How do you start your day?
Do you greet the morning by hiding your head under the covers and swiping your hand madly around in search of the alarm’s snooze button? Or are you eager to get out of bed and jump into the new day? (If the snooze button is your best friend, I’d suggest Peter’s article describing how he won the battle of the bed.)
And once you are awake, what do you do next?
- Do you start with your morning bathroom routine?
- Do you start with prayer / meditation / reflection time?
- Do you start with an early morning run or yoga session?
- Do you start with a nutritious and delicious breakfast?
Or maybe your mornings are like mine – hectic, unpredictable and often chaotic! I attribute this (a much nicer phrase than “blame this on”) to my 5 year-old and my 2 year-old, who always ensure that no two mornings are the same. Some days they are perfect little angels – they wake easily, get dressed quickly, eat breakfast peacefully and are out the door in plenty of time to catch the school bus and get to daycare. (Yeah, I think I remember the day when it went like that.) Most days they simply act like a 5 year-old and a 2 year-old.
Although I know I could be getting up an hour before everyone else in order to get in some “me time”, I just haven’t made that commitment yet. Instead, I have opted for a simple, quick, yet very powerful morning ritual – my double espresso! No matter how chaotic the morning is, I always find five minutes to make my espresso. In fact, those five minutes are how I create my day and for me, the process of making the coffee incorporates prayer, meditation and reflection. I often joke that because of my heart, the caffeine boost also serves as my morning cardio workout!
In addition to the ritualistic thought process that I go through when I prepare the espresso, there is something incredibly powerful about the first sip. I feel an amazing wave of energy moving through my entire body! It’s not the warmth of the drink, because I don’t feel the same sensation with regular coffee or tea – and it happens instantly, so it can’t be the caffeine. When I raise the cup to my lips and take the first sip, I visualize all of the energy from the earth, as well as all of the energy from the hot tropical sun that went into growing the coffee beans. I imagine all of this energy washing through me and connecting me to the earth and the heavens, supercharging me and leaving me ready to take on the world!
Does your morning routine kickstart your day and leave you feeling ready to take on the world? If not, keep experimenting until you find something that gives you that feeling. Start working on actually creating the day, rather than letting the day be something that just happens to you.
Photo by Jeff Kubina
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15 thoughts on “How to Kickstart Your Day”
Thanks for article Patrick!
I have a niece and nephew of similar ages to your kids, so I can easily imagine the “challenge” they provide.
I actually start my day in a similar way with coffee, although it is not a double espresso! Of course, it should be pointed out that there are some very good reasons why people should drink less coffee, or none at all. As a sidenote, I can’t believe the “pint size” cups of coffee people drink here in Vancouver.
But I think the article is not so much about coffee, and is more about an individual experimenting with morning routines until they find one that is right for them. I’m looking forward to hearing about how some of my readers start their day………….
I try to give importance to first things in the day. The first thing is to feel it is a new day, and forget about the past. The second thing is to try and cultivate gratitude for having a new opportunity. Then after a quick wash I will meditate for 30 minutes, trying to cultivate a silent mind – not thinking about anything, not worrying about what may happen, but trying to listen to the inner voice. Coffee comes at least 3 hours later :) – nice article btw
Hi Patrick, I have 2 kids (8 and 4) so understand completely about your mornings! :-) The FIRST thing I do when my eyes open is give thanks. I was ill for many years and I used to wake up concentrating on how much pain I was in. Now I give thanks for my healthy body and for the day ahead. I go downstairs, make lunches, pack backpacks and have my coffee. I then take a nice warm shower and in the shower I run through a longer gratitude list in my head. Who and what I am grateful for as well as the fact that I LOVE where I live. It puts me in the right frame of mind and then I am ready to get the kids off to school and get on with my day with a smile! The other thing that helps is the night before I save a session on Firefox for whatever I need to work on for the next day. That way when I come back from dropping my daughter off at 1/2 day preschool I KNOW I can maximize my time by having windows open and my tasks ready to conquer! Thanks for the post! Gratefully, Jenny
I kickstart my morning by holding my wife… there is no better thing to have happen first thing when you wake up than to have your soulmate roll over into your arms (it does actually make it harder to get up sometimes, though… when it relaxes me too much).
i don’t have a ROUTINE at all…which is my routine. for many years when i was raising my children (4) it was rush or be rushed, hurry up and wait, you might grab breakfast or get lucky or get something on the way. by the time i would get to work, i was lucky not to get a “come get one of the kids from school” phone calls.
today, i enjoy every moment i get to sleep, i don’t need an alarm to wake up any more, me and my chihuahua Chico get up, go potty, wash up, smoke a cigarette, watch alittle news while i get dressed. then i walk three doors down to see my four grandbabies kiss them good morning, and we all go our separate ways. wow, we do have a beautiful life for real!!
