Good morning (or afternoon I should say), Lovelies!
A while back in my Smashbook journal I wrote myself a little list of nine things that I should try to complete before 9AM daily, and thankfully I’ve won myself quite a bit of time this summer by following through on a good deal of it. Firstly, let me share some serious benefits that I’ve noticed which yes, I will write in a “little list” as well… (and get this, each of the 9 items has a list OF ITS OWN) I’m informally dedicating this post to all of my fellow list-lovers out there…
-Productivity: These 9 things are proven effective in boosting productivity by the results of many top executives and CEOs who try to incorporate these same steps into their daily lives. There is a sense of “oh yeah, empowerment” that I definitely feel when I’ve taken care of something in the morning that makes me want to continue being productive for the rest of the day.
-Comfort: Rather than stress about not getting enough exercise or being disconnected from your inner being, doing something before 9AM that is productive will give you a sense of alleviation that will continue with you for the rest of the day.
-Confidence: Getting things done leaves a feeling of success circulating through your bloodstream that will keep a momentum and positive attitude flowing in your veins all day.
So if you aren’t convinced yet, I don’t know what to tell you!
Exercising in the morning is definitely a little cliche, but there’s nothing that heals like a good run (unless you broke your leg or something, in which case I’d maybe differ to upper body fitness). During the school year I find this a big challenge since I have to wake up at around 6:30, but I live about a mile away so I can squeeze in a breezy walk once it starts cooling off in October. Austin summers typically drag on until September, so if I walk home then I’m sure to shower the minute I get in the house (yuck). However, during the summer, I get up around 8 and can get back from a good mile-and-a-half of jogging by 10 since I’m a slowpoke and I like to read when I wake up (which drags on until 9AM). However, if running or even brisk walking isn’t your thing, I suggest the following since you can pack it into under 5 minutes if you really give it your all.
15 second intervals between them all
I did this back in 2014 as part of our “Black Belt Fitness Challenge” at the do jang I went to. Let me tell you, it has helped me keep my core in its rightful place even to this day! As long as you drink the right amount of water to make sure you aren’t dehydrated while and after exercising, you can reap the amazing benefits of exercise, which include a better mood, a refreshing feeling, a higher chance of staying alert, and an overall boost in health for your day!
2) Cold Shower
Taking cold showers normally is just something you have to teach yourself to be okay with. I find that it’s way more bearable to take a cold shower if you are warmed up after exercise. Also, if you’re worked up about something like a business meeting or an exam, a cold shower can separate your mind from the thoughts that are troubling you and give you not only time, but a new perspective to look at your situation with. Some of its benefits include healthier hair and skin, reduced stress levels, and more tolerance to the cold.
3) Personal Project
My lifelong dream is to be a published author which I wanted to complete by age 14, but I was a disappointment, I guess. Either way, I hear so much that people claim that they have no talent which is NONSENSE! So many people don’t think that they have a hobby or a talent because they perceive themselves as bad at it. In reality, many people set down the passion that so entices them because they don’t think it’s applicable or realistic but you could get a goldmine idea from doing what you love! Starting the day with a personal project can make you happy, excitable, open to challenges, and activate your brain to take on tasks at its full potential.
4) Spend Time with Family/Friends
This one’s toughest to do if you live alone, but most everyone has that one or two people to reach out to should they desire to. All I can say that I’ve learned in the last several years of my life is that you never know how much time you will have left with a person, so optimize your life to be around the people that you know you won’t forget and that you know won’t forget you. Both of these together is key.
This one has a fine line, since many people consider “chill” to be sitting on the couch and watching Netflix or scrolling through a social media account for hours. I’m guilty of both of these in moderation, because I have realized how much time they waste in my daily life if I’m not careful. Personally, I believe that since technology can be really addictive, its best to leave it for the evening once you have done all of your “productive tasks”.\
A great way to meditate besides lying down on the floor and taking deep breaths or quite literally “meditating” is to stretch out and open up your lungs by doing either some kind of quick stretches or pick up a book with two bookmarks in it and read. Why two bookmarks? The first bookmark is to label where you want to begin reading and the second is set a chapter/several pages behind the first as a stopping point. I get really sucked into books, so this trick lets me pace myself out when reading and I don’t end up consuming anymore time than desired.
Also, if you have any songs you like listening to, get up and dance or take care of your other morning routine tasks such as making coffee while jamming out. It can lead to some great ideas to build onto later in the day, less emotional tension due to a boring schedule, and overall less stress in the workplace or school.
6) Healthy Breakfast
I’m really bad about this one in the summer since I have a tendency to either eat a big breakfast and then not eat until 8PM aside from snacks such as pita chips or vice versa, where I skip breakfast and make a lunch-sized snack and then a moderate dinner. Either way, I find that when I take the time to prepare a delicious breakfast I feel very rewarded and confident. Let me share some of my favorite breakfast options below!
-Granola cereal in milk/yogurt(If you work or leave the house early, try Chobani Flips). Add strawberries, blueberries, bananas, acai, or orange if you’re really feeling your day
-Egg (poached or scrambled with kale and slightly salted. Take my word for it) with whole grain toast
-A cup of coffee/tea with a tea loaf or morning pastry
7) Check the News
Nowadays I almost want to suggest people to avoid doing this so you don’t ruin the rest of your day, but it can be very informative and provide you a platform and topics to discuss at your workplace (not to mention help in avoiding embarrassment of not knowing something that’s going on in the world). You never know when you could run into someone new who fancies learning about the same things you do.
8) Write A Schedule
When writing a schedule, I ask people to also take precaution, especially perfectionists. CReating a schedule can really calm the mind and give a sense of purpose to the soul throughout the day, but don’t let it override other priorities. As long as you don’t micromanage and let yourself grow upset when the world does not adhere to your schedule, it can really help in easing stress and establishing an easy mind open to change.
9) Motivate and Empower
Last year, my school started a TedTalks program for students to discuss interests, both academic and non-academic onstage several times annually. The project has been really successful so far, and I think it’s because there are fascinating people all around us in our world. However, you don’t need to attend a TedX conference to be ready for the day! As a matter of fact, you can find an archive with over 2,000 Talks here for any hour of the day that range from serious topics such as how colleges exploit students on loans, inspirational tales such as Adam Driver’s movement from Marine to Actor (yes, the Star Wars guy), and even a testimony to cosplay from Adam Savage of Mythbusters. There are truly tons of options and enough content in 5-10 minute segments to get your mind moving.
Aside from those though, I also suggest making a Spotify playlist of inspirational music, a notebook of quotes you love, or find a memoir about an industry or historical event that captures your imagination
Sorry for the wordy post, but I thought this had to be put on my website finally! Hope that you all enjoyed my advice and the long read and I promise I will be more concise in the future!
Love ya, Lovelies!
-TGI (AKA Julia Wezio)