7 ways to wake up to success

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Establishing the right morning routine is fundamental to the outcome of your day. What you choose to do on waking can make a huge difference to what happens next.

So before you bounce or drag yourself from your bed (morning person?), down some caffeine and check your email… consider a few of these ideas.

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1. Feel your body

Before you rise, take time to breathe deep. Enjoy three relaxed breaths before slowly stretching your limbs. Really take your time and feel your way into your body. Wriggle your fingers and toes. Notice how the sheets feel against your skin, how warm and cosy you are. Bring awareness to any sounds either inside or out. Feel your senses awaken. Smile. Laugh. Be in the body.

2. Meditate

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I’m a yogi so next up for me is meditation. Guided meditations on Insight Timer are great, particularly for those who find it difficult to sit.

Remember the point isn’t to think of nothing at all - the nature of the mind is to think.

Simply observe your thoughts and let them pass by just like the clouds in the sky.

It’s the act of observing that’s important. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, and the more you do the easier it is.

The great thing about meditation is you can come back to it at any time of the day, when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or you need an energy boost.

Just relax, take some deep breaths and be aware of your thoughts. Keep returning to your breath as thoughts inevitably distract you. Just be aware of them but don’t attach anything to them or get frustrated that they’re there, just be.

Oh and have a notepad with you, so if something important really is bugging you, write it down and then tell yourself. “Thanks for reminding me about that, I have written it down and will action it later but right now I’m doing something else”.

3. Move

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Then any sort of movement or exercise to get the blood flowing and body working. This could be a few simple stretches, yoga practice, walk with the dog – any sort of movement, depending on what floats your boat and how much time you have.

Don’t set a time limit and force yourself to do it.

I never say to myself… “I must do an hour long yoga practice”. I just simply roll out my mat and practice. Sometimes I’m there 10 minutes and other times an hour will pass without me being aware of it. So just do something and see where it takes you.

 

4. Feed your brain

I try to activate this part last as it’s usually the one that’s most likely to be feeding me nonsense. Yes – I have lots of important work to do today and there’s probably something on my mind I forgot from yesterday. But to be the most effective I can be, I won’t start with my to-do list or my email.

I will start with feeding my brain something inspiring, interesting and thought provoking.

DailyOM and TED are both great for this, as well as inspiring quotation apps or even a good book.

 

 

5. Detox the body & rehydrate

Treat yourself to a natural detox remedy each day. How about trying?...

Oil pulling

An ancient Ayurvedic ritual that eliminates bacteria and toxins. You simply take a mouthful of oil (I prefer coconut oil for the taste and anti-bacterial properties) and swill it through your mouth, really sucking it through your teeth, ideally for 10 minutes or so. Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other toxins, so using oil like this pulls out all the unwanted stuff that has accumulated before it spreads throughout the body.

Yuk – I hear you say, but moving coconut oil around inside your mouth really isn’t all that bad and has many benefits such as:

  • clearer skin
  • whiter teeth
  • reduced inflammation
  • improved energy levels
  • less headaches
  • more kissable lips!

Sounds more appealing now - doesn't it? Try it, I noticed much whiter teeth in my first week.

Dry body brushing

Another Ayurvedic treatment to pamper yourself with, using a bath brush simply stroke the skin in circular movements from your extremities towards your heart. I start at my toes and use firm, small strokes upwards, working in a circular motion. Just spend a few minutes doing this regularly to help activate the lymphatic system, improve circulation and smooth the skin.

Drench yourself

With a glass of detoxifying water, lemon or lime juice and cayenne pepper. Feel free to add honey or maple syrup for added sweetness. Great for your immune, digestive system and metabolism. I'll always have a detox drink like this before I put anything else in my system.

The list is endless but the critical idea is to take a few minutes to do something good for your body and yourself.

6. Set a powerful intention

Before I launch fully into my day, I have a think about what it is I’d really like to achieve or be mindful of.

Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Some questions you could ask yourself to help with this:

  • If today was my last day on earth what would I do?
  • How can I improve on what I did yesterday?
  • How can I best help someone else today?
  • What would my future-self advise me to do today?
  • What really matters to me most today?
  • If I did just one thing today to make the most difference, what would it be?

7. Nourish yourself

Finally time for breakfast! I'm not going to suggest any recipe ideas right now but just to say food is nourishment not punishment so make it delicious. And the most important point - ONLY do that. Yes - no emails. Eat slowly, with feeling and meaning. Food is a celebration, a ritual and something we should be super grateful for. So don't just stuff it down with half an eye on all the tasks you need to do today. Savour it, smell it, feel the sensations as it passes through your mouth. Smile, celebrate and be happy.

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I bet you’re thinking, that’s a ridiculous amount of stuff to do before everything else begins. Remember – all these practices combined could take you less than 30 minutes. However, as with all change - trying to do too many things at once is a recipe for failure.

So I challenge you to try just one new idea for a week and comment here if it helped…

You can also join us on a retreat to kick start your morning rituals and learn about programming other successful habits.

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