I can’t think of a better way to start a fall day than being curled up on the couch in a quiet house, ready to watch the sun come up. Most often there’s a blanket on my lap, coffee in my hand, and a diffuser going next to me!
Sound Hygge-ish? It is. But I find the best way to start the day is more than simply setting the mood for a cozy morning. That’s inspiring, of course, but even more important is that I began the day with intention.
You see, I’ve always struggled with daily routines. I love the idea of keeping a calendar, a schedule, a planner, a housekeeping routine, an exercise routine, a quiet time routine (SQUIRREL!)… but years ago I finally mastered a few daily habits (my four daily routines) that changed my perspective on how important routines are in our life.
Over the years I’ve figured out quite a few seasonal and daily rhythms that have really helped me to feel more in control of my time, my to do list, emotions, my mindset and more.
You may have read about a few of the successful habits I’ve adopted, mastered and many that I am still working on (I’ve shared some of them here on the blog and in many of my books such as Love the Home You Have, Make Room for What You Love, and in my new book, Dwelling.)
Years ago I made a list called 20 Little Attitudes of Gratitude with various attitudes I wanted to emphasize in our home while my son was still young. I found that list to be so powerful in shaping the atmosphere and attitudes in our home that I wanted to incorporate something similar into my own daily habits.
Even though I tend to be more of a glass half filled gal, it’s amazing how deadlines, pressures, or stresses can start to negatively shape how you feel, how you view your circumstances and even how you approach your day.
Starting the day with an “attitude of gratitude” is clearly important, but there are other benefits to making this a regular morning ritual.
I discovered that if I don’t set the intention for my morning the night before, it is easy to start the day with mindsets, routines and habits that are not successful for me.
If I wake up and let myself go into “thinking mode” or “productivity mode” or even just “social media scrolling mode” the whole trajectory of my day will be off track from the very beginning.
Keeping a commitment to myself that I will start the day with intention–which for me can include a quiet time for prayer, reflection, silence, and my gratitude list, will change nearly everything about how the rest of my day (and how my mindset) unfolds.
If you struggle with having a morning routine, or want to start off your chilly fall mornings curled up with a hot cup of tea or coffee, a positive mindset, and a bit of quiet time, try this morning ritual:
Get yourself a pretty journal or notebook.
Then every night when you go to bed, set your intentions for the morning.
If you don’t routinely wake up early on your own, set an alarm for earlier than you need to get up to get ready for work or taking kids to school or whatever else you need to do each day.
Then in the morning, before you have a chance to hit snooze or grab your phone and scroll, leap out of bed (carefully LOL!) and grab your gratitude journal.
Go to a quiet corner of the house. Do whatever simple thing you need to do to set a cozy mood (engaging as many senses as possible will make the morning experience so much more inspiring!). You might want to curl up with a blanket, have a flickering candle or a lamp, make a cup of tea or coffee, or set up your diffuser (click HERE for my autumn diffuser oil recipes, plus a FREE fall scent bundle with the oils and diffuser I recommend!).
Then, sit down and start your gratitude list! It doesn’t need to be long. Try picking five or ten things your grateful for each morning. What do you see around you that you are thankful for? Who is in your life? What are some recent circumstances you are thankful for? What are some circumstances that aren’t ideal, but that you can find something to be grateful for in them anyway? What are you grateful for in regards to your health? Your goals or dreams? What are you grateful for in your career, in your family, in your community?
Make your list.
Repeat the next day!
Do you have trouble sticking to an early morning routine? Simply go back to setting your intentions the night before and be prepared to keep your commitment when your eyes open in the morning. Don’t give yourself the option of doing anything else in the morning until your gratitude list is complete!
If you’re new to daily routines (or trying to get into or stay committed to a morning one), trust me, I think you’ll find setting your intentions for the morning will inspire you to get out of bed every morning.
Keeping this morning commitment to yourself and writing your daily gratitude list will make a positive difference in how you feel all day long!
Do you start the day with intention? Do you have a gratitude journal?
More on The Inspired Room:
Catch up on this year’s Fall Nesting series (and get inspired by past year’s posts!) right here!