During the course of the year, you’ll have 365 opportunities to get your day off to a good start, and by doing so, you improve your chances of having a better day.
Here are a few tips that can up your chances of getting your day off on the right foot.
- Start the night before. The last thing you should do before going to bed, is prepare to have a good start to the next day. Make sure the clothes you need are ready and where they should be. Lay out your keys, your smartphone, any paperwork you need, wallet, cash, etc. all in one place. Starting your day with a scavenger hunt can make for a bad beginning.
- Know how long it takes for you to get ready. The last thing you want to do in the morning is be rushed. So, spend a little time each day for several days to really keep track of how much time it takes you to get out of bed, have breakfast, shower, get dressed, etc. and get out the door. This, of course, will be different if you are in your truck over the road or driving local or making a regional run. Once you figure out how much time it takes, add 10 extra minutes for those unexpected “just in case” things that might crop up.
- Stretch. A lot of folks have a morning exercise routine; they bike or run or go to the gym. Good for them! Good for you too if you can include this into your trucking day. If not, at least stretch. Arms over head. Bend at the waist and reach toward your toes. Deep knee bends. Roll your head to loosen your neck. Shrug your shoulders. These simple movements can get the mechanisms of the body moving in a gentle way and help you wake up.
- Eat something. Who among us hasn’t started the day — many days — with a cup of coffee and the promise to get something resembling a real breakfast at the first possible opportunity … which usually is lunch time. Resist that urge and take time to eat something, and we don’t mean a toaster pastry. There are plenty of make-ahead breakfasts you can have waiting for you in the morning. If you feel you must grab something from a fast food drive-thru, keep it light and reach for the fruit cup.
- Have something to drink. Your best bet is water. Start the day well hydrated and you will feel better in the long run. Skip juices that bill themselves as “fruit drinks.” Too much sugar. And, a first cup of coffee is as essential to waking up as the alarm clock is for many people. Go ahead, drink up. Just don’t make that all you have to “eat.”
- Think about what you have to do. Your driving day may be pretty routine, but take a few moments to mentally run through what you will have to do. Remind yourself of places where there might be traffic, even rehearse your route. If your delivery or pick up is at someplace new, take time to call and get directions and ask if there is anything special you need to know.
- Be positive. We doubt that Pollyanna was a truck driver, but do your best to walk out the front door or climb into the driver’s seat of your truck with a smile and positive outlook. Think of something good that happened recently or your kid’s smile or how happy your dog is to see you at the end of the day. Then get rolling.