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I’m not much of a morning person. I love sleep, and if I could, I would stay in bed until 9 a.m. every day. That being said, I’m really trying to switch up my a.m. especially after reading a recent Inc. article discussing the morning rituals of leaders. Life coach Sylvia LaFair has come up with a list of simple things one can do to start the day off right. And that’s the side of the bed I want to wake up on. These are the things she tasks her clients do to have a more effective and positive day, which, according to LaFair, means also “being able to handle disappointments and conflicts with more grace and ease.” Wondering what they are? Below she shares the morning rituals leaders swear by.
1. Stay in bed for an extra five minutes. Don’t browse your iPhone; instead think about someone you will have contact with—by phone, email, or text—during the day. “Just one person will be enough to ‘rev your engine’ of appreciation,” says LaFair.
2. Change hands every day when you brush your teeth. Brushing with your right hand on Monday and your left hand on Tuesday will keep you from falling into a traditional pattern of always doing the same thing in the same way. This will improve creativity!
3. Read a poem or verse from a spiritual text. LaFair explains that “this will give you a larger view of what you are about and what really matters underneath the daily grind.”
4. Listen to music while you’re getting dressed. Turn on the classical station or put on your favorite inspirational song. Anything by Mozart or The Beatles will create inner harmony for the day.
5. Have a smoothie. Apparently, Bill Clinton has one every morning. Experiment with different flavors!
6. Pass on the coffee. If you want a caffeine buzz, drink green tea instead.
7. Write in a journal. Write free-form or make a list of things you are grateful for.
8. Smile at your family (or yourself, if you’re alone). LaFair says “just the act of moving your lips into an upward position sets lots of internal hormones into action that defeat negative stress. Not in a smiley mood? Fake it till you make it.”
Get in the habit of journaling each morning with The Five-Minute Journal.
What morning rituals help you start the day off right?
This post was originally published on February 8, 2016, and has since been updated.