What do you do first thing in the morning? Do you start thinking about how long the day is going to be, all the things that you need to get done? Do you tend to feel unmotivated and just feel like lying in bed all day? Do you constantly think about sleeping in and staying up late, even though you normally just mindlessly surf the net while staying up anyway?
I used to be like that just a year ago. When I entered college and starting living in dormitories, it was normal to stay up till 3am in the morning, even though I may not have that much work to begin with. I end up feeling listless throughout the day, constantly feeling fatigued, unmotivated, and then I find myself downing caffeine. Till today I am still trying to cut down on my reliance on coffee, which was something that had stuck since freshman year.
However, we don’t have to start our days like that! Sometimes it is as simple as adjusting your body clock. But sometimes it isn’t. Many times we set our mind to something but our will just doesn’t allow us to follow through. So, today’s post is about the importance of setting daily intentions, and how having a grateful heart every day will help you strengthen that will, boost your zest and motivation that will set you up for the day!
Sometimes in yoga classes, our yoga instructors would encourage us to set intentions for our practice. It can be to dedicate the practice to ourselves or to our loved ones. However, setting daily intentions doesn’t only have to happen on the mat, it can happen in our daily lives as well. Setting an intention every day in the morning does wonders in setting yourself up for the day, no matter how hectic or dreadful that day may be. Cultivate that into a habit and you’ll find a greater sense of purpose when you wake up every morning.
Here are some tips for you to set an intention every day:
1. Create a gratitude journal
Writing really helps you to start thinking about the little things in life that we should be grateful for. When you have a journal to pen down these thoughts, it provides you the opportunity to be thankful for the little things in life! When the going gets tough, the gratitude journal can be a great pick-me-up as well, as you read through the journal and that reminds you of the things that makes you happy and thankful.
If you find it a hassle to sit down and write it down on a diary every night, there are many gratitude journal apps on the app store that would be really useful as well, such as Gratitude Journal.
2. Set aside 10 minute of quiet time first thing in the morning
Find a corner in your room or your house that you feel comfortable in. Play some music, do not have any gadgets near you, and just sit down and collect your thoughts of the day. Use this quiet time to set your daily intention – such as to be more calm, to smile more, to be less stressed, any of your personal goals! Most importantly, end off your quiet time with something affirmative, such as “I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will get through the day with strength and grace”. When you start off the day with a calm state of mind and with a strong, positive affirmation, that’s already half the battle won for the day!
This really works differently for different people, so it’s all about finding what works for you. For me, the time when I brush my teeth is my quiet-time, because my thoughts just naturally wander to my day ahead and that’s where I psyche myself up for the day. So if you find that meditation does not work for you, maybe doing a certain activity can help you with your quiet time as well.
3. Write it down on your wrist or your palm as a reminder throughout the day
Sometimes when the day gets hectic, we can forget about what we told ourselves first thing in the morning. Writing it down on your wrist or on your palm would help immensely in reminding you your intention for the day, and to provide you with a little encouragement especially when the day gets a little rough or hectic.
4. Smile and let go
We do not always get to achieve what we set out to do early in the day. But even so, remember to let it go and not beat yourself up over it. There are good days and there are bad days. Most importantly, do not give up setting a daily intention, because it will help you cultivate a more positive mindset, and allows you to be more calm and collected especially on rough and busy days. The day may be outright disastrous, but blaming yourself over it will only make it worse. Breathe, and let it all go.
5. Reflect on your day, what were some of the things that made you happy or grateful?
At the end of the day, write down what were some of the things that you were thankful for in your gratitude journal. Pen down any thoughts and reflections of the day. Was there something that you did differently and made yourself feel a little better? Was there something that totally made your day? On the other hand, if you had a bad day, try to think about some of the things that you are thankful for. It could be little things like finding a shelter just in time before the heavy rain, having your favourite meal, or meeting someone new!
No matter what, always remember that even if your day was totally not what you intended it to be, tomorrow will be a better day. <:
Start your day off with peace, contentment, and gratitude, and sometimes that’s all it takes to make a whole lot of difference to your day. <: Try setting an intention for your day tomorrow, and let me know how it goes!