“The better you feel, the more you allow.” -Abraham Hicks
The morning sets the tone for the whole day. Ever since easy access to internet connection, many of us start our day scrolling the web, instantly looking for entertainment, checking our social media feeds, and filling those first hours seeing carefully curated, photoshopped, and often misleading photos that set us up for unfair comparison.
And while it can feel good to do the lazy scroll and see what’s happening in the world, it’s important to put a cap on it, and then get moving in another direction. Eventually, you may find your phone bores you more quickly, and you’re ready to move on to something else sooner and sooner.
When you choose to start your day working out, meditating, journaling, making gratitude lists, going for a walk in nature, you set the tone for the whole day, and carry it with you. When I started prioritizing feeling good early in the day, and not just scrolling on my phone until I was nearly late, my mood improved, I felt more confident and productive, I felt less stressed, and generally happier to get out of bed and begin a new day in the morning. Then, I was hooked on that feeling *cue the music*
If your morning sets the tone for the day, your tone can be: I am intentionally creating a good life for myself or it can be, I am on autopilot and today I am a robot.
Which sounds better to you?
Obviously, shitty things sometimes happen in the morning. That’s life. Meditation, movement, or a quick walk in a park are my favorite ways to hit the reset button and alleviate some tension.
I started dabbling with morning workouts, and meditation within the last seven years, but started really taking it seriously within the last two years, where I rarely skip a day. Every morning I do one or some combination of the following: gratitude/ manifest journaling, meditation, and movement. I also began prioritizing wearing clothes (even pajamas) that made me happy and feel good. These small changes can really affect the way you feel in a big way over time.
These acts of self care and self respect send messages to your brain and body about being worthy of a good life, and they also send messages to the world around you that you carry yourself with respect and confidence. Thou shalt not be fucked with.
Starting your day out right doesn’t mean you’re banished from your daily scroll, but it does mean your daily scroll will get a smaller time slot. The more and more you intentionally vow to do what feels good, the more you can consciously choose to set your phone down, or leave it in the other room, or just get moving on things that make you feel good, even if that means reading a real live book in bed with something delicious to sip on.
If you want to change your life and get in shape, start a business, be more creative, have better relationships, be more confident, more adventurous, and make better use of your time, you have to make new habits. You cannot just will yourself to change overnight, as change most often happens slowly, habitually, through new habits.
New habits are most easily installed with a clean slate. The morning time is the ideal time to form a clean slate because we are refreshed from sleeping, and it is a new canvas.
How to Start a Beautiful New Day
Start your day remembering what it is like to breathe fully into your belly, and practice the discipline of clearing your mind, and letting thoughts pass by without digging your claws into them and picking them apart. This will help you breathe during tough moments throughout the day, and let the difficult moments pass without ruminating over them.
Don’t feel bad if you’re mind is not peaceful and empty for fifteen minutes at a time- hardly anyone’s is. The point is to breathe and sit with your thoughts for 10-20 minutes a day, and try to just let them pass and clear your head. Do your best. It’s ok to have thoughts. Just breathe and be for a little bit each day. It’s amazing how doing hardly anything at all can help make big improvements in your life and performance.
Make a Gratitude List
Start (and end) every day naming at least three things you are grateful for. This can be the cup of coffee in your hand, your bed, your job that affords you the money to eat and play, the sun shining, to your sweet kitty at your feet. I think the more specific you get, the better. For instance, I’m really grateful for my cute new, freshly washed flannel sheets with tiny little trees on them. I’m grateful for the double pink rose bouquet on my coffee table, and that my living room smells like the Frankincense candle I was burning last night.
I started a separate gratitude journal where I list what I am grateful for in the present moment, and then I list the things I want to happen that day or week, and in the future, and write about being grateful for them in the past tense. For example, I’m so grateful for my new clean flannel sheets. I’m also so grateful I had a fun day painting, found a bunch of delicious mushrooms. I’m so grateful sold my new painting for $2000 and flew to Hawaii for my birthday with my closest friends. (I have not yet found those delicious mushrooms, or sold my painting, or flown to Hawaii for my birthday, but I am grateful with anticipation!)
I first learned about this technique from Gala Darlings magical morning practice, although she recommends sending voice memos to a partner. I prefer to write it down. The holistic psychologist has a similar method she calls “future self journaling.” I like to think of it as manifest journaling, as part of manifesting is believing and acting as if it’s already in the bag, baby.
This practice will prove to you how powerful you can be when you set your mind to it. It is amazing to look back and see how the things I wrote about months prior actually become true, from finding an affordable house instead of an apartment, to travelling, to meeting a dreamy new romantic interest, to doubling my income. When we write it as if it has already happened, we believe it to be true, and then it helps our subconscious take action to make it happen, and then recognize and welcome in the opportunities when they show up.
This is a game changer. Obviously, for non-morning people, I understand the challenge of not wanting to wake up an extra hour early and lose out on sleep to get your workout in. If you can change your schedule to do this, however, your mood is boosted throughout the whole day, and it’s not hanging over you as something you have to do later. Even a quick walk, stretch, or jumping in place or dancing around as you get ready can be enough to boost your mood and get your blood pumping.
Read in Bed
If you’re a reader, or once were, get in the habit of having a book you’re reading, and another one you can pick up as soon as you finish the last. I always have a couple of books near my bed, and if I’m really into something, sometimes I just want to pick it up and read for a bit to start my day. This is especially good if you like self development books, as they can give you some extra juice to make good choices throughout your day.
Have an Orgasm
Doll Yourself Up
Get ready to music or Abraham Hicks recordings. Listening to Abraham Hicks always makes me feel good, always makes me laugh, and helps to remind me that the only thing keeping me from feeling good is me! No one person or thing outside our self can make us feel good. It’s funny how quick we are to forget that sentiment. Other podcasts you enjoy are also a good choice, especially if they make you laugh or uplift you. Wear lipstick if it makes you feel good, wear your favorite colors, put a flower in your hair, and decorate yourself if you so choose!
Experiment with this list and think up your own ways to feel great first thing in the morning, and see how your days and life start to shift.
Do tell, what’s your favorite way to start your day?