I recently read an article by Hal Elrod, discussing how to transform your life in 6 minutes. He writes "No matter where you are in life at this moment, there is at least one thing that you and I have in common: We want to improve our lives and ourselves." After working on it for a few weeks, I actually whittled his method down to just three minutes. It has proven to be a powerful way to get the day going, and was easy to implement into my morning routine.
Minute 1 starts with SILENCE. This means leaving the clock radio off and avoiding the obnoxious morning DJ's rant about traffic and weather. There will still be time for that, but the first moment of each day is an opportunity to set a positive tone. In my experience, it's best not to do this while lying down or risk falling back asleep. Instead, try simply sitting up and enjoying 60 seconds of quiet. As Elrod mentions, "Center yourself and create an optimum state of mind that will lead you effectively through the rest of your day."
Minute 2 is one of the most important parts of this routine. Review your list of AFFIRMATIONS. These are one sentence slogans to reflect on like "Fear is a prison for the heart". It doesn't matter if these are cliche as long as they speak to your greater sense of purpose and help reach your goals. I'm building my list in a note pad on the iPad, but just about any method will work including a basic scrap of paper kept next to your bed. Eventually, you'll start to memorize these affirmations and it becomes part of your underlying thoughts, guiding your actions throughout the day.
For photographers, Minute 3 is helpful on a number of levels. It's all about VISUALIZATION. Close your eyes and picture how your interaction with the client will be and how great the photos will turn out. If you can see the positive results in your mind, you can make them a reality. Should nagging doubts creep in, replace those with images of you confidently manning your camera, the subject is happy, you get paid for the job, they invite you back to do even more work, etc.
For those of you who have a few more minutes to spare, the rest of the list can be found here.