Just think about it.
How many times have you made a plan to start exercising from “tomorrow” and when the next morning comes you hit the snooze button without even thinking of getting up?
Then you snooze again promising yourself that tomorrow you will do it for sure, when you finally realize that you’re late, so you rush out of bed and head straight to work.
Just as your morning started in a rush, your day continues to get hectic. Then at last, you reach home, eat a junky dinner, watch some TV and go to bed.
And this happens 5 days a week, until the weekend comes when you finally get to sleep in.
Does this sound familiar?
OK, let me be the first one to say that this used to be me. My mornings were always chaotic, I hated Sunday evenings because I dreaded Mondays, and I lived for the weekends.
I lived in a belief that I didn’t have time for anything. My days were filled with so much work that I barely had time to eat.
But this was an illusion I lived in for so many years, thinking that this is what life was supposed to be like. I was putting my life off until “tomorrow”, drifting through days, hoping that things would fall into place somehow.
Working hard, traveling often and putting in extra hours without taking a day off for more than 20 days sometimes, didn’t mean much to me, because, as I thought then, I didn’t have a family to take care of, or any obligations other than myself.
And that was the main problem. I neglected the most important person – me.
I gave into sugar for substituting everything that was missing in my life – a healthy relationship, self-esteem, and love for myself. I neglected my health, and completely ignored what my mind and body were constantly trying to tell me – to slow down, take a break, and just be.
But I was sick and tired of waiting for “someday” and I knew that if I wanted to make a change, I was the only one who could do it.
So I started analyzing my life, particularly my habits and actions and realized that I was stuck in this limiting belief that life happens in the future. I persuaded myself that I needed to wait for my life to be “in order”, so I could finally start living.
And after learning over and over again what giving up felt like, I was ready to see what would happen if I didn’t.
So I changed my beliefs in who I wanted to become, altered my eating habits, and reinvented the way I exercised through these seven steps, which helped me transform myself into a highly productive, positive and happy person.
1. Intermittent fasting
After being a sugar addict for years, I learned how to get rid of my sugar cravings and control my blood sugar levels is through intermittent fasting. While intermittent fasting may help you lose weight and belly fat, it is one of the best ways to help train your body and mind to eat less.
I used to crave junk food because I was tired, fatigued and sleep deprived, and I lived in a belief that I didn’t have time to prepare a proper, healthy meal. Once I started fasting between 7PM and 7AM I noticed that I wasn’t as hungry in the morning as I used to be, and I stopped craving sweets.
Choose a time of day that suits you. Make sure you don’t take any food during this period, except for water or unsweetened herbal tea. And remember to have fun experimenting what works best for you until you find the perfect routine.
Be patient and give yourself time to get used to it. Take a two-week challenge and do it consistently every day so you can see the real health benefits and results.
2. Bowel Movement
Frequents travels meant changing time zones often, which left me with irregular bathroom visits and ultimately made me feel anxious and uncomfortable. I needed to find a way to train myself to go to the toilet at certain times so that I could make sure that the rest of my day goes well. Here’s how you can do it.
Link your BM to another habit you do every morning, like taking a shower. So before you jump into the shower make sure you use the toilet. Do it at the same time every day until it becomes a regular pattern.
If you think you can, try having a similar habit in the evenings, before going to bed.
This of course means that your lifestyle will change including what you eat and how often you exercise. But with hard work and regular visits you will manage to regain control of your bowel patterns and feel lighter and happier during the day.
After years of air travel I realized that my lung capacity was much lower than it used to be. So I started practicing deep breathing techniques to rejuvenate my lungs.
This exercise slowly led to regular meditation that ultimately helped me feel more relaxed as well as learn how to respond to stressful situations in a calm and understanding manner.
Start with proper breathing exercises or guided meditation for beginners. There are many free apps you can use to get started, and even five minutes a day initially will make a huge difference.
And not just any writing, but using a good old pen and paper. I usually scribble in a journal to gather my thoughts and make plans for the following week. Here are a few things you can do:
Gratitude exercise. Take two minutes and write down everything you are grateful for. Don’t stop writing until the timer goes off. This will instantly lift your mood up and help you realize that there are so many things to be happy about in life.
For instant motivation and inspiration, start copying the text you want to remember from a book that you are reading into your notebook. Seeing the words that you write will make memorizing even more effective.
5. No phones or emails
Before I started practicing my morning routine, the first thing I’d do after getting up was take my phone and start checking the news. Scrolling endlessly, clicking on headline after headline just to read some mindless stories that only made me want to stay in my bed, didn’t do me any good. So I made a conscious decision not to read the news or check my phone before 7 AM.
A recent study shows that people spend on average over 90 minutes a day on their phones. That’s almost two hours of your precious time that you could be spending exercising or doing these seven steps.
So next time you think that you do not have time, just rethink your habits.
6. Morning run + 7 min exercise
Getting up early also means going to bed early. My mornings start at 4 AM and I am in bed by 9.30 PM. Find the best time that works for you and start practicing.
To wake up half an hour earlier than your usual time, make sure you go to bed early to get a good night’s sleep.
Put your alarm clock away from your bed so that when you hear it in the morning you’ll have to get out of your bed to switch it off.
Place your running gear somewhere visible so the moment you wake up you can get dressed.
After your morning run while you are still full of energy, do the simple exercises. For me these include: 3-minute plank exercise, 25 squats, 3×11 pushups, and 2-minute jump rope workout.
Drinking a glass of water should be the first thing you do when you get up. After all you’ve slept for 7-8 hours and your body is now dehydrated. I usually start my day with two glasses of tepid water and later have a cup of warm water with lemon.
Rehydrating your body will help you feel refreshed and energized throughout the day.
Now imagine being the first one to greet the new day, watching the sunrise while having a chance to gather your thoughts in complete silence.
Remember, you are in charge of your life. You can influence how your day goes if you start it the right way. You have to put yourself first and be your own priority. The moment you start to change and grow, your life will start to change.
Be patient. This is a gradual a process and once you start the most important thing is to keep moving forward.
Tiny steps each day will bring huge results. Every day you become a bit better, wiser and fitter. When you give yourself the time that you need to think, invigorate your spirit, activate your body and be creative, you will become a calmer, happier, and fulfilled person.
You’re getting to where you want to be so enjoy every moment of it.
What are some of your powerful habits that you start your day with? Share your amazing ideas in the comments!