“For every positive change you make in your life, something else also changes for the better — it creates a chain reaction.” — Leon Brown
Success is like learning to ride a bike. After we build up momentum, it becomes easier to balance. Momentum is crucial, as it makes it easier to ride a bike, and move along in life. Think of it like a series of dominos, once they are lined up, the first one helps take care of the rest. What are the first domino pieces in life?
Think about your daily routine. The first domino can both help or hinder your progress for the day. If you wake up late and exhausted before rushing out the door, that might be a set up to have a negative and stressful day. Yet if we wake up well rested, take our time in the morning, and have a calm morning by reading, meditating, or just sitting in a relaxing environment, those benefits can carry on throughout the rest of the day.
Momentum also helps form habits. Once you do an activity one day, such as exercise, use that as a reason to carry on for the following days. If you can do it on day one, you can do it on day two and so on. As it becomes a habit, the momentum is on your side and will create a positive difference in your life.
So what are some good activities that can be the ‘first domino pieces’ to create a chain of positivity your life? Let’s look at some of my favorites, and consider trying out your favorites.
Everyone loves to sleep, but most people don’t get enough. We wake up in the morning exhausted, and our performance throughout the day suffers because of it. To make up for it, we tend to stay up late, and the cycle continues. Create a new cycle by going to bed earlier, getting enough sleep, and waking up earlier. When we wake up earlier than normal, we give ourselves some free time and quiet time in the morning. We create a block of time where we can do an activity we want to do, instead of getting up and starting to meet the demands that are imposed on us throughout the day.
Looking for an activity to do in that spare time during the morning? Try working out. The benefits of working out are plentiful. Find a workout that you enjoy, and do it each day. If you haven’t worked out in a while, build your way up. Over time, you’ll see your progress and notice your life turning around for the better. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and a better mood too. Exercise is also a great way to alleviate stress and get your mind off the normal demands of life. Some of my favorite workouts are running or going on walks. It doesn’t have to be super intense, but it should be something that gets you moving.
Sitting in silence is another great activity to do during the morning. Instead of working out the body, we work out the mind. Some people underestimate the power of meditation or write it off due to stereotypical assumptions. You don’t have to listen to a specific soundtrack, wear specific clothes, or go on a retreat. You could just start off by sitting in a chair, and focusing on the breath for five minutes. If you don’t know where to start and would like to have a guided meditation, I recommend Headspace. I have no affiliation with them, but I have used their product and have found it to be extremely helpful. If you find the guided meditations to be too distracting or simply not your style, you can also try an app called Insight Timer, which is also an app I have gotten a lot of value from.
Just like with meditating, reading is a great way to strengthen the mind. Whether you are reading a book with fictional characters, or want to learn more helpful tips for success, it’s a great way to step outside of everyday life and learn something new. Some people enjoy audiobooks, but I enjoy getting to actually read a book as I feel it helps me feel engaged in the content. Reading helps improve cognitive function, reduces stress, and helps us improve our vocabulary and learn more. If you are looking for some books to read, check out a few of my suggestions.
As you know, I am a fan of writing. You may think you aren’t good at writing, but like anything else, it takes practice. Every day I am still learning new things about writing, and that’s what I love about it. Whether you want to write a story, journal, or blog, there are so many different directions you can take it. Writing helps clear the mind and allows you to see a situation from a different perspective. Don’t worry about writing a specific amount of words at first or having the perfect grammar and punctuation, just let the words get on the page.
When we set up these dominos for the day, success becomes easier to reach. It might not seem like it, but these little suggestions can make a big difference. Try your favorite one for a few days, then feel free to add another one. Experiment with your own ideas too. Find what you enjoy, determine how it will make a positive impact in your day, and get to it.