Building Block #4 of a solid morning routine is taking care of your body. Think about this building block as having fun with movement rather than thinking about struggling with exercise. And think about taking care of your body by eating delicious food rather than thinking about the yucky diet food you think you should eat.
Sometimes in our minds exercise can be daunting and hard and no fun at all. Movement, on the other hand, can be dancing to your favorite music or taking a walk through your neighborhood and admiring others’ gardens. These activities can be interesting and enjoyable. No need to spend hours on end sweating at the gym!
When we think about nutrition our minds imagine small portions of food that isn’t very filling and that isn’t too tasty either. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fresh fruit and vegetables are jam-packed full of vitamins and minerals. They’re quick and easy to prepare, making them an ideal grab-and-go food–much better than a donut or pastry. No need to spend hours slaving over a hot stove!
What are some fun activities you can do in the morning to get your body moving? What are your favorite fruits and vegetables?
Building block #3 can go along with this because this one’s all about choosing one or two things you can do today to take you closer to a goal that’s important to you. Not a goal that’s important to your boss or your spouse or kids, but rather a goal that is very important to you.
An example to illustrate how building block #2 and building block #3 can fit nicely together is from my own life. My area of interest is writing and I read books, study other’s writing techniques, take online classes in writing, and I’m a member of a writing group. Currently, each morning I take 15 minutes to work on a lesson from the online writing class I’m taking. This is building block #2.
The goal I have that is important to me is to put together an anthology of my short stories, so each morning I write for 15 minutes, working on a story. This is building block #3. See how building block #2 and building block #3 can fit together? It isn’t essential that they fit but I wanted you to know that they can.
Is there a way that you can fit together building block #2 and building block #3? Think about it and see what you can do.
The second building block successful people–people who are living a soul-prospering life–have in common is taking time to study in their particular area of interest. This area of interest may not have anything to do with how they earn their living. For instance, by day they may be an acclaimed scientist or “only” an office worker in the accounting department, but they may be fascinated by woodworking, gardening, or learning how to be a better parent or spouse.
People who are living a life that they love make it a priority to pursue those things that interest them, regardless of the other responsibilities, obligations, and cares that are on their plate.
And, the very first thing in the morning is a perfect time to immersing themselves in something they enjoy–taking a few minutes for this, at least.
This thing that interests them is something that’s important and meaningful to THEM. Not to their spouse, or kids, or boss. It may not be something that’s popular or that others value. But it’s important to them and they pursue it anyway.
What are your interests–especially the ones you don’t have the time during the day to pursue? Promise yourself that in the mornings you’re going to study and learn more about it–even if you have only 5 minutes to give it. It’ll be one of the best investments you’ll make of your time.
This is about being still, becoming aware of the Something that’s more than ourselves. Some people call this connecting with Divine or Source, and they may also call it prayer.
Others call this centering with the peaceful and calm core within themselves. They may call it meditating or contemplating.
There are a variety of techniques to use: being still and listening within, taking a gentle walk in nature, reading and thinking about sacred texts, slow exercise such as yoga or tai chi….
The whole point of Building Block #1 is to link with the part of ourselves that’s eternal–the part that is one with the Greater Whole. Through this we know we are protected and guided, and we know we can draw on this or lean on this throughout our day.
What’s your favorite way of getting in tune with Source, whether It’s within or outside of you? My favorite way is to sit quietly and listen to the sounds of Nature and let them lead me to the Greater Whole both within me and that which surrounds me.
Living your soul-prospering life is determined by your daily routines.
We all have routines. They are useful in helping us streamline mundane tasks so that we can focus on important projects. Without even thinking about it, we humans create routines for everything from how we comb our hair in the morning, to where we sit in the cafeteria every day at lunch, to the route we take to and from work every day.
Out of all the routines we have in our day, which one is the most important?
Research has shown that your morning routine is the most important one.
How do you get up every morning?
Exhausted, even after 8 – 10 hours of sleep?
