“I got this feeling inside my bones, it goes electric, wavey when I turn it on. All through my city, all through my home, we’re flying up, no ceiling, when we in our zone. I got that sunshine in my pocket, got that good soul in my feet. I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops. I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally. Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don’t stop.”

When those lyrics start to flood into my ears, I can’t help but move my body and start to get into a groove and DANCE, which is our fifth key to creating a transformational morning. Something amazing happens when we get our heart rates up and our blood and oxygen flowing by moving, we enhance our mental clarity and are able to sustain higher levels of energy throughout the day.  And who doesn’t want that? I know that when I am more focused and energized as I go about my day it allows me to be even more fruitful and productive. Now you don’t have to actually dance to get this benefit, the true key is to do what I call multi-muscle movement, which means that you move more than one muscle at a time to maximize your workout and calorie burn. For example, if you are walking don’t just walk, lift weights with your arms at the same time. The great thing about movement is you can do it anywhere the gym, your home, your office, the park, etc. and you can move the way that works best for you running, yoga, bicycling, etc.  Personally, my favorite form of exercise these days is called Intensati, which is a combination of martial arts, dance, yoga and interval training all while incorporating affirmations.(www.satilife.com) I am also excited to start trying Holy Yoga with my friend Norma Maxwell. (@HolyYogaFargoMoorhead on Facebook.) Don’t let excuses get in your way of letting this step transform your life. If it’s truly important to you, you will make time. Plus that is why I encourage you to do this in the morning, because you don’t have all day to come up with excuses. As Nike says “just do it” and do it consistently! (Note: Consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.)

The sixth step is to DOODLE. You can doodle by writing words in a journal or by sketching drawings into a notepad. Whichever way you choose to express yourself, the key is to get your thoughts out of your head so that you can see them in a different way. I have been keeping a journal since I have been in 6th grade which back then my journal entries were more about the latest boy I had a crush on and my frustration with trying to create big bangs since I had super thick hair. However my musings now focus on reflecting on what I have learned, how I have grown, what things I can be grateful for, what I am dreaming about and what challenges I am still experiencing.  You decide what you want to write about. I met a wonderful person this past weekend at a retreat, Andi, who reminded me that we need to “take back the pen” and write the next chapters of our lives. You can keep a gratitude journal, a dream journal, a prayer journal, an intention journal, etc. You can make this a digital component or you can go old school with a pen and paper. Whatever you choose own it. And if you really want to grow take time to go back and re-read some of those entries a year from now and see how much progress you have made. Plus it will remind you that you are not the same person you once were.

The final “D” is DRINK. No I am not talking about drinking a glass of wine, can of beer or a shot of liquor in the morning, instead I am talking about the magical elixir called, water! The average adult human body is 50-65% water, which means it is essential for our body to function. Plus when we are stressed we have hundreds of different chemicals flowing through our body and to rid ourselves of these energy sucking vampires we need to either sweat them out or pee them out, both which require our bodies to be hydrated.  An easy to remember amount to drink is “8 by 8” (8 oz., 8 times) it will get you on the right track to consuming water that will help quench your thirst and fuel your body. My goal is to drink 20-32 oz during my Transformational Morning routine and that way I don’t have to stress about getting more water until early afternoon.

Well there you have it! The 7 “D’s” that can transform your mornings, your minds and your moods. You can practice them in any order that works for you and in the amount of time that works for you. That might mean for you it’s a 60 minute routine, others a 90 minute habit or maybe all you can do is 7 minutes. I don’t recommend that you limit your Transformational Morning steps to 7 minutes permanently but on those days that you are overbooked and overextended, don’t let time be an excuse, be flexible and keep the practice in place.  Remember what we practice, we become. Today commit to practicing the 7 “D’s” for the next 28 days and then share what transformations you have seen in your life and morning due to this simple, yet powerful habit.