Optimize the Start of Your Day
Some ideas to start the day right
Going back to the article, here are some tips to start the day right:
- Plan the night before
- Try 15 minutes of meditation
- Begin with inspirational reading
- Open your eyes to fresh flowers
- Trade coffee for green tea
- Do some yoga
- Schedule a hopeful appointment
This is actually a very strong list, and even if you only end up adopting 2 or 3 of these tips then you're probably better off than you were before. My list would be something like this:
- Get a drink of water - Your body is dehydrated so you need to start with H2O
- Save the coffee for later - When you wake up, your body generally has a high energy level compared to the dip it will take 2-3 hours from your start. Save your coffee for the dip so you can keep your energy up.
- Take time to chant/meditate/reflect - A personal favorite of mine is to start every morning with chanting. Focus on your goals for the day, make a determination to be victorious, and then get up and make it happen.
- 30 grams of protein in 30 minutes - From The Four Hour Body. 30 grams of protein in the morning supercharges your body and encourages your body to burn fat in the early stages of the morning
- Tackle the big problem - Nothing is as dreadful as staring into an abyss of overwhelming struggle at the end of the day. Tackle the big guy when you're fresh, break it down into smaller issues and get to work.
- Start the day with someone - Whether it's a friend, spouse, or even a co-worker, start your day with some social interaction and a smile. Not only will you plant the seed for your own success, but you'll strengthen a bond that will come in handy when you need a hand.
Starting the day right
One of my constant themes here at DealForALiving is hacking ongoing struggles like the lack of time, the lack of money and personal finance solutions, and credit tips among other things. I recently read a great article (all credit goes to Kevin Daum @ Inc.) entitled 7 Ways to Start the Day Right which got me thinking about my morning and how I've been able to be more productive.
We've all heard the popular refrain about how important the morning is. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day... The early bird gets the worm... First one in and last one out... Yada yada yada.
And it's all true. When you get down to it, 80% of the day is pre-ordained for a lot of people that work a general 9-5 and then come home to a family or take care of kids. If you add a side hustle as personal finance gurus would have you do, then 90% of your time is spoken for, so how do you maximize the other 10%? And if you do a good job with that 10%, then can you get more out of your 80% or 90%? I think so, and I want to share my experience with you.
Time is Ticking
Wake Up With Purpose
The untold secret of these kinds of lists is that it's designed for people with a lot to do, or with truly significant work. What I mean is that, if you're facing a mound of tasks that you don't feel are significant or compelling, then all the lists in the world are of absolutely no use.
So do you then start with a brand new determination the night before to start the day with purpose?
Mastering the mind can be a lifelong journey, and we all know how easy it is to give up on a determination or New Year's resolution. All the research on human psychology shows that continued habits and continued repetitions train the brain. So instead of saying, "Well, this is all a waste because my work doesn't matter" or "This is all well and good, but I don't have time for it" take 2 or 3 of the easiest steps and start practicing. You can thank me later.
What's Your Favorite Way to Start the Morning?
What's Your Favorite Way to Start the Morning?
Planning the night before
I used to hear this a lot in the household: "Oh, you have so and so going on tomorrow, so you better plan tonight for it". This is common sense stuff, and I'm not going to say that planning in advance is a bad thing, or that you should save this planning for an expected hectic morning.
But what I will say is that in most cases, you should not be taking time at the end of your day to plan for problems the next day.
Let's say you work in an office environment and you have a critical project to tackle the next day. Everyone with an opinion will tell you to schedule 20 or 30 minutes at the end of your day to plan out the next day. And my question is, "Why"? When my brain is running out of gas, you want me to plan the most important project of the next day? Are you serious?
Think about it in a home situation. You've been awake for 12 hours, finished a day of work, made dinner for the kids, fought with your partner, and then felt the pangs of fear associated with having to go in to work the next day. Instead of sitting down with pen and paper to plan, here's what you should do:
- Take one minute to do deep breathing, chanting, praying
Close your day with some oxygen, some relaxing thoughts, and move on. Save the heavy lifting for the morning.
Start the day with chanting/meditation/reflection
Good morning means good day
Starting the day off on the right foot virtually guarantees that your day will be a good one. A wise man once told me "Your time in the morning is gold, and your time the rest of the day is silver". It's not only more precious, but it also tends to be the time which we have the most control over. So if you start the day in control, and plant the seeds for your personal success, then it's just a matter of keeping the momentum and harvesting the fruits later in the day.
So, you've spent enough time reading tips and suggestions about how to start your day. Now take a couple, implement them, and let me know what's working for you. Best wishes!
I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.
I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.
Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.