians Deval Premal and Miten.
No, it doesn’t have to involve handstands! Your morning yoga can involve just enough poses to stretch out any kinks you developed while sleeping. When you concentrate on your form and your breathing, you become gently energized and focused.
Interested but need instruction? You can find a qualified teacher near you by checking out either the Yoga Journal or the Yoga Alliance. Or if you prefer the DIY route, you can find some great yoga tips at Relax Like A Boss.
This can be especially wonderful if you prefer movement that’s more freestyle than yoga. Moving your body to music not only gets you loosened up and your blood flowing; when you choose music that makes you happy, it also gets your endorphins up and running, too. And who couldn’t use some more of those feel-good hormones when starting the day?
This practice can take many forms.
- You might write out a description of what your perfect day looks like, with a heavy emphasis on how you will feel as a result of experiencing it.
- You can use writing as a way to deal with an obstacle facing you: Before going to sleep, ask yourself, What are some ways of handling this problem? Then, as soon as you wake up the next morning, ask yourself the question again and begin writing (in the notebook you left next to your bed) whatever pops into your head during that just-barely-awake time.
- You can follow the advice of Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, and write “morning pages.” The only structure Cameron imposes is that you put pen to paper and force yourself to write anything that occurs to you and keep writing until you’ve filled three full pages—even if you end up with two-and-a-half pages of, “I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know what to write….”. Note: Typing on your computer does not count! The book explains why handling an actual writing implement is more beneficial for you emotionally and mentally.
Choose a powerful book you’ve been “meaning to get around to” and commit to reading just one chapter each morning before you start your day. Some of my favorites:
- Infinite Possibilities, by Mike Dooley
- Learned Optimism, by Martin E. P. Seligman
- The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks
- The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent, by Esther and Jerry Hicks
- I Had It All the Time, by Alan Cohen
- Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers
Listen to powerful CD’s or MP3’s.
This is obviously a great option if you’re more auditory than visual when it comes to taking in new information. In addition to the audio versions of the above titles, here are some other offerings I really like:
- The 11 Forgotten Laws, by Bob Proctor and Mary Morrissey
- Love or Above, by Christie Marie Sheldon
A positive mind set is one of your most critical success factors.
Begin, refine, or contemplate your vision board.
Also called a treasure map, this is a basically a collage of images representing what you want to create in your business and your life. Based on my experience learning about and creating vision boards, here are some tips to get the most out of using one for yourself:
- Don’t think exclusively in terms of what tangibles you want to bring into your life; also focus on how those will make you feel. For example, if you want to create a six-figure business, ask yourself what that will do for you. Will it make you feel secure? Proud? Like you’ve been of real service? Once you have an answer that resonates with you, find images that will represent not only a financially successful business (e.g., big stacks of money), but will also represent the accompanying feelings (e.g., a dog lover like me might choose an image of a mama dog curled around her puppies to represent the concept of security).
- Make sure your vision board represents your dreams and no one else’s! Naturally, other people are likely to be involved in this ideal life you’re picturing. You just want to be certain that you haven’t gotten sucked into saying you have certain goals when, in reality, those are goals that family members or friends think you “should” have.
- Use it! Don’t treat your vision board like many entrepreneurs treat their business plan, as something to be done once then filed away somewhere. To be truly helpful in creating the results you want, your vision board needs to be in plain sight, updated regularly as your desires change, and focused on daily. (In fact, contemplating your board might serve as one form of your daily meditation.)
So what are some of the key elements to your mental morning routine? What do you find works especially well to center you, bolster your confidence and optimism, and set you up for success? Or don’t you have such a routine just yet?
If the latter, does the thought of adding one more thing to your Too Much To Do list make your eye start to twitch? If you’re already feeling overwhelmed and not sure of the next step to take, maybe the best next step would be finding out if you and I would make a good problem-solving team.
My specialty is showing busy, overwhelmed entrepreneurs how to calmly and confidently decide what to do next and how to do it, and then I hold them accountable for implementing those step-by-step action plans that get them to their important goals.
If that sounds like something long overdue, my vote is that we get together for a 30- or 40-minute get-acquainted call. During that time, we can ask and answer enough questions to know whether we’ll suit each other or not. If we’re a mediocre fit, then we wish each other well and say good-bye; if we’re a great fit, we start kicking serious business butt together.
Are you curious enough to find out which decision is right for us? If so, just call me at 319-270-1214 or email me with “Should you be part of my morning routine?” in the subject line. We’ll talk and figure out what’s in both our best interests.
(BTW, thank you to Ekke for posting her smelly image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)This entry was posted in effectiveness, mindset and tagged action plan, goals, habits. Bookmark the permalink.