"No yesterdays are ever wasted for those
who give themselves to today."
Do you wake up every morning with a grin on your face, jumping out of bed with a fresh eagerness for the day ahead? Yeah, me neither. As much as I want to be positive 24/7, it's not easy to wake up every morning and say to yourself, "I'm going to LOVE today!" Some days are just downright difficult and no matter how you look at them, the negative seems to out weight the positive. As most of us probably know, sometimes you wake to a day that can be so overwhelming that you're actually scared of it. The other day as I was searching through photos on the amazing We Heart It, I came across the image above and it caused me to pause and think about how I determined I am to love each and every day. I had to ask myself, "Am I really that determined to love each and every day? Or do I settle into that fear sometimes, really letting negativity about the day's events get the best of me?" As much as I want to start every day off with the hope and cheerful notion that it will be a day I love, that's not always the easiest thing to do when faced with some of life's challenges.
There's no getting around the fact that every single day won't be lovable. Life is challenging and there are simply going to be days that cannot be labeled "great" -- but that doesn't mean we shouldn't give it our best shot to try to love each and every day. I think it's perfectly okay to realize that not every day will be great -- or even good -- but I don't think it's okay not to at least give every day a chance. I'm not sure about you, but I've definitely had some days that seemed like they would be awful and then transformed into some of the best days I've ever had. Life is unpredictable like that and it's hard to know what's going to happen in a single day. As many of you probably know, a single moment can turn your life around and it only takes a second for day to turn from god-awful to glorious (and, yes, it can go the other way too, but let's focus on the positive since this is a blog about positivity). As many of you also probably know, attitude has a lot to do with your day. If you start off with the belief that a day is going to suck, you'll quickly realize that the day actually does suck. However, if you start off with the attitude that your day is going to kick ass... well, you just might find that it does.
I'm not going to pretend that every day can be fabulous if you just have the right attitude. Sometimes terrible things happen that are out of our control. Sometimes we just don't feel like things are going right and sometimes a bad-mood funk can suck the life out of even the most promising days. We can't make every day perfect, but we can give it the best head-start possible. It's just like that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" idea. What you eat for breakfast won't necessarily determine what you'll eat the rest of the day, but more often than not, if you eat a healthy breakfast you'll eat a healthy lunch and dinner too. That's what we need to think about when we're starting our days. Sure, even if we have a positive attitude at the beginning of the day, we might consume some negativity later on. But it's a lot more likely that we'll keep gobbling up that healthy positivity if we start the day off with the right mindset.
7 Ways to Start Off (and Love!) Your Day
Be grateful. One of the best ways to start off your day on the right foot is to begin your day by thinking about the things you're grateful for. It's not always easy to do this if you're in a bad mood or you have some difficult activities to look forward to that day, but taking a few moments to be thankful for what is going well in your life is an excellent way to dive into the day with a positive attitude. If you like writing, it might be helpful to keep a little journal beside your bed and jot down the things that you're grateful for when you wake up in the morning. If you're not the writing kind, just thinking about the things that you're thankful for as you're opening your eyes and starting the day is a great way to start things off right.
Be energized. It can be hard to start off the day right if you're not feeling full of energy. When you're tired or dragging, it's going to be difficult to be positive. I know first hand that when I'm not well-rested, I definitely feel like my mood worsens. So, in order to start of the day energized, make sure you get the right amount of rest (not too much or too little, Goldilocks!), eat healthy foods every day, drink lots and lots of water, and exercise (yeah, I need to work on that one...). If you treat your body right, you're more likely to be starting your days off with a lot of energy. Another way to start off your day with energy is to try your best to end your day with positive thoughts and images. When you're getting ready for bed, try to focus on the good things that happened that day and try to watch/read things that are positive. You can do a lot of preparing the day before to wake up energized and refreshed so get started now!
