10 Ways to Wake up Excited to Go to Work

OK, let me just say right here and now, I do not jump up out of bed every morning, thrilled to greet another day with nothing but love and light in my heart. I have cozy, quiet days too. Sometimes I just love sleeping in, savouring a comfies-style morning.

But on the whole, life is pretty fantastic and I usually have a lot to look forward to in my day. I can’t imagine waking up with a sense of dread, dragging my feet to get to work. If this is what you’re dealing with on a daily basis, you need to take a serious look at your life and ask yourself what you’re doing it all for. Because this is your life. It’s happening right here, right now, and waiting for a big lottery win to change your world will keep you miserable, stuck in mediocrity. Snap out of it! Resolve to have better mornings, right now. Here are some ways to make it happen:

  1. Invent a morning ritual: get up at least an hour earlier than you normally do and have an ‘hour of power’. This is your time to exercise, take the dog for a walk, hang out in nature somewhere, meditate, do yoga, read for 15 minutes from an inspirational book that puts you in a good mental space, do visualization, or write in a journal. Try different things and see what works for you. The point is to nourish yourself with a daily ritual. One of my favourite rituals is to sing the intro to the African chant in the Lion King theme song. Loudly. It kinda freaks my dog out, but this one little action has a way of making me laugh (yes, even all by myself) and yet feel powerful and grounded at the same time. Hey–I never claimed to be ultra-professional all the time. We all need to do silly things that keep us feeling light.
  2. Don’t have coffee right away – drink water with fresh lemon, if possible. It’s great for digestion, and your body will thank you. Yeah, this isn’t about excitement, per se, but general health and wellness that will contribute to you feeling amazing.
  3. Avoid reading or watching the news first thing in the morning, since the media tends to focus on negative, scandalous and trivial topics. Keep your mornings sacred, surrounding yourself with uplifting and peaceful visuals and sounds as much as possible.
  4. Get clear on what you’re doing each day. First thing in the morning, write a list of the  6 most important things you need to do. Don’t overwhelm yourself – break things down into manageable tasks, delegating whenever you can.
  5. Own your own business, so you have autonomy, freedom and creative control! Pay other people to do the things you don’t enjoy, so you’re free to do the jobs you love.
  6. Work in your area of brilliance, so your work feels effortless because you’re so damn good at it.
  7. Challenge yourself creatively, and challenge your team – don’t let things get monotonous.
  8. Always be dreaming and reinventing what you do. Create a vision board that you’ll see every morning, or do a visualization exercise when you wake up, of you living the life of your dreams. I’ll bet it will put a smile on your face. It does for me.
  9. Nurture positive relationships with your staff and business partners so you enjoy their company and look forward to interacting with them.
  10. Start or maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, getting enough sleep and getting up early so you have time for yourself and bring your best self to work. Yeah, I know you’ve heard this one a thousand times before. Doesn’t make it any less important.

And a bonus tip: smile. Cheesy, but true–smiling has been shown in countless studies, to make us feel better. Our brains get tricked into producing feel-good chemicals when we’re wearing a grin, so no matter what side of the bed you wake up on, smile like you have your own wonderful little secret. Any time you feel your spirits sinking throughout the day, bring out that smile again. Not only will it cheer you up, it will have the same effect on people around you. Brilliant – you’re changing the world already. :)

Leave a comment and tell me about your favourite morning rituals!

26 Responses to 10 Ways to Wake up Excited to Go to Work
  1. Teresa
    July 21, 2011 | 5:29 pm

    Lovely post. I often wake up and do not want to go to work, even though as you suggested, I own my own business.
    I love the idea of getting up an hour earlier and taking the dogs for a run on the beach before work. That way they are happy, I’ve gotten to experience the quiet of the morning (my meditative ritual), I feel like I’ve accomplished something and I have after work to just relax for myself.

    I’m starting tomorrow morning!

    • admin
      July 21, 2011 | 6:28 pm

      Thanks Teresa – and that’s fabulous, that you’re starting a healthy new morning ritual for you and your dogs!

      Yes, it’s not all sunshine and roses when you own your own business. But I truly believe when you own a business you’re passionate about, and you can pay other people to do the work you don’t enjoy, you’re well on your way to having more satisfying, enjoyable days. Sometimes I see people stuck in businesses that no longer interest them, and it’s just time to move on and try something new. And other times, they just need to shake things up and introduce some exciting new elements into the mix. If you’re not keen on going to work, that’s usually a red flag that something important is missing for you. Anyway, best of luck with your early mornings :)

  2. Jeanine Byers Hoag @ Dressing My Truth
    July 21, 2011 | 6:39 pm

    Natalie, that last point is SO true!! I often take pictures of myself to post on my blog and when I do this first thing in the morning, smiling at myself really makes for a great start to the day.

