I have been privileged starting in January of this year to take on a project at WCAX Channel 3′s The :30 show which airs Monday- Friday at 5:30 eastern time and can also be caught live streaming on the web. The project is a segment called Get It Together and this month this is what we are getting together: our mindset!
I say we because cultivating a great mindset is a never-ending process. I have taken on some habits that help me and I know that they day I stop, chances are good that my mindset will go to a place that is no longer supportive of me in living the kind of life I want to live.
We come by our mindsets honestly. We learn from the study of positive psychology that we come into this world already pre-disposed to a certain level of positive mindset. The environment we were raised in and currently live and work in will also affect this. This does not mean that you can not change, it just means that we all start from a different place. Accepting that is the first most important thing to do. Then deciding we want to change, why it is important and determining what’s in it for us crucial. Writing these reasons down and reading them often will play a big part in staying on track with your mindset transformation.
-If you get off track, recognize what got you off track, learn from it and make plans to combat it the next time, or to circumvent it completely in the future.
-Be patient with yourself. It will take time to ingrain a new way of thinking.
-Commit to a 90 day cycle to begin with.
-Know that you will be uncomfortable at times and may not always feel like following through and that you may have to force yourself for a good while before a new way becomes your way.
In this post I am going to focus on the foundation of your day- the morning. What you do upon waking up each day will set the tone for either greatness or struggle or somewhere in between.
There was a time that I greeted each day feeling anxious. Getting grounded before I moved forward was crucial for me to have a good day and began to explore this. Experimenting with different things to help me get into a mentally strong place first thing each day, I was able to find actions that really worked for me.
This is when I discovered something very important- ritualizing actions will help you to stay on track and to have success in changing my habits of thinking. What I have ended up with is this:
-Wake up, first thought- “thank you” in my head. As I am thankful to just be greeting another new day.
-Prayer- sometimes short, sometimes long- there is no rigidity here.
-Meditation- every single day. I have been doing this for over 10 years. I have gone from hour long mediations, to ten minutes, it has really depended upon the season of my life. Right now I have settled into a nice 30 minute routine that works for me. I am usually listening to Brain Sync subliminal meditations by Kelly Howell: www.brainsync.com. I focus on my breath and my mind wanders continuously- that is what I want to tell everyone who does not meditate or thinks they can not: if you are reading this, you are most likely human. Human beings have minds that wander. Accept that. When you meditate, your mind will wander, you will notice, and bring your mind back to breath. The noticing and coming back is it. No beating yourself up. It’s not that complicated.
-After prayer and mediation, I exercise. Sometimes a class, sometimes the basement gym, followed by dog walking. (dogs and pets are great for mindset by the way) and sometimes the dog walking is my exercise.
-And, I always eat a good breakfast, while engaging with my family, hopefully having a good laugh or two.
What I don’t do- I don’t allow myself to get into any negative conversations, I don’t watch negative tv or news, I don’t read sad, depressing or upsetting things or watch videos of the same type. In fact, I may jump on social media to post something positive at some point, but I will avoid scrolling in the morning.
A BIG point I want to make here is that this is MY way. I encourage you to enjoy the process of finding your best way to start the day. for instance, I know many people who love to exercise and work out some energy before they meditate and that is what works for them.
A few other actions that people take to establish a powerful mindset for the day are:
Writing affirmations and/or gratitudes
Having a morning phone call with an accountability partner
Positive journaling/creating ideas
Listing to a positive, motivating and/or uplifting podcast: I am especially taken right now with The School of Greatness podcast which is free on iTunes.
Reading something positive, motivating and/or uplifting.
Experiment with some of these and create your own. Please comment here or on my Facebook page with what works for you.
In part 2 next month, I will share about the other end of the day- nighttime ritual, which is just as important to creating that great, supportive mindset.
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Create your life from the ground up, by changing the way you think at the start of your day.