Be mindful. Being present is one of the best ways to love every day. When you're living in the moment, you're not stressing about the future and you're not dwelling on the past. And one of the best ways to be present is to be mindful. Being mindful can be difficult, especially if you're not super excited about whatever you're engaging in on any particular day, but if you make the extra effort to look around you -- to really, truly pay attention to your life and all that surrounds you -- you'll find that your days seem a lot more exciting. And a lot easier to love. Mindfulness and being very aware of what's happening around you keeps you present and helps to keep unnecessary stress from your mind. Pay attention to everything, even the littlest details, and you'll find that every day is worth loving.
Be realistic. When you start your day, you might be overcome with ideas of what you think the day will -- or should -- entail. So often we place expectations on our days -- good or bad -- and so often these expectations aren't realistic. How often have you thought a day would be the worst ever or anticipated that your day would be absolutely fantastic? It's great to have an idea of what your day is going to be like, but it's not so great to be projecting generalizations on your day. It can be very tempting to think things like, "This day is going to be terrible" or "This is going to be the worst day ever," but it's pretty unlikely that things will go as drastically as you've made out in your head. When you really start to think about something realistically, you'll probably realize that things won't be as bad as you think they will be. Be realistic about what your day will entail and you'll most likely be able to handle whatever comes your way. Realize that most things aren't the end of the world and you'll be much more likely to face your challenges head on.
Be open. Just think about the number of times you've started off a day thinking you knew exactly how it would go only to find out that it unveiled itself in an entirely unpredictable way. Life throws us some pretty crazy curve balls and one of the hardest things to do sometimes is to just let those curve balls come right at us. There are a lot of things in any given day that our out of our control. Sometimes this can be one of the hardest things to deal with in terms of loving your day, and that's why it's important to be open. Be open to the idea that anything can happen and that anything that may happen might actually be good. I know things have happened to me that I didn't understand at the time, but that ended up being really great for me. Be open to new experiences and be open to the idea that any day has the potential to be a great day and you're a lot more likely to enjoy your days a whole lot more.
Be hopeful. Along with being open, you also want to start off every day with a healthy dose of hope. Some days this is so easy. It can be so easy when things are going well to believe that they'll keep going well, but then there are those days when hope seems like something you dreamt about once as a child. There are days when hope seems as likely as a fairy tale. And those are the days you need hope the most. When you wake and think the day is going to be awful, remember to have hope. Any day can transform into the best day -- even when it seems completely beyond the realm of possibility. Life is so very unpredictable and I've never, ever been able to 100% predict what would happen to me on any given day. So when a day seems destined for dismal, take a moment and indulge in a little hope. It might sound silly or cliche, but there's nothing like hope to get your day rolling in the right direction. No matter how much you think you're going to hate your day, wake up and have hope because you never, ever know what the day will bring.
- Be determined. As the quote in the image above says, you have to be determined. You have to really want to love every day. If you don't, you won't. It's just that simple. Waking up happily and cheerfully every single morning might sound like a bit much to ask for, but you can wake up believing that your day will hold something magical and unexpected. You always have the opportunity to choice a positive outlook (even when it feels like the hardest thing in the world to do), but when it comes to loving each day, you have to be determined. You have to really want it and you have to make an effort. This is a very hard thing to do and I can't say that I've mastered it yet, but I want to. I want to love every day as if it's my last day and even though I'm not at that point yet, I have hope that I someday can be that person. Determination is key when it comes to numbers 1-6. Without determination, it's going to very hard to do any of the things above when you're facing a really hard day, but if you're determined you have the power to do anything -- including love every day you're alive.
Following these seven strategies won't always be easy. In fact, if you're anything like me, most days it'll be harder than it would seem. But if you try them and you are determined to love your days, I know you (and I!) can do it. Life's too short not to love every day you're alive, but I think we often forget to love our days. Too often we forget that this life isn't a given and that even when we're in a slump or a funk or a place of pain, we're all pretty lucky to be here. Every day you must wake and you must go on with your life so why not make an effort to love it?