How to Start Your Day: the Ultimate Guide

Starting the day can be quite a lot of tussle. A number of things ranging from the most significant stuff like planning your schedule for the day, to even the tiniest detail like deciding what colour of pants to wear can be a ton harder than they seem. And yeah, there’s that part where you have to struggle to get off your bed too. Exasperating, right? I know! Its something we all share in common. Amidst the hassle of planning your activities for the day, its easy to forget that planning how to start your day also matters. Yes it does! The way you begin your day often determines how your day goes. For instance, if you wake up late today, rushing through your morning preparation, there are high chances that you’ll forget some important things; documents, your lunch pack, keys to your office… You might even decide to skip stopping by the gas station so you can beat time, but unfortunately, your car runs out of gasoline later and stops, leaving you stranded. Just like that, your day is ruined! It’s incredibly important to begin your day the right way. That’s why I came up with these easy but effective steps to help you start your day right like it helped me too. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be all set for each new day.

Begin Your Day The Night Before

As much as your physical preparations are made for a new day, try your best to do them the night before. Mornings are always a rush-hour, so you’ll be doing yourself some good by lessening your morning activities. Sorting out what clothes to wear, arranging your office files, getting the food materials ready for your breakfast, fueling your car (if you have one), setting aside the cash you’ll need for your transportation (If you use public transport) and other stuff should be done the night before in order to lessen your burden in the morning. You’ll not only be giving yourself more time do other stuff, but also to prepare yourself mentally. I would also recommend that you plan out your activities of the day, the night before. While some people would prefer to do this in the morning, I feel it is better you do so at night because you’ll get to have more time to thoroughly decide your “dos and don’ts” for the next day and map out a clear plan for your activities. Obviously, doing this in the morning would be half as productive as doing so the night before because you won’t be able to spend enough time on it, plus, you won’t be as focused. Whichever one you decide on, having a laid out plan for your daily activities would help you wake up with a purpose and give you the drive you need to start your day.

Early To Bed, Early To Rise

So the cliche goes… But the message is as relevant as would always be. To begin your day right, you have to be an early birdie. Waking up early gives you enough time to prepare yourself mentally for the day and plan your activities. It also gives you more time to engage in fun activities that can boost your mood like exercises, meditation or hobbies. But doing this can only be possible when you make it a habit to sleep early. Late-sleepers often wind up waking late and starting their day rushing in-between morning preparations, then they’re left with little or no time to engage in these activities. You know what happens to Jack when he works all day without play? They say it makes him a dull boy. Same thing happens when you sleep less; you tend to wake up feeling heavy-headed. Little wonder that a lot of people look so gloomy and unmotivated in the mornings. This is possibly because they have a poor sleeping habit. To start your day right, you have to feel right and this is why an average of 8 hours of sleep every night is recommended by health experts. Sleeping early helps you wake early, makes you feel super healthy and energetic. It also leaves you feeling strong enough to take on your tasks for the day.

Get Up And Shake It Off

A new day starts with the opening of your eyes as you slowly snap out of sleep. But you’ll agree with me that it takes twice as much effort as you need when getting work done. Waking up is a great struggle especially when you have a job that stresses the hell outta you or you’re a late-sleeper. Anyways, there are some tactics that can help you pull yourself out of drowsiness much easily when waking up; If you’re the type that makes use of alarms, you could place your alarm clock at a far location so that when it rings, you’ll have to get up from your bed, walk over to where the alarm clock is and switch it off. This is advisable because it’ll help you get rid of sleepiness easily and quickly. Another easy way is stretching. When you wake-up, you can sit-up on your bed and stretch your arms, your shoulders and your spine; this has a way of making you alert and pushing sleep away. Although, some persons opt for harsher methods like sprinkling water on their faces or dipping their faces in water. Either ways, its important you choose a method that works best for you and helps you fight off the urge to go back to sleep because rising early gives you more time to plan your day thoroughly, to have some “me” time, helps you rush less and start off your day in a cool way.

Awakening Your Senses

While you might have woken up from your sleep, its very likely that your senses would still be feeling drowsy. That’s why sometimes, you could wake-up yet, feel no impulse to get up and start your day. You’ll just find yourself staring into thin air. Lol. Happens most times. But this is usually because your senses still feel a little numb and tired from the night’s sleep. In this case, you can opt for more effective styles to help boost your senses rather that just waiting for the sleepiness to fade on its own. Sun light helps awaken your physical and mental self. Research says that sun light sends direct message to your brain whispering, “Its time! Wake up and start your day”. LOL! Just kidding. But yeah, you get my point. So, you could position your bed close to your window so that the early morning sun light can sip through the curtains and help clear your sleepy head. These are also amazingly fun stuff to look up to every morning. One other very exciting way to awaken your senses is to walk outside to the garden and breathe in the early morning fresh air while listening to the whistles of the birds (if there’s any). The feeling is incredible! Research says listening to sounds of nature can boost mood, decrease stress and lessen pain. Leaves you feeling positive, cool-headed and at peace with yourself. But of course, this would only happen if you’re lucky to have a garden or some green around your area. But not to worry, you could make do with other things that appeal to the senses like music. Starting your day with good music can give you a great boost and help you start out actively.

