I recently received a question from a reader about how I seem to get so much done in a day and stay positive and motivated. Want to know the truth? I don’t always wake up happy, but I learned a long time ago that my day goes much better when I try to start out the day on the right foot. So I’ve established my daily things to do list that makes my life better.
For me, that also includes cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Sometimes just glancing out the window and watching the sunrise is enough to make me happy to be alive and grateful to capture the beauty of nature. Believe me, if you’re ever feeling low when you wake up just go outside and revel in life. You’d be amazed how it can change your mood.
What else do I do that keeps me happy and sane?
Here’s My Personal Wake Up and Make My Life Better List
1. Wake Up Early – I get up early every day without exception (of course, if I’m sick that’s a different story, but I’m hardly ever sick). For me, I love to get up early when the house is quite and start my day. It puts me in a great frame of mind, and I find I am more productive than if I chose to sleep in a bit more.
2. Make My Bed – Making your bed is a great way to start the day off right. You’ve immediately done something positive that will last all day. My room instantly looks neat and tidy.
3. Drink A Glass of Lemon Water – It is easy to get dehydrated at night, so when I get up, I drink a big glass of lemon water so that I can get myself rehydrated. I find if I just jump to coffee, I don’t feel hydrated, and the coffee doesn’t sit well in my tummy.
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4. Make Coffee – Need I say more? I have people in and out of my house daily caring for my mom, so I get the coffee pot going first thing so I can enjoy a cup and they can too.
5. Step Outside and Take A Deep Breath – I love the smell of the morning air. So almost without fail, I step outside on my deck and take a few deep breaths of the morning air. It gets my heart pumping and my brain awake. If it’s snowing or raining, I stand at the door and do the same thing.
6. Light A Candle – I love candles. I have a stockpile of candles, so I never run out. I have candles for every season too. I’m just finishing up my winter candles and with the start of spring, I will be burning the florals soon.
7. Say My Prayers – Starting out the day thanking my Heavenly Father for all the blessings He’s bestowed upon my family and me reinforces the tone for the day. It’s also an opportunity for me to ask him for the things I need in my life and to seek His guidance on problems that are troubling me.
8. Put Music On – Depending on my mood depends on the type of music I listen to. Lately, because my mother is nearing the end of her life, we’ve been listening to a cd from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They are so gifted and talented, and their music is spiritually uplifting. I could just as easily put on disco on Pandora too.
9. Sit With My Mother and Hold Her Hand – I like to be able to sit with my mom before the girls show up and just hold her hand. She doesn’t usually respond to me or even look at me, but I do believe she knows someone who loves her is there with her.
10. Make My To Do List – I have a notebook that I write everything down. In the morning, while sipping on my coffee, I write down all the things in my head that I need to do or that I thought of since the day before. It’s great to get it out of my head and onto paper where I can see it and reflect and expand on it.
11. Schedule My Time – I plan what needs to happen into blocks of time. I also give myself some extra time just in case a project or post takes longer than anticipated.
12. Delete and Delegate – I have more on my plate both professionally and personally than most and so my day is always a juggling act of what I can get done and what’s getting passed off to someone else to do. The caretakers help with household tasks, and I have folks that support me in my businesses.
13. Go Through My Mail and Clean Out My Inbox – I like to start the business of my day with going through the countless emails I get and either responding, deleting, delegating or filing them away. This is a critical task that I do consistently, so I don’t miss important deadlines, information or emails from readers.
14. Respond To Readers – I get a lot, and I do mean a lot of emails from readers asking for advice or sharing a concern. I started my blog so I could provide useful and free information to people who needed help getting out of debt, keeping their homes orderly or find themselves in a similar situation as myself as a full-time caretaker. I take my role as a blog owner seriously and as such feel it’s my duty to respond to people who took the time to reach out to me. If I can provide them any encouragement or point them to a resource that might solve a problem, it uplifts me greatly.
15. Call My Daughter – Nothing makes my day more than getting to spend a few minutes on the phone talking with my daughter. Sometimes we facetime, so I can see my precious grandson Lucas, but mostly we chat on the phone. I wouldn’t want to start the day any other way!
16. Write – I love to write in the morning when my mind is clear and fresh. It’s my most creative time of the day, so I make sure I get some good writing time in each day. I hardly ever take a day off. Some days I write for hours and other days I might only get in an hour total.
17. Take a Shower – It’s easy working from home to let yourself go and slack off on even the most basic of self-care. So I make it a point to take a nice long and invigorating shower each morning.
18. Dress for the Day – When I first started working from home, it was easy to want to stay in PJ’s all day. But that doesn’t help your outlook, productivity or energy level. Now, I make sure I’m dressed in something comfortable but also cute. I might slip on a piece of jewelry, a beautiful headband, or a warm sweater that I love.
19. Surround Myself With Beautiful Flowers – I have fresh flowers in the house year round. It’s a must for me.
20. Hug My Cats – My cats need love and