Up until a short while ago, I started my day off pretty much like most other mothers I suppose.
The alarm clock would screech in my ear. Reluctantly I’d open my eyes and scramble out of bed to shut the mother up, before staggering half-blind into the bathroom, bemoaning the fact that it was a week day and I couldn’t snuggle back down under the bedcovers. Then the morning rush would start. Rushing to get sleepy kids out of bed, feed them, cajole them into the bathroom, animate them to dress themselves already, all the while desperately gulping down my own coffee in an attempt to wake myself up before I have to rush them down the street to school – you know where I’m coming from right?
The whole thing was stress with a capital S. It regularly set me up for a bad day, yelling at the kids coz we were late or forgetting something – SO not good!
By the time I made contact with my first victim of the day (other than my poor children), they were often immediately running off muttering to others “Steer clear of XXXX she obviously got out of bed the wrong side this morning”.
I regularly felt it was me against the world. Everyone put obstacles in my path, nothing went to plan and I felt as though things just went from bad to worse.
One day, for some inexplicable reason, I woke up an hour earlier than the alarm clock. I laid in bed for five minutes just listening to the birds outside the window – don’t worry I’m not about to go all Snow White on you! Suffice to say, a feeling of happy contentedness swept over me as I caught sight of the blue sky and sunshine outside the window and the knowledge that I had the chance to wake up on my own terms filtered into my sleep-filled brain.
My first movement, other than opening my eyes, was a smile. Five minutes later I got out of bed, washed, got dressed and sat at the table to savour my coffee in peace. Left to my own thoughts, I actually felt happy – even though it was still 5.40am! My day went great! I was relaxed, positive and calm ALL DAY. Nothing fazed me.
This day was a bit of a catalyst for me. I decided to consciously make the effort to start my day off right every day by implementing some of the CANDo attitude and positivity that I bang on to everyone else about and begin my days the way I wanted to.
Making the conscious effort to start my day the right way means my morning routine during the week now goes something like this:
Start the Night Before
My start the day right schedule starts the day before. When I go to bed on a “school” night, there are two things I do.
1) I know how much sleep my body needs. Too little and I’m grumpy, feel a desperate need for me time and don’t feel motivated to do the “must-dos” of life. Just the right amount and I can wake up feeling refreshed and full of CANDo Attitude to nail the “must-dos” with enthusiasm. I’ve gotta be in the sack by 10.00 or 10.30pm at the latest if I’m going to have a spring in my step at 5.30 the next morning.
2) I rerun my day in my head. I take the time to fully appreciate and be grateful for all the super stuff that’s happened that day. If it wasn’t so super, I make use of poetic license and re-write things in my head in the way I would have preferred them to happen. This way I fall asleep with happy, fulfilled thoughts.
Wake Up an Hour Before Everyone Else
I set my alarm to go off an hour earlier than everyone else needs to start moving but I don’t get out of bed – oh no! I lie in bed for a few minutes smiling, stretching and being grateful for the peace and quiet and anything else I’m grateful for – particular the fact that I don’t actually HAVE to get up at that moment and that if I chose to I could stay in bed for another hour (isn’t it strange how the fact that we don’t HAVE to do something makes us more inclined to do it?). I take a moment to turn on my calm and happy feelings.
I Stretch When I Get Up
Once out of bed I’ll do some more stretching – just to get the blood flowing, take a 5 minute shower or wash and dress.
To Meditate or Not to Meditate
I sit at the breakfast table with a coffee and smile. I then focus on the things I have to be grateful for. I visualise some of the things I’m in the process of changing or bringing into my life and start whipping my feelings into positive shape. It’s not exactly meditating but it is taking the time to focus my mind in the direction I want it to go and it’s amazing what it does for the soul.
Set Aims for the Day
I then focus on 3-4 things I want to achieve that day and write them down. I run through them in my head as a practice run and then I’m ready mentally to get going with the day.
Spread a Little Love and Happiness
I don’t yell and screech that it’s time to get up, no sireeee! I climb onto each of my two children’s beds and snuggle, cuddle, whisper nice things and general “love” them into wakefulness. It doesn’t always work but, 90% of the time, I’ve got them smiling, feeling happy and loved within about five minutes (there’s often an infectious little giggle to be had too).
And so the day goes on.
I believe that “having a bad day” is largely due to uncontrolled and undirected thoughts and feelings. If you can develop your emotional intelligence life skills to monitor your own (and others’) feelings and emotions, you can use this information to mould your feelings, thoughts and actions into the ones that will have a positive impact on your day.
Your soul is in need of a little wake-up-and-get-ready-for-the-day time first thing in the morning if you’re going to get all your internal thoughts and feeling soldiers into line. Make sure you’re taking care of you by getting it and you’ll be taking care of the rest of your day and shaping it up to be one of the best of your life.
CANDO Kick-Ass Call to Action: “Get That Happy Feeling”
Go do this Whoop-Ass Idea and then come back. (I’ll tap my fingers on the desk while I wait for you…………….).
Great, you’re back! Do you not feel SO pumped up right now?
Like I said on the activity sheet, I don’t know what it is, but this Call to Action makes me feel pretty damn good.
If you like how you feel, subscribe to our CANDO Get-Up and Go-Go newsletter for access to all kinds of kick-ass ideas and a regular dose of CANDo motivating attitude.