Snooze button. Waking up with thoughts racing about the day's to-do list. Snooze button again. Lying in bed feeling like you don't want to get up and face the over-scheduled day. Remembering the person who frustrated you last week, realizing you have no time for breakfast because you've already hit that snooze button twice, and... Let's take a breath.
One of the most important parts of your day, if not the most important, are the very moments you wake up in the morning. This is when the tone and course for the day ahead are set. The way you start your morning -- everything from your first thoughts to what you consume to the way you get ready -- has big-time influence your happiness, success and energy overall. And here's great news: Simply making some small shifts to the way you approach your mornings can empower your days and lead to radical positive changes in your life.
By making some positive changes to my own mornings a few years ago, I was able to create much more balance, energy and happiness in my own life, and I'm loving it! I truly believe this is one of the keys to a higher-quality life overall, which is why I'm so passionate about spreading the word.
It all starts with your thoughts. As you're waking up each morning, those first few thoughts that float through your cloudy mind are some of your most powerful, and they have the influence to set the tone for your entire day. With practice, you can to train your mind to make your first thoughts of the day positive, inspiring, high-quality ones.
Even if those first few minutes are not necessarily negative, and may even seem neutral, the idea is to step it up to a happier, more optimistic level. For the next few weeks, make a conscious, deliberate effort when you wake to shift your thoughts to anything that brings you joy, inspires you or brings you peace. After the first month or so, you'll find that waking up in a much more positive place will become natural, and so will better days.
Seven shifts you can make to create a positive morning mindset:
- Keep a colorful pad and pen next to the bed to write down positive thoughts, affirmations and things you're grateful for when they come to mind. When you need a little nudge in the morning, grab the pad and read away.
- Memorize a positive saying or affirmation as a "default" phrase you can easily shift to when needed. A simple one is, "It's a new day and another opportunity for a great fresh start."
- Place a favorite quote or affirmation in a little frame on your nightstand. Something that always puts you in a better place.
- Keep a glass of water next to your bed so it's waiting for you when you wake up. The water will be there to welcome you to the new day, refresh your body and start you off in a nurtured place.
- Have positive reading material next to your bed so you've got a regular flow of thought-provoking, uplifting content to reach for in the morning. You can also subscribe to positive blogs and e-newsletters. They're a great quick read when you're having your coffee. Make a habit of reading something inspiring each morning, even if it's just a couple of paragraphs.
- Questions are powerful. Create a practice of asking yourself positive questions in the morning like, "How am I going to make today amazing?" or "What can I do to take great care of myself today?" Then go over the answers in your mind or write them down.
- When you begin to feel a little overwhelmed by the day ahead, try breaking priorities for the day into manageable sets of three. Focus only on the top three priorities for the day and know that you'll be able to handle them easily and with joy. Once you move past those three, move on to the next three. This is a fantastic way to clear mental clutter and create more focus, peace and balance.
In addition to your morning thoughts having a huge impact, your practices and experiences in the morning have a major influence on the quality of your whole day. Take a look at other positive ways you can make over your mornings. Try setting your alarm a few minutes earlier, and be sure to avoid the snooze button. Even just an extra 15 minutes in the morning is huge. Take a couple of minutes to sit in stillness or step outside and breathe in some fresh air. Take time to eat something super healthy (a must), connect with loved ones, and to just plain slow down.
Go through the spaces where you spend time in the morning and bliss them up. Clear clutter. Add a few items that make you feel good and inspire you when you see them.
Not only will all this action and reaching for higher thoughts make your mornings drastically more pleasant, it will also create a flow of reminders that you're taken care of, that you're making yourself a priority, and that you're worth all that is good and beautiful in life. That's the way to clear the path for a great days.
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