To live a happier, healthier and productive life, I’ve cultivated 8 daily habits. These habits enable me to begin each day with purpose so I won’t exist merely for the convenience of others.
The way we use the first few hours of the morning lays the foundation for the rest of the day. Failure to lay a firm foundation at the beginning of your day will hurt your productivity, increase your stress, and lower your mood.
Without a morning routine, we leave the door open for the wants and demands of others to use up our time and energy.
Who wants to be a convenience?
Who wants to be a slave to other people’s wants and demands.
I don’t want to be dragged without purpose into what others consider urgent.
Avoid the Catch-up Routine
On the days I miss my routine, the whole day feels like one where I’m trying to catch up.
Weekdays are my days to be productive. Weekends are more about being with family than being productive, so my morning routine is modified a bit. I stay in bed a little longer to have time with my wife, but the rest of my routine remains the same.
I set my alarm on my iPhone. Usually my body wakes up on its own, a minute or two before the alarm. I like the wind chimes because they don’t jolt me awake on the mornings I don’t automatically wake up.
After the alarm goes off, I lay in bed a few minutes, and then I put my feet on the floor to start my day.
Here’s what I do:
1. Get up early
There are days when I sleep in and get out of bed late. On those days I accomplish the least, but feel the busiest. Getting up early gives me time to practice the other 6 habits of my morning routine that help me be the most productive and purposeful in my day.
2. Drink a 24 ounce glass of water with lemon or lime juice
After 7-8 hours of sleep, we get dehydrated. Water alone refreshes the body and helps it eliminate accumulated waste and toxins. A glass of warm water with a fresh-squeezed lemon or lime gives me a vitamin C boost for immunity, potassium for heart health, freshens my breath, and reduces inflammation. I do this at least 30 minutes before breakfast, which also aids digestion.
You’ll read and hear a lot these days about the health and healing benefits of mindfulness and meditation. I once received training in and practiced Transcendental Meditation. But, prayer produces the same benefits as meditation, plus connects me to my Creator and is my time to align my agenda with God’s. Read more about my thoughts on prayer.
4. Bible memorization
Positive affirmations help clear the mind of the junk that can cause us stress and drag us down. The Bible is full of positive affirmations, words of wisdom, and instruction for right living. Memorizing these makes them easy to recall to give encouragement to my self or others, and strengthens the control center of my brain–the frontal lobe. I use and iOS app called RememberMe.
5. Bible reading
I read the Bible each morning for the same reasons I memorize Bible passages. I usually read in YouVersion because it gives me easy access to different English translations. While reading God’s Word, I save passages I want to memorize in my RememberMe app. I also get encouragement from the stories of how God has accomplished amazing things with people prone to impatience and stubbornness (that would be people like me).
6. Hot and cold shower
This is better than coffee for waking up. Not only does it get my blood circulating, but the contrast of hot and cold produces Natural Killer Cells that fight viruses and tumors. I run hot water all over for about 2 1/2 minutes, then cold all over for 30 seconds. I repeat this on time and finish on cold. When fighting illness, I do the hot and cold cycle 3 times, and up to 3 times a day. If I have a cough from a cold, doing this before bedtime helps me sleep better. Does it work? Since I started doing this about 5 years ago, I don’t get sick more than once a year, and not for more than a week.
7. Eat breakfast
After fasting all night, a good breakfast fuels the brain and body for a productive day. I usually have bowl of hot cereal or homemade granola in almond, flax or coconut milk, and sprinkled with a tablespoon of raw honey from my honeybees. I’ll add to that a slice of sprouted bread from Silver Hills Bakery, with almond butter a little more honey.
We know exercise is important. But did you know moderate exercise is especially important after meals to help the body manage insulin, promote digestion, and lower bad cholesterol? I take a brisk walk for at least 10 minutes after breakfast. I also do this after lunch.
How Do You Start Your Day?
Everyone needs a morning routine to get the most out of each day. Once the day’s gone, we can’t get it back. I’ve reached a point in my life where the days ahead of me on this earth are fewer than the ones still ahead. I’m determined to make the most of them.
What about you?
Do you have a morning routine? What is it?
Leave a comment, and tell me what you do to start your day.