starting your day right: 5 tips for getting the most out of your mornings

We all know what it feels like to get up on the wrong side of the bed. We promised ourselves the night before that we would wake up early to go to the gym, get an early start at work, or have some time to enjoy a cup of coffee while properly preparing for the day. Instead, we hit the snooze button more times than we’d like to admit, opted to wear a hat and go one more day without washing our hair, scrambled to put together an outfit that didn’t require pulling out the ironing board, and franticly headed to school or work hoping we wouldn’t hit traffic and that no one will notice we are a few minutes late.

Sure, we might be able to bounce back later in the day with a triple shot of espresso or an aggressively productive work hour or acing a meeting. Over time though, our frantic mornings have a way of bleeding into the rest of our days. Too many less-than-ideal starts impact more than our mornings; they lead to stressed-out souls. And let’s be real, we could all use a little less stress in our lives.

Here’s a few ways you can start your mornings full of peace, clear on your priorities, and ready to tackle the day:

1. Get that beauty sleep.

I know you could use a night out with your friends. I know how enticing just one more episode of This Is Us sounds. I know you are about to beat your record on Candy Crush. And Instagram scrolling and YouTube watching is literally at your fingertips. But giving yourself a bedtime is a good thing. Of course, there are

times when staying up late is the best choice to feed the soul. But mostly, aim for 6-8 hours of solid sleep a night. You need it. Your body will thank you. Your mornings will thank you. Your attitude will thank you. And the people around you will thank you.

2. Embrace the quiet.
It’s instinct for us to wake up and immediately pick up our phones. But before you check social media or read the news, why not start your morning with a couple of minutes of silence? Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God” (TPT). Silence may seem awkward and even unnatural, but it allows us to recognize our thoughts and surrender our anxiety to God, who is more than able to take care of whatever might be worrying us.

3. Start with worship.
We were made to worship our Creator, and when we start our day by reflecting on God’s goodness and majesty, we come alive for the day ahead! You can sing along to your favorite worship song on Spotify, you can speak, you can sit, you can kneel, you can raise your hands, you can stand up, you can reflect on God’s sovereignty, or meditate on Jesus’ sacrifice, or thank God for what He has done in your life. What matters is that you put your heart into it. And when you take a few minutes of your day to worship, the Holy Spirit will speak to you and bring hope, peace, and joy to your soul.

Open your Bible.
So what if you aren’t a Bible scholar? Very few are. So what if you don’t have your life together? Who does? God isn’t interested in your perfection or your knowledge; He’s just interested in you! In fact, He’s more than interested. He’s so passionately in love with you that He gave His very life for you, that you could know His love and redemption, His grace and guidance. When you take a few minutes in the morning to read a passage from the Bible, you are inviting Jesus to lead you throughout your day. You are opening your heart to hear from Heaven, to be exposed to wisdom, guidance, love, power, and strength.

Add some prayer to that cup of coffee.
I love me some coffee, but it isn’t the secret to my energy or my productivity for the day. The successes that matter most in life begin with prayer. Take a couple minutes to pray for your day. Ask Jesus to lead and guide you in conversations and interactions. Ask for His perfect will to be done. The things you are worried about, well, pray for them. Go ahead and pray with audacious faith. Go ahead and believe you will see the miraculous in your day. Believe that God is with you, and there will be opportunities in the day ahead to experience His goodness and to do good for others. 

Nicole Smithee   

Nicole Smithee lives in Manhattan with her husband, Ben. She serves on the Executive Team at Liberty Church and devotes her time to mentoring and coaching young leaders. She is a blogger, author, and traveling speaker. To learn more, visit her website.

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