The alarm rings. You have a choice: Close your eyes and wish for a few more minutes of sleep or welcome a brand new day filled with unrevealed adventures.
Let’s say you opt for option two. That’s a great start, but before you dive into your E-mails, To-Do lists and the morning dance of kids, breakfasts and schedules, I’d like you to stop. Yes, put it all on pause for a minute and prime yourself for a great day.
Just three simple, but profoundly effective daily rituals, where you create space for yourself, can make all the difference. I’m asking you to grab your coffee, tea or smoothie and allow yourself to connect with you for 15 minutes. (If necessary, wake up 15 minutes early because it’s worth it).
Here are the three daily rituals that can cause a profound shift in perspective:
ONE: APPRECIATE THE PRESENT
There are people who wake up thinking about all of their life stressors – bills to pay, the big work project that’s due, overtime at work and playing chauffeur for the kids. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? And then there are others who wake up appreciating and giving gratitude for what they have right now in this moment. The bills were paid yesterday. Overtime at work tonight means extra money for vacation. I love the kids and can’t wait to watch a movie with them later. Sounds exhilarating, doesn’t it.
LESSON: What we focus our attention on is what grows in our lives. Do not magnify the negative or you’ll highlight it and allow it to overshadow everything else. Magnify the positive.
TWO: PROSPECTING YOUR FUTURE
Life can often seem overwhelming with a constant addition to our endless “to do” list. Instead of welcoming the next 24 hours, you might find yourself dreading it. To combat that feeling redirect your thoughts toward what you’re actually looking forward to today. Yes, you must find something because it’s always there. The key to making things stick and being more potent is being specific, too.
In my case: Today is the day that my husband Ron will be home, which is so exciting because we live apart half of the time. But he’s here tonight! I can kiss him and catch that smile. And I know he will cook his special salmon for me, so I get a night off of cooking. I can’t wait to hug him!
LESSON: Even if it’s just one great thing, force yourself to focus on it. This is an instant mind shifter. Use the language, “Today I am looking forward to….” We feel more positive when we have things to look forward to in or life. Remember: Most of us are more excited when we’re looking forward to a vacation then when we’re really there with our sand in our toes.
This is a great exercise to do with your kids in the morning. When my kids whine about their morning or complain about their day, I ask, “Well, what is the one thing you’re looking forward to today?” The other day, I heard, “Well, actually at school today we get to see lizards and set the classroom turtles free.” Whoa! I didn’t expect that reptiles would result in a grin. Just that one simple question resulted in them being psyched!
THREE: SAVORING YOUR PAST
Are you stuck in a rut of constantly thinking how much you have to do? Or are you the kind of person who allows yourself to savor how far you have come? Celebrating our wins and savoring our successes and triumphs is key to being more resilient and thriving. Remember that when we pass over the good stuff we do and accomplish, we are unconsciously reinforcing our negative stories and patterns while reminding ourselves of what we can’t do.
LESSON: Disrupt this natural thinking and start the day recalling a time when you were at your best. Remember your wins (or what you accomplished) from the last 24 hours. Don’t step over the little things you accomplish. Those checked boxes are wins throughout the day. Stop and celebrate that the kids went to the dentist and you did a 45-minute walk!
I know I’m asking you to do something tough for many people: Celebrate yourself! Sometimes it feels selfish or self-promoting, but filling ourselves up with acknowledgment is soulful. It nourishes your true best self, and helps you reinforce evidence of you being at your best so you can more easily live these behaviors and traits throughout the day.
FINAL THOUGHT: These techniques don’t stop after your first sip of morning coffee. Throughout the day, please come back to your practice to help you in the moment. Reinforce your habits and see things from a different perspective. Practice these game changers and you’ll prime yourself for a great life.