We're all looking to get off our days on the right foot. The secret to doing this is setting up our days to get just that much better than we were yesterday. Setting up check points throughout the day is a viable way of accomplishing that.
Below are 11 points to setting up your day so you can crush your to do list, bang out your goals, and obliterate resistance.
1. *Night Before* Put phone on airplane mode
Studies find 61% of people check their phone within 5 minutes of waking up. SHAME! The first moments involving waking up from your slumber will set the stage for managing output over input for the rest of the day. Once you look at that phone you are in reactive mode. Make sure you are the decision maker of how and when you will aid in others' biddings.
2. *Night Before* Write down brief to-do list for next day
We've all found ourselves tossing and turning while trying to fall asleep at night. We have anxieties over the tasks and responsibilities we have set out for the following day. Write your to-do list out and put it on your desk or nightstand so you have a direction laid out when you get up.
3. Make your bed
Literally. Make your bed. Congratulations, you've accomplished your first task. This sets you in motion of completing all the other small obstacles you have set forth in front of you.
4. Take a few moments after waking up to journal
It's been proven, your creativity is firing on all cylinders in the morning. Take this time for child-like creativity to not be lost to the waves of the day. Great ideas come and go like dreams. Sometimes you remember them and sometimes not. Don't self edit too much. Jot down your thoughts and what you want to accomplish.
5. Meditate/Acts of Gratitude
Take a few moments to get in touch with yourself. We all know that once you leave the confines of your bedroom the world will be pulling you in any direction it sees fit. Nature doesn't give a fuck about what you need to do. Reflect on what you are thankful for. Focus on your breathing. Pray to a higher power, I don't give a shit. Make sure you take time for reflection.
6. Eat a fueled breakfast
We've heard from the time we were kids that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That's true. What we never really heard was what to eat. A lot of people gorge themselves with excessive sugars and processed crap that won't fuel their body for the road ahead. Fo various insights on what to eat for proper fuel, take an idea or two from Tim Ferriss's morning regimen.
7. Get some exercise
Get your blood pumping. Do 100 push ups in your room. Run a mile on the treadmill. Go for a 30 minute walk. Whatever you need to do to get your heart up, do it. Long term your body will thank you and you also raise your alertness for the rest of the day going forward and set yourself for a restful sleep that following night.
8. Rinse with cold water
A cold shower might sound pretty awful but its benefits cannot be understated. It will wake you the fuck up. It reduces stress, speeds up muscle recovery and really just puts you in a small moment in the morning of just saying, "fuck it, let's get going." You are going to experience uncomfortable moments throughout the day. When you turn that nozzle towards the blue stripe you look at discomfort dead in the eyes and face it head on instead of turning away from it.
9. Read, Goddamnit!
Reading news feeds won't get you out of this one. Read some actual worthwhile material. Always have a book on you. Reading is like exercise; the start is always the most challenging. Once you get into a rhythm, however, you will notice the days you don't read as feeling uncomfortable. Take up any subject you like. Take an hour of your day to learn something new.
10. Actually accomplish and cross off your to-do list
Call who you need to call. Write what you need to write. Dance what ever dance you need to flippin' dance. You didn't write your to-do list the night before to start a collection. Take time in your day, anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on the intensiveness, and complete your prescribed tasks. These tasks could be at your job, your personal life, spiritual, whatever. Make sure you get your shit done.
11. Take a break
Take a moment to reflect on the day. Bring it back to the mission at hand. Where are you? What else needs to get done? How do you feel about the work you've put in. We need to step back and reflect on the work we've done throughout the day to see if we're still on track.
The goal here is to make you better than you were yesterday; not go from McLovin' to Mr. Universe overnight. When you set yourself up with the proper tool belt, the obstacles that are put in front of you during the day become that much easier to tackle.