I was not a morning person. I liked the idea of being the individual who would spring out of bed, go for a run, make coffee, and get homework done before 8:00 am. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with the same morning spirit as my mother. Starting almost three years ago, I decided I wanted to change my attitude towards mornings. I began going to the gym with a semi-accountable accountability partner and we took our first steps to becoming “morning people.” While many of these mornings I complained about the cold and took lots of nap, I ACTUALLY started enjoying them after a few months (okay, it was probably closer to 8 months). I enjoyed watching the sunrise, seeing the regulars at the gym, and feeling accomplished before attending my morning classes.
What changed my attitudes towards mornings? I would like to say it was because of my positive attitude and determined spirit to improve, but this is only partially the case. A month before I started enjoying mornings, I read an article about a resolution that changed a man’s life. He began each day by asking himself: “What am I grateful for?” “What would make today great?” and “I am…” By listing three positive affirmations, three things that would make the day great, and three things he was grateful for this man changed his prospective on his day. After some research, I decided to implement his resolution into my own morning routine. This does not seem like much, but it sets the tone for how you want your day to go. Many of the dark mornings I shivered and walked to the gym but after asking and answering these questions for myself, I had a more positive outlook on the day ahead of me and the opportunities the day had to offer. These three intelligible questions began to set a standard for how I approach every day.
These three questions are equally thought provoking, but I found the greatest challenge when answering the question related to gratitude. Not that I do not have plenty to be grateful for, but this simple question begs deep and meaningful thought. Being grateful is not just saying what makes you happy or makes your life convenient, it is declaring what you value and why you value it. Being intentionally grateful demands us to clarify our priorities and see the good in every situation, something many of us do not do. It is easy to say, “I am grateful for my family.” But putting thought into a similar statement makes this generic comment more powerful, and intentional. Saying, “I am grateful for my parents because they showed me how to find joy in the simplest things in life,” causes you to think (deeply) about the big picture and how fortunate you truly are to have such a skill. The last thing I wanted to think of in the morning was my blessings, but during this challenge I clarified my priorities and values by looking into how I answered “the gratitude question.”
- You are in control of your day!
Each morning you decide what you want to make of your day. By answering the simple question, “What would make today great?” you have already put a plan in-place to make the day great. No matter the circumstance, you are in control of your attitude towards the day’s events. Such a refreshing sentiment.
- You are…anything you want to be.
Providing yourself with three affirmations each morning can make all the difference. These affirmations provide a sense of confidence and esteem that set you up to be productive, powerful, and passionate about your day.
- An attitude of gratitude can take you a long way.
“Gratitude can allow you to think about what is going right for you and what you can do to keep it going in that direction.” Gratitude has scientifically proven health benefits and has been shown to improve optimism levels and boost your resilience levels. Gratitude puts your day/life into perspective making it easier to act intentionally with your values in mind.
Attitude is everything. If being more intentional and grateful can make me a morning person, what do you think it can do for you? My challenge to you, answer these three questions every morning for a week and watch your attitude shift. People, science does not lie.
Thanks for reading!
- I am grateful for:
- a) my family’s unconditional love and support.
- b) my physical health and ability to be active.
- c) the freedom I experience as an American everyday
- I am:
- a) all that I desire to be.
- b) altruistic.
- c) intelligent.
- Three things that would make today great:
- a) Getting a call from my parents or brother.
- b) Finishing my homework before 11pm.
- c) Going on a run.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” -Zig Ziglar