How You Start and End Your Day
Imagine if you had a bookshelf and you put a few soft-covered books on the bookshelf with nothing holding them in place. Eventually, the books are going to fall over and collapse without having a structure like bookends to support them.
It’s similar for us. We have days that are filled with all sorts of activities, meetings, surprises and if we don’t have a proper structure in place, we can get derailed. All this really means we can fall off with our goals, our dreams and allowing the thoughts of fear, doubt and worry set in.
Now imagine that the same bookshelf, you put two firm bookends on either side to hold them up. Those books aren’t moving anywhere!! Our days can also have bookends with a morning and evening practice that supports us, so we can create more structure and live into our intention for the day. Two practices that I do personally and also help my clients to cultivate.
What is Your First Thought as you Wake up?
It is so common when we first wake up that our minds default to thinking about what day is it, what is on our to-do lists, what errands we might have to run all while we are checking our phones and the next thing, we know we are rushing to get dressed, have breakfast, and start our day.
Our minds have patterns and habits of where it wants to go, but try to notice and be aware of where you are typically starting your day, and start to shift to beginning your days with the intention of “how do I want to wake up this morning? What can I be grateful for this morning?” And as we start our day in gratitude it creates a different trajectory.
Tomorrow morning, take a moment before your eyes open, before your feet hit the floor, and consider how you are starting your day.
Training yourself to start with gratitude is not always easy, but start somewhere, and just by putting that at the front end of your day, it’s like a bookend.
If you want to start with a meditation practice or moving your body, all of those practices will solidify the beginning of your day, which will set the trajectory for the day and set you up for success.
After you have gone through the day, and you get to the completion of the day, how are you ending your day?
What is your typical evening practice right now? Maybe you finish work, have dinner, wash up, crawl into bed, turn on the TV or go onto social media. Maybe you’re rehashing your day, or still thinking about a problem, or you didn’t like how you treated your kids that day. Or are you rehearsing and nursing all the things that didn’t go well in the day? Are you collapsing into bed exhausted and not even acknowledging the day that passed?
Right now, you have a habit of how you end your day. What would it look like to bring a little bit more structure to that?
One of the best ways to end your day is again in gratitude. What am I grateful for in this day? Review your day and look for successes, what went well today? Acknowledge those low points, where you wish you would have done something differently. When we look at those, instead regret, it’s shifting to saying, “Okay that was a moment of growth. I grew today, I learned today.”