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7 Ways to Wake Up Happy

7 Ways to Wake Up Happy

For most of us, waking up is hard to do. The internet is full of articles encouraging us to embrace our inner early bird, imitate successful tycoons who are rising at the crack of dawn, and increase our productivity by getting in a full day’s work before our actual day has even begun! You probably already know the classics: putting your alarm clock far away from your bed; getting a full night’s sleep, but here are some lesser known ideas that just might make your start of the day so much happier!

1. Laughter

Laughter isn’t just the best medicine; it’s the best wake up call as well. When I was paying my way through university, I once had a total of 12 part-time jobs along with a full degree course-load. One of my regular jobs had me home at 1 a.m. every morning, whilst my next shift needed me up by 6. Needless to say I was in desperate need of some way to jerk my brain into action. The trick I found was to switch on my computer and stream some YouTube videos of my favourite stand up comedy. As I was getting ready, the jokes I was hearing would invariably provoke a chortle, then a chuckle, then an all out peal of laughter and before I knew it, endorphins were racing through my system and I was good to go! If you can’t muster the strength to laugh, try thinking of something that makes you smile.

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2. Light & Fresh Air

If you live near the equator then natural sunlight is your best friend. Those of us further north or south can utilise the early morning sun during the summer months, but have to make do with artificial light in the winter. Whatever its source, exposing yourself to light as soon as you get out of bed will trigger your body’s natural tendency to associate daylight with being awake and alert.

If you’re feeling really groggy, there’s nothing like a breath of fresh air to clear your head and your lungs. If you can, go for a walk, but make sure you’re not too covered up. Colder, slightly bracing temperatures are better for keeping you awake as they force your heart to work harder to keep the rest of your body warm. If you can’t go out, then opening a window or door to let in some fresh air should do the trick.

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3. Reward yourself

One of the best ways to do something you just don’t feel like doing is creating an immediate, gratifying incentive for doing it. If you’re dreading the sound of that alarm clock every morning, plan something exciting as a reward for obeying its wretched call and actually getting out of bed. Food is one of my favourite rewards, and I usually set up the breakfast table with my favourite china (I’m old school like that), and plan a scrumptious breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal or a classic English fry-up. Other ideas could be a work-out, if you’re an exercise nut, or a nice soak in a luxurious bubble bath… whatever works for you

4. Streamline your Morning Routine

I would imagine this goes without saying but plan ahead as much as you can. You don’t want to associate waking up with stress and last minute panic. Streamline your morning routine as much as you can. Get as much done the night before as possible: your outfit, your bag, your lunch, any items you need with you for the day, kids’ clothes and belongings if you have them. You may find that as your morning routine becomes more of a breeze you might actually begin to look forward to getting up and starting your day.

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5. Get Talking

Talk to someone. Anyone. One of the easiest ways of jump starting the little grey cells is by engaging in conversation, ideally with a responsive participant, although even a pet or a plant will do if you’ve got enough to say! Talking gets you listening, interpreting and responding, all activities which naturally and gently get your brain into gear for the upcoming day.

6. Go to Sleep with a Full Bladder

One surefire way to get yourself out of bed when you feel the quilt has taken you hostage is to let nature play its hand. You should be drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day anyway, but try drinking at least a large glass just before falling asleep. If you’re in good health, you might just find nature’s own call to be the natural alarm clock you’ve been needing.

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7. Make your bed

I’m a fan of gorgeous bed linen. I love the look of a cosy bed covered in throw cushions and a fabulous eiderdown. I feel seriously guilty getting into my bed once I’ve gone through the effort of making it, as I usually make it hotel-style (sheets taut enough to bounce pennies), so I usually avoid napping during the day for fear of messing up my good work! If you can, on any level, relate to that, then try making your bed as soon as you get up. That way, if you’re even a little like me, you might find it easier to resist climbing back in, and you might even get a nice little congratulatory feeling of having gotten something done so early in the morning!

Above all, remind yourself of why it is, you are getting up, whether it’s a personal goal or an unavoidable need, and use that to motivate yourself on those really tough mornings. Experiment to find whatever works for you and you too will surely find yourself waking up happy!

Featured photo credit: Morning Coffee via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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