January is usually a time I think of my intentions for the new year and the types of habits I want to cultivate. I’ve started doing these three simple things each morning and I’ve found that it has helped me to start my day feeling more focussed, balanced and ready for the day.
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In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. Silence is the great teacher and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.Deepak chopra
HABIT 1: Meditation
Last year at work, I noticed a flyer offering free 15 minute meditation for employees everyday. I thought, “Why not?” So a few times a week, I lie down in a dimly lit studio space and meditated. I admit, I wasn’t good at it. I just had lots of thoughts running through my head but it was nice to take a few minutes to slow down. Since the pandemic began, those sessions stopped and I found myself missing those pockets of time to breathe and rest my mind.
At the beginning of the year, I downloaded MINDFULNESS, a free app, and have started meditating every morning this year. It’s guided meditation which is perfect for newbies like me.
The benefits of meditation for me is immense. It helps to bring me calm and peace, and is a tool I use for stress and anxiety management.
HABIT 2: JOURNALING
I re-started this habit this year because I wanted to practise gratitude.
I dusted off my journal from my nightstand and began writing in it each morning and night. I love The Five Minute Journal, not only is it beautiful but it’s so simple to use and only takes a few minutes out of my day.
The daily layout is structured with thoughtfully designed prompts that include: gratitude, prioritizing your day, 3 amazing things, inspiring quotes, daily affirmation, end of day self reflection. It’s intended to focus on gratitude and the positives. It’s also meant to only take a few minutes out of your day which works for a busy mom of toddlers.
I enjoy reflecting back on my entries because it’s served as reminders of joy in my life. Many of the things I’ve written that I’m grateful for or the amazing things that happened in my day are often quite simple things like dancing with my kids, getting outside, having time to read, etc. I love that it’s reminding me that finding joy in the simple things in life is all that matters.
The Five Minute Journal: https://amzn.to/2LPfkkV
HABIT 3: MAKing MY BED
Once I finish meditating and writing in my journal, I get up and make my bed.
This simple act helps me feel accomplished at the start of my day.
I remember watching a video of William H. McRaven, US Navy Admiral, speak to a crowd of new graduates at the University of Texas. He said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”, and for some reason or other that stuck with me. His speech was so inspiring, and I encourage you to watch it HERE.
When you start off your day completing one task, such as making your bed, it provides you with a sense of accomplishment and energy to continue to complete another task, and another. At the very least, no matter how your day goes, you can walk into your bedroom at the end of the day and feel more relaxed because your bed is made.
These three habits have really helped me start my day on a positive note. The benefits have been great for my mental health and wellness, helping me to better focus my day.
HAVE YOU STARTED ANY NEW HABITS FOR 2021? HOW IS IT GOING FOR YOU?
Whatever your new habit(s) may be, my advice is to start small and don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
Perfect is the enemy of the good.Voltaire
Sometimes my meditation is me trying to focus while my 4 year old sleeps next to me because she crawled into bed overnight.
Sometimes I forget to journal the night before and I do my best to finish up the previous day’s entry the next morning.
My focus is more on making progress, not doing it perfectly which is a big shift for me. I remind myself that the journey is in the process. That’s where we learn who we really are.
I hope you are having a wonderful January!