Your alarm starts beeping, you roll over, grab your phone and shut off the alarm. Maybe you hit snooze, maybe you get out of bed. Then follows something like brushing your teeth, washing your face, getting dressed, making coffee, and possibly eating breakfast. Taking care of pets and/or kids and then running out the door.
Does that sound like your typical morning? I know it sounds like mine. What do you think the probability is that you’ll be ready to have the best possible day when your morning starts like that? It’s really a matter of chance, right? You may wake up one day feeling happy and you’re able to eat a little breakfast and you remember to grab your coffee and your day starts off well. Also, it’s very possible that you didn’t sleep well, and are a bit crabby in the morning, and you spill the coffee and have to change your outfit and then that day doesn’t start off so well. But no matter how your morning goes, you then go off to work or to start whatever your day entails, in whichever state you happen to be in (happy, sad, frustrated, tired, etc.).
BUT, what if instead of hoping for a good morning, you plan a good morning. At a Tony Robbins event, I learned about Priming. It’s what Tony does in the morning, to make sure that he starts his day in a good state (happy, hopeful, driven, passionate etc.).
What Is Priming, Exactly?
Priming is unique to each person, you get to design it yourself. Essentially, it’s a few things you do in the morning, to put yourself into a good state, so that when you go out into the world to go through your day, it’ll be a little bit easier.
How Long Does It Take??
Guys, I’m a complete night owl, so I totally get it if you’re thinking, “I want to sleep in the morning for every last minute that I can, I don’t want to get up earlier to do anything.” But this won’t actually take that much time in the morning. Just try it out, I think you’ll be surprised how much it can influence your day. Depending on what you choose to do, it will take somewhere in the realm of 15-30 minutes. Which sounds like A LOT to night people, but it’ll change your day!
Here’s what I’ve noticed about waking up in the morning as a night person. No matter how late I get to sleep in the morning (i.e. weekends, vacation etc.), I hardly ever feel excellent when I get up in the morning. I’ve realized that as much as I would like to be a “jump out of the bed excited and ready for the day person,” that’s probably never going to happen. Mornings are rough for me. I feel quite like a zombie until I’ve had some coffee and it’s always a struggle first thing to get out of bed.
So, if I have a hard time getting out of bed even when I get to sleep as long as I want, that means I ALWAYS have a hard time getting out of bed. Therefore, I may as well get up and do something to improve the rest of my day. I’ve found after somewhere in the realm of 30 – 60 minutes, I start to feel good in the morning. And when I do my priming activities, I not only feel ok, I actually feel sort of great and ready for the day.
In conclusion, if mornings are difficult for you too, do priming, because it’ll make the rest of your day better. And it’ll take you less time to feel awake and alive in the morning. To a morning person, taking an hour to feel alive probably sounds incredibly long. However, if I don’t do priming, it can take me until 4 or 5 pm to feel alive, so an hour sounds short!
How To Choose Your Priming Activities
Here are some things you can do for priming, I recommend having some options, and then choosing 3 to do each morning.
- Make your bed.
- This one takes like 2 minutes right? When you make your bed in the morning, it’s a task you have completed right away. Your brain likes that you have already accomplished a task, and it makes it easier to complete other jobs throughout the day and increases your productivity. All from taking a couple minutes to make your bed. Plus it makes your room look better.
- Read something for 10-15 minutes
- This could be anything. Fiction. Non-Fiction. Something inspirational. Really whatever you like. I recommend something that will put you in a good mood. Pick something that sounds fun to read.
- Move your body for 5-10 minutes
- Again, your choice what you do here. I tend to be incredibly stiff in the morning, so I lean towards gentle stretches or some really easy yoga.
- Journal/Write for 5-10 minutes
- If you’re a planner, this could be where you plan out your day. Maybe you just want to jot a few thoughts down. I have a book with a question a day for 5 years. (You answer the same question on the same day again the next year. I.e. On September 5th it may say “Where do you want to travel next?” or “What are you looking forward to?”). It could be something simple like that.
- Meditate for 5-15 min
- You all probably know by now that my favorite guided meditation is headspace, this would be an easy thing to fit in in the morning.
- Take your dog on a quick walk 10 min
- Maybe just around the block once or twice.
These are just some ideas to get you started, feel free to get creative and add in your own activities. Pick something that feeds your soul!
Something Excellent to Also Include In Your Morning
A healthy, fueling breakfast. Something with protein that will give you lasting energy throughout your morning. So many people either skip breakfast or do something fast that isn’t very healthy or spikes their blood sugar and then they find they’re starving an hour or two later.
Avoid breakfasts like: cereal, breads (bagels, toast), any kind of processed things like pop tarts or quick waffles. Juice.
Choose things like: eggs, yogurt (if you can eat dairy), fruits (I like to do apples with almond butter). Whatever you choose, you want to add some protein, or healthy fat to it if possible. I.e if you’re having a piece of toast, put some almond butter or peanut butter on it. Or if you have apples, add almond butter or peanut butter. Maybe eat an avocado in the morning. Tea.
Healthy fats and protein are what will keep giving you energy throughout the morning, so you don’t get that crash. Carbohydrates will give you an energy spike, but quickly make you hungry again. Try to avoid those.
You can even pair eating breakfast with one of your priming activities if you like i.e. reading or journaling, writing.
Things NOT To Do
You want to do activities that will enrich you in the morning and put you in a good state, not things that take your energy away or put you in a bad state. Obviously, you can also do some of these things in the morning, but don’t do it during your priming time.
- While it’s good to get chores done and it’s likely something you must do in the morning, don’t do this during your priming time. Do chores get you pumped up and feeling great? Probably not, so choose another time for this.
- Social Media
- Social media zaps your creativity for several hours each time you look at it. So if you can avoid this one completely in the morning I would highly recommend it. At least wait until after priming to do this.
- Often when I tell women about priming, they’ll say, well since I was up earlier, I cleaned the kitchen or did some dishes or laundry. This doesn’t count for priming either, choose something that lights you up for your priming time.
Time To Try It Out!
Pick a few activities and give it a shot! You won’t necessarily feel awesome WHILE you’re priming. Pay attention to how you feel as you’re walking out the door or as you’re heading into work. Also pay attention to your motivation level throughout the day and also how you feel at the end of the day. Good luck all! Comment if you’ve tried this before or tell me what activities you’re going to try for priming!