Imagine a day you wake up late, rush to have a shower, skip breakfast and turn up to work a little bit dishevelled and slightly on edge. On the other hand, imagine a day when you wake up a little bit earlier, take your time to get ready and spend about half an hour on self development before you’ve eve left the house. The difference to the start of your day often effects all of it, so it’s extremely important to begin it right.
Now, Im not saying I do this routine every day, or necessarily always in the morning. But I do try to fit in just a little bit of time each day to work on myself, to allow myself to grow and to have some much needed ‘me’ time. I find such a change in my mood and perspective on the days I do this routine that I’ve found myself doing it more and more. However, don’t take this as gospel. Adapt it to fit your needs and the time you have – if you want to add or take away something, go for it. Here are just some ideas:
We all know that reading’s good for us, right? But sitting down with a book with the sole purpose of sifting our attitude or giving us a new outlook can have wonders on our mood. Sit down, even if it’s only for five minutes and read your favourite book. Some of my favourites are:
- Thich Nhat Hanh
- Miranda Kerr
- Eckhart Tolle
- Rebecca Eanes
If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, I’m sure you’re aware of what these are. Affirmations are sentences or statement that we continuously repeat to ourselves to inspire change. They are things we want to be true and the goal is that if we keep instilling the idea into our minds, one day it will be. Examples may include:
- I am confident, I am beautiful
- I communicate my thoughts and feelings with others easily
- My creativity flows through me
- I am kind, I enjoy helping others
- My body is radiant and healthy
You can repeat these affirmations in your head, by speaking them out loud (look into a mirror if you want to be really cheesy) or by writing them out. I usually make them up on the spot depending on what I want to focus on, but sometimes look for inspiration online or in books. My four or five affirmations usually revolve around the person I want to be, and who I would be in an ideal world if there was nothing ‘standing in the way.’
This continues on from the last step. Once I’ve repeated my affirmations, I will then visualise what the statements would look like if they were true. This is your chance to daydream and fantisise your perfect life, all in the name of self improvement! An example of this may be:
I would imagine walking into a room or a difficult situation with an air of confidence surrounding me. I would imagine standing tall and feeling in charge and the person people look up to. Nothing phases me, I keep a cool head at all times and never doubt myself. I know what I’m doing and always find the best solution for everyone.
However, visulisation does not have to be limited to your personality or attitude. Imagine your dream house, having never ending weath, meeting the love of your life or bein successful beyond your wildest dreams. This is the step that is most fun and allows you to have the most creativity. Try to put all of your energy into your visulisations and try to make them as real to you as you possibly can. I guarantee this will improve your mood!
Now my theory is that I should’ve settled some of my thoughts through visualising, and that this should make it slightly easier to meditate. Ha! I wish, right? A lot of the time I can be stuck for affirmations when I need them but boy, do I get hundreds popping into my mind when I’m trying to quieten my thoughts. However, now is the time is to sit down and meditate.
You can do so by focusing on your breath, the sounds you can hear around you, how your body moves as you breath or creating even more positive thoughts through a Loving Kindness meditation. I will be making posts on meditation techniques later on, but beginners may find it easier if they practice with an app (Headspace or Calm are my favourites) or a guided meditation (you can find thousands on Youtube – just look for the pictures of waterfalls).
I was always really rubbish at keeping journals as a kid. I would start one and write a couple of pages about boring little life as an eight year old, get a couple of days in and then give up. And I won’t even go into the couple of times when I was a moody teenager and wrote about how I hated life and no one understood me, and the embarrassment when someone found and read it. I’d rather not revisit that shame.
But the way I journal now is very different to how I ever have. Personally, I use mine mainly for gratitude lists. After reading The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, I discovered the huge shift in perspective and mood that counting your blessings even once gives you. I write 3-10 when I do it, and more often than not find tears in my eyes from the realisation of just how lucky I am to have everything I have. Here’s how to do it:
- Think of something you’re grateful for and why
- Write it down, ‘I am so grateful for… because‘ (the because part is very important)
- Put as much detail into why you’re grateful as you can think of
- When you’ve made your list, read one at a time and say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’ for each thing
- Try to feel as much gratitude as you can. Don’t just go through the motions. Think about what life would be like without it and how blessed you are.
For example (it doesn’t have to be this long):
“I am so grateful for all of the food I’ve eaten today, because it made me feel full and satisfied and gave me energy. I am able to choose and eat anything I wish to, I have a abundance of choice and the wealth to have anything I please. I am able to eat food that is delicious and healthy for me, that boosts my immune system and keeps my body running. I am so blessed, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Alternatively, sometimes I’ll write out the affirmations that I thought about earlier a couple of times, just to really instil them into my mind. That’s as far as my journaling goes for now, however you could write down to do lists, rant to get out all of your thoughts on paper or scribble out ideas. The possibilities are endless.
And that’s all I have for now! As I said earlier, change and adapt this as much as you can depending on your time schedule and what works best for you, but I honestly think that having a routine like this will really help you out in the long run.
Thank you for reading,