03/05/2012 08:03 am ET Updated May 05, 2012

Starting Your Day the Right Way

"By starting the day with love, I fill my day with calm and feel peace permeate my life."

How does your typical day start? How many times do you hit the snooze button before you drag yourself from bed? Most people then throw on some clothes, grab something to eat and rush out to the door. By the time they arrive at work they are already stressed, possibly behind and not fully awake and engaged.

It seems like each day is like a life unto itself. Just as a child's well-being is tied to proper guidance and direction during the formative years, our day's productivity is tied to how we handle ourselves in the formative minutes of each day.

We must take time for ourselves at the start of our day. This time will enable us to center ourselves and channel our focus. By taking time to review our priorities and set a daily plan we will find our time is so much more productive. Increased productivity leaves far more time for you to spend on the important things in life, like connecting with and loving your family. 

My morning routine consists of the following activities that give me a peaceful start to the day.

Starting Your Day the Right Way:

1) Upon awakening I lie in bed for a few minutes running through a mental list of all that I am grateful for. I do some simple stretches and take five deep breaths in and out.

2) I hop on the stationary bike and do a quick 20-minute ride with intervals followed by a core stretching routine called movement prep

3) I meditate for five minutes.

4) I write out my top overall 10 goals. I don't just read them -- I actually write them out. I found this has increased the likelihood that I will achieve them.

5) I write down the top five things I want to accomplish on this day. The highest priority items. Whether this is crafting an email, doing some research, calling a contact or doing something with my son. By establishing the top five for each day, you feel a sense of accomplishment for your day if you can just do those things. It also prevents the chance of your day being highjacked by someone else's priorities.

I then get ready, eat a healthy breakfast and head into the day. This routine means I wake 90 minutes before I have to head out the door. It adds 45 minutes to the morning routine, but I feel so grounded and settled when I leave that it is worth it.

Rather than rushing out the door, stressed and wondering what the day will hold, I have a plan and peace of mind. When I get to my office, I am physically and mentally ready to start the day. I know we all love our sleep, but waking up earlier to have a proper start to the day may help you be more productive and peaceful throughout the day.

Don't postpone your soul's needs in favor of a crazy schedule.

This practice is truly empowering. How do you like to start your day? I would love to hear.

For more by Carolyn Anderson, click here.

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