    Your ritual idea sounds wonderful and I have tried this before. But I have to admit that my brain takes quite a while to wake up and so those wonderful spiritual activities, or the physical ones, would not work very well so early.

    But I do have a ritual, of sorts. Chamomile tea, a healing exercise and hugging my son good morning :) .

    • admin
      July 21, 2011 | 7:15 pm

      Thanks Jeanine! I know what you mean… sometimes it takes my brain a while to warm up too :) Have tried stretching in bed, and opening your eyes really wide a few times? It can help… but your ritual sounds pretty amazing as it is!

  3. Dahlia Valentine
    July 21, 2011 | 8:08 pm

    Hi Natalie… Before I even open my eyes in the morning, I make it a point to smile a big, cheesy grin. Then I stick out my tongue and wiggle it left and right. (I saw Sponge Bob do it one time.) The morning breath isn’t too sexy, but it always makes me excited to start my day. Then I say a short prayer for a great day.

    Having some sort of positive routine in the morning really does have an effect on your day. You ever wake up frowning? It’s hard to get out of that zone!

    • admin
      July 21, 2011 | 9:48 pm

      That’s awesome Dahlia! Love the Sponge Bob inspiration :) I’ll have to try that sometime…

  4. Hi Natalie,

    Thanks for posting an absolutely positive approach to getting up in the morning. I can relate to your comment about smiling. When I was a young guy (a long time ago) I remember going through an extremely depressing period…so much so that I was almost totally unable to cope. One morning I stood in front of the mirror, almost ready to have a breakdown, and forced myself to smile at myself. And, you know, I began to feel better and gradually lifted out of my depression. Mysterious? I guess so, but I’m glad it worked.

    Lou

    • admin
      July 22, 2011 | 5:56 pm

      Thank you for sharing Lou! I know a lot of people can relate to your story about going through a period of depression. Haven’t we all had at least one of those? It’s amazing how much power a simple smile has to transform our mood, our day, and our outlook in general.

  5. marquita herald
    July 22, 2011 | 6:27 pm

    Hi Natalie,
    Lovely article – morning is my favorite time of day! I’m normally up by 3am (no choice, just automatically wake up that early!) and the first thing I do is take my little dog out on our deck to survey “the kingdom” and enjoy the cool morning Maui air and my view of the mountains and ocean. Yep, I agree, life is pretty darn good :-)

    • admin
      July 22, 2011 | 6:30 pm

      Thank you Marquita – 3am is impressive, even if you don’t have a choice about it :) And I have a soft spot in my heart for any morning ritual that includes a beloved pet… and Maui!

  6. Dr. Bob Clarke
    July 23, 2011 | 7:11 am

    Hi Natalie,

    First time on your blog, and may I say that it just feels “comfortable” to be here… exactly the way a blog should feel, in my opinion.

    I like your tips for feeling excited when going to work. Sadly, many people wake up each day with a sense of dread. I must admit that I can be counted among these people on some days, but mostly it’s all good.

    I like your tip about having your own business the best. Before I started a business, I had no sense that I was working towards something greater. Now, when I get time to work on my business, I do so with a feeling of optimism that, when the time is right, I will give up the shackles of full time employment and enjoy all the benefits of self employment.

    But first, 2 more kids to get through college :-) .

    Thanks for the great post, Natalie!

    • admin
      July 25, 2011 | 5:41 pm

      Thank you kindly, Bob! Great to have you here :)

      And I can appreciate that not everyone is in a position to jump ship from their full-time job, and pursue their own entrepreneurial whims… but people like you provide inspiration to those who need to need to move a little slower into full-on self-employment. The wonderful thing is that you’re moving – and I hope other people see your comment and feel moved to do the same!

  7. Catarina
    July 23, 2011 | 10:05 am

    Good suggestions Natalie.

    Just suggest you add doing pranayama yogic breating exercises)first thing you wake up since it gives you energy.Then a glass of water or two, do whatever exercise you want to do – in my case yoga and stretching to music – and then have a healthy breakfast.

    Then you are ready to face the world. The added benefit is that it pays off in the long run both health wise and for keeping in shape. Ten minutes a day, you know…

    • admin
      July 23, 2011 | 11:50 am

      Thank you Catarina – that’s a beautiful suggestion. I’ve been doing a lot of breath work myself these days and seeing a lot of benefit. Do you know any great online resources to teach people pranayama breathing exercises? And yes, I totally agree – ten minutes goes a really long way!

