You know the feeling. Here are three things you can do to start your day on the right tone:
1. Get moving
I could say that we are biological in nature. Being active and moving usually increseases our breathing rate and the rate of blood circulating through our bodies. More oxygen and nutrients reach our cells and tissues. Our nerves fire up and our bodies increase levels of certain hormones.
The end result, and the take away, is that we do feel better. And, if you do it at the start of your day, you will most likely feel more awake and energized to get what you have to, and what you need to, done.
I have a love-hate relationship with running. Or more accurately a ‘Yes!’ and ‘I-know-it-makes-me-feel-good-but-it-is-a-lot-of-work’ mix of feelings about running. But I know that I feel great at the end of every single run.
2. Be grateful
However, some take the time to see where they are, where they want to go and to get their bearings before taking off. Every now and then, they will stop to check their bearings to make sure that they are still on track.
Being grateful is the expedition equivalent of checking your bearings. Every now and then, stop and take stock of where you are in life and all of the good people, moments and things in your life.
- Who are you grateful to have in your life right now?
- What are you most grateful about yesterday?
- What experience are you most grateful for in your life?
It can be simple as writing down five things you are grateful today. Or taking five minutes for a prayer of gratitude. Or ten minutes to meditate on those things you are grateful for.
What do you want your life to look like when you look back?
Why are you doing what you are doing right now?
How do you want to be remembered?
It is easy to get caught up in the fear of being left behind and/or moving in a different direction from the crowd. That you are wrong if you choose a different approach. The starting gun goes off and all you see is a mass of people speeding up, all headed in the same direction at high speed. The temptation in life is to follow the pack. Safety in numbers is a primal instinct.
The basis of this is uncertainty and fear. Uncertainty about where to go, the fear of what we may enounter along the way to get there and if we can handle it.
The reality though is that in an ‘open course’ quest, where there is more than one way to get to complete it, following the pack more often than not means following one person’s vision of how to complete the quest. This is okay if you have the same end in mind.
But do you have a clear sense of what you what your life to look like?
And not what you think other people expect you life to look like?
Taking a moment to determine what it is you want to achieve in your life, and the direction you should be going, can help give you certainty, clarity and purpose in your approach.
Then prioritizing what you have to do today becomes all that much easier.
The temptation is to write down a massive ‘to-do’ list. Then, if you are like me, finding every other possible activity to do than what is actually on that list. And then to feel guilty about not checking off everything on the list by bedtime.
My family and my relationships are the most important things to me. My health, my energy, my vocation are key elements in my life in of themselves. However, they ultimately support this primary goal.
For me the ‘to-do’ list is important. But even more important is why I am doing the things on the ‘to-do’ list in the first place. And if the right things are on my list. It also helps me purge my list of things which keep me ‘busy’ but do not contribute to my end goal in a meaningful way.
Beginning with the end in mind helps me keep my focus and points me in the right direction when I feel lost.
Now, I just need to find a way to keep doing this consistently.
What three things do you do to start your day on the right tone?