How a positive attitude and routine can help you up your game

Life is what we make it.

I know, I know, that sounds kind of cliché, but it’s TRUE!

Personal Development takes time. I didn’t emerge from the womb full of know-how and experience (though wouldn’t that have been something?!). I was just like anyone else (I still am, really.)

So, I’m not going to sit here and pretend I have reached a level of awareness and grounded wisdom “with a fun twist and ninja coaching skills” magically. I’ve worked hard and have had more than my fair share of struggles. Do you want to know what REALLY helped me get started?

Two things.

Positivity and routine. And grit (wait…that is three…)

Now, the exact specifics of what worked for me might not work for you. And that’s OKAY. Your journey isn’t going to be the same as mine. That’s the beauty of us as human beings; we’re unique. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some general hints and tricks from my playbook I can share with you that might help CHANGE YOUR LIFE for the better. I’m a firm believer in every little help, and you never know… one of these tips might just be the key that unlocks something inside of you that you didn’t even realize you were missing!

So, when it comes to a more positive outlook on life, I found these three things made a HUGE difference to my attitude…

  • Stop focusing outside of yourself. Some might say “avoid the rumor mill.”Whether it’s the latest celebrity news or water cooler gossip, negative opinions are all around us. They seep into our brains without us realizing it, poisoning our mindsets and drawing our focus in the opposite direction to the one we want. So, block out that toxicity and ignore those opinions as best you can or, even better, redirect the conversation to something positive and inoffensive. Not only will you feel better… you might just make someone else feel more positive too!
  • Begin each day with 2 things, the first one with a gratitude. Don’t worry, I don’t want you to prepare a Thanksgiving-style speech here. You don’t even need any paper to make a literal list — a mental list will do! All I want is for you to set aside one minute every day to think of the things you’re grateful for. Even on the darkest day, I promise you there will be at least one thing you’ll be able to think of. Focus on the good. Positivity breeds positivity, so that single minute has the power to make a big change in your attitude. The second thing? An intention for your day.
  • Crank up the music. Movie composers earn a FORTUNE from their ability to make us weep or scream with fear armed simply with the right combination of notes. Music has POWER. So harness it!!! The right song can be a real balm for the soul, so make yourself a positivity playlist of tunes that really get you going. I don’t care if it’s an 80s power ballad or that dubstep stuff that was all the rage a few years ago… You do you, and turn up the volume! Dance if you want! Sing at the top of your lungs! You’ll feel SO SO SO much better for it!

And as for routine… Some of this stuff might sound a bit unusual, but I want you to give them a try anyway, because they really do work!

  • The Coffee Ritual. If you like to kick start your mornings with a cup of caffeine, the habit is probably so deeply ingrained in you that you don’t think twice about it. So, next time, I invite you to really LIVE in that moment when the first sip of the day passes your lips. Focus on the mug. How smooth it is in your hands. Then, inhale. What can you smell? Next, taste. Feel it in your mouth; texture, temperature… everything. And, if you’re not a coffee drinker, that’s fine (as long as you don’t push that habit my way, the no coffee one.) Any hot or cold drink can be substituted in its place — the steps will be the same. The aim here is to focus on the present and clear your mind so you can start your day clutter-free. When my son lived with me, he would walk down to the park each day. I called it “Aaron’s coffee walk.” Now I do it J
  • Switch it up. Being stuck in a rut HURTS that beautiful, creative nature inside of you. It’s a one-way ticket to Misery Town. So, if you feel yourself starting to get too set in your ways, pretend it’s opposite day. Have dessert at the start of your meal, perhaps. Take a different route to work. Whatever it is, make sure it’s a definite change to your usual routine. It’ll bring new energy to your day and get your brain FIRED UP! No more rut for you!!
  • Set a nighttime alarm. This may sound strange, but instead of just having a morning alarm, set yourself one for bedtime too. Going to bed at the same time each night does AMAZING things for your body clock and sleep cycle, and reminds you to actually shut off at night instead of getting carried away burning the candle at both ends until you eventually burn out. I use “sleep focus” on my iphone. Try it.

One final thing to carry forward on your journey:

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” — Winston Churchill

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