Often times we get stuck. The same routines. The same bad habits. Wanting things to be different. Doing the same thing over and over but wishing for a different result. Albert Einstein said this is the true definition of insanity.
But so many of us are guilty of it. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. We want better relationships. We want a better job. These are all changes many of us want but how can we actually make them happen?
New Year’s Eve. A milestone birthday. A tragic event. A close call. Any of these occasions can be a catalyst for change. A random Sunday in April somehow seems a bit less inspiring.
Typically, change does not happen quickly, it takes time, dedication and perseverance. It also often involves setbacks. But if we hope to change we need to set ourselves up for success. The best time for this to happen is in the morning.
Each day is a fresh start. This means starting the day with purpose and intent. Here are five things you should do each morning to set yourself up for success.
The power of gratitude is so important. Taking the time to be grateful can actually improve your physical, emotional and social well-being. It can also help you to be more optimistic and actually happier, along with a host of other benefits.
Before your feet hit the floor, take a moment to give thanks. Acknowledge the things you are grateful for. If you can write it down in a gratitude journal that’s a bonus. But, even mentally making a list will have a significant impact.
Giving thanks for what you have sets you up for living an abundant life. Coming from a place of scarcity and negativity is going to have the opposite effect. Start your day by saying thanks.
Make your bed
There is something so powerful about being able to accomplish even a small task first thing in the morning. Although it may seem unimportant on the larger scale of priorities, according to Naval Adm. William McRaven, making you bed first thing will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
The power of meditation and ultimately becoming more mindful is truly life changing. Taking the time to sit in stillness and keep your thoughts quite for even 10 minutes when you wake up will have a ripple effect on the rest of your day.
Meditating first thing will help to create a sense of calm, peace and balance which will benefit you throughout the day. Meditation will also help you to manage and ultimately reduce stress, focus on the present moment and lead to a greater self-awareness, along with a host of other benefits.
We are all guilty of negative self-talk, but it can be especially damaging first thing in the morning. When we affirm something over and over we will eventually believe it. I’m too fat. I’m too old. I’m too tired. I’m too stressed. I don’t have enough time. Whatever the voice repeats over and over in your head has an impact on the way you approach, and ultimately the outcomes of, your day.
Spend 20 minutes to make a list of all the negative things you repeatedly tell yourself and write down the opposite. After you brush your teeth look yourself in the mirror and say one of your positive affirmation out loud a few times. Not sure where to start? Try one of these.
In the shower, as you are doing your hair, or while you are making breakfast, think about how your day is going to go. Do a quick mental walk-through, hour by hour.
What energy are you going to bring to the team meeting? How is that difficult conversation with your colleague going to go? How are you going to handle the meltdown from your toddler which will inevitably happen right before he has to go to bed?
Walking through your schedule for the day will let you put out to the universe how you want the day to go. Don’t get too hung up on the details or the outcome but rather focus on your feelings. Think about the energy you are going to bring. How do you want to show up?
In total this might add an extra 15 minutes to your morning routine. Set your alarm clock five minutes early and choose one of the five above to do this week. Next week add another five minutes and choose one or two more.
Wake up. Give thanks. Make your bed. Meditate. Say a positive affirmation. Visualize the day.
What do you do to set yourself up for a successful day? What rituals or routines do you have? I would love to hear your thoughts below.
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