What is the first thing you think about each morning you wake up?
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure of your answer.
I hadn’t put much thought into the importance of the first thoughts that come into my mind each morning either.
Until Jerry Robin recommended a great read to me.
One book entitled Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown, had a quote that changed the way I think about my mornings and is the focus of todays post.
This excerpt changed the way I think and has been a critical part of my recent happiness and embracing the feeling that I am enough each day:
For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is, “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet even touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And buy the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts sand wake up to that reverie of lack…This internal condition of scarcity, this mindset of our scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.
Did this resonate with you as strongly as it did with me?
Isn’t it almost embarrassing how we allow our minds to say things to ourselves we would never say to another human being?
Do you ever wake up feeling like you are not enough?
The worst part is that the very first thoughts upon awakening set the tone for your entire day.
Creating your own personal morning routine starting with the very first thing you think about when you wake up will have a more powerful positive effect on your life than you could ever imagine.
Your First Thought of the Day
What was the first thing you thought about this morning?
- “I didn’t get enough sleep.”
- “I have a bunch of things to get done today.”
- “I didn’t have a productive day yesterday.”
These are the top 3 answers most people will respond with.
How did your own response make you feel?
I choose to start my day thinking about 3 things I am grateful for before I even get out of bed.
We all too often hear our alarm go off and jump out of bed, immediately in a rush.
I challenge you to start your day tomorrow by stating 3 things you are grateful for from your previous day.
When your gratitude comes from the previous day you immediately remove the possibility of not feeling like you got enough done the day before.
This is a simple task that becomes a habit quite quickly.
The reward is a positive feeling which encourages you to replicate it every morning.
Most habits take 30-45 days to become established but the passage from Brene Brown truly hit home for me and my morning gratitude became a habit in less than 7 days.
If you need a little inspiration, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- I am grateful for a great conversation with a friend.
- I am grateful for the roof over my head.
- I am grateful for the relaxing time I spent outdoors.
- I am grateful for having a family that supports me.
- I am grateful for the comfortable bed I woke up in.
- I am grateful for the sound of the birds outside my window.
The beauty of gratitude is the more you express it, the more you find that simple things make you happy.
We are always pushing ourselves to make more money, get more things done and get a bigger house or a newer car.
The irony is we want things so we can feel:
I can feel all of these emotions right now in the next 10-20 seconds while I type this blog post in my boxers with a sugar free Red Bull by my side if I choose to.
Let me show you…
Feeling Accomplished – I woke up this morning and was inspired to write and here I am after 700 words and that is plenty if I choose to stop now. Even a paragraph or a powerful sentence would have been enough.
Feeling Successful – How do you define successful? Is it 100K a year? 200K a year? A Ferrari? I’ve had all 3 and can tell you none of them made me successful in my eyes. I woke up in a home with food and drink. Choose your definition wisely.
Feeling Happy – I woke up happy and looking forward to celebrating Memorial day with friends and family at my home in 5 hours makes me even happier. Happiness is a choice I choose to make daily.
Ingest Something Healthy
The next thing I do each morning is head downstairs and make some hot tea.
I have these unique tea flowers from what I envision to be a super exotic location that turn the water blue.
I like blue, I like adding honey and the warmth feels good going down.
It doesn’t take much to make you happy when you make your happiness threshold attainable daily.
Think of how many become happy but then raise their threshold for happiness.
They think… If I make $10/hr then next I need to make $20, then $30 and then $50…why not shoot for $100?
When is it ever enough?
It is enough when you decide it is enough?
Enough to me is being able to have shelter, food and some basic transportation.
What is enough for you?
The then ingest some Aloe Vera water with some powdered greens.
The Aloe water tastes like regular water and the greens are very dry and gritty.
I do it as a shot and focus on the good I am doing for my body instead of the taste and it feels good when that is my focus.
Choose whatever you like to ingest… your morning routine is yours.
Stretch and Get My Heart Going
The final piece of my morning routine is getting some simple stretching in paired with a quick rise in my heart rate.
This is NOT a work out!
I simply stretch for 3-5 minutes and then either do jumping jacks or jump rope for a few minutes.
The key to a morning routine is NOT perfection but it is consistency.
You want to make this a habit.
The only way to accomplish this is by taking action daily and at a minimum completing as much of your morning routine as possible.
Let’s say for example, you wake up one day and aren’t feeling so hot.
Make sure you at least ingest something and even if you stretch for 20 seconds, the key is you repeated the behavior.
All too often we make the mistake of thinking we can only take action if everything is 100%.
Perfection isn’t the goal and when perfection becomes your goal, procrastination will take over like a flesh eating bacteria.
Take small daily actions to improve your focus, achieve your goals and improve your mindset.
Put all your effort into consistency and not into perfection.
Have an amazing day!