Start the Day Right by Becoming Proactive

Lately I've been tweaking my morning routine. For ages now, I've started the day with a cup of coffee and Facebook. Not just Facebook, but also email. What could possibly be wrong with this routine? Well, quite a bit.

For starters, in my old routine, I began my day in a reactive mode. Instead of using those first waking moments to center myself and choose a focus for my day, I immediately looked at information others had sent me. And then I had to figure out how to react to that information. Maybe I needed to click my "LIKE" button numerous times. Or maybe I needed to delete copious amounts of spam. Either way, I wasn't making the most of my morning. I decided to change all this.

My new routine focuses on my mental, physical, and spiritual health. When I first wake up, I repeat an affirmation to myself. This sets the tone for the rest of my day. Something as simple as "Today is going to be a great day," can promote a positive attitude. Or something more specific might be in order, such as "Today I will accomplish ________."

While I heat the water for my coffee, I make sure to sip some water. When we first wake up, we are dehydrated from losing water through breathing and through our pores as we sleep. If you start by drinking coffee or tea, both of which are diuretics, you will end up MORE dehydrated. Starting your day with pure water will begin to re-hydrate your body instead. You could also alternate sips of coffee with sips of water.

Once I've prepared my cup of coffee, I proceed with my Coffee Cup Meditation. (I wrote a whole blog on this topic if you need a complete description.) With deep breaths through the nose, I take in the steam and the aroma of the coffee before drinking it. And while drinking it. Any type of meditation quiets the mind and slows the heart, creating a peaceful, calm start to the day.

While I eat my turkey muffin (again, search my blog for recipes!) for breakfast, I choose a writing project. I might work on a blog, such as the one I'm writing at this moment. Or I might open one of my novels-in-progress and continue the editing process. Or I might create a new piece for a particular purpose. So the first thing I do on my computer is not read someone else's words, but put together some of my own.

It is only after I've completed all of the above, plus I usually need to walk the dogs by this time, that I turn to my email and Facebook. I'm trying hard to limit the amount of time I spend scrolling through my newsfeed and reading stuff random sources send to me. If either of these tasks were completely useless, I could just give them up altogether. But I don't believe they are. Email is necessary. And Facebook is often amusing, heart-warming, uplifting, and educational. I now receive all my news from FB. And because the settings allow me to see what I choose, I am rarely upset or offended.

So there you have my new and improved morning routine. Yours might look different from mine, but the key is to start each day on a positive note. Take care of all aspects of your health. See if you can tweak your own routine to make it more proactive. Leave me a comment below if you discover something interesting!