13 Tips for More Joyful & Productive Mornings.

Via Kara-Leah Grant
on Oct 13, 2015
get elephant's newsletter

doorways

I woke up today, Monday, excited and joyful to get stuck into work.

The weekend had been epic, with two amazing yoga, music and spiritual events.

I “worked” all weekend. I worked with women I love, doing things I love, serving people I love.

This morning I woke up exhausted in the best possible way: my body feels worked, my mind feels still and my being feels ready to chill out and just be alone, me and my computer screen.

Which is why I’m stoked now to be sitting at my computer after writing out my action plan for the week, ready to get stuck in. The tunes are cranked (check out Alex Kruz).

I am full of outrageous joy.

And it’s Monday.

Monday Morning.

The morning that many people dread, including maybe you. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You too can experience outrageous joy on a what’s supposed to be the most dreaded morning of the week (or any morning), if you’re willing to do what it takes.

Here are 13 ways to create mornings of outrageous Joy:

1. Be as organized as possible for your morning ahead of time.

That means before you go to bed, mentally review what you need for the next day and do anything ahead of time that you can. Maybe you make the kids lunches at night and leave them in the fridge. Maybe you prepare all the breakfast things ready to go. Maybe you shower at night. Know what you need to make your morning seamless and have it ready. That means you can be relaxed and at ease, hitting your Monday morning running.

2. Go to bed at a time on Sunday that gives you plenty of sleep.

You want to wake up on Monday feeling well-rested and replenished. Don’t be tempted to stay up late and draw out your weekend. It pays to catch up on as much sleep as possible Sunday night – it makes a huge difference to your week! Lack of sleep makes us grumpy!

3. Wake up in plenty of time to get everything done in the morning.

This means finishing things before leaving the house or showing up at your desk. Nobody enjoys rushing. It sucks all the joy out of the morning before you’ve even started your day. This is why it’s so important to go to bed at the right time for you on Sunday night—it supports an effortless arising on Monday!

4. When you wake up, take a moment to lie in bed and check in with yourself.

See how you’re feeling. Notice what’s going through your mind. Notice the mood you’re in. Ask yourself, what do I need this morning? And then make a mental note to take action on the answer that arose! When I checked in this morning, I discovered I needed to take time for Yoga Nidra today, and a bath later on tonight.

5. Don’t turn on electronic devices or check any incoming communication first thing.

Our heads tend to be at their clearest when we first wake up—you want to take advantage of that time. It’s the best time to meditate, practice yoga, go for a walk, write an article, get a creative project started, or “eat the frog” (do the biggest thing on your plate for the day).

6. Do something nurturing or replenishing as soon as you roll out of bed and before you start getting ready for your day.

I am on a 1000 day practice of a Tantric Meditation and start every morning with that. You might like to crank the tunes and dance it out, or do some yoga, or hit the surf for a quick swim. Whatever ever it is, make sure it fills you up and makes you feel amazing. Even a five minute gratitude or affirmation practice will set you up for outrageous joy.

7. As you roll into the ‘getting ready’ part of your morning, crank a soundtrack that fills you with pleasure.

I’m a huge fan of deep, lyrical house right now and play DJ sets all morning long. You might be a hard rock kind of person. Music has the power to make us feel amazing—use it!

8. Eat a nourishing breakfast that fills you up, and take time to sit and eat it with presence.

If you can, eat your breakfast outside breathing in the fresh air and watching the world wake up. Maybe use this time to connect with your loved ones at the breakfast table. We don’t feel as nourished and supported if we eat on the run. Sit down to eat!

9. Get as much movement into your morning as possible.

If you can, walk or bike to take your kids to school, or to get to work. Take the most scenic route possible. Allow extra time in your morning if needed. I used to take a detour around a lagoon to walk my son to childcare when I lived in Glenorchy. It turned a ten minute walk into an hour, but put me in an amazing space to start work once I’d dropped him off. It was worth getting up earlier to fit it in. Movement gets the blood and brain flowing and releases all kinds of feel-good chemicals. That’s what you want!

10. As you’re going through your morning, keep asking yourself “How can I bring more joy to this moment?”

You’ll be surprised at how keeping that intention of experiencing outrageous joy front and centre shapes the way you approach your day. Especially ask that question when you feel yourself getting grumpy, irritated, angry or resistance to the moment.

11. When you arrive at work, review the day before checking in with communication.

Ideally you haven’t yet looking at any electronic devices. As it’s Monday, also take time to review your week and see how things are placed, what the big commitments are, and what big projects need to be dealt with.

12. Before you check your email or log on to any kind of communication, do the major piece of work for the day.

If it’s an email you need to send, write it on Word first and only log onto your email when it’s written and ready to go. If there’s any work you’re dreading doing—particularly phone calls. Make them now.

13. Once you’ve got a major piece of work done and/or the work you’re dreading, then and only then, log on to communication and start taking care of business.

It’s 10:44am now, I’ve been up for five hours and I haven’t yet checked my email or Facebook. I can see I have 110 notifications on my FB alone and that’s going to take time to wade through and deal with properly. A big part of my job is social media, but it takes a different kind of brain than writing articles does. Writing requires clarity and freshness—which I experience most at the beginning of the day after meditating and walking.

Plus, there’s such a great sense of satisfaction in completing a major piece of work before 11am on a Monday and that sense of joy and satisfaction carries over into the next tasks you tackle.

This is how I live my mornings, and it’s part of the reason why I experience outrageous joy on a Monday morning. I adore what I do, and how I do it.

If you want to start experiencing more joy in your life, try out some of my suggestions and see how it shifts your experience.

I would suggest starting with only one of the points above and practicing it every day for a week or two and seeing the results you get. (Use the Habit Hacking method for best results.)

Once you’ve embedded that way of being into your daily routine and tweaked it so it’s working for you, then chose another point and work with that.

In this way, you can slowly build your mornings from the ground up and create them in such a way that they support you living a life of outrageous joy.

 

 

 

 

Relephant:

Struggles in the Morning: Try these Daily Practices for an Amazing Day.

Want to Feel Great in the Morning? Start the Day off Right with a Morning Ritual.

 

 

 

Author: Kara-Leah Grant

Editor: Renée P.

Image: sciencefreak/pixabay

 


24,895 views

About Kara-Leah Grant

Kara-Leah Grant is an internationally renowned retreat leader, yoga teacher and writer. Along with fellow Elephant Journal writer, Ben Ralston, she runs Heart of Tribe, pouring her love into growing a world-wide tribe of courageous, committed, and empowered individuals through leading retreats in New Zealand, Mexico and Sri Lanka. Kara-Leah is also the founder of New Zealand’s own awesome yoga website, The Yoga Lunchbox, and author of Forty Days of Yoga—Breaking down the barriers to a home yoga practice and The No-More-Excuses Guide to Yoga. A born & bred Kiwi who spent her twenties wandering the world and living large, Kara-Leah has spent time in Canada, the USA, France, England, Mexico, and a handful of other luscious locations. She now lives and travels internationally with her son, a ninja-in-training. You can find Kara-Leah on her website, or on Facebook.

Comments

One Response to “13 Tips for More Joyful & Productive Mornings.”

  1. Elles says:

    Love it – thank you!

Leave a Reply