I recently read the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. In the book he discusses how the way that you start your day is instrumental in setting yourself up for success. I recommend the book, especially if you are someone who dreads getting up in the morning and repeatedly hits the snooze. I wanted to share with you some insight into my morning routine and how I set myself up to conquer each day. First, I always set my alarm at least two hours before I have to leave the house. I used to make excuses for days that I taught at 6am, but I began to see the importance of honoring this commitment to myself every day, so I now stick to it regardless of what time I have to be at work. I came to find that when I set myself up with a routine that is mindful, and enjoyable I actually looked forward to getting up in the morning. When my alarm goes off I get up and make breakfast. I immediately make my bed so the temptation to get back in it is gone (this is especially important on chilly mornings or when I’m up before the sun). Once I’m done with breakfast I meditate for 20 minutes. I usually lay on my bed or my yoga mat, but you can find any comfortable position that works for you. Taking the time to clear your mind each day and focus on the present is a life changing practice. I’ll begin to explore meditation techniques and tips in future articles, but for now I recommend checking out the Insight Timer app. You can listen to guided meditations, or set timers using different sounds. Once I’m done meditating, I journal. Sometimes I write about the thoughts that entered my mind during stillness. Sometimes I answer specific prompts, or map out my plans for the day. It’s therapeutic to get your thoughts out of your head and down on paper. I also love to look back through my journals and see the progress I have made towards my goals. Next I like to incorporate some sort of daily affirmation and visualization practice. Sometimes I chant using mantras, sometimes I just write, as well as speak out loud, phrases that I want to affirm in my mind for the day. Visualization is a really powerful tool for manifesting what you desire. If you see it in your mind, you can build it in reality. I’ll dive a little deeper into each of these practices in future articles, but hopefully this will give you a little inspiration to start your mornings off with intention!