Stomach knotted from worry and stress?
Being done with the day even before it’s begun?
Is this how successful people start their days? I did some research and I found that successful people do NOT start their days like this.
By “successful people”, I mean those living soul-prospering lives, lives that they absolutely love. They may not have huge bank accounts or be famous, or receive awards and accolades, but they are living the life they know they were born to live.
How do successful people wake up in the morning–what do they do?
My research showed that although each person had things they did that were particular to them and their life, there were 4 building blocks that each had in common. This was true throughout the millennia from the Ancient Greeks through modern times.
Silence / Meditate / Pray
They each took time–10 – 20 minutes first thing in the morning–to connect with either the Divine or the core at their center that’s peaceful and calm, no matter what’s going on around them.
Take time to study in THEIR particular area of interest.
This may or may not coincide with how they earn their living. They may be a successful nuclear physicist by day but they may be captivated by cooking or woodworking or being a better parent or spouse.
Making progress on a goal that matters to THEM.
It’s unrelated to what their boss, spouse, kids, parents, society thinks is important. It’s what’s meaningful to THEM. They decide what one or two things they’ll do that day on that meaningful goal and they mark when in the day they’ll do that one or two things.
Their body: Exercise and nutrition
Simple exercise–turning on music and moving to it or some other enjoyable activity that gets you up and going.
Food that replenishes them from the overnight and fuels them for the morning. REAL food packed with vitamins and minerals. Again, simple foods such as a fruit smoothie or a vegetable salad.
Building a morning routine with these 4 steps that are backed by research as well as withstood the test of time,
Your morning routine equals your soul-prospering life.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about morning routines. Not so much regarding getting things done so I can get out the door on time but rather putting my best foot forward, giving myself a good start to the day.
In my reading, I came across this essay by Ella Wheeler Wilcox on starting the day right. Her advice, penned in 1903, coincides with what today’s researchers have discovered: controlling one’s thoughts and habits and directing them toward the positive and the constructive increases effectiveness throughout the day.
Here’s what Ella would have told those researchers:
Morning Influences by Ella Wheeler Wilcox**
What do you think about the very first thing in the morning?
Your thoughts during the first half-hour of the morning will greatly influence the entire day. You may not realize this, but it is nevertheless a fact.
If you set out with worry, and depression, and bitterness of soul toward fate or man, you are giving the key note to a day of discords and misfortunes.
If you think peace, hope and happiness, you are sounding a note of harmony and success.
The result may not be felt at once, but it will not fail to make itself evident eventually.
Control your morning thoughts. You can do it.
The first moment on waking, no matter what your mood, say to yourself: “I will get all the comfort and pleasure possible out of this day, and I will do something to add to the measure of the world’s happiness or well-being. I will control myself when tempted to be irritable or unhappy, I will look for the bright side of every event.”
Once you say these things over to yourself in a calm, earnest way, you will begin to feel more cheerful. The worries and troubles of the coming day will seem less colossal.
Then say: “I shall be given help to meet anything that comes to-day. Everything will be for the best. I shall succeed in whatever I undertake. I cannot fail.”
Do not let it discourage you if the moment you leave your room you encounter a trouble or a disaster. This usually happens. When we make any boasts, spiritually or physically, we are put to the test. The occult forces about us are not unlike human beings. When a school-boy boasts of his strength, and says he can “lick any boy in school,” he generally gets a chance to prove it.
When we declare we are brave enough to overcome any fate, we find our strength put to the test at once.
But that is all right. Prove your words to be true. Regard the troubles and cares you encounter as the “punching bags” of fate, given you to develop your spiritual muscle.
Go at them with courage and keep to your morning resolve.
By and by the troubles will lessen, and you will find yourself master of Circumstances.
What’s your morning routine? This week we’ll be discussing this topic. Feel free to share your thoughts and your morning routine. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
**Morning Influences by Ella Wheeler Wilcox appeared in The Heart of New Thought published by The Psychic Research Company, 1903