How to make the first hour of your day count
It’s another typical morning in your house. You open your eyes, turn off your alarm, and then lay back down briefly, stretching your arms and your legs as far as they can reach, sending a message to your body that it’s time to start moving.
As your feet hit the ground, you might already be mentally walking through your day. Am I going into the office? No. That means I can put off washing my hair another day. What does my calendar look like again? Should I plan to work out or will I even have time?
You pick up your phone to pull up your calendar and see you have notifications for three unread texts and five Instagram likes. And just like that – the scrolling has begun. The next thing you know you’re looking at the time saying “Oh no! I got distracted. Again. Is it this late already? Are the kids up? Breakfast? What time is drop-off today?” All the promise this morning initially held has evaporated into a rushed, hectic mess.
That very first hour of your morning sets the tone for the whole rest of the day. When we get it right, it pays dividends. But when we get it wrong, we really pay the price.
How do you spend that first hour of your day – do you even know? If you don’t, that can be a signal that there’s an opportunity to claim that hour of the day as yours. And if you do know, and are like a lot of busy women – it might be time to change it up.
The way you design that first hour of the day will be unique to you, but it has to set the tone for your day. There are four things that the first hour of the day needs to accomplish.
Clarity. This is all about knowing what you will do and having some sense of how you want to feel. In essence, it’s all about having a plan. When we make time to get clear about the day, we can glide into it without friction. In my world, this starts by making a list the night before.
Integrity. This means once you’ve decided what you’re going to do, you do it. If you say you’re going to get up at six, then don’t snooze. If you say you’re going to work out, then you get to the gym. Integrity is about honoring your commitments to yourself, especially the very first ones of the morning, so you can take that momentum into the rest of your day.
Energy. We have a natural arc to our energy. In the morning, we are wired to hit the ground running because we’ve just had a bunch of rest. So you want your actions in the very first hour of the day to support that energy. One thing that really works is drinking water. Another thing that works is to get moving. You might even take a cold shower (if it’s your kind of thing). Get your heart pumping and your neurons firing so you can wake your body up.
Belief. If you want to change your results or you want to affect your actions, you have to start with your beliefs. And it all comes back to your mindset. Left unchecked, our thoughts kind of run wild. The first hour of the day is a great time to confront patterns of thoughts that are not serving you well and begin to reshape them. Effective ways to do this are through journaling, meditation, and positive affirmations.
So tomorrow, I want you to claim that first hour as yours. And once you master this one piece, the rest of your day is going to transform before your eyes.
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