Why am I using an Alcoholics Anonymous slogan for my blog title? Because it is catchy and easy to remember—and useful!
Another useful nugget comes from a book a colleague recommended. I recently finished listening to Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning For Entrepreneurs and I'm an immediate convert. I've been practicing his daily morning routine suggestions and I feel more positive and productive throughout my days. Hal uses the acronym SAVERS to help us remember a series of mini practices to start our day and develop a foundation of self-discipline and self-leadership:
S=Silence. Hal suggests we start our day with prayer or meditation or just quiet
A=Affirmations. Then we repeat some well thought out, specific goals we are 100% committed to. Ones that remind us of our potential and priorities in life. Pick many to address different areas of your life like: health, relationships, career, finances, spirituality, etc.
V=Visualization. Then visualize yourself achieving those goals. Or you can look at a Vision Board you make or see yourself being positive in your day, finishing a task, meeting a deadline etc.
E=Exercise. Even if it's one minute of jumping jacks. Just move your body.
R=Read. Read one or two pages of something inspirational. Maybe it's the Bible, or a page from a recovery book or a quote from the Dalai Lama.
S=Scribe. Next write down some things you are grateful for or wins from the day before or things you want to accomplish.
Mr. Elrod moves the "E" to the end but it's easy to remember these steps with the acronym. He tells us we can do all six for a minute each or design it however works best for us.
So why do these six strategies matter? Well, to me, it's all about firing those positive neural pathways in our brain. What we fire, we wire. If we wake up and start our day hitting the snooze button, grumbling about getting up, already dreading what's ahead in our day, then we are miserable before we even have our first cup of coffee! On the other hand, if we structure our morning in the above fashion, we are wiring some juicy stuff to get ourselves motivated and able to approach the day.
Mr. Elrod also emphasizes the exercise portion suggesting we should exercise every single day. I know, I can already hear you saying something about not enough time. That's why he suggests one minute of jumping jacks. You could also do five minutes of yoga poses or try the app 7-Minute Workout which gives you a good sweat. Surely, you have 7 minutes in your day? You can also go to the gym, walk, hike, go to a yoga class, crossfit, martial arts, Zumba, dancing. There are so many ways to move our bodies.
My massage therapist was wearing a t-shirt that said "Treat Your Body Like You Live In It". Now, it's a stickie on my laptop. When you think of all the crap we eat and all the time we spend on the couch are we really firing healthy neurons? Moving our bodies is not only good for our spine, our tissues and our muscles, it boosts your serotonin levels. We need serotonin to improve our "mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function". I don't know about you, but those are all pretty important to me and I'd like them to run smoothly.
If you are depressed or anxious, irritable or fussy, moving your body changes what you think and how you feel. It fires different synapses. (I refer you back to the title of this post). Add in the other five strategies and I don't know how you couldn't feel better.
Start with one minute and build from there. Don't make it a should or a have to, make it an
I Choose to. Your body and your brain will thank you. And you will save a ton on copays because you won't need your therapist anymore!