I spent years waking up to an overwhelmed feeling of all the stuff that lay ahead of me. It was like a snowball of To-Do’s that had to start immediately. It felt draining just to wake up.
Fast forward 5 years, and that overwhelmed feeling upon opening my eyes is completely gone. I’m objectively doing more now. I mean, a toddler is more demanding than any boss I’ve had, plus I run my own business, so I am every team member rolled into one.
So, what changed? I did. The crazy-sounding thing is, I’m not cramming more into my day. If anything, I’ve slowed down.
Here are 2 ways you can bring more motivation into your morning and positivity into your day.
1. Create a solid morning routine that works for you.
There isn’t a single routine that works for everyone, but I do believe there are elements that make up an effective start to any day:
If there is one thing I’ve learned from my toddler, it’s that they thrive on consistency. We are not that different! It’s an innate need for our brains to know what’s coming. When you wake up at wildly different times each day, sometimes you get up and eat, sometimes you get up and run, others you open your computer to an onslaught of emails, and others you scroll on your phone, your brain doesn’t know what to expect.
Things don’t have to be perfectly executed each day – that will create its own stress – but do know that the more consistency, the better. Because you want to be consistent, make your routine feasible. It should consist of things you actually enjoy doing, or the act of a morning routine will not feel motivating.
Personally, I start my day off with 10-15 minutes of yoga. I either follow a video on YouTube or do my own thing since I’ve been practicing for years. You could simply stretch or even do a few rounds of pushups and squats, just be mindful not to push yourself too hard first thing. Your goal is to get your body moving and wake up your muscles and the mind.
c) Enjoyable drink
Definitely drink some water, but have something you look forward to. Even adding lemon to your water could be enough to wake you up from the inside out. I prefer a cup of coffee, and while I drink regularly, it’s more the act of drinking it, so if I’m laying off caffeine, I will make a decaf. Tea is a great option, or Kombucha is a direction you may choose. Make it something you look forward to that isn’t a sugar bomb!
d) Quiet reflection
To feel motivated and start on a positive note, it helps to reflect on who you are and what you want. This could be through meditation – guided or simply sitting in silence – or journaling. Block off 10-20 minutes to focus on how you feel at the moment and what you want out of your day. How do you want to feel?
Notice that not one of these things is a traditional “motivator.” To be truly motivated, your drive has to come from within; it’s called Intrinsic Motivation. Taking care of yourself, mind, body, and soul is what boosts your motivation naturally, and having a morning routine with these elements that you enjoy is a fast track to just that.
2. Positive mindset
I want to be very clear: having a positive mindset does not mean being positive 24/7. That is insanity! There’s actually a term for this: Toxic Positivity.
I see it all the time, and I’ve started to fall for it myself. It’s the belief that we cannot allow a negative thought into our minds, and if we do, we have somehow failed.
a) Talk about stress!
Having a positive mindset means you are choosing a positive outlook over a negative one. It means you don’t dwell on your misfortunes or bad days, but you let them happen and move on.
Great things happen when you adopt a positive mindset. Look at it like you would a growth mindset. Being positive opens your mind to new opportunities and allows you the energy and desire to pursue them.
I have no doubt you have things that are not so positive in your life, and that’s OK! You do not have to have the perfect life to have a positive mindset.
The 2 quickest ways to cultivate this attitude is through a regular gratitude practice and a dose of perspective.
We can’t walk around being grateful for everything at every moment, but having gratitude is a pillar of a positive mindset.
One way to work this into your routine, so it becomes natural, is to take those moments before you fall asleep to say aloud (or quietly whisper, or visualize) the highlights of your day. Name everything you are grateful for that happened throughout the day. It can be small – the sun felt amazing on my walk – or big – I got the promotion. Bring your attention to the best parts and let go of what you didn’t get done or what you have to do tomorrow.
c) Big Picture Focus
It’s easy to get trapped in the details and ride the emotional roller coaster that is life. The more you can bring your big picture goals – what’s really the most important and what you want out of life – the easier it is to brush the little annoyances off.
I remember feeling frustrated and negative that I wasn’t booking as many consults as I thought I should be at that point. Also, I pulled back and looked at the bigger picture of my life and what was important to me. I get to spend a lot of my time parenting my toddler while growing my business.
Creating a simple morning routine that makes you feel good, inside and out, and continuing to focus on the bigger picture of your goals are two foundational ways to create a positive mindset that comes easily and actually sticks around!