If you are like me, you spend your days doing a lot of things for other people. For instance, I am an administrator and a teacher; I am constantly serving others, albeit by choice. Add in children of your own, and if you are not careful you have no time for yourself.
It is, therefore, extremely important to do at least one thing for yourself before embarking on your day. 15-30 minutes of “selfishness” can change the entire dynamic of your day. Note that this habit of doing something for yourself may require you to wake up earlier in order to make it happen. Besides, 15 extra minutes of sleep is not worth it most of the time.
Some ways to do something for yourself before the day begins:
- Meditate. I don’t meditate myself (although I do sets of breathing exercises that are paramount to playing trombone), but many of my friends do. For fun, here are the breathing exercises I do daily. The ones I use for trombone playing can be found here.
- Exercise. Start with a walk around the block for 10 minutes. Enjoy your time alone, with our without music. Graduate to a fitness routine of your choice at a later time.
- Read. Learn something new via a non-fiction book, or read a chapter of any book. Read some really positive and uplifting blogs. Do not check your email!
- Write down your goals for the day. This is more of a GTD thing. Pick between one and three of your most important tasks of the day and write them down. If you do only these things that day, you will have accomplished something!
- Write. Write in a journal, on your computer using great software such as Ommwriter, or on a blog. Cherish your alone time in silence and write.
- Practice. If you are a musician, there is no better time than first thing in the morning to do this. For all you educators out there, spend time enveloping yourself in whatever you teach. So often I find that educators inadvertently stop doing what they teach, and slowly remove themselves from their craft without intending to do so.
- Cook. If you enjoy it, cook yourself an awesome breakfast or lunch for the day. Tim Ferris’ new book “The 4 Hour Chef” can show you the way if you are a newbie.
- Listen to Great Music. Sit down with no other goal than to actively listen to something. Active listening is very different from the “musical wallpaper” effect, where you do something other things with music in the background. Listening to music actively puts you in the here and now in a beautiful way.
Start you day with one of these suggestions every day and you will notice how dramatically your life will change in just a week. Try doing something for yourself before the day “begins” for one week and post here about your experience. Other suggestions are welcome as well!