6. Journaling: I love to write, always have - but journaling is one method or technique I haven't gotten into. I have a huge collection of beautiful journals, and all are blank. The only time I journaled was when I kept track of what I ate on a daily basis - designed to help people weight, it only fueled an eating disorder for me. (This is why understanding what is best for YOU and not the person beside you is so super important.) But there is plenty to suggest (or, more likely, prove) that journaling is incredibly good for you. Want to learn more about who you really are? Journaling will take you there. What about passing on something for future generations to read? Journals can be passed down to future generations that will one day cherish those words. One major roadblock that has kept me from journaling is this notion that each post must be somehow deep, insightful, wise..but nothing is further from the truth! Even just writing down something that happened in your day is a way to center yourself and focus on what's important. This is a goal for me, to spend just five minutes each morning journaling. Although you don't need any kind of special notebook, it's always nice to have beautiful journal to open up (this
one is functional and sweet).
7. The Miracle Morning
: This concept and book, written by a survivor of a head-on truck collision and several extreme lows in his life, chronicles the process of embracing a particular set of steps each morning that can, as he puts it, "transform your life". And for many, many people, it has. Each morning, practice these "Life S.A.V.E.R.S.": 1. Silence: meditate. Get silent. 2. Affirmations: repeat mantras that speak directly to your best vision of yourself and your life. 3. Visualization: picture your life as you dream it to be. Picture the steps, the process, the outcome. If you can see it, you can achieve it! 4. Exercise: we all know the benefits of exercise. Mood-boosting and focus-inducing, it should be something we do, period. 5. Reading: not fiction or a magazine, but something that contains the highest form of wisdom. 6. Scribing: write about what you're excited about. Do all six of these S.A.V.E.R.S. every day. Although the time to do this can be as short or long as you want or need it to be, he recommends starting at 5. I highly recommend this book - it's very motivational. And while I've never been hugely into life coaches and the like, Hal Elrod's story and subsequent plan to help you succeed is especially compelling and common sense.
8. Paint / Color / Knit / Other Art: Painting, coloring, whatever kind of art is soothing and within your ability level, is a great way to begin your day. In my twenties I found a great love for making seed bead necklaces, and would often work on a project first thing in the morning. It's a beautiful thing to watch a creation of your own design come to life. And anything that involves repetitive motion can be very soothing. Now, although I don't often do it, I find the same fulfillment through painting. Adult coloring books
are another very soothing - and popular - way to find expression.
9. Get outside: Even though it's getting colder here, I still enjoy bundling up and stepping out for a walk first thing (I usually do it on weekends when hubby can be here for C). But this - just BEING out in nature - is a different thing. Recently, I was on a short hike with C and found that I could not handle just being still. I wanted to check my phone. I wanted to get on to the next thing. But I simultaneously recognized there was something wrong with not being able to just be silent, be within myself and not constantly moving or doing. It was hard! But that's the point of getting outside first thing in the morning. It will surely be downright difficult the first week or so. But give it time, and, like the process of journaling, you might find yourself going about your day calmer, more focused, and more content.
10. Re-evaluate goals for day / week / month: Ever make goals or plans for the upcoming days, weeks or months but find yourself at month's end forgetting them or finding very few actually got accomplished? I've had that happen, for sure. Putting goals to paper is really just the first baby step. They need to be regularly re-evaluated: are they still do-able? Still important to you and worth pursuing? Have new ones emerged? Mornings can be a great time to do this, and it doesn't need to take long. I know that when I've re-examined my goals I've set it helps me feel more focused and better prepared to tackle them!