What do you do during your first hour of the morning? Hit the snooze button several times? Take a quick shower and breakfast and rush off to work? Finish chores from the night before? Yoga? Go for a run?
When I started working for myself, one of the things I most enjoyed was not having to rush out the door every morning. I spent a pleasant half hour sitting with a cup of coffee, cats on my lap, and the CBS morning news. I wish I could say that I enjoyed an hour of exercise because I would like to be one of those people who are so dedicated that they get in their exercise first thing. In reality, but I am slow to wake up and I physically move slowly in the morning. It is not my finest hour.
Then I started reading about successful people who have powerful routines first thing in the morning. Benjamin Franklin spent his first hours asking himself, “What good shall I do today?” Oprah meditates. Others walk or read something inspirational. They spend a power hour and get their day off to a positive start while infusing their day with motivation.
I started thinking about what was going into my mind at the beginning of each day. Often, it was politics, strife, tragedy and other mayhem. It was not positive, uplifting or full of inspiration messages. I decided to try an experiment.
I would allow myself an hour every morning for reading, listening to motivational podcasts, or watching Ted Talks. I would still get to drink my coffee and allow myself to wake up.
It turned out to be an easy switch. I like the quietness and the feeling that I am putting something positive into my mind. I am inspired and motivated by things I read or listen to, so my hour infuses me with energy to get the day started well. My cats are still happy on my lap. They only downside is that I often want another hour.
If you haven’t tried a power hour (or even a power fifteen minutes), here are some suggestions:
Read something inspirational
Listen to a Ted Talk
Listen to a podcast
Listen to relaxing or inspirational music
Tackle an on-line challenge of some kind
How you spend your first hour can have a big impact on how well your day goes. You can start the day late, hurried or focused on negative world events. You can also start the day energized and motivated.
If you are not already giving yourself a positive start to the day with a power hour, take back your morning. Give it a try- what have you got to lose?
If you have a positive morning routine, I would love to hear about it!