The first thing people should do every morning

As soon as I woke up last Thursday, I reached for my iPad to check tennis scores, emails, and NYT headlines. Everything that I didn't need to know. One of the emails was a request from Derek Sweeney of The Sweeney Agency who asked a thoughtful question:

"What’s the first thing people should do every morning to have a successful day?"

Oops. I was guilty of breaking my own rules. Since I couldn't respond to him in integrity without changing my own behavior, for the next three days I tried the three steps below and it has made all the difference. Focus, productivity and mood are all higher. It took me less than 90 seconds each morning. These are my three suggestions:

Our minds are the most suggestible right after awakening. Messages that invade us during that time can have a surprisingly powerful effect. Take control from the start. 

1. Set your alarm to a ring tone that supports the intention for your day, either upbeat and motivational or meditative and peaceful. 

2. Avoid external messaging of any kind during this period; that includes the news and emails on your iPhone. 

3. Review the three intentions for the day that you wrote out the night before; make them trait rather than action-based. For example, “Today I am focused, thoughtful, and confident.” If you focus on traits, actions fall into line. 

Forget the 21-days-to-habit. You’ll see the difference after 2-3 days. Whoohoo!