How do you start your day?
If you’re like most of us, you hit snooze 3x before you finally roll out of bed. You gulp down a cup of coffee or two, maybe eat a quick bite, and then stumble your way out the door. You wake up as late as possible in order to make it to work or school or your first appointment.
Which is fine…It’s been working, as far as you know.
But what if, instead of hitting snooze that third time, you rolled over and opened your phone? And what if, instead of opening Instagram or your email, where you get lost in a rabbit hole of other people’s lives, you took 5-minutes to check in with yourself?
I’ve worked as a therapist in prisons, in psych units, in community mental health centers. I’ve worked with people who have abused others, people who struggle with addiction, people who have lost their children to the courts and are trying to get them back — and, through all this work, I am more committed than ever to this basic truth: at heart, we want to do good.
Nearly all of us, no matter who we are, have fundamentally good intentions.
Still, we don’t always do good. And usually that’s because we’ve lost track of our true intentions. We’ve become distracted by work, people and demands from world around us. Meditation and intention setting are powerful tools that we can use, simultaneously, to clear our minds and get focused on what matters.
Set A Morning Intention
So let me ask you: what motivates you? What skill or passion makes your heart beat faster? What do you care about most?
For some people, it’s family. For others, it’s art or education or environment.
Take a moment here, if you can. Close your eyes or look away from the screen, take a deep breath and ask yourself: what’s most important to me?
If you can, try to go deeper than, “I want to pay my rent this month.” Look past this and consider, what would paying your rent give you?
Every day is different. An intention has the power to set the tone for your day. When you set an intention, you focus on who you are and how you, on this specific day, can work towards your purpose. Intentions can energize you and motivate you. And it takes less than 5 minutes.
Before even placing your feet on the floor, an intention can inspire how you carry yourself in the maelstrom of traffic, meetings, kids, partners, and life’s unexpected.
So give yourself that first five minutes of the day to decide – what is my intention for today?
Wishing you all good things,
Ready to start your day on a new foot? Listen to Craig Hase’s Rise and Greet the Day series on Simple Habit.