how to start your day and how not to start your day

“A lot of people give away their sovereignty and their power first thing in the morning… they’ll pick up their phone and they’re getting their dopamine fixes, and it’s really rewiring their brain… so it’s training them to be distracted all the time…. ” Jim Kwik

Mental coach Jim Kwik suffered a childhood brain injury that left him learning challenged.  In response, he developed strategies that help people become super learners.  These are his top ten morning habits (the video is posted below.)  How does your morning routine match up?

  1. Remember your dreams.  Kwik says the unconscious mind keeps working all night long, and your dreams can reveal brilliant ideas if you make the effort to remember them. Take a few minutes to remember what you dreamt about and write it down.
  2. Make your bed.  For two reasons: one, because a clean environment promotes clear thinking; secondly, to start your day with success.  When you come home at the end of the day, you come back to success.
  3. Drink a lot of water. Your brain is 80% water and becomes dehydrated while you’re sleeping, so it’s critical to rehydrate as soon as you wake up.
  4. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand. Doing things with your non-dominant hand creates more neural connections.
  5. Deep breathing. Your brain is only 2% of your body weight, yet it consumes 20% of your oxygen and energy.  So it’s so important to pump fresh oxygen into your brain first thing in the morning to clear the fog and re-energize your thinking.
  6. Drink “brain tea.” He drinks a tea made from gotu kola, gingko goluba, lions mane and essential fatty acids.  I prefer bulletproof coffee. Pick your power beverage.
  7. Write in your journal. While you’re drinking your brain tea or bulletproof coffee as the case may be, write down what you’re grateful for and plan out your day.  Kwik says “If you can’t appreciate the things you already have, you’re not going to be given the things you really want.” Also, all the great geniuses like DaVinci, Einstein and Curie wrote in journals.
  8. Morning exercise.  This doesn’t have to be a full workout, but it’s good to start your day with 3-4 minutes of high intensity activity to wake up and oxygenate your brain.  What’s good for your heart is good for your brain.
  9. Brainpower smoothie.  There are hundreds of brain power smoothie recipes online, but some of the best ingredients would be blueberries, avocado, raw nuts, raw greens and/or green superfood, high quality protein powder, nut milk or coconut milk.
  10. Read. “Readers are leaders,” Kwik says. The average person reads one or two books a year, while the average CEO reads four to six books a month, so you want to get to the point where you’re reading a book a week.

Not included in this list is the #1 thing you should not do, which is: Don’t check your phone for at least an hour after rising.  Kwik says that when the first thing you do in the morning is pick up your phone, you immediately begin your day by reacting to others’ demands, instead of controlling your day.

So don’t do that.

Here’s the video:

10 things to do first thing in the morning
  1. Remember your dreams.
  2. Make your bed.
  3. Drink a lot of water.
  4. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand.
  5. Deep breathing.
  6. Drink "brain tea."
  7. Write in your journal.
  8. Cardio for 3-4 minutes
  9. Brainpower smoothie.
  10. Read for 20-30 minutes

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