Have you ever wondered why some people are able to start the day energized and alert while others have to drag themselves out of bed and into the world of productivity? It’s not simply because of good genes or a positive attitude.
Most of the successful people I know are able to take command of their day from minute one. They consider every moment to be precious whether working, relaxing or playing. So when it comes to bedtime, they approach it like any other process they deem important -- they apply useful structure. Here is the seven-stage bedtime plan of champions that will surely improve your waking up in the morning.
1. Organize tomorrow.
This idea seems so basic, yet so few people do it. At the very least, set a schedule for the day. Pick your clothes and create a to-do list. Getting all of this out of your brain will allow you to relax for the evening and make it easy to get things started in the morning.
By the end of the day you are carrying much of your daytime activities in your brain and your body. Take some time to drop those shoulders and relax the brain. Use a book, TV, or video game to make your brain stop working so you can alleviate the stress and let go.
3. Imagine a preferred future.
Distractions can come fast and furious during the day and make you forget why you are working so hard. Take some mental space to think about how things could and should be. Picture yourself as the happy and successful person you choose to be.
4. Forgive yourself.
No one is perfect, and ambitious people tend to be the hardest on themselves. Give yourself the positive strokes you deserve. Let your heart know that just because you didn’t achieve perfection today doesn't mean you won’t be successful tomorrow. Give yourself a pat on the back for effort.
5. Get some love.
You've been that mechanized soldier all day, so it's time to go back to being human and feeling some compassion. Spend time with loved ones and get that warm feeling inside. Play with your kids, cuddle with your significant other, or even snuggle up with your poodle like I do. A little warm fuzzy goes a long way in making you feel human and happy.
6. Thank the universe.
No successful person gets there all on his or her own. Success requires a perfect storm of support and opportunity. Mentally give thanks to all those who contribute to your advancement each day. Give spiritual thanks for the forces beyond the physical as well.
7. Clear the mind.
Sleep is near, but good sleep requires a clear and healthy mind. Use breathing and meditation to blast out all of those thoughts that hold you in the awake space. Deepen your breath and let the mental anxiety leave your body as white steam with each exhale. Soon enough the morning will arrive bringing new adventure.