How you start your day usually defines how your entire day will be. If you start your day right, you will likely be able to accomplish all your tasks for the day and go to bed happy and fulfilled. If you wake up late, you will probably feel rushed by other people's agendas and pending to-dos the whole day. You will feel powerless to take charge of your day and make it how you want it to be.
If you want your days to be productive, complete, and just downright awesome, if you want to make the days "yours," you have to own your mornings. You have to take your mornings back from other people and their agendas. This means taking responsibility and making your days how you want them to be. And your days start in the morning.
Here are the six steps to own and take back your mornings:
1. Wake up an hour earlier
To own your morning, you need to do some new things and rituals at the start of each day. And you have to make time for them. You have to wake up at least an hour earlier before you prepare for work and allow other people to push their agendas to you.
Also, waking up early already makes you feel accomplished. Because waking up early is already a huge feat! This sense of accomplishment at the start of the day will give you an emotional boost that will lift you throughout the day.
2. Give your best time to God
Praying is more than just a religious or spiritual thing. When you pray and talk to God, there are two things that happen: you set pure, unadulterated goals and God affirms you.
First, when you wake up, you still haven't met with or talked to people who will try to influence your decisions and what you want to do in your life. This is the best time to stay still, to pray, and to ask God what He wants you to do for the day and for your life. And what He wants you to do is that "one thing" you've always wanted to do. God's will for your life lies in the deepest desires of your heart. These are the goals untouched by other people's standards. These are the goals that you want to accomplish regardless of what other people might think or say.
Second, when you pray, God affirms you. God reminds that you can do everything with Him, that you can accomplish anything you set your heart and mind into, and that you have the power to shape your destiny. When you do this first thing in the morning, you will be able to get rid of your limiting beliefs and dream big dreams for your life - bigger than you think possible. If you want to achieve great things, first, you have to believe that you can.
3. Visit your annual and/or monthly goals
Before you set your goals for the day, visit your annual and/or monthly goals to make sure that the goals you set for the day are aligned with your longer-term goals. Doing this helps you in achieving goals that take a long time to realize. Everything worth while takes time.
If you still don't have annual goals, write them down now so you will have direction for the rest of the year. Never overestimate what you can do in a day. But never underestimate what you can do in a year.
4. Set your daily goals
When you finally know your what your "pure" dreams are, have gotten rid of your limiting beliefs, believe that you can accomplish anything, and remind yourself of your annual and/or monthly goals, write down what you need to accomplish for the day.
Start by writing down the three important tasks you need to accomplish for the day. When you have finally gotten used to accomplishing and finishing three task, you can increase the number of your important tasks to six. If you increase it to more than six, you will get overwhelmed.
5. Start acting: Use your headstart
To be honest, I'm really, really, REALLY trying to wake up at least two hours before I prepare for work so that I have an hour to pray, to set my goals, and to affirm myself and another hour to have a headstart on my writing.
Having a head start or even finishing your work before others get started gives you confidence in yourself. It gives you an emotional and psychological boost that will help you do better in your work. Also, by the time other people start, you have already gained momentum. And with this momentum, it will be harder for you to stop what you're doing and stop being productive.
6. End a vicious cycle of waking up late by sleeping early
The most difficult thing to do here is getting started or waking up early. Whenever you fail to accomplish something during the day, you try to finish it at night when you're already tired from all your work. Many people have also pushed their agendas and beliefs to you throughout the day for you to stay motivated. Hence, you sleep even later. When you sleep late, you also end up waking up late and the vicious cycle continues.
Let go of all your backlogs and start anew. Sleep early tonight so you can wake up early tomorrow. Maybe your backlogs were not really important for you to keep deferring them anyway.
More Than Just Being Productive
All these are not just about being productive for productivity's sake. These steps aim to help you do more, be more, and achieve more so you can live the life you want each day. Use these steps to work towards your pure goals and become the person you've always wanted to be.
Most importantly, make it a habit to make each day how you want it to be. Living the life you want means living each day the way you want it, not how other people want you to.
How about you? What other ways do you think can help you own and take back your mornings? Write them in the comments below.