Alright, you non-morning types—this one is for you! No guilt. No judgment. Just a lot of love and compassion to help you get a better start on your day to squeeze it for all it’s worth.
A couple days ago, I had an audio recording in my head from many years ago go on replay. It was a little sing-song tune my wife used to wake our kids with when they were little. “I’m alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic!” It would repeat several times to a simple melody that sticks in your head all day—and, as it appears, for years.
It’s one of the habits we worked hard to instill in our kids. How you start the day largely determines how you finish it. And the way you start is mainly a matter of choice. A few habits help set a good tone for the day consistently day after day.
I’ve amassed a number of these habits that help me take charge of my day. I’ve mentioned some when talking about my energizing morning routine and evening routine. But here they are, rapid-fire in this context.
9 Tips For Alive, Alert, Awake, Enthusiastic
- Go to bed on time. Yep, today’s start actually depends on a couple things you do the night before. Most importantly, get to bed at a time that gives you an adequate amount of sleep you need. Most need 7-8 hours per night. Resist the temptation to stay up longer than necessary ding-donging around watching TV, looking at your phone, getting sucked in by the computer.
Program your mind before sleep. Set your alarm and choose to look forward to getting up. Let go of today and expect a better tomorrow. Visualize getting up with an anticipation of a great day about to happen.
Get up immediately. When the alarm goes off, sit up immediately and get out of bed! You know why—your mattress has a built-in tractor beam that will pull you in if you don’t break its grip quickly.
Smile and talk to yourself. One of the greatest mood-setters but generally so underestimated is your smile. Smiling automatically changes your attitude. Smile, then greet the day with an affirmation or greeting that puts the day in a positive perspective. “This is going to be a great day!” My alarm on my iPhone is called, “This is the day…” because my first statement when I get up is from Psalm 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
Brush your teeth. I owe this tip and the next one to Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning. Ridiculously simple and powerful at the same time. I can’t believe how quickly a tooth-brushing refreshes and energizes.
Splash your face with cold water. Three times. You’ll appreciate it. Amazing.
Drink a glass of water. You’re dehydrated after a night’s sleep. Every cell in your body will thank you.
Exercise. Do something to get moving. It doesn’t have to be P90X. Ten jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups, or a 10-minute walk helps get the blood flowing and your brain stirred up.
A James Bond shower. I’m indebted to Brett and Kate McKay at ArtOfManliness.com for this tip. The James Bond Shower at its simplest is just wrapping up your shower with a blast of cold water. Again, it’s tough to describe how invigorating this is.
There you go—simple steps that, when combined and made into habits, will rev your engine tomorrow morning. You’re not in control of everything that may happen to you in a day, but you can choose how you start it!
Question: What gets you going in the morning, ready to take charge of your day? Share your answer in the comments below.