Monday, January 4, 2021

Four before my feet hit the floor - how I start my day

What do you do when you wake up? 


If you're like me you go one of two directions:

1. Hit the snooze button, or

2. Think "Oh Schitt's Creek. I'm late." And immediately the rush is on. 

(By the way, those two are NOT mutually exclusive).


But what if you spent the first five minutes of your day - while still in bed - paving the way to a great day?

I use an acronym to help me remember: PAVE. This is how I "PAVE" the way to a great day.

P - Prayer: 

The first thing I want to do is express gratitude. The act of praying and saying "Here is what I'm grateful for" puts me in the right mindset for the day. 

When it comes to gratitude I have my "usual suspects": My wife, my sons, my family and extended family, our dogs, dogs in general, my job, our house, coffee, and so on.

It doesn't really matter what I list in my prayer of gratitude. It doesn't even matter if it's a prayer or not. What does matter is I start the day with one minute of gratitude. And I've learned (through experience and science) that how you start the day makes a huge difference.

(Note if you prefer to just categorize this one as "Gratitude" it still works. The acronym just becomes "GAVE" and you say "I GAVE myself the best shot of having a great day").


A - Affirmations:

So yeah, the first time I heard "Affirmations" I immediately thought of Stuart Smalley.  But that thought aside, affirmations will help you start the day on the right foot. I have a list of affirmations from Craig Groschel. Again, it's faith based, but the one I say in the morning is just a good affirmation:

"Today I will bring my best and then some. It's what I bring after I do my best that makes a difference."

Just saying that and thinking about it for maybe five seconds gets me fired up.


V - Visualization:

This can take one of two formats: Long term or short term. Or, if it's a cold morning and the dog is snuggled up next to me, maybe both.

Long term: I visualize accomplishing one of my vision board goals.


E - Energize:

Technically this one could be called breathing, but PAVB isn't a word.

Five deep breaths - Four seconds in, eight seconds out. One minute in total. 

With each one I stretch my legs, my arms and my back.

I count backwards. This serves as a countdown.

When I get to zero, it's time to blast off. And as soon as I get up our three hungry dogs help to make sure I'm at the point of no return.

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