8 Ways to Start Today on the Right Foot

Morning is one of those crucial times.

Especially for someone who isn't a "morning person".

I decided to think seriously about how I could improve my mornings, and ultimately my entire days. And I realized that it really came down to priorities, as most things do, and waking up with the mindset that His mercy is new every morning and I want to intentionally live this day, starting now.

So here are some thoughts.

Read the Word.

There's a reason so many people in the Bible found quiet time with God "in the cool of the day", in the morning. It really does make a difference to have a habit of getting up earlier, not hitting snooze until the last minute and rushing around to make it out the door as a result, and getting up to get in His presence. In the first minutes of the day, when your mind is clear, or just clearing if you still feel somewhat groggy, you let Truth find its home first, before thoughts and concerns of the day fill the gaps, before life fills up the time. And meeting God at the start of each new day is a good reminder to follow Him throughout the day.

Prayer is important, too. :)

Give a hug.

Start the day with love. It's not quite "all you need", but it is so central to a God-glorifying life. It is walking as Jesus did right off the get go and, too, remembering just how much you are loved.

Count your blessings.

Thankfulness is never a waste of time, and it is inseparable from joy. Whether you have an ongoing list of gifts or {/and} include thanksgiving in a morning prayer, an attitude of gratitude is one of the most tangible ways to start the day in a positive mindset and with a joyful heart. If you're not sure where to start, just think about waking up, that first breath, alive . . .

Pause the playlist.

Sometimes music is one of the most powerful avenues of worship; through song, we praise God. I also believe God uses music and lyrics to speak to our hearts, and sometimes a certain song really finds deep meaning right wherever you are. Then hit replay, and listen again. Let it ring true over and over because sometimes Truth needs to be replayed so His Words really reach deep.

Sometimes it's one word—like "grace".

{RSS readers, listen here.}

Make the bed.

Of all the little things that make a world of difference, making the bed in the morning is in my top five. It only takes a few minutes, but it is a day-changing habit: your bedroom looks so nice, neat, and organized with the quilt straightened and pillows stacked, plus you kick start your productivity and are more likely to get things done throughout the day thanks to that early feeling of accomplishment.

Postpone the technology.

I know the mind-numbing effects of staring at a computer screen {etc.} bright and early; it's hard to ever fully recover. Honestly, though, I didn't want to include this one in the list because it's one of the hardest things for me to "adhere to" on any given day, because after reading the Bible and having breakfast, I'm so accustomed to something electronic being next, which may or may not have something to do with years of online classes, but I digress. I find that lounging around in the morning, especially both physically and mentally, often results in lethargy the rest of the day. It may be a challenge to not flip open the laptop or turn on the tv, but postponing technology use really does help your mind to wake up and to be more alert the rest of the day.

Eat healthy food.

This is a post on starting the day on the right foot, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so food had to make it in the list somewhere. :) My husband and I enjoy healthy muffins warmed in the microwave each morning; we like this little bit of consistency, but even more it's important to re-energize after a night's rest.

Enjoy fresh air.

This is not always easy, or practical, depending on schedules and season, but getting some fresh air {especially coupled with physical activity} in the morning definitely helps start the day feeling energized and refreshed. Whether a run around the block or social walk with friends, walking your kids to the bus stop, shoveling the driveway in the winter, or parking at the end of the parking lot at work, there are many ways to be outside, breathing fresh air even before school or work. Not to mention refreshing our hearts and minds by being in His creation: the heavens declare Him.

Just a few days ago, I went for a run in the morning and paused to enjoy a beautiful rainbow right out the front door:

Yes, morning can be tough. It takes a conscious choice to begin living intentionally even in the early hours. But even if you consider yourself more of a night owl, you can still start each new day on the right foot by remembering these eight simple ways to keep priorities right, have a grateful heart and positive attitude, and energize your mind and body.

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