Seven a.m., the silence in your room is broken by the sound of the alarm. You turn over, turn it off and doze back to sleep knowing you set another alarm for fifteen minutes later. Still, in bed, eyes closed and thoughts start flying through your head, mainly thoughts of what you must do for the day followed by excuses that could possibly get you out of work. After repeatedly hitting the snooze button you eventually force yourself to get out of bed and begin your robot-like process, preparing for the day. As you head out the door, you mentally start making a list of tasks to accomplish while telling yourself, another ten hours and I’ll be home. While this may not be the entirety of your morning story, I’m sure it’s not completely off base.
Ever wonder why you just can’t get out of bed on that first alarm or why you have to hit that snooze button multiple times before you finally get going? It’s not always lack of sleep or a hangover. In truth, you woke up and the first few thoughts in your head were negative (i.e. I have to get to work), so you subconsciously forced yourself back to bed as to not have to deal with the issues at hand. You know how they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day (which it’s not, but that discussion is for a future post), then positive thoughts are most important to start your day off mentally. Who wants to wake up and deal with reality if everything you have to deal with is negative in your mind? Personally, I’d rather stay asleep and dream of an alternate reality.
I want to wake up when my alarm goes off, I wouldn’t have set it for that time if I didn’t, so how do I go about doing this? As simple as it sounds keeping a journal and writing down positive thoughts to organize your day is the best route. Being in a positive mental state before bed your mind is at ease and you enjoy a more restful, deeper sleep. Waking up with a positive outlook allows you to be excited to start the day. Think back to a time you were going through something heavy, how hard was it to fall asleep? And think about the sleep itself, didn’t you keep waking up multiple times throughout the night? By the time the alarm went off in the morning all you could think about was staying in bed. Funny how negativity ruins our sleep, it keeps us up at night and creates restless sleep, yet by morning it doesn’t allow us to get out of bed. Now think back to that time you were starting a new job the next day, didn’t you enjoy a restful sleep even if you didn’t get your normal six to eight hours? You also probably woke up right on time or even before the alarm went off. Positive thoughts about your new opportunity made a reality that much better to wake up to than staying in bed to sleep.
The steps straight forward and simple to create your personal journal. Step one: write down all your past accomplishments. Be sure to keep some pages free so you can add on as the days, weeks, months, and years fly by. Step two: write down all the things you are thankful for in your life. Again, this will change as time rolls forward so keep some pages open before the next category or the journal will get messy and disorganized. Lastly, step three: jot down your own personal goals you have in mind. Make sure you include both short term and long term goals. Most importantly, be realistic with yourself, don’t put down a short-term goal of getting a six pack when you have a keg and damn well know you haven’t been to a gym in years.
Every morning when you wake up, take ten minutes to review your journal and write down each day what you are grateful for and the things you want to accomplish that day. Again, be realistic when setting up your daily goals. At night, take a few minutes again before bed to review what you’re thankful for, what was accomplished, and how to go about completing the task you may not have completed as you originally planned to. Also, go through the front of your journal and read through your accomplishments, what you’re thankful for, the goals you have set for yourself and make changes if you need too.
After a day or two of maintaining this routine, don’t expect to immediately transform into a positive state and that you will wake up two hours before your alarm clock goes off feeling rested and ready to take on another day right away. You have built up bad habits, and those habits need to be broken. Changing old habits isn’t easy, it will take time and you will mess up often. Some days you will be in a rush and don’t have the time for your journal, or you might be so tired at night you pass out early. That’s fine, it’s going to happen, but that doesn’t mean you don’t take the time later in the day to make the necessary updates you missed. Every day is a new day that brings its own unique circumstances and challenges, keep positive, be prepared, and fight the good fight.