Life coach Gen Burley, who specializes in liberation and empowerment, recommends clients take a three-step approach to starting their days:
Grounding: "A grounding exercise is anything that allows you to connect with the body; it is how you focus yourself in an intentional and calming way," Burley says. "The choice of exercise is completely dependent on the time that you have available and your preference of activity. It could be as simple as three deep belly breaths with a long exhale or five minutes of meditation. Or perhaps you have time for some yoga or an invigorating run. My favourite is dancing in my PJs as I brush my hair—yes, it looks as bad as it sounds. A focused and positive connection to the body will short-circuit the tendency that the brain has to over-rev when thinking about the day's many tasks. It reminds you that there is a centre that you can return to throughout the day no matter what, and that you carry it with you everywhere—your body."
Connecting: "Then, try connecting with your values. A value is not a goal or task that can be ticked off a list, it is the ongoing direction for your life. It may include things such as supporting others, building genuine relationships or playing sports. Connecting to your values is a powerful guiding force for your day and your life. Why? It is a strong motivator (compare exercising to meet a goal as opposed to supporting your value of health). More importantly, it guides your decisions so that they are better aligned with what is truly important to you, adding richness, vitality and meaning to your life. With your values firmly in mind, you can then go about the day looking for the small ways open to you to honour those values."
Bridging: "You may have an idea of something that you want that you are working towards getting in the future. Something you yearn for, deeply. Why wait? Set an intention to get some of that thing today. Avoid the trap of all or nothing thinking that keeps so many of us in a state of dissatisfaction and perpetually looking to the future. There are two ways you can do this. First, identify the value that underlies your goal. If you want to own your own house, for example, it might be that the value this goal supports is looking after your family. Which you can do today in a number of small ways. Second, you can identify the feeling state you believe that thing will bring you. Perhaps you seek the sense of security that lots of money will provide. Use your imagination to dive into the full sensory experience of feeling solid, stable and secure. Then find ways to access and support that feeling state throughout the day. This third tip is a simple reminder not to postpone living and to use your creativity to bridge the gap between what you want and what is present."