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How I start my day and get things done in a way I never knew I could!
I am not a natural morning person.
My mom used to try and wake me with her gorgeous piano playing.
I would slam my door closed.
As I have gotten older and dare I say a smidge wiser I’ve come to embrace the concept that how you start your day dictates your waking hours. I’ve tried lots of things and gone through a dozen stages of success. Wake up an hour earlier than everyone in the house (glorious but not always pragmatic to my sleep schedule). Get up and work out before getting anyone else out of bed (still a sometimes practice). Don’t check your emails or social media for the first hour of your day (that didn’t last long).
But there is one practice that I’ve done nearly every day for the past nine months that has made ALL the difference not only in starting my day off well but also in my goal setting and dreaming…
The Start Today Journal
I had just devoured the book Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis when I heard her talk about her morning journal practice and I was intrigued. Call me crazy but I do have about two dozen empty journals in my office. Sound like you? Good. We’re clearly meant to be friends. So I stalked her instagram, grabbed screen shots, paid attention to the details she was sharing on her Start Today Morning Show and I jumped in both feet first in my (teal, of course) notebook. Here’s how it works…
Five specific things I’m grateful for:
To start the day in gratitude is to start the day with a full heart. I write down five very specific things I’m grateful for from the past 24 hours. Big things are off the table-we’re all grateful for our house, the people we love, etc. I look for small things-the blooms on the trees I noticed on my walk, catching up with an old friend, the snuggles I got from Chloe this morning, a fun moment with Aaron. THOSE kinds of things. When we know we have to find and report five things we train our brain to start noticing more things to enjoy. So gratitude first!
Ten dreams I have for my life:
Don’t run away! Let me explain. Because this part freaked me out at first, too.
The idea is to write out ten dreams you have as though the have already happened. Mine are half what I would refer to as how I want to live and half are things I want to accomplish. Think about the kind of person you want to be. Think about the traits you want to embrace. How do you want to BE in this world? I also think about the big scary goals I want to achieve-not the bigish ones you already tell people about. I mean the BIG CRAZY dreams you feel people will laugh at if they read them. To know where you want to go, you kinda have to claim it. Just dreaming and hoping will not get us to those big dreams but putting them out in the universe in writing as though they’ve already happened also triggers something in our brains that helps us look for the small next steps the universe throws our way to get there! Let me give you a couple examples from my journal…
I am an exceptionally connected mom.
I care for and take care of my body daily.
I wrote my first book in 2019.
I’m a highly sought after keynote speaker.
Don’t get it twisted. I am not always an exceptionally connected mom nor do I take care of and care for my body daily and I am a keynote speaker just maybe not yet a highly sought after one but I STRIVE to be all of these things and this helps solidify in my mind the extraordinary I’m leaning into!
One goal I can work on first:
Ok this one is simple. Just pick one goal you can focus on today. NOT one of your ten dreams. ONE manageable goal you can focus on that would help you get closer to one of your dreams. Sometimes I have a specific goal for that day. Other times I have a goal written down the same until I meet it like launching this website. Make sense?
So…what do you think?
Is this something manageable that you can incorporate in your day? I’m willing to bet you have a free notebook you can grab and really if I know you at all you will go out and buy a pretty new one anyway-am I right? In all seriousness, this practice has focused me, clarified my thoughts and really helped steer my days in the right direction and I love it. So how about it-you joining me? Have questions? Do you do something different or even similar to start your day? Drop me a comment below and let’s chat it out!
Rachel Hollis does sell a Start Today Journal on her website but she and I would both tell you that we both started in just a traditional notebook and you really truly do not need anything fancy to get started. Also…her new book Girl, Stop Apologizing is AWESOMESAUCE and a great follow up for how to achieve your goals!