Preparing Yourself Mentally For The Tasks Ahead

A lot of people know about the physical preparations needed to start the day however, only a few are aware about making mental preparations. While you must have woken up and may feel you’re all set to start your day, hold on a minute, take one deep breath in and breathe out while closing your eyes. Feel that? That’s mental preparation. Taking a few minutes to engage your inner-self before preparing for the day is important. Its called having a “me” time. Having a brief moment to reflect within yourself about your life, goals, dreams, aspirations. Having a moment of gratitude; to be thankful for all the good things you’ve been opportune to enjoy like life, good health, love, family, food, water, a good job… so many things to be thankful for. Its refreshing! It is very important that you observe a moment of gratitude because it leaves you feeling an inner peace and makes you view life on a more positive light. It helps you feel blessed and bigger than your problems. It also fills you with strength to face the day’s task. Prayers are also another beautiful way to engage your inner self. Prayer helps you elevate yourself from the physical to the spiritual realm as your spiritual being is enhanced and strengthened, enabling you to take charge of your physical challenges for the day. You could also reflect on inspirational books and words that feed your soul. Meditation, prayers, reflection, all these are fantastic ways to experience some “me” time and boost your inner-self. You’ll never really understand the benefits of preparing yourself mentally for the day until you put it to practice. Give it a try. Doesn’t have to be all, but begin with at least one of them. You’ll be grateful you did!

Set Aside A Few Minutes To Plan Your Day

After you must have prepared yourself mentally, you’ll find yourself being ready more than ever, to plan your day. That’s the power of mental preparation. Now, the power of planning your day is it places all events of the day in their right places and at their right time. Setting out to work or school or anywhere else without a plan is one of the ways to ruin your day. You should at least have a mentally picture of how your day would play out, the activities you’ll be engaging in and the specific time frames for each of these activities. This is why having a journal or diary is super important. They help you put down your day’s plans in words. Will you be going to work? School? The hospital? The Market? Visiting a friend? Figure out the exact places you’ll be going to for the day. By what time will you be living? How many hours or minutes will you be spending? What will you be doing after? At what time will you be returning home? Write them down… or at least, have them in mind. Its often not enough to store them up in your mind though, as you might end up forgetting some things to do or even end up taking them less seriously. Penning down your daily activities help you have a clearer picture of how your day would go and helps you stick with the plan. Generally, I’ll advise you map out your activities for the day the night before like I stated on the first item article. This will provide you enough to plan thoroughly. However, you should also reserve a few minutes in the morning to revisit your plans for the day and start out as planned.

Setting The Right Pace For The Day

Remember what I said about doing most of your preparations the night before and waking early? This is one of the reasons why. It gives you more time to enjoy your mornings! Many people really don’t know they could do so much more and better with their mornings than the usual boring routine of rushing to have a quick bath, a quick breakfast and then running off to work. You should give yourself a less jammed morning by doing your preparations the night before so you’re a able to set the “right pace” for your day, not a rush-filled and tense kind of pace. A few things that help set you on the right pace for the day are things as little as making your bed after waking. For me, I automatically feel ready to kick-off my day when I neatly make my bed in the morning. For some reason, it makes me feel on cue. At times when I don’t make my bed, I tend to just wander about or feel lazier. Lol. If you experience same laziness, you could try applying my style and see how that works for you. (Winks!) But the most common stuff people do to kick-start their day right is exercising. Of course, I wouldn’t need to go over the benefits of exercising. Makes you active, agile and gives you a rush of energy to start your day.

Give Yourself A Boost With A Healthy Breakfast

Of course, your day wouldn’t be started right without a great meal… And by great, I mean healthy. Stuffing yourself with junks and foods high in calories especially at the start of your day would totally make you feel stuffy on a short term… You don’t wanna know what it does to you on the long run. Lol. Well I’m sure you know already. Beginning your day with water, preferably warm, is medically advised. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning would help re-hydrate your body quickly, increase your energy-levels, boost your metabolism, detoxifies your body and generally makes you feel refreshed. Veggies are naturally a great choice for breakfasts and every other meal of the day. However, making your morning meal consist mostly of fruits and vegetables sets the right tone for the day. Other food choices that could give you a healthy breakfast are Blueberry Baked Oatmeal, Strawberry Banana Smoothie or Creamy Avocado Smoothie, Zucchini Bread, Avocado Tomatillo Tacos and many more. If you’re the type that loves a lot of proteins in your breakfast, you can opt for healthy egg recipes like Casserole or Rainbow Chard, Wheatberries and soft boiled eggs. If you’re vegan, you also have a vast breakfast options to choose from like Vegan Banana Pancakes or Carrot Waffles. In whatever breakfast choices you make, do make healthy feeding your priority.

Great! You’re Ready To Go!

I agree that on a first look at this list, it’ll seem a bit too broad and difficult to practice but trust me when I say that it isn’t as hard as you think. From the point of making your preparations in the night, to writing down your plans for the day, to sleeping early, to waking early, to reflecting and exercising, all the way down to eating a healthy breakfast; these are all things you do daily… maybe just not in the same order and not appropriately. But these aren’t strange to you. The only difference here is I’ve arranged them in good order and provided in-depth guide to help you follow these steps and receive their benefits. Following this guide requires an amount of discipline but the result is sure worth it. I used to think it was a coincidence that most successful people have specific morning routines that they stick to. Yep, that was my thinking until I got old enough to understand that in order to be successful, everything you do needs planning, including how you start your day. I’ll say again, how you start your day determines how your day will go. If you begin your day well, your day will definitely go well. Stick to this guide and you’ll live your days perfectly organized and in order. Many thanks for reading! Do these practices look like the kind of stuff you can do? Did I leave out any other important ones? What other helpful tips do you know of? Write them in the comments section. I’ll love to know!

By Jane Orioha

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