  8. F.B.
    July 23, 2011 | 11:19 pm

    Most of the time I have a positive attitude, starting off my day in a good frame of mind.
    However it feels like you wrote this article for me today.
    Once in a while, I need to be reminded that the choice to smile does in fact belong to me. And I know from 60 years of experience that I can’t stay unhappy when there’s a smile on my face.
    Thank you!
    F.B.

    • admin
      July 25, 2011 | 5:38 pm

      Thank you F.B. – sometimes I forget too! It’s always great to be reminded that we have a choice about something as simple and effective as smiling.

  9. Amanda
    July 25, 2011 | 4:10 pm

    I love everything you mentioned. What great words(actions) to live by. We tend to live in the same morning routines(watching the news, drinking coffee etc…) your advice of doing something energizing and healthy in the morning could only start off your day in a positive way. I will wake up and smile like I have my own little secret. Thanks for the advice.

    • admin
      July 25, 2011 | 4:16 pm

      Thank you Amanda – let me know how it works out for you!

  10. Jane | Find All Answers
    July 27, 2011 | 5:03 am

    A wonderful post for a morning inspiration. I especially like a couple of points here. Don’t drink coffee right away – that’s the inclination usually because we think coffee will boost us for the day. But drinking coffee on an empty (fresh) stomach is just nasty.

    Avoid reading news – yes there is so much negativity and usually there is information overload. There is way much more than we need and we are usually drifted right in the morning from our focus.

    Thanks for the great article.

    • admin
      July 28, 2011 | 11:59 am

      Thank you Jane – I couldn’t agree more about coffee on an empty stomach! I love the stuff, but I wait until later in the morning or afternoon to indulge.

  11. Ian Belanger
    August 12, 2011 | 10:20 am

    Hi Natalie,

    Great post! Some days I do not even want to get out of bed, as I am sure we all do. The 10 things you mention on your list are a great way to combat this feeling.

    I have been wanting to make a change in my morning routine, but I have been putting it off.

    There is no time better than now to do it. I think I will start waking up an hour earlier, as you said, and take my dogs for a walk in the woods behind my house.

    Thanks for sharing Natalie and have a great day!
    Ian Belanger recently posted..How Important Is It For You To Join A Blog NetworkMy Profile

    • admin
      August 12, 2011 | 2:46 pm

      Thank you, Ian. Let me know how it goes – I’m sure your dogs will be thrilled with your new morning plan :)

  12. Jenny Greer
    December 8, 2011 | 10:08 am

    Great post! Mysterious?
    Jenny Greer recently posted..Gout TipsMy Profile

  13. Torben
    January 8, 2012 | 11:36 am

    I’m new to your blog and have enjoyed reading the recent posts. You run an inspiring style and you throw in a contrary thought here and there to keep things interesting. But for this post, I felt I have to respond: you clearly don’t have kids that wake you up at 05:30.
    1) Get up an hour earlier? I don’t think so.
    3) Surround myself with positive and inspiring material, when junior just spilled milk across the entire table? Difficult.
    10) Getting up early AND getting enough sleep means to bed at ten, best case. When where we supposed to do the taxes/clean the bathroom/fix the toys? Weekends only!
    You see, it seems that most of these “inspirational blogs” and “start your own business, already!” blogs seem to live in a different universe than the one inhabited by late-30′ish couples with one or two toddlers around. I’m lucky to have a very stable and reasonably foreseeable work week of only 50 hours, with no business worries when I’m at home. And I don’t need to spend time walking a dog when I could be catching up on household stuff instead. I don’t think at lot of people in my universe would enjoy a home office 24×7 and worrying if the next month’s income would cover the mortgage. It would be interesting to hear your take on this! Best regards from Austria.

  14. [...] ways I know of, to take you from where you are to where you want to be. I touched on this in 10 Ways to Wake up Excited to Go to Work and I want to fully explain it here because I know how helpful it is. Do I use it every day? [...]

  15. Sandra what
    May 5, 2012 | 5:04 pm

    I find owning a Dog makes me look forward to waking up.

    I do have a dog who sleeps in my bed and every morning, Like clockwork, He starts playing with my hands trying to wake me up and licking my face and he acts sooo excited to see me in the morning like I’ve been gone even though he’s been sleeping next to me. I think he is excited that i’ve woken up and can play with him.

    My previous dog did not sleep in my bed. Slept outside and previous dog did a similar thing too. every morning he would scratch my door to tell me to wake up and when i open the door. He goes crazy excited to see me.

    I know some dog owners find this behavior annoying but I love it! It feels good to know that even during your crappy bad days. that your dog is always happy to see you wake up. It makes you feel positive when you wake up being greeted by an excited dog who is happy to see you wake up! lol

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