As I drink my morning cup of tea, I ask myself what is most important now. What is the one major goal that I want to accomplish in order to make a difference, but I just can’t seem to find the time for? What good habits would you want to nurture to impact your life? Visualize this for a moment. It could be any area of your life from exercise, healthy eating to time management. It could be working on your relationship with your significant other, finding time for creative pursuits, or getting in the habit of reading every morning.
Once you have thought out what you want to work on, what needs to improve, and what’s most important to you, think about how you can make it part of your daily morning routine. Sit back with a cup of tea and daydream about your ideal morning.
It isn’t stressed or rushed. Most importantly it’s a day when you have time for everything on your list. Maybe it means having time for a long warm shower. Maybe it’s going for a brisk walk or practicing meditation before breakfast. Maybe it’s having a few minutes to connect on Instagram with your friends or maybe it’s carving out a twenty minute YouTube work out. Perhaps it’s time to work on yourself by reading self-improvement blogs, such as this one.
Tip: Write it down in a journal or so like me you can refer back to as needed.
The key to a successful morning routine plan is to start with what’s most important to you and think about the different possibilities. Become an options person like we discussed in the previous post. How could you fit it into your morning routine? Remember, this is the creative motivating step where we think about our choices. We’ll work on the procedure of figuring out where to find the time to fit it in and how to make it all work out. For now, I simply want you to paint a vivid picture of what your new morning could be– I want you to become very clear on the visualization aspect so you can concentrate on your goals. Imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can.
Why is this so important? Because you can’t start to make any meaningful changes until you know what your goals are. You need to know your destination before you can start the GPS and figure out the stops and turns on how to get there. Today’s task is about figuring out where you want to go.
Don’t stop until you have figured out your destination firmly pictured in your mind.
It’s difficult to become motivated when you can’t find your way on the yellow brick road. Perhaps you don’t have the job you want or the relationship, or maybe you’re not in the best financial situation. Deep inside, you probably know what you don’t want, but you haven’t figure out your goals.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a close friend of mine died of breast cancer. She was always motivated and so lively. She reminded me that in life, you need to dream and reach your goals. She studied social psychology and worked as a business coach in New York. My friend struggled with dyslexia and a learning disability. She inspired me to write this blog post since she had the habit of writing her goals in a journal. I know that she was fully committed to living life to the fullest. She always worked hard and methodically. She always had a strategy for everything.
The sky is the limit, so ask yourself– How do you envision your life? What would you need in life for it to be more fulfilling and meaningful? How will you find the yellow brick road?
If suddenly, you’re a multimillionaire, what will you do with the rest of your life? Will you continue working at your job? Will you spend more time with your family or travel to Africa? Will you start your own business or spend more time with your hobbies?
1. Dream and balance.
All of these are dreams—dreams about possibilities. There is nothing wrong with dreaming, but it’s what you do with it that matters.
According to Shelle Rose Charvet’s Words That Change Minds: The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence, metaprograms in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) determine how we communicate with each other. A dreamer without a method is an options person. Those persons who view possibilities use modal operators such as “could” or “can.” They give you a long list of alternatives.
Many of these options persons are usually creatives, designers, and business entrepreneurs. Somehow these persons seem to gather on Instagram and sell you the dream. I’ve witnessed this “dream selling” quite often on my feed. Some Instagram influencers promise that you will attain their lifestyle easily– travel to Egypt, frolic with ponies in Iceland, ride elephants in Vietnam, and tango in Buenos Aires. These promises sell you a Hollywood ending, a dream come true. They work well for click and bait since you feel as if you know the person you follow as a friend. You watched them grow into someone special. Like them, you believe in the dream, but carrying it out is another story. You buy the webinar and find out that there are too many steps and that it requires money and connections. Before trying, you give up, which is fine because this dream is a possibility for those who run on the options metaprogram; it is not a reality. There are too many possibilities, so you move on to Tik-Tok, Youtube, or Twitch. The cycle continues over and over again.
Charvet explains that those who operate on procedures tend to be great salespeople. Take a look at Kim Kardashian’s post:
Clearly, she is describing her morning routine in steps and in which she sells the pajamas. Her language is about sequential order. Hence, her success in salesmanship.
