Mornings are always a good time for me. Luckily, as a surgeon, that works to my advantage.
Yes, I’m one of those wacky people who sets my alarm at 4:15 a.m. (6 a.m. on weekends!) and I feel like my mornings are sacred.
The downside? By 8:30 or 9 at night, I’m not a very good conversationalist. And most times, I’m heading off to bed.
So what if you’re more like that person who gets up around 6 or 7 a.m. and leisurely plods into the kitchen in your slippers, sleepily making your first cup of coffee? Does that mean you’re going to be less positive, productive, or successful than the early riser?
My take on it is this: it doesn’t matter when you start your day. Truly. It matters how you start your day.
When you first open your eyes, no matter the time, just get up. Don’t hit the snooze button.
My first thought is something positive. Usually it’s “Something wonderful is going to happen to me today.”
Sometimes, as I’m brushing my teeth, instead of dreading the long surgery day or the over-scheduled office, I ask myself, “Who can I thank today?”
According to Mel Robbins, in her viral TEDx talk, we have five seconds on awakening before our brain talks us into snuggling under the covers and not taking action.
When I first heard about the “5 second rule,” I thought it was that rule about how if a brownie drops on the floor and you pick it up within 5 seconds, it’s still okay to eat it. While a study in the National Geographic is still debating the merits of eating off of the floor (yikes!), Robbins’ 5 second rule has to do with behavior of a different sort.
The way Mel explains this is that whenever you have an idea that seems like a pretty good one, don’t give your brain the time (over 5 seconds) it needs to trick you into thinking it’s not at all a good idea, “Because your brain’s main job is to avoid trouble and risk, so in less than five seconds it will persuade you to abandon your idea.”
She recommends counting down from five when your alarm goes off and then getting the heck out of bed. Just – as Nike says – do it!
And when you have an impulse to call that new person to meet for lunch or apply for that new job… just do it!
Each time you choose to take another step forward, it’s a win.
It might be getting dressed for the gym or eating healthier or staying off social media for a day.
Did you know that 85 percent of us start our day with other people’s agendas, by checking our email inbox? What would happen if that changed? I tested this out over the past few months. I’ve been starting my day writing and sending an email of gratitude before even looking at my inbox. The difference has been nothing short of amazing.
After sending a simple two-sentence email of thanks to one of my business partners for his hard work for our medical group, I got a response within 20 minutes from him. He said he was grateful that I acknowledged his efforts and he valued my friendship. Who knew?
How can you jump start your day today?
There’s surely someone you can send a message of gratitude to. Or you might write just one paragraph of that book that’s in your “idea file,” or maybe hit the gym. . .
Give us your best ideas in the comments below. We all need help when it comes to jump-starting our day!