How you start (and end) each and every day can have a massive impact on your life. It’s like the bookends of your day and it can greatly impact what happens in between those time periods. The morning and evening time slots of your day also represent the part of the day where you generally have the most control, so it’s a great opportunity to take ownership of what you REALLY need before the day gets away from you and you have little time to actually get back to YOU. I heard a speaker once share how he DISMOUNTS into his day, and this philosophy has stuck with me ever since. It provided a great visual, almost like vaulting off the side of my bed or down my stairs into an awesome day. Or gracefully dismounting off of a bucking horse, perhaps, if that’s possible. In my vision, I’d stick the landing every time, of course.
The basic idea is that you create a set of habits, of things you do each morning that set you up for inevitable success. Create a no excuses way to begin your day, intentionally crafted with whatever doses of self-care YOU need to fill you up before you leap into the day. This sets the tone and mood for all your activities for the remainder of the day. It takes some thought to put together and will likely change as you transform, but it’s a fun and powerful concept. For some, it might be waking up at a certain time each day, making and drinking a fresh vegetable juice, going for a thirty-minute walk, and sitting in silence for ten minutes before even looking at their schedule or phone. For others, it could be to not set an alarm, waking up naturally, dropping to the floor, and doing some yoga or light stretching, then having a cup of tea. It can be anything that serves you. It’s your set of habits and practices that helps you get on track for the best day ever, each day, every day.
How you start and end each day is your greatest opportunity for controlling what YOU want to experience.
Here is how I do it . . . . (in case it gives you any inspired ideas):
To have the best day ever, I like to be awake by 5:00 a.m., no matter what day of the week it is. I rarely sleep in. I like to be up before the sun and get going. When I first started this ritual, I had to set an alarm, but it’s so ingrained now that my body’s natural clock works like a charm. My internal clock is set, so I just naturally wake up. Then, before even getting out of bed, I stick my headphones in my ears, plug them into my smart phone, and play a guided meditation. Those usually last about twenty minutes. I generally take an additional twenty to thirty minutes in silence (not falling asleep again) or listening to a song from a meditation playlist I’ve created and simply list in my head and connect with the feelings of gratitude for everything in my life that I am deeply thankful for. I then get out of bed and get myself ready for whatever intentional movement I have scheduled for myself that morning, if I have it planned to do so. I usually plan on no more than an hour-and-a-half for my movement time, from the time I leave the house till the time I arrive back home. Before I leave the house, I prepare a tumbler of water to take with me for movement and drink a quick power shake of powdered greens and protein, then I’m out the door to move. When I arrive back home, I prepare and eat a balanced breakfast, shower, get dressed, grab a beverage (tea or flavored water), and begin my work day. Being self-employed, I’ve determined that my ideal workday begins at 9:00 a.m., so I complete this entire morning sequence to dismount into my day by that time. This is my habit and my routine. I find that if I follow it, my days begin in a powerful and awesome way. I feel like I own my time and have made myself a priority. Then, as I begin my workday, I am able to be more present in that space. Of course, this morning routine will shift over time as my self-care needs evolve, but that is how I am doing it now.
What morning rituals can you set up to dismount into your day? When will you begin to try those rituals?
As a revolutionary in the art of self-care, Shelley Hunter Hillesheim founded A Nourished Life where she is a self-care coach, published author, inspirational speaker, workshop leader, sisterhood builder and maverick for ambitious, driven women. She rescues depleted overachievers from overwhelm and helps them create the spaciousness and simplicity needed to nourish themselves with sustainable self-care habits. Learn more about Shelley, her book titled Self-Care 101: A Guide to Nourish & Flourish Team YOU and her programs at www.SelfCare101Book.com.
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