Note: This is a guest post by Davis Nguyen
BRAYNK! BRAYNK! BRAYNK! BRAYNK!
Your morning alarm just went off. What are you doing this morning?
Are you jumping out of bed ready to start your day or are you trying to squeeze in “5 more minutes” of sleep?
If you are like most people, you are still struggling to roll out of bed and inside your head, you’re thinking, “here we go again.”
Wouldn’t it be great if you could start every day full of energy and self-confidence?
You probably know people who seem to always be “on.” They are self-confident and wake up happy whether it’s to play golf on Sunday or to go to work on Wednesday.
Why is it some people seem to be bursting with energy in the morning while most of us can barely even wake up?
The reason we don’t just jump out of bed is because we very much prefer our sleep to anything else out there. Most of us view waking up and the morning routine as chore time. We have to dress the kids, pick our clothes, prepare the coffee, cook breakfast, commute to work, etc. It feels like bleary-eyed drudgery without much to look forward to.
Our mornings don’t remind us that we have a life purpose, a compelling reason to begin our day with joy. To see the difference between beginning your morning with a purpose versus just getting up and mindlessly following your routine, think of the last time you were truly excited to wake up.
Why were you excited?
What were you doing?
Maybe you had plans to visit a close friend, you were working on an exciting project, or it was the day of your big presentation. You had your day planned out, and you had something to look forward to.
The good news is that anyone can begin the day with purpose and self-confidence. It’s not a man or woman thing, or extrovert or introvert trait, or an age specific issue. It simply comes down to giving your morning purpose.
Here are 10 strategies you can begin tonight to make your tomorrow more purposeful and to add confidence and energy to your day.
1. Go to bed early
In our efforts to do more and more every day we have to cut something. Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to sacrifice sleep so they can answer that one last email or finish writing that one last check.
Sleep does a lot for your body. Besides reducing your risk for some cancers, relieving stress, and cutting weight, going to bed early makes you feel recharged in the morning and gives you more energy to jump out of bed feeling rested. That one email or bill payment can wait until the morning, because your body, mind, and well-being require a good night’s rest.
2. Wake up on time
When you go to be earlier, you’ll be able to wake up easier. And when you have more time in the morning, you don’t have to rush or feel pressured. You have time to eat mindfully, reflect on your day ahead, and spend time with your family. You begin your day in a state of calm confidence.
But if you are anything like me, it might not be that easy. As soon as my alarm went off, I hit snooze and crawled deeper into my covers and fell back asleep.
However, I found one technique that worked wonders for me. Before I go to bed, I set my alarm and place it away from my nightstand and next to my door. This way, when the alarm goes off, I have to wake up, walk to the door, and turn it off. Since I am near my door, I can tell myself to leave my room and not be seduced by my warm bed.
When you are trying to start your day off confidently, the worst thing you can do is go back to the bed. If you find a way to force yourself to get out of the bed and leave your bedroom, you’ll lessen the temptation to crawl back into your sheets.
3. Prepare for the day ahead
Take 10 minutes each morning (or before you go to bed) to plan your day and prepare for anything that is on your schedule. This will allow you to clear your mind, prepare for any important events or plans, and remove the unnecessary stress caused by those “Shoot! I forgot I had to do this” moments. You can confidently begin your day knowing you are on top of things.
4. Drink water
Second only to sleep (might even be the first), I make an effort to drink water in the morning to revitalize my body and refresh my mind. I incorporated drinking water in my morning routine so I can have a reason to leave my room when my alarm goes off. But beginning your day hydrated with make you feel better physically and will make you mentally alert.
5. Have something to look forward to
When you have something to look forward to, you can’t wait to get started. It doesn’t have to be something massive, just enough to motivate you to get up on time and have a purpose in the morning.
My little routine is this: I get up and if I went to bed early and woke up on time, I reward myself with two mini-bagels with strawberry jam on top (I am addicted to these things!). On days when I don’t get up or I sleep late, I take don’t reward myself with my treat.
This might seem silly, but as long as I’m up and happy in the morning that’s all that matters to me. Remember that no one is judging you. Find something that feels like a reward or joyful activity — maybe sitting outside to drink your coffee or taking 10 minutes to read.
6. Do what you love
I won’t steal Barrie’s thunder on this since she is the master. There is no better way to begin the morning than to know the work you are doing is what lights you up and gives your day meaning and life purpose. If you don’t know what your life passion is, make it a priority to find out. Begin the process of uncovering your passion so that each morning, you wake up knowing your work will feel more like play.
7. Remember to Smile
Smile and you’ll just feel happier and more confident. It’s that simple. In fact, a number of research studies have shown the act of smiling, even if forced, can actually produce feelings of happiness. When you wake up, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Smile at your family and smile when you are driving to work. It might feel silly at first, but soon you’ll notice you’re smiling naturally because you’re happy.
Along with sleep and drinking water, exercise is one of the most important activities for confidence and happiness. You don’t have go to the gym and lift weights for an hour. Anything that’s gets your body moving and endorphins engaged will make you feel more energized, happy, and confident.
The first time I ever stepped inside a gym was in 2012, and it transformed my life. I started with 30-minute workouts, and now I am up to 90 minutes. I love every minute of it. If I can do it (I used to be 40 pounds overweight), you can do it too. Just start small — even a 5 minute jog outside your home is better than doing nothing.
9. Pick your clothes the night before
Instead of worrying about what you will wear in the morning, have your outfit picked out the night before. Choose something to wear that makes you feel good about how you look and how you present yourself to others. This will save you time and remove another chore from your morning routine.
10. Express gratitude
I thought this was silly (even more so than my bagel treat), but one of my professors challenged us one day to wake up, look in the mirror, and tell ourselves one thing we were grateful for.
It could be something as big as your internship or something as little as mint chocolate cookies. By counting your blessings and seeing anything that makes your life great, you’ll be ready to tackle the day with a positive outlook. What started with a silly assignment is now a part of my daily routine.
With just a few simple shifts in your routine, you can dramatically change the way you begin your day. When you wake up feeling calm, rested, energized, and positive, your self-confidence will soar. You will feel in control of your outlook, your happiness, and your life.
What do you do to wake up each morning confidently? Please comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestion.
Davis Nguyen is studying economics at Yale University. When he’s not solving for Nash Equilibriums, he’s helping introverts grow their confidence and communication skills on his blog. Receive a free a eBook on how to turn Rejection into Success today at Speak for the Meek. @SpeakfortheMeek
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