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Starting Your Day Right: 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Mornings

Nicole Smithee

We all know what it feels like to get up on the wrong side of the bed.  We promised ourselves the night before that we would wake up early to go to the gym, get an early start at work, or have some time to enjoy a cup of coffee while properly preparing for the day.  Instead, we hit the snooze button more times than we’d like to admit, opted to wear a hat and go one more day before washing our hair, scrambled to put together an outfit that didn’t require pulling out the ironing board, and franticly headed to school or work hoping we wouldn’t hit traffic and that no one will notice we are a few minutes late.

Sure, we might be able to bounce back later in the day with a triple shot of espresso or an aggressively productive work hour or acing a meeting or presentation.  Over time though, our frantic mornings have a way of bleeding into the rest of our days. Too many less-than-ideal starts impact more than our mornings; they lead to stressed-out souls.  And let’s be real, we could all use a little less stress in our lives.

 

So here’s a few ways you can start your mornings full of peace, clear on your priorities, and ready to tackle the day:

 

  1. Get that beauty sleep.

I know you could use a night out with your friends.  I know how enticing just one more episode of Stranger Things sounds.  I know you are about to beat your record on Candy Crush.  And Instagram scrolling and YouTube watching is literally at your fingertips.  But giving yourself a bedtime is a good thing.  Of course, there are times when staying up late is the best choice to feed the soul.  But mostly, aim for 6-8 hours of solid sleep a night.  You need it.  Your body will thank you.  Your mornings will thank you.  Your attitude will thank you.  And the people around you will thank you.

 

  1. Embrace the quiet.

It’s instinct for us to wake up and immediately pick up our phones.   But before you check social media or read the news, why not start your morning with a couple of minutes of silence?  Yep, you read me right.  Psalm 46:10 tells us, ““Surrender your anxiety!  Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.” (TPT).  Silence may seem awkward and even unnatural, but it allows us to recognize our thoughts and surrender our anxiety to God, who is more than able to take care of whatever might be worrying or troubling us.

 

  1. Start with worship.

Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6, to “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name.”  When we pray, we are not praying to a distant and elusive God, but our Good and Perfect Father, who knows and loves us.  Jesus also taught us not only to pray to our Heavenly Father, but to worship Him.  We were made to worship our Creator, and when we start our day by reflecting on God’s goodness and majesty, we come alive for the day ahead!  You don’t have to be a great singer to worship.  You don’t have to have a live band lead you in a song of praise at a church service to experience the Presence of God. I, myself, am tone-deaf.  I sing loudly and off-key, but that doesn’t stop me from singing along to a worship song from one of my Spotify playlists.  (Just ask my husband who has woken up many a morning to the less than angelic praise being sung in our living room. Sorry, babe!)  You can sing, you can speak, you can sit, you can kneel, you can raise your hands, you can stand up, you can reflect on God’s sovereignty, or meditate on Jesus’ sacrifice, or thank God for what He has done in your life.  What matters, like most things, is that you put your heart into it.  And when you take a few minutes of your day to worship, the Holy Spirit will speak to you and bring hope, peace, and joy to your soul.

 

  1. Open your Bible.

So what if you aren’t a Bible scholar?  Very few are.  So what if you don’t have your life together?  Who does?  Don’t let hang-ups, setbacks, failures and insecurity keep you from receiving truth that can transform your life.  If you are waiting to become a better person, a more together Christian or more knowledgeable in biblical studies before you feel like you can read the Bible on your own, you are missing out!  God isn’t interested in your perfection or your knowledge; He’s just interested in you!  In fact, He’s more than interested.  He’s so passionately in love with you that He gave His very life for you, that you could know His love and redemption, His grace and guidance.  When you take a few minutes in the morning to read a passage from the Bible, you are inviting Jesus to lead you throughout your day.  You are opening your heart to hear from Heaven, to be exposed to wisdom, guidance, love, power, and strength.  If you aren’t sure where to start, I would suggest checking out the YouVersion app.  It has hundreds of Bible-plans to choose from that map out what passages to read each day accompanied with great study guides and devotionals.  And a bonus tip: be sure to read from a translation of the Bible that speaks to you.  I would recommend the following:

Recommended Translations:

  • NIV- New International Version
  • NLT- New Living Translation
  • NKJV- New King James Version
  • TPT- The Passion Translation (only New Testament, Proverbs and Psalms translated)
  • MSG- The Message Translation

 

  1. Make space to reflect.

It’s not enough to read the Bible.  We need a couple minutes for reflection. It’s in times of reflection the Holy Spirit will use the Word of God to reveal our heart’s condition, to bring healing, hope, and love, and to guide us in truth.  Here’s some starting questions for you to reflect on:

  1. What did what I just read show me about Jesus?
  2. What did I just read show me about myself?
  3. What am I going to remember for the rest of my day?
  4. What am I going to do in response to what I just read?

 

  1. Add some prayer to that cup of coffee.

I love me some coffee, but it isn’t the secret to my energy or my productivity for the day.  The successes that matter most in life begin with prayer.  Take a couple minutes to pray for your day.  Ask Jesus to lead and guide you in conversations and interactions.  Ask for His perfect will to be done.  The things you are worried about, well, pray for them.  Go ahead and pray with audacious faith.  Go ahead and believe you will see the miraculous in your day.  Believe that God is with you, and there will be opportunities in the day ahead to experience His goodness and to do good for others.

I’d love for you to add to the conversation!  What Bible plan are you currently reading through?  What praise and worship songs would you recommend?  Any other tips for a great start to the day?  Please share below…

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Christina Rodriguez
    January 23, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    This seriously spoke volumes to my struggle in the mornings. It’s really the only time I have to experience silence. That’s 4am. My 7 month sometimes does a sneak attack and wakes at 5. So if I miss my window I’m scrambling. I love YouVersion and I’m doing daily bread 30 day devotional. Also TobyMacs new single is what I worship to this morning. Thank you Nicole for your God inspired words!! Keep them coming!! Ps You have totally came to our church in San Bernardino, CA before. Congrats on the nuptials.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      January 23, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      Wow! Christina, you are a rockstar. I am so inspired by your wake up time to ensure time in the Presence of God. You are inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

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