Written by Nicola Connolly Byrne of ‘I AM Positive Mindset’. Nicola is also a partner of The Wellness Crew.
All successful people have a very specific morning routine they have designed specifically for them; however, they all include some form of the following: 1. Meditation 2. Journaling 3. Gratitude.
When we say ‘successful people’ our mind tends to jump to wealth. I do not mean financially successful people, I mean successful people at LIFE! You know the kind- people who are just happy, content and have found their flow. Money will never bring us happiness and it never will. Money will bring financial stability and peace of mind in certain areas, but never happiness. Money will purchase experiences and shiny things. We all know someone who is wealthy yet deeply unhappy and unfulfilled. It is so important to fully take care of our financial wellness in all aspects so that we can maintain our lifestyle choices for as long as we are here. This act is a vital element that contributes towards our overall wellness. However, happiness is an inside job. Financial wellness is just one elements of overall wellness.
The Wellness Wheel
Think of the wellness wheel as spokes on a bicycle wheel. They are all carrying equal weight, all doing the same job. Imagine one spoke becomes damaged or worst case, is completely missing. This puts more pressure on the other spokes. They struggle under the pressure and eventually they will buckle and the wheel is useless. Now imagine this in a real-life situation. We focus so hard on certain things that we think are important, all the while there is that one thing, that one thing we have been avoiding or forgot about that takes us to our knees. We are blindsided. Our blindsides are our greatest teachers, so we need to seek them out. Put time and effort into finding out our weak spots and work on them to turn them into our strengths.
My weekday starts at six AM. I remember the days when I would set the alarm for seven AM, hit the snooze button five or six times leaving me the bare minimum to get myself and everyone else ready. These days were filled with dread, stress, panic, drama, unkind words, poor communication (to put it lightly!) and sometimes tears. The end result was, we were always late. In my head I would repeat like a mantra ‘there is not enough time, we will never have enough time!’. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when heard my children saying, ‘We are going to be late, we will never have enough time!’. They were seven and five back then. There is a huge difference in having the private internal struggle with myself and hearing my children say it out loud. When I heard them speaking like this my logical brain kicked in and everything I had ever learned about wellness had to be applied.
So, before we go any further let me make it really clear, I love my sleep! So, starting my day at six AM was not sitting well with me. I have a condition called Pernicious Anaemia which is a B12 deficiency. If we cannot absorb B12 correctly, it literally has a negative impact on all areas of our lives. It affects your energy levels, making you tired and concentration and drive amongst many other things. B12 also repairs nerve endings and keeps blood cells healthy. B12 is a very complex nutrient and needs to be respected and administered correctly. When I was diagnosed back in 1997, the consultants couldn’t fathom how I was still alive as the B12 levels in my blood were so low. They actually said there was more live blood in a chicken. Normal levels of B12 range from two hundred to a thousand. At the time of diagnosis, mine was fifty-five. It was an all-time low back then. Prior to diagnosis I was sleeping around the clock and eating rings around myself and losing weight. My doctor stated pernicious anaemia is one of the most under-diagnosed diseases in this country. B12 deficiency is a cunning disease and tricks you into thinking there is something completely different wrong. I had a multitude of various tests trying to discover what the problem was before my doctor found the source of the issue.
For more information on just how B12 deficiency can affect you or a loved one please watch the movie ‘Sally Pacholok’. Sally is a nurse who is a B12 warrior and has saved countless lives because of her passion to educate people and the medical profession in this area.
6am is an early start, I know; however, it is needed in order for the rest of my day to run as smoothly as I would like. I run the day, the day does not run me. I harness the tone and temperament from the get-go. No more snooze button for me! No more lateness or stress.
I am going to let you in on my secret:
Any morning routine actually starts in the night time. Any decisions about clothes to wear or food we are going to eat needs to be taken out of your morning. The time that is wasted thinking about making wardrobe and breakfast choices in the AM is astounding. So, I leave nothing to chance. All of those mundane time-wasting choices are made the evening before so I can execute my day with military precision, calm timing.
My Morning Routine:
Why? My brain is for thinking and creating, not storage. I write down any challenges I may be having and what action I am going to take to deal with it. I also write a loose action plan for the day. This is not set in stone because when you work for yourself and you have a husband, two kids and a dog your wonderful day can change in an instant! I write a plan I can bend around but not break. I write about the feeling I am going to create in my home and the craic we are going to have in the kitchen having breakfast together connecting before we all go off on our separate ways. I set an intention for the day of what it is I would like to achieve and how I can be of service to those I will encounter. This is an idealistic approach, however why not? Why not set the bar of the day that high? It doesn’t always go to the plan but guess what, some days it does!
Next is Gratitude. This is my favourite part. Brené Brown spent twelve years researching the connection between gratitude and joy. She compiled eleven thousand pieces of data. In that data not once did she come across a person who described their lives as joyous who wasn’t actively practicing gratitude. It is not happiness that makes us grateful it is gratitude that makes us happy. I write things I am grateful for that I currently have not yet achieved. As I am writing I feel the feelings I know I will have when I do achieve them. This way, I get to experience it twice! It is an awesome way to start your day and who doesn’t want that!? Now, all that information is out of my brain and gives me more room to breathe and enjoy my day.
Why? It boosts my immune system. Reduces negative emotions. Increases blood flow and reduces the heart rate. I feel calm, centred, in control.
6.30 Stick my invisible cape on.
Wake the rest of the house and try my best to bring my intention into fruition.
There are no superheroes swooping in coming to save you to make the changes you need to live your best life. We need to be our own superhero and save ourselves from falling victim to tolerating the discomfort in our lives, in order to experience more joy.
Nicola Connolly-Byrne has also written about a life fear of fear – see her other blog here.