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HELPING YOU LIVE YOUR HEALTHIEST LIFE

The First 5 Minutes of Your Day

by Fitness, Health

You may not believe me. But, the first five minutes of your day may be the key to determining whether it’s going to be a success or a flop.

I wasn’t always a morning person (before kids, really who is?). The idea of waking up early for a 6 a.m. workout when you struggled to get to bed before midnight that night before seems horrible. No, it’s at 5 p.m., when I finally put away my work for the day, that I’m ready to get into the gym and throw down with my friends. That is when I feel accomplished and successful.

But, life is short, my friends!

Every morning you have an opportunity to set yourself up for success, whether it’s getting ready for the day at work, spending time with your family, or hitting the gym. 

So, let’s focus on those first five crucial minutes.

Minute 1: merge with the day

When the alarm goes off or you wake up, stay in bed. But, roll onto your stomach. Pull your knees to your chest, and position yourself in a child’s pose. In the kneeling position, pull your chest down to your thighs and place your forehead on the bed (or some pillow, for added comfort). Reach your arms out past your head onto the bed. Slowly inhale through your nose and, as you exhale, allow your butt to move closer to your heels. 

Take seven breaths: 4-second inhale, 1-second pause, 4-second exhale. As you breath, think about how you feel. This is a way to encourage mindful breathing. You can relaxing, while merging and focusing on the day ahead.

Minute 2: Accomplishment (aka make your bed!)

You’ve had a minute of relaxation, so now it’s time to accomplish something. Get out of bed—and make it.

Your parents may have told you a million times as a kid to make your bed, and you never understood why. But, here’s the subconscious reason: when you make your bed first thing in the morning, you are starting the accomplishment thought process. If everything falls apart after the second minute of your day, when you get home you get to look at your bed and remind yourself: at least I did one thing right today! 

Try this every morning for the next two weeks.

Minute 3: get big

You’ve merged with the day, accomplished your first task, now it’s time to get big. You can do this with a standing forward bend.

Start with your feet under your hips and your knees slightly bent. Hinge forward at the hip and allow your arms and upper body to hang down. Relax your head and neck. As you inhale, think about your spine and back. As you exhale, slowly move your head closer to your feet. If you lack tension in your lower back and hamstrings, straighten your legs. Use the same breathing scheme from your child’s pose. Keep thinking about the day ahead. What will it bring?

The standing forward bend lengthens your muscles and spine. It may feel awkward at first, but when you stand up you should feel taller. You may not have grown an inch physically, but mentally you’re bigger than when you woke up. Check off another accomplishment!

Minute four: three questions

This involves a little prep the night before. You’ll need a notebook and a bed next to your bed.

During this minute, you’ll write down three things:

  • What is the most important task for me to accomplish today?
  • What is a secondary task I can get done?
  • How do I feel right now?

Remember, you’ve got 60 seconds. Hopefully, you’ve used minutes one and three to think about these questions already. You’re not writing a novel, so be straightforward (e.g. 1. Mow the lawn. 2. Do the laundry. 3. 75%). If it makes it easier for you, use a percentage-based assessment of how you feel, but feel free to be more qualitative, too.

Minute five: mini wod

It’s workout time! You’re about to complete the world’s shortest WOD. 

1 MINUTE AMRAP

2 Air squats

2 Push-ups

A simple, minute-long workout should brush off the cobwebs, increase your blood flow, and provide a quick shot of energy. You’ve already completed a four-minute warmup, so this should feel like being shot out of a cannon.

finish it out: own your mindset

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. It’s going to be a good day.” Be grateful for everything you have and tackle head on the opportunities in front of you.

It’s a simple script to follow. It doesn’t matter what time you wake up, if you hit the snooze button, or whether it’s a weekday or weekend. The end result should be feeling better!

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