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Olle Lindholm

Morning prompts to kick off your day

published2 months ago
3 min read

Hi there, how are things with you?

I've been in the midst of a hectic period at both school and work.

Lots of people ask me how I manage to juggle my days.

Although many factors play a role, I'd argue that prompts support me on my busiest days.

They remind me to breathe, block out time for the important activities, and finish what matters most.

Here's how I use two prompts to start off my day and wind down in the evening. Hope you find them useful.

Morning prompts to kick off the day

Prompts are powerful ways to trigger our behaviour. They can nudge us in the right direction and take us where we want to go in the long-term.

For example, I've recently started taking Vitamin D. (There's less and less sunshine here, north of the wall.) So, I place the can on the kitchen table, where I can't miss it.

I have also been writing in a gratitude journal for a few years. Gratitude is like a muscle: you need to exercise it every day.

As researchers Emmons and Crumpler pointed out:

Gratitude is an emotion, a virtue, a moral sentiment, a motive, a coping response, a skill, and an attitude. It is all of these and more.

So, how do I write in my gratitude journal? I use the following prompts:

My sleep: I rate how many hours I slept the night before and record how rested I feel.

Morning mood: I rate what mood I’m in, where 1 is the absolute lowest and 10 is the highest.

3 things I am grateful for: I jot down anything I'm thankful for. It could be anything from my morning coffee on the couch to my health, and relationships, or something as small as the snow outside my window.

The point to remember:

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” - Zig Ziglar

What will I do to make today great? I set intentions on what would make my day special.

Daily Affirmations: I am a fan of this mantra from scientist Mark Williams:

May I be safe and free from suffering. May I be as happy and healthy as it is possible for me to be. May I have ease of being.

I often say these words out loud, wishing myself well.

Evening prompts to finish my day

I like to keep things simple in the evenings.

I often write in my evening journal around 8 PM or so, but sometimes I prefer to do it around 5:30 PM when I’m wrapping up work and school assignments.

I use the Plus, Minus and Next method to wind down.

Plus: What went well?
I jot down anything that’s gone well during the day. I try to notice behaviours that I’m proud of or that make me feel good about myself.

Then, I look for patterns to spot opportunities where I can practice this behaviour again. I also try to notice the environment where I flourished (e.g. on campus, at the office, at home, if I was alone or with friends/family/colleagues).

Minus: What didn’t go so well?

I record anything that I wasn’t too pleased with. This allows me to learn that the next time I’m in a similar situation X, I’d like to act more like Y.

Next: What will I focus on tomorrow?
I check my calendar and jot down the 1-3 most important events for the following day. This helps me focus on what’s most important.

It also helps me to let go of today, because I’ve gone through all the most important things, which means I can check out and do whatever.

Over to you

That was a broad overview of some of my daily prompts. What did you think? Anything you'd like to try?

Do you use any prompts or tools to support you during hectic periods?

Hit reply and share. I always look forward to hearing from you.

Have a nice week.

Cheers,
Olle

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PS. Got a question about establishing new morning or evening routines? Just hit reply to this message, and I'll do my best to respond.