How to start your day in the right way

Alison Smith
30 January 2014

28 January 2014 | Alison Smith

Alison SmithBefore I start the third blog in this series about the things we do that support sub-optimal performance I'd like to make a confession.

I don't blog about these subjects because I'm an expert in the content - I blog to learn and be reminded of those things I find difficult. Although with the huge number of hours I've studied these subjects (books I've read, podcasts listened to and lectures attended) I may be more of an expert than I think, just not one who always finds the walking the talk as easy as I'd like.

Reflecting on the topics for forthcoming blogs I realised my motivation to blog about subjects I no longer have difficulty with was very low. So no blogs on alcohol and unhealthy relationships and their potential negative impact on our performance. Plenty on eating, sleep, beliefs and other unhelpful patterns that subtly impact our success.

Today I'd like to consider the routines that we run on automatic pilot when we wake in the morning. 

Before doing that I'd like to consider our goal for the day, because surely that should set the tone for what we do to set up the day so we're best able to do what we have to do. If I want to be inspired today and identify potential opportunities for a project I'm working on then it's useful to consider what I need to do that. Time and a relaxed and open mind spring to mind.

It's so easy to forget all these good intentions and jump straight into reading emails and working before we've given our mind, body and emotions time to get used to being up and about. After all, emails will be there all day and if we're not careful we just spend all our time checking, reading and replying to emails, and get to the end of the day and realise the one main action we had aimed to do hasn't even been started (or is that just me?).

So as I head to work and realise I need to be inspired what might I do instead of jumping straight onto email? Listen to music or a Tedtalk I find inspiring, go for a walk, look at inspiring images, remember a time in the past when I've been inspired, yoga, exercise, and so on. I'd love to say meditate, but the closest I get to that would be a quiet soak in the bath. These may only take 20 minutes and could make all the difference to the quality of hours in your day - after all it’s the quality and outcome of the hours you work not the number that's important.

What's your goal for today? And what physical, mental and emotional state do you need to achieve that most effectively? What can you do as to provide the appropriate conditions for this state to be available throughout your day?

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