Start Each Day On The Right Foot
How you start your day has a strong influence on how our day turns out.
Days that have a positive start tend to turn out well. Days that have a negative start tend to turn out poorly.
Have you heard the idiom “she must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed”?
This ancient piece of folk wisdom captures the fact that a bad start to a day can leave us ‘out of sorts' for the whole day.
On the flipside, a positive start to the day can have a big influence on our mood and perspective all day long. Starting the day in a good mood and having a positive perspective makes it much easier to stick to our meal plan and exercise objectives.
Being in a bad mood makes it very easy to cheat on our meal plan and to skip exercising.
Fortunately, there are methods we can use to control, or at least influence, our moods and perspectives. If we use these methods at the outset of the day, we can steer the direction our day goes.
One of the easiest ways to influence our moods and perspective is through expressing gratitude.
This may seem surprising, but it is timeless wisdom that was discovered by ancient civilisations and has more recently been confirmed by scientific studies. Many ancient cultures have gratitude rituals (e.g. harvest celebrations) and many of the religions that come to us from more than a thousand years ago express gratitude daily through prayers. The powers of gratitude are nothing new to humanity.
If we set aside a few minutes first thing every morning to express gratitude for the things we are thankful for in our lives, we will have happier days and will be more likely to do the things required to lose weight.
Expressing gratitude makes us happier and gives us the mood and perspective to say “no” to unhealthy foods and “yes” to exercise.
Set aside 5 minutes each morning (preferably as soon as you wake up – or your child wakes you up!) to do some positive thinking as this will colour your whole day.
- What am I happy about in my life now? What about that makes me happy?
- What am I excited about in my life now?
- What am I proud about it my life now?
- What am I grateful for?
- What am I enjoying the most?
- What am I committed to?
- Who do I love? Who loves me?
We can use this method any time of day, but by grabbing hold of our mood and perspective early in the day we have the biggest influence on how we feel throughout the day. Setting aside a few minutes first thing in the morning to set yourself up for success is one of the best investments of time you can make.
As busy mums, we have many demands placed on us and we have to put up with complaining, sulking and temper tantrums. Our kids can add to the stress and annoyance that weigh on our spirits and bring our mood down.
By starting the day using simple methods to improve your mood, you can shield yourself against the negative influences that conspire to bring you down.
After a hard day and a sleepless night, it can be hard to even contemplate being thankful. A mum’s life is the hardest life in western society, without a doubt. But we do have much to be grateful for.
For instance, we don’t have to walk 5 km every morning to a polluted river to get 20 kg of water that we then carry on our head for 5 km so that our children can drink. Even those of us with the least money can just turn on the tap and have clean, drinkable water. In Australia, 4 out of 1,000 mums lose a child before they reach 5 years of age. In Angola, the sad truth is 157 mums out of 1,000 lose a child before they reach 5 years of age. We can all be thankful for where we live.
When we compare our lives to those of mums in many of the third world countries, the amount we have to be grateful for really starts to stand out.
So think about your own life. What do you have to be grateful for?
Start with the most basic and fundamental things and work your way up from there. When you wake up in the morning, you can be grateful for the fact you woke up! Each day we have on earth is a blessing and one we can be thankful for. It’s certainly a good place to start!
What can you be thankful for next?
All of us have more to be grateful for. Each of us are unique individuals who have our own things we can be grateful for. How you express your thankfulness is completely up to you.
Some mums like to recite the things they are thankful for. Some mums like to write them out in a gratitude journal. Some mums like to offer their thanks up as a prayer. Other mums like to simply lie back in bed and run through the things they are grateful for in their mind.
Whatever method works for you, start your day by running through the things you give thanks for. You will soon find you are having more “good days” than “bad days” and your perspective on life is improved.
You’ll also find it much easier to say “no” to unhealthy foods and “yes” to exercise.
We at In Shape Mummy would like to express our thanks to you because we know showing gratitude helps us be happier and healthier! We're grateful for you! Be grateful and be strong sisters!
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