9 Things You Should Do Every Day Before 9 A.M.

The morning is enormously important.  It’s the foundation from which the day is built.  How you choose to spend your morning can be used to predict the kind of day you’re going to have.
When I awake in the morning, my mind gradually gathers, and I begin to move as the early morning light is just starting to seep through the windows.  My family is still sleeping.  It’s a peaceful beginning.
I stretch, have a glass of water, start the tea kettle, and practice a gratitude meditation for ten minutes.  Then I enjoy a cup of tea as I read one chapter of a good book.  And finally, I write for an hour before the busyness of the day begins.
Once my family awakes, I pause to join them for a short time and we follow some simple morning rituals together too.
This is just a rough sketch of my mornings, and they make me happy.
It wasn’t always this way though.  I used to awake in a hurry, rushing and cranky before stumbling into work and errands and meetings.  It was awful, but it was my life.  I didn’t know any better, so I didn’t think I could change things.  Thankfully, I was wrong.
I’ve changed my mornings, so they work for me and not against me, with just a few simple rituals.  And I’ve shared these morning rituals with thousands of coaching clients/students over the years, and many of them come back to me a month or two later and say, “Thank you!”  Perhaps they will help you as well.

1.  Get an early start.

If your mornings are chaotic, the simple solution is to get up a little earlier than the chaos.  This, of course, starts the night before by going to bed a bit earlier too.
Adjust gradually, wake up just 10 minutes earlier each week forthe next 6-9 weeks, and you’ll barely notice the change from day to day.  This extra time will help you avoid stress, speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.

2.  Meditate on the goodness.

Begin each day with love, grace and gratitude.  When you arise in the morning think of what an incredible privilege it is to be alive – to be, to see, to hear, to think, to love, to have something to look forward to.  Happiness is a big part of these little parts of your life; joy is simply the feeling of appreciating it all.
Realize that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.  Make a habit of noticing the goodness that’s already yours first thing in the morning, and you will see more goodness everywhere you look throughout the day.

3.  Stretch it out.

Simple, but so often forgotten… stretching your body in the morning has these key benefits:
  • Creates an increased range of movement in the body’s joints
  • Enhanced muscular flexibility and coordination
  • Increased circulation of the blood to various vital organs
  • Increased mental and physical energy levels (resulting from increased movement and circulation)
If you’re uncertain about how to stretch properly, you can find hundreds of great tutorials on YouTube.  Choose one that you think will suit you best and practice it for a minute or two every morning.  You will sense a change yourself, guaranteed.

4.  Drink a tall glass of water before consuming anything else.

Another obvious practice that goes by the wayside…
Your body is more than 60% water, and when you’ve been sleeping all night without drinking any water, it gets dehydrated and desperate for hydration.  So quench your thirst with exactly what your body needs.  Avoid drinking coffee, tea or other beverages before you have at least one tall glass of water.  By doing so your body will start to wake up and you’ll naturally feel more energized and alive.  (Read Healthy Habits.)

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