How often do you wake up, and the first thought that comes to mind is something negative? Maybe you aren't getting enough rest and feel tired, you feel uncertain of what the day will bring, or maybe you're just dreading the work ahead?
How about you try a few new interesting habits to redirect that negative start and gain a renewed sense of well-being, and joy.
1. Start each day with an attitude of gratitude.
I cannot stress enough the importance of this habit. I'm guessing you've heard this suggestion before, and talked yourself out of why it even matters, but trust me, it does. It will change your entire sense of well-being in a matter of days.
According to Harvard Health, gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can't feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.
Here are some simple ways to implement this habit:
Keep a journal. This can be a simple $1 composition notebook you get at Walmart, a fancy leather bound journal, Evernote app on your phone, or your daily calendar. Jot down 3-5 things you first think of that you are thankful for. Even if it is simple things, it's okay, just do it.
Write a thank you note. Take a minute or two to send a note to a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, or your favorite local vendor thanking them. This gesture may be the one positive thing they experience that day, thank goodness they have you to help!
Pray or Meditate. Thank God for for the many ways he has provided, protected, loved, and gifted you each and every day.
2. Review your WHY.
According to Forbes Contributing Author Margie Warrell, "a clear sense of purpose enables you to focus your efforts on what matters most, compelling you to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds or obstacles."
"Only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory."
5 questions to develop your 'Why' statement:
Who are you? What is your identity?
Who do you serve? Who are you working to help?
What is your passion? This question is about connecting you to a cause that's bigger than you, it's what you care most about.
What are you really great at? What are your strengths, related to your passion?
What kind of impact do you want? How do you want to improve the lives of others?
Now, take the answers and form them into your personal Why statement:
I am (identity), serving (who), using my passion for (passion), through (strengths), resulting in improving their lives by (impact).
Here is an example of mine:
"I am a Christian Mompreneur, serving my family, friends, and community , using my passion for the health and well being of others, through Wellness Coaching, resulting in improving their lives by enhancing their knowledge and capabilities in the 4 pillars of health: Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition."
Once you have your 'Why" you will have a sense of direction on how to make important decisions and go about your day. By starting each day reviewing your 'Why,' you will have clarity on what action you need to take, what requests you may need to say no to, and what goals to set in the future. You also will have a stronger sense of purpose that will give you an extra dose of energy when things start to get tough.
Keep your 'why' statement handy, on a sticky note, on your phone, on your screensaver, wherever you can reference it regularly. Feel free to revise your 'why' as you learn and grow. Your 'why' is like your personal mission statement, it's how you will reach your overall personal vision.
3. Plan and Review your "Daily Big 3."
This is a helpful tool from one of my favorite authors, Michael Hyatt. In his book, Free to Focus, he details a total productivity system to achieve more by doing less. This book is loaded with fabulous information and I highly recommend you read it.
"Daily Big 3" is the top 3 items you want to achieve today based on your overall vision and goals. Now, you may not even have a formal vision or goal right now, but you do know, at the very least, you need to get through today!
Setting your top 3 items to achieve and getting them done will be so helpful in keeping you on task throughout the day, as well as getting the "feel good" sense of accomplishment that you actually did achieve something when you reach the end of your day and wonder how the time flew by so fast.
I hope these tips are helpful to you, I personally use them and have found success in doing so. Just a quick re-cap of your 3 new habits to try:
Start each day with an "Attitude of Gratitude."
Know and review your "Why."
Plan and Review your "Daily Big 3."
I'd love to hear about your personal success in trying these tips. Please leave a comment below or click the "heart" if you love it!