Once you balance the why (options) with the how (procedures), you can strive to evaluate your dream. The time you take to dream is time for your creativity to grow. Don’t undermine this moment; be mindful of it, accept it, and write down your dream in vivid detail.
List the things that get you out of bed in the morning. These are all the things you are willing to devote time and energy to each day.
I wrote the following list in my journal:
Faith Family Friends Finances Romantic relationships Personal growth Being healthy Being organized and using time wisely Being happy at work. Contributing to the world.
Ask yourself what is most important, and when you are finished writing your list, take a few moments to prioritize the items. Figuring out your priorities is crucial because we often have so much “stuff” going on in our lives that we lose track of who we are and what we want out of our life. We end up moving from one crisis to another. We run around in circles with paying bills, fixing the car, or rushing to work to value the moment. It’s easy to neglect ourselves, friends, and family. Find your purpose by asking yourself a series of exploration questions.
What would inspire me to get out of bed at 5 AM on a Saturday?
What haven’t I experienced yet that I’ve always wanted to?
What haven’t I given yet that I’ve always wanted to?
What haven’t I learned that I’ve always wanted to?
What part of me haven’t I healed yet that I still need to?
What are my passions?
Am I doing now what I really want to do?
If not, do I even know what I would like to do?
What can I do to serve others?
Write down the answers to these questions and journal. These should be your honest answers–not what you should do out of obligation or what others expect you to do.
3. Combine all your answers into a life’s purpose or mission statement.
Your purpose statement will answer the question, “Why am I here? What is my true calling in life?” You get to define your mission, so what do you genuinely want to do with your life? In your journal, write, “My purpose in life is…” Then, expand on your objective, reflecting on your dreams, priorities, and the questions listed above.
My journal reads like this:
My purpose in life is to be caring, mindful, and passionate about my relationship with God, my family, and friends. I want to be motivated to help others every day to the best of my ability. I wish for those surrounding me to feel special and loved. I want to learn how to let go instead of becoming defensive when met with demands and stress.
4. Think of how you can use your passions and dreams to serve the world.
I will make the world a better place by standing for what I believe. It is essential that in times of crisis, you can stay strong in your values but, at the same time, take a non-judgmental stance.
Write down the following prompt. “I will make the world a better place by…” and elaborate. Get all of your ideas down on paper. This journaling exercise will probably take you at least 10 minutes – though it could take hours if you overthink the task. Then, go back and read the content.
Is it a wake-up call? If not then, keep writing until you find clarity.
When you do define your life’s purpose, it will feel and be an emotional awakening.
If your purpose is clear, then you can concentrate on steps to set up your main goals and become motivated. Daily motivation enables us to strive to work towards future goals and lead us to fulfill our life’s purpose.
5. Set your goals.
It worked for Dorothy when she went to see the Wizard (another options metaprogram person at best). With the help of her friends, the Tin-Man, Lion and Scarecrow, Dorothy paved her way down the Yellow Brick Road. She accomplished the goals she set out once she figured out the procedure.
The mere act of setting a goal motivates us to work to achieve success. Goals drive an individual’s daily motivation. It is best not to get overwhelmed with attaining a huge goal too quickly; instead, you should take small steps to accomplish it. Divide them up into phases to achieve your goals. Make sure that they are measurable for you to take accountability. Don’t be afraid of failure without trying. And if you do fail, then accepting defeat drives persistent motivation and problem-solving.
6. Define your attitude.
A positive attitude is a source of daily motivation. Believing that one of your goals is too difficult to achieve will eventually prevent you from achieving these goals. A negative attitude will set you back and lead you off the Yellow Brick Road towards being attacked by flying monkeys. To complete your goals, you must be able to tell yourself that every goal can be attained with effort. If you tell yourself that you can do it, most likely you will. Never underestimate the power of the mind and of creating daily motivation.
