I may have heard this from Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans or Tribe of Mentors, but I understand that when you have several good days in a row, you will feel happy. When you have several bad days in a row or close together, you will feel like life is not as good. The trick then is to make sure you string together enough ‘good’ days so that your mood slowly turns into a positive one.
But what does it mean to have a good day?
I believe that it is all about having a good morning. One of the chapters in my recently self-published book, Essential Habits is all on morning routines and what the most successful entrepreneurs, non-fiction books and articles say are the best way to start your day off right. If you own your mornings, you will own your days. And to help you even further, the order that I propose here is a good order to follow if you are looking to incorporate these activities in your morning.
After not having drank anything for 8 hours, your body will be incredibly thirsty. The first thing that you should be doing (if not going to the bathroom) is to drink a glass of water to re-hydrate your body. Drinking water helps wake you up and one of the tricks that I have been using is drinking water spiked with some juice from lemons to help get my metabolism going.
After drinking a glass of water, I will sit down and meditate. Although the time varies, I have meditated anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and think that there are benefits to any amount of time. If you do not meditate, that is okay, you can also be silent for a few minutes and be alone with your thoughts.
After meditating, I will hit the gym if I am traveling or if I am at home, I will change into my work out gear and swing some kettlebells. I don’t do a very long work out, but no matter what I am doing (treadmill, kettlebells, weight machines), I will try to sweat. Hard exercise is a fantastic way of clearing your head because you really cannot think of anything else while using all of your focus and energy pushing a weight from one spot to another.
After the gym, I’ll shower, brush my teeth, apply sunscreen, and then I will sit down for a few minutes to dig through a non-fiction book. I always have several non-fiction books on the go and I like to sit down and dig through a book depending on my mood. I may not have a lot of time to read the book, but even going through a chapter or a few pages is more progress than many people make in months AND the pages add up over time.
After reading, I like to ‘digest’ what I have read by writing it down in my own thoughts and feelings, including however I am feeling that day. Sometimes, I will feel extra ambitious and write down my goals and dreams.
I have written about journaling before and I think it is a great practice to help clarify your thoughts and feelings, and help you look back to how you may have felt or solved problems in the past.
One of the best ways to really be happy in your life is to practice gratitude. Even if you are by yourself and thank people or things in your mind, it will help you be more thankful for the things that you have and therefore, avoid thinking about the things that you don’t have.
Just before getting into work or a passion project, I like to take a moment to think about what a successful day would look like that day. Is it getting all the tasks on my to do list completed? Is it making sure that I say “I love you” to friends and family? At the end of the day, if my day was successful, what would I have done?
Eating that frog
Finally, it is time to create something. Eating that frog is a phrase borrowed from Brian Tracy’s book of the same name “Eat that frog”. He says that given the energy and motivation you have first thing in the day, you should take that energy and tackle the hardest thing on your to do list. By tackling the most challenging thing (i.e., your frog), you will be more productive than trying to tackle something easy like administrative work or answering e-mails.
How do you structure your mornings? Are there things that you do in the mornings that help make your days successful? Let me know in the comments.
Just one more thing before you leave, my new book Essential Habits is available on Amazon. If you are interested in the specific actions from hundreds of non-fiction books, courses, podcasts and articles categorized by different themes to help you level up your life, consider reading Essential Habits.