It’s not easy to start your day in the right way — partly because the “right way” is different for all of us. Some people claim to be “morning people” while others “night people.” Either way, how you start often determines the course of your entire day. And each day determines the course of your life. So we probably should be intentional about getting it right. The old proverb rings true in the morning: “Blessed is he who aims at nothing — for he will surely hit it.”
We’ve all had them — those rough mornings when nothing seems to go our way. We stub our toe on a train set left on the floor. Someone forgot to set the timer on the coffee — I’m not naming any names. Or — God forbid — there is no coffee! Yikes!! At times like those, it can be good to have morning habits in place to lauch your day in the right direction.
Habits can be both our best friends or worst nightmares. But as Albert Camus wisely noted, “Man’s first faculty is forgetting.” So I use habits in the morning when I’m still groggy to nudge me in the right direction.
Maybe these 5 ways I use will help you start each day:
- Choose your first thought. There’s a reason we claim to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed when we’re having a bad day. It all begins at the moment we wake up. For some years now, I’ve tried to intentionally ensure that God is the first thought I have each morning. I’m not always successful. Before my feet touch the floor, I pray simply, “God, this day is yours. Use me as you see fit.” It’s not always those exact words, of course. Sometimes it’s more like a spiritual nod to my Creator as I fumble through the darkness. What it does is begin to align my selfish thoughts in the right direction — before a host of others crowd Him out.
- Choose a place to start. There’s something comfortable about starting each day in familiar surroundings. I grab a cup of joe and head to the family room sofa, right next to the floor lamp so I have ample light for reading. You might use tea — or nothing. But having a set location in which you get your bearings each day will likely be useful. It reduces the new stimuli that we must process to start each day. Free from distractions, we can focus on getting the main things to be the main things.
- Choose to grow first. My life mission statement claims as my foremost purpose “to pursue growth.” It only makes sense that I take care of at least some of that mission first, before life crowds it out. I start as quickly as possible with reading the Bible — again, trying to beat any other thoughts that might try to stir ahead of this divine input. Recognizing that apart from Him I can do nothing, my day starts with God. For more ideas on how to do that, check out my posts on How to Read the Bible Every Day and Enjoy It and 3 Proven Plans to Read the Bible Every Day.
- Choose to ask for wisdom. “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” That would be me. The lacking part anyways. Prayer follows the reading as I confess my own inability to do much of anything without seriously messing it up. Whatever specific tasks may await me that day get special attention, of course, but this habit forces alignment with the reality that there are more important things than me in the universe.
- Choose to eat breakfast with your family. One of the highlights of my morning — even if I don’t always act like it — is gathering as a family to eat. We make it a priority at dinnertime, as well, but breakfast starts our day together. As we finish our food, I share something from the Bible, perhaps a Proverb or a Bible story which we discuss briefly — for no more than five minutes max. Then we’re off to start the day.
I’ve found these habits helpful, but would love to hear how you start your day in the right way.
How do you get your day going? Share your secrets — or your struggles — with a comment to help us all grow.