How you start your day is the key to how you live your life. Intention and mindfulness are the answer to our lack luster emotion towards ourselves and our lives. The problem with most of us is that we tend to lack consistency in how that happens.
No real daily routine has been established that benefits and guides us through our day and eventually our lives. When we don’t feel we are getting the results we desire that is when we often start to attack and judge ourselves. Unfortunately, this approach often leads to the exact opposite result we were hoping for. We become sad, angry, or even depressed when we stop and look at who we are and what we have become. Let’s take a look at how to combat this self-judgment and start developing higher opinions of ourselves.
Most important, I have learned through the process to take it easy on myself. Of course, I want results and of course I need to be careful to not let procrastination get the best of me, but constantly degrading myself when I don’t perform at what I consider an optimal level does much more damage than anything else.
If I give my spirit the freedom it deserves rather than breaking it down every day, I am much more apt to get back on my routine rather than fall into a dark hole of depression and laziness. I ask you to vow today to offer yourself love and kindness rather than judgment and degradation. Trust me, I am not saying to lower your standards or to not hold yourself accountable. What I am saying is that when you do fall off, and trust me we all do, to gently remind yourself what you are doing all of this for, and if needed dig deeper into the issue to solve it, but by no means do we need to beat ourselves up.
Looking at this from a performance and results-based standpoint solely, with no emotions or self-love involved, the method of not over-reacting and being kind to yourself is far more beneficial than tearing yourself apart. Otherwise your life becomes a pendulum of loathing and self-degradation to hyper-driven focus and unattainable expectations. We must find the balance between these two if we desire optimal results in the most efficient way possible. Let’s look at how we often start our day without any real routine.
Many of us wake up to some sort of responsibility, whether it be our jobs, school, our children, our spouse, or even our parents. We are limited on the time we have and often waste the little bit we do by hitting the snooze button repeatedly or lying there surfing through our social media feed. We complain we are not happy with the way our lives have turned out or that we don’t have enough time in the day, but at the same time we underutilize the time we do have.
Developing a solid morning routine is crucial to creating the desired trajectory of our day and essentially, our lives. Without a solid base in the morning, we really have not developed a focus or intention for what is to come. Basically, we are just taking whatever comes our way and often complaining about what we get. This is a very reactive approach and I am proposing a proactive one.
I am reminded of my yoga teacher when I think of being proactive. She would always tell us to set an intention for the class. Otherwise we would just be aimlessly floating through the hour rather than mindfully working towards a goal. I often do this with my Jiu Jitsu. I will set a specific goal for the class. Whether that be pulling off a technique, or simply being mindful to play guard that day instead of my top game.
These intentions do not come about on their own. They must be thoughtfully manifested and set in our mind if we desire to achieve them, and thus achieve optimal results. I am often in awe to see how many of my friends have no idea where they are going in their lives, their relationships, or even there daily training goals. We can’t hit a target we cannot see
So first and foremost, we must start our day with intention. I like to do this by meditating and journaling in the morning. Meditation brings peace and clarity to my mind, and journaling helps me to exercise my thoughts and get them out from spinning around in my head. With my mind free from clutter I now write my list of goals that I desire for my future. These are my intentions. A set list or example of what it is I desire in life and the direction I want to go.
Once I am finished with that I read a list of affirmations that remind me to be grateful for what I have, kind to myself and others, and to believe in myself and have faith that I can accomplish anything I desire. This may sound like an overwhelming process, but I promise you to practice a daily routine is liberating and usually takes me less than 20 minutes. I guarantee you we spend that much time surfing our Instagram in the morning.
Of course, there is so much more we can do to enhance our lives and put us on the right track. This is just a simple 20-minute routine that I personally utilize daily, (well almost every day) to keep myself headed in the right direction. When I fall of from my routine I definitely can see and feel the difference in my life. I just gently remind myself that I am not heading where I want to go and it’s time to jump back on the train that is getting me there. Hopefully this helps with finding direction and peace in your own lives!