My one New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is pretty simple: have more good days.
I don’t have bad days on a regular basis, but I don’t necessarily have good days either. The days where I go to bed feeling accomplished, proud, and balanced are few and far between. Whether we move or not, I know that 2014 is going to be a huge year for us and I want to celebrate that by enjoying as many days as I can – even when it feels like mission impossible.
So each week, I’ll be sharing a new idea on how to have a good day – or maybe even a great one.
#1: Start Right
How I start my day is one of the most important things when it comes to having a good day. There’s a good chance I won’t have a good day if I oversleep, stayed in bed too long after I woke up, had to get up and start working immediately, etc. For me, there’s definitely a right way to ease into a day and it includes a few things.
1. Find a normal sleep schedule.
I used to think a standard wake-up time was a bunch of baloney. And then I tried it. And after I tried it, I tried going back to my old ways for about a day or two. Turns out, it works. Getting up at the same time every day created an internal timer for me. It usually goes off a few minutes before the alarm does now which is much more enjoyable than waking up to any alarm. I also tend to get tired around the same time every night which makes planning my day 10x easier.
If you’re trying to get up earlier as a part of your new schedule, here are two different ways that I’ve tried doing. Both were equally unpleasant in the beginning, but the second one’s transition period was much shorter.
1. Try setting your alarm 5-10 minutes earlier every day or every couple of days to gradually wake-up earlier. This way didn’t work for me as well as I had hoped because it didn’t lead to me being tired at the same time every night.
2. Or just jump right in and set your alarm for whatever time you’re hoping to wake up at. A few days of this and I was tired at the same time every night and then within a week, my internal alarm had been set.
2. Make some time for yourself.
I know what busy work days mean for me: a schedule that’s too tight for even a spare minute to be used for anything other than work, chores, or complete exhaustion. And when I’m crawling into bed at night on those busy days, I’m too tired to do anything than have my eyes glaze over as I watch TV. No matter how much I plan on spending some quality me-time, it rarely happens because something always comes up. So I decided that before I do all of those other “somethings” – I’d make some time for myself. The bonus? I always go to sleep looking forward to the beginning of the next day.
There are a ton of things you can do for yourself in the AM, especially if you’re waking up a bit earlier to give yourself some extra time before work begins. But here are my two favorite ways to start the day.
1. Review the day. This may mean working on the to-do list for the day or just reviewing what’s already on there depending on how much I’ve planned out the week. Either way, it gives me a good feel for the type of day it’ll be. Only a few tasks? More time for projects I’ve been procrastinating on. Overpacked schedule? Maybe I need to prioritize my tasks so I get done the most important ones first. No matter what type of to-do list I have, taking some time to look it over right away gets me organized for the day and puts me in the right mindset to tackle the to-do list.
2. Start with a beverage. While I’m reviewing my day, I almost always have something to drink. A lot of people have coffee, some have lemon water or even just plain water, but my drink of choice to start the day is tea. A warm cup of tea, even on most warm days, helps wake me up and relaxes me enough to not get too worked up over anything that I have going on for the day.
My favorite tea? Lipton Natural Energy Tea. Most mornings I need a little bit of a pick-me-up. And even though I like coffee, I’d almost always take a warm cup of tea over it. The Lipton Natural Energy Tea actually gives me a natural, yet gradual energy boost which is perfect while I’m still waking up. Our electric tea kettle makes having numerous cups of it throughout the day if I need it a breeze, but I also saw that they have k-cups for it. Yet another reason to love our Keurig!
That’s a glimpse of how most of my mornings begin. Depending on the day, it’s usually followed with work or some sort of relaxing. Maybe even some exercising if I’m feeling extra motivated that day!