How I start my morning sets the tone for my entire day.
When I rush out of bed, feeling stressed and behind, my whole day seems to go off the rails. When I wake up earlier than I need to and take the time to meditate or exercise (sometimes both) before I set about getting things done, my whole day seems much more productive and calm.
You can’t always control how your mornings go.
Sometimes you have the best of intentions and then you remember that early morning conference call that your boss schedule or you realize you forgot to send out a really important email the night before and poof — the magic of mornings is gone.
By asking yourself four simple questions, before your feet even hit the ground, you can start directing your days with intention and shaping the energy of the day ahead.
These four questions are my go to for starting the day on the right side of the bed:
What am I grateful for? This questions helps me ease into the day with a healthy dose of appreciation. When the first thing I think of is what I’m grateful for, my mood improves and I find additional things to be grateful for throughout the day.
What am I looking forward to? By focusing on what I’m looking forward to, I double the joy of the best parts of my day. I enjoy them once in the morning and again when I actually experience it. Research has shown that anticipating a vacation can actually boost happiness more than the vacation itself. I figure if it works for vacations, why not apply the principle to everyday life.
Who can I serve/How can I help today? This question gently reminds me that life isn’t entirely about me. It shifts my focus to a bigger picture and helps create meaning & purpose to the day ahead.
What’s the most important thing I must do today? Most my days include a pretty long to-do list. Most days I won’t come anywhere near completing my to-do list. This question helps me simplify and prioritize. If I was just able to get one thing done today, what would it be? And then when I get that one thing done, I can celebrate significant progress.