You’ve all heard this before… That the first five minutes of your day will determine whether it will be successful or not. You might have also thought to yourself, “yeah whatever, my mornings are always stressful, I’m not a morning person, I only feel good after three cups of coffee and a couple of hours of work under my belt, etc. etc. etc”. I challenge you to change your own preconceptions about your day, and deal with those first five minutes.
This is what I’m going to tell you: LIFE IS SHORT!
I’m going to tell you to choose for your day to be successful, right when you wake up, i.e. “in the first five minutes”. If there is anything we have all learned in 2020 it is that we need to appreciate everything we have, and every day that we wake up healthy & safe. So let’s do it.
This is not about what time you get up, or how you wake yourself up… that’s on you. But once you’re awake, I have an idea for you, for the first five minutes. Don’t be scared of it just because it seems a bit random, or is different. I challenge you to try it every morning for two weeks and see how you feel.
Minute One: The Merge
As soon as you wake up, whether from an alarm clock or naturally, stay in bed but roll onto your stomach, pull your knees to your chest, and position yourself in Child’s Pose.
Child’s Pose – In the kneeling position, pull your chest down to your thighs and place your forehead on the bed. Reach with your arms over your head and place them on the bed. Slowly inhale through your nose and as you exhale, allow your butt to move closer to your heels. Take 7 breaths: 4-second inhale, 1-second pause, 4-second exhale. As you are breathing, do a body scan. Start at your feet and work up to the top of your head. How is everything feeling?
The intent is to encourage mindful breathing, introduce simple, gentle movement, and figure out how you feel. You are merging into “awake”, relaxing, and focusing on the day ahead.
Minute Two: Accomplishment 1
You are getting out of bed now! We’ve had a brief moment extending relaxation, now let’s accomplish something! MAKE YOUR DAMN BED! Yes, growing up our parents told us a million times to make our beds. Why – who knows – but it was probably because they thought it was the right thing to do. Turns out they were correct! When you make your bed first thing in the morning, you start the accomplishment thought process, and you start setting yourself up for success! If everything in your day falls to pieces after minute 2, you can get home and see your bed made. You’ll know you started this day right and now you are going to finish it right. It seems ridiculous but it works! After minute 2 is up, you will have already accomplished a task.
Minute Three: Getting Big
We’ve merged into the day, accomplished a task, and now it’s time to get big. We are going to do a Standing Forward Bend.
Standing Forward Bend – Start with your feet under your hips and slightly bent knees. Hinge forward at the hip, allowing your arms and upper body to hang. Relax the head and neck. As you inhale, think about your spine and back, then as you exhale, slowly move your head closer to your feet. If you are lacking tension in your lower back and hamstrings, you can begin to straighten your legs. Use the same breathing scheme as your first minute. Take 7 breaths: 4-second inhale, 1-second pause, 4-second exhale. While breathing, start focusing on the day ahead. What does it bring?
The Standing Forward Bend is lengthening muscles and your spine. It feels slightly awkward and your hamstrings might not be happy. The amazing thing is after the movement when you stand up, you will feel taller! Physically you didn’t just grow an inch, but mentally you are bigger and that means a lot! Another accomplishment notch to start the day!
Minute Four: Decision Time
This involves a little prep from the night before. You need a notebook and pen next to your bed! Organization is a trained skill, not an inherited gift. During the previous minute you started thinking about what the day will bring, and in this minute you are going to write down three things. This is a rapid organization of your day.
What is the most important task for me to accomplish today?
What is a secondary task?
How do you feel?
Remember you’ve got 60 seconds; that means intuition and action are key. You aren’t writing a novel! Use a percentage-based assessment on your feeling. You’ve done a body scan and have been awake a few minutes. Don’t get hung up in details, but it is important to have a quantifiable evaluation of your body.
Send my morning check-in email to my clients
Fold the laundry
I feel 90%
Minute Five: You are AWAKE
It is workout time! You read correctly: it is time to do the world’s shortest WOD!
1 Minute – As Many Reps as Possible:
2 – Air Squats
2 – Push-Ups
A simple one-minute workout is guaranteed to shake off the overnight lag, increase blood flow, and provide a quick shot of energy to start the day. You did a 4-minute warm-up, and after this minute it is like being shot out of a cannon.
Five minutes is up and you are set up and ready for the day! The last thing you need to do is smile and say to yourself:
I’m going to control my day, my mindset, and my success… Today will be a good day and I’m thankful for everything I have and the opportunities in front of me.
Well, that is a big explanation and script for the first five minutes of your day. It is a blend of quite a few things in five minutes, but the end result is helping you to be a better person – Try it and let me know how you feel!