A number of studies have been done, both formally and informally, to investigate the habits of people who are successful. Here, the term successful means “living a life of contentment, balance, and purpose in recovery.” Below are seven things that successful people do that will help you to manifest for yourself the life that you deserve in sobriety.
Getting up early allows you to have a quiet hour or two before the hustle and bustle begins in the world. You don’t want to get up so early that you need a nap at 10 a.m. just to get through the day, but you do want to get up early enough so you have some time to yourself to be quiet.
To make this process easier, it is helpful to go to bed and rise at the same time every day, giving yourself a solid 7-9 hours of sleep according to what you need to feel functional throughout the day.
Before you jump out of bed, take a moment to be grateful – for your health, your life, your night of sleep, the day in front of you, and your sobriety. It doesn’t have to be a long list. Just taking a moment to appreciate that you are here and living your life in sobriety is enough.
Taking 10-20 minutes first thing in the morning to meditate can help you to feel centered and grounded for the day. If you are not the type to just sit and breathe for very long, try a silent meditation with visualization for 2-5 minutes to start, slowing building up your time. You can also choose to do a yoga nidra, or guided meditation, with verbalizations to walk you through body part relaxation or a meditative journey. If you feel that stillness just isn’t your thing, you can do a short walking meditation.
Now that you are up early, get your workout in for the day. Go for a run while it’s still cool, get to the gym before it’s crowded, or turn on a workout DVD before anyone in the house is up. Again, it doesn’t have to be a long workout – even 20 minutes of body weight exercises or a quick run around the block can get you going first thing in the morning, check an important thing off your list, and get you ready for the day.
Taking a shower and choosing clothes that you feel confident in can also help you to set the tone for the day. After a workout, it can help you to refocus your energy and calm down, ease sore muscles, and reset to focus on what’s ahead.
Eating something healthy first thing in the morning can help you to get things off to a good start nutritionally. It doesn’t have to be a huge, high-maintenance breakfast; the first meal of the day is a great opportunity to sneak in a couple servings of fruits and vegetables, protein, and whole grains to keep your energy levels stable through the morning. Think an egg, spinach, and tomato breakfast sandwich on whole grain bread or a ground turkey, bell pepper, and onion breakfast burrito on a wheat tortilla. Throw in a serving of fruit – fresh pineapple, an apple or plum, some grapes – and a big glass of water, and you will be fueled up until lunch.
Grounded mentally with a workout under your belt and a full stomach, you are ready to tackle your day. Though you may start with a long list that includes simple easy things like dealing with email or returning a couple of calls, make life easy on yourself and do the most difficult thing on the list first. After you have determined what needs to be done today and the rest of the week, pick the hardest – or the most dreaded – task for the day and knock it out so it isn’t hanging over your head. This will free you up to cruise through your to-do list without the cloud of agitation or anxiety hanging over you, and you will accomplish so much more as a result.
The way you start your day and how you set yourself up for the next 12 hours can determine what you will accomplish, how you will feel, and what kinds of opportunities you will create for yourself. The more confident and grounded you are, the more capable you will be of accomplishing everything you need to do. Enjoy yourself and get to bed early, so you can get up early the next day and accomplish a whole new set of goals.
How do you start your day in recovery? Do you meditate on positive recovery-focused affirmations? Do you eat a big breakfast? What are your tips for someone new to recovery who is trying to establish positive habits that will help them to create a new life in recovery?