beep beep beep beep beep . . .

The alarm seemed to go off earlier and earlier.

I’d grab my phone to stop the noise. The one barely opened eye it took to complete the task would manage to see the long list of social media, email and text notifications that poured in while I was sleeping.

I’d disconnect the thing from the charger and take it with me to scan while I made coffee.

So began each day.

On a good day, by the time I hit the meditation cushion I’d be wide awake and feeling accomplished.

With the birds still chirping their early-morning repertoire, I’d already have had my coffee, gotten two grumpy teens off to school, and knocked out the morning’s email, text, FB and LinkedIn responses.

On a not so good day, however, I’d be amped up, frenzied, and find it difficult to settle into meditation (or anything else for that matter).

There were lots of not-so-good days.

And truth be told, I never even noticed the chirping birds. Each day began on auto-pilot. Without ease or intention, my mood by 7:30 am was determined by external factors – whether my kids got up on time, how many things were sitting in my inbox, the tone of the social media feeds…

Sound familiar?

If it does, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a much more pleasant morning, set yourself up for a productive day, and still get a jump on things.

This Week

Begin your day with ease and intention (it only takes a few minutes).

  1. Get the phone away from the nightstand or turn off notifications at night.

  2. Curate the sounds you wake up to. In this digital age, there is no reason to wake to harsh, tinny or unpleasant sounds.

  3. Take a few deep breaths and stretch as soon as you stand up. I mean it, really stretch - like the exaggerated stretches of silent movies and cartoons.

  4. Hydrate before your morning joe. Down a glass of water while you’re prepping your coffee (your body will love you for it).

  5. Get present. Enjoy that coffee (or tea). Take in the experience of starting your day with this happy little ritual.

  6. Set your intention for the day. Before you dive into everything that’s waiting for you, take a moment and choose how you want to show up and what you would like to have accomplished by the day’s end. Close your eyes, take a deep breathe (or 2 or 3) and see your intention.

And if you’ve got a second or two to spare – listen to those birds chirp. ; )