7. Focus on faith.
Spirituality and religion can also improve daily motivation. Religion – no matter what kind – encourages mindfulness and internal motivation. People often depend on their faith when life challenges them. Prayer and meditation inspire those who might otherwise turn to alcoholic beverages, doughnuts, or heroin to nurture their spirits. Religion may help some people to be more mentally and physically healthy. Even taking pleasure in nature’s beauty by hiking on a trail can trigger a sense of peace.
We all feel a little off-balance, but by focusing on routines, our balance can be restored.
Limit your online time (emails, forums, instant messaging) to two hours a day.
Leave the house every day in the morning, even if you don’t need to be somewhere. You can go to a coffee shop and read the paper, visit a library or a museum, or go for a long walk or bicycle ride.
Keep regular sleeping hours. If you are having difficulty sleeping, at least assign certain hours for sleeping, resting, reading, or quiet television (if that makes you drowsy).
Save the last hour of the day for quiet and reading books or television – no phone, no computer, no work.
Step away from people who are pulling you off balance with drama or their own negativity. Usually, you only need to do this until you feel balanced again.
Occupy your thoughts and time, mostly with positive ideas and activities.
Have an assortment of healthy friends in different areas of life. You will obtain emotional support from positive friends.
If you have been watching a lot of television, limit your time to no more than 3 hours a day.
Balance the time in your day between different activities and efforts, even at work. When too much energy is placed on one task, it can make you feel more stressed or dissatisfied. Pace yourself with deadlines so that you won’t have to carry out marathon sessions to catch up.
Laugh and love yourself!
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It all starts with a goal. You have to know what it is that you want to accomplish. If you don’t know what your goal is, then it’s hard to prioritize on what you should be doing now to move towards action. So, what do we do instead? Basically, we procrastinate.
It’s important to remember that goal setting is based on commitment. Your goal is merely to place what needs to get done into written words. By goal setting, you increase your motivation since you establish a mindset of desiring an attainable goal. The goal moves from dream to reality. It becomes tangible.
By reaching this goal, you achieve a level of success. To write your goal, answer this question first– How committed are you to make a change? If your goal lacks clarity, will you be able to carry it out? Not likely.
Research shows that an achievable goal leads to greater work satisfaction and motivation. Firstly, a goal is attainable based on your own skillset. For example, if I am good at organizing, I can use this strength to carry out my goal. Secondly, a goal can also challenge you to improve your skills because you are motivated to achieve it. This type of achievable goal is measurable and has a set deadline.
Goals don’t have to be overly complicated. Here’s a simple goal we all strive to accomplish. We have to file our taxes this year by July 15th. The deadline was moved because of the COVID-19 national emergency. You certainly have a good idea of what forms will be needed, paperwork, and receipts. So, you gather them up as a step to achieve this goal and you download the software needed. In other words, when you have a well-defined goal like filing your income taxes on time then you create action.
2. Write it down.
It doesn’t matter if you write it down on a stickie, a bullet journal, or type a note on your phone. The important part putting your goal in writing. Firstly, it helps you clarify what your goal is. You need to be specific when you try to put what you truly want into writing. Secondly, writing it down serves as a reminder and as a tool that you can use to stop you from procrastination.
Complex goals that lie out of your skill level may overwhelm you. Making simple goals that rely on what you are good at and challenge you just slightly will drive you towards success. Sometimes, “I will try to do my best” won’t be good enough; it is too ambiguous and shows lack of motivation. However, complex goals that are achievable because of their clarity and your improved skillset can help you reach success.
3. Get started
Last but not least, it’s time to get started. That’s often the hardest part, isn’t it? You’re tempted to skip your workout until you lace up your shoes and get started. Once you’re off and running, it’s much easier to keep going. Once you have your goal written down, think about something you can do right now to move you in the right direction.
I happened to do just that.
The goal-setting plan
I planned to set up a morning routine so I can get out the door and to work by 7:30 am. I can measure the time it takes for me to fulfill this routine. (Right now, it is taking me forever, but this is the subject of another blog post). I wrote down that I wanted to achieve it by next week. I’ve already taken action by reading the routines of other bloggers, mainly those involving celebrities, famous CEOs, and bloggers in quarantine. Each morning, I will start looking at my goal and challenge myself to carry through the steps required to achieve it. Before you know it, I will have made some serious progress.