How do you start a typical day in your life?
Do you slowly roll over in bed, reach for your phone, and take a casual peruse through the news feeds of your favourite social media platforms to see what you missed overnight?
Or do you wake up in a frenzy, somehow managing to always get yourself, your spouse, and your kids ready and where they need to be by the time they need to be there?
Whether either of these scenarios describe a morning in the life of you, or you are somewhere in-between these polarities, I'm willing to bet that you could be starting your morning off better than you currently are.
That's a bold statement, I know. But as someone who has been adamant on having a morning routine for close to a decade now, and has tweaked and fine-tuned it a hundred times over that timespan, I like to think I know a thing or two about how to start your day optimally.
But in this article I'd like to focus on one element of my morning routine that has been there from the beginning and will be there until the day that I die. Why? Because not only has it had the most profound and consistent impact on me, but it is also the easiest to do.
That element is GRATITUDE.
Ten to Start, Ten to End
For me, my magic number is 10.
I start and end every single day of my life by listing off a minimum of 10 things that I am currently grateful for. Do these things often repeat? Yes. And is that okay? Absolutely!
I'll never forget the first day I tried this out. Coming up with 3 seemed like an arduous task to my regularly pessimistic mind, compared to now where 10 flies by effortlessly.
Try listing off 10 right now! Be as broad or as specific as you need to be.
- Broad Example: I am thankful to be alive.
- Specific Example: I am thankful that my cat Snowy loves to sleep next to me every night.
I don't care how challenging your life has been or currently is, we all always have things to be grateful for, and there is a great power to be found in regularly reminding ourselves of them.
Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!
I know that some of you (especially those who felt the second scenario to start this article accurately reflected your life) are currently doubting your ability to ever commit to adding even more to the already overflowing plate that you call life, but it's a matter of priorities.
Just as you are able to make time to watch every episode of your favourite show, or even read this article, you can always make time for what you see as important. And thankfully, in the case of gratitude twice a day, it's something that should never take longer than a few minutes, and on most days now takes me under 30 seconds.
The Key to Happiness?
Is daily gratitude the key happiness? I have no idea. But it certainly doesn't hurt, and I've found it to be incredibly helpful in overwriting a lot of the negative thought patterns and belief systems we all regularly lock ourselves into.
While I admittedly have no science to back this up, I personally believe that starting your day with gratitude serves as a solid foundation to a better perspective towards everything the day has to offer. While ending your day with it, is a much healthier frame of mind to doze off to, especially by comparison to the stressful thoughts our suddenly overactive minds seem to love to dwell upon as our exhausted bodies try to get some shut-eye.
For a more in-depth look at one of my favourite full morning routines that you can do in just 5 minutes, check out THIS VIDEO.