Everyone knows how important it is that kids get off to a good start in life. How a horse comes out of the starting gate can often make its career, and a sprinter’s ability to come out of the blocks often determines who wins a foot race. Your first experience with something will often color what comes afterward. The way you start your day is no exception.
Sometimes, starting your day actually begins the night before. As you head off to bed, is your minding racing over what needs to be done the next day? If so, make a list putting everything in order, and then set it aside. Anxiety is calmed and the brain can quit ruminating over what might happen in the morning. You’ve already done the work to organize. Now is the time to relax and let it go.
In the morning, do you leap out of bed before your eyes are really open? Do you begin a mad rush to leave for work on time? Then, do you spend your entire day trying to get ahead of a schedule that always seems too busy and too full?
Why not try setting your clock a few minutes early for a week? Spend those first few waking moments giving some thought to the way you want the rest of your day to go. Take a look at the list from the night before, and make any adjustments. Then, as you proceed through preparing for the day ahead, try to bring your full awareness to each activity: showering, brushing your teeth, and selecting your clothes. Do each thing thoughtfully and deliberately, paying complete attention to just that one thing.
Keep your thoughts on the present, and don’t let them leap ahead into the future, or slip back into the past. Just try to be fully present in the moment. This approach is similar to the Buddhist art of mindfulness, and if you practice it for a while, it will change the pace and the emotions of your day!