The Journal of J: Mornings

When the sun sets in the evening it usually rises the next day. Love them or hate them, mornings happen. It’s a certain inevitable that is really only good or bad based on how YOU approach it.

I may not be old & wise but I don’t think it takes a sage individual with countless years of study and understanding to realize that your attitude dictates how well you handle any obstacle in your way. 

There’s a lot to be said on this subject, which I’ll probably spend two cents on in a later blog, but I think it’s key to accepting the morning, embracing a new day, and making your time meaningful. 

“Life is a gift” isn’t a foreign term to us, nor is it something most of us wouldn’t agree on. But how many of us have an attitude that says that each morning?

Trust me I don’t feel that way every morning, but I’m actively working on it, and in doing so have picked up a few habits that help. The following is a morning routine I try to practice everyday to start my day with an attitude that sets me up for success. 

The elements are as follows:

  • Pray - I do two things with my morning prayers. I list three specific things I’m thankful for and I pray for three people other than myself. This provides instant perspective on my day.
  • Daily Inspiration Reading - I use this to get my mind thinking positive. Personally, this is where I read a daily Proverb from the Bible (I read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to whatever day of the month it is). If you don’t want to read the Bible there’s plenty of morning motivation books or personal development books that get your mind working first thing in the morning.
  • Read Creed - A couple years ago I wrote a personal creed/motto. It sums up a few values to remember and states a few characteristics to practice. A few of the elements are pulled from the Kinnaird Family Crest & Coat of Arms which adds a personal touch. I tweak the creed slightly every January to start the year and read, or recite by memory, every morning.

    2018’s version goes as follows:
    Be humble. Be hungry. See clearly & act correctly. Focus & endurance will conquer. Be better today than I was yesterday. Speak in action & consistency. Put my head down and work.
  • Power List -  This could and might be a blog of its own. The short concept is as follows: Every morning I write out 3 to 5 critical tasks that bring me a step closer to my goals. These tasks are not goals themselves but steps closer to already defined goals.
    Example: One of my goals for 2018 was to read at least a book a month. Therefore on my Power List one of my critical tasks to get me to accomplish that goal might be “Read 20 pages today”.
    Whatever your goals are your Power List tasks should be an uncomfortable step closer to them. In other words, it should get you closer to accomplishing your goal but not so easy that you don’t make any real progress.
  • Write Truths - This is one of my favorite parts of the morning, other than coffee. Once I’ve gone through all the other steps I feel I’ve gotten my mind right, I feel positive, I have my to-do list set, there’s only one more thing before I act.
    I like to write out every morning what I call my “Truths”. I call them this because they’re generally something true that I need to remember as I start my work goals and my personal hustle. They generally go something like this:

    - I control my attitude and it will be positive & grateful
    - I control my actions and they will be purposeful, focused, and kind
    - I will achieve my goals if I work hard

    These three statements change slightly from day-to-day but the message stays the same. They’re affirmations that help my attitude and help my focus as I start my morning. I write them on a 3x4 inch scrap of paper so I can stick it in my pocket and be reminded of them throughout the day. 

In my opinion this routine sets my morning up for success, keeps me motivated, and starts my day with positivity & gratitude that make me a better human in every aspect of my life. 

So there you have it, don’t hate mornings, adjust your attitude.