I guess I’m one of those morning people.
My day begins immediately with turning off the alarm clock at 5:45. I then say my little buddhist ritual/player along the lines of, “Today, may I seek to further myself on the path of enlightenment, and help to further other individuals on their own path.” I think this is a great practice and really should be incorporated into everyone’s life regardless of spirituality.
I then meditate on the breath for 10 minutes and shower. After showering, I stretch for 5 minutes while thinking upon things I’m grateful for. After that, it is journaling followed by going downstairs for the breakfast I love: muesli with hempseed and wheat germ with a cup of tea.
Really, it is a combination of all those elements of my routine which kickstart my day.
Good stuff here Peter/Patrick….good stuff. How we strt our day is SO important!!
On the rush mornings music never fails to lift my spirit. I choose inspiring music as we run around and it helps my kids(3) morning moods. Your favorite music can really inspire you and boost your day.
When I have more time I sometimes make sure I have a favorite breakfast food to look forward in the morning.
Another morning ritual that works is reading a page or at least a paragraph of a great book and again I choose uplifting reading.
Reading my favorite blogs like I will change your life or Power of Mortality makes my day meaningful and happy.
The very first thing I do in the morning is sit back and exercise some gratitude. I then head for the shower. While in the shower I start to think about the things I will like to accomplish for the day. This though process motivates me because I immediately feel like I have to be productive. Just before I start doing any work I read one or two inspirational blog post while I have a cup of tea. By the time I take my last sip am all set and ready to go.
I wake up every day at 5am, no alarm clock. Within 15 minutes of waking up, I eat a light breakfast, the first of six meals a day. My dogs eat breakfast after me, and then we go out for a walk for 20-40 minutes. I do cut it short on bad weather days. I do a morning stretch routine when we get back, then hop in the shower.
By that time my wife and son (6) are usually up and we eat breakfast together. In another life time, I woke up late and hit the snooze button constantly, couldn’t do anything but growl until the first two cups of coffee, and was not a morning person. Now I can’t imagine going back.
I wanted to say “thanks” to everyone who submitted a comment – keep ’em coming!
It’s very interesting to see what everyone does to set the tone for their day.
– Tejvan, I’m curious… are you able to schedule a 30-minute meditation session every day?
– Jennifer, I like your idea of combining the morning routine (lunch-packing, showering) with your gratitude work. I’m going to give that a try!
– Todd, thanks for your encouragement!
– Jason. Jason, Jason, Jason. I’m happy for you, but it’s not a good idea to go around telling people that you spend your mornings tenderly holding your wife! Someone with young kids (like me) is likely to throw a baby bottle at you! :-) Seriously though – treasure every moment you have with her!
– Yeoux, thanks for adding the perspective of NOT having a schedule or ritual! Very refreshing. Enjoy those grandbabies!
– Sveninarxao, yours is the kind of morning ritual that I’d love to be able to incorporate into my life! Maybe the trick is to start getting up earlier. After all, it sounds like your routine only takes 30-40 minutes, right?
– Valerie, I’m so glad that you brought up the subject of music! Music is a big part of my life, as I always like to have a “soundtrack” to help guide my moods. (Except for the times when I try to practice silence). Speaking for Peter, I’ll say that I’m glad you enjoy our blogs!
– Mohamed, it’s great to see that so many people are consciously putting gratitude work into their lives! Keep up the great work!
Great article Patrick, I have never been able to handle a strong coffee or espresso, but I sure love the coffee that I do drink. My wife changed brands several months ago and I was even obliged to write an article on the great cup of coffee.
Keep up the great articles Patrick and Peter, I sure do enjoy them!
I kick start my day by saying a couple of prayers upon opening my eyes. I thank God for getting me through the day before and I ask him to keep me strong throughout the day ahead. Then I get up and feed my 2 cats who are anxiously waiting for breakfast! Then I settle into my prayer time.
Thanks for the article!
I start my day by jumping straight out of bed when the alarm goes off. I then go and make my breakfast (and the wifes :)) and then I sit down and eat it. While I’m doing that I normally check google reader as I subscribe to quite a few inspiring blogs. As soon as I am done then I go get my wife up, kiss her and the baby and then I’m off to exercise. An hour later I’m back and I get the baby up and help out a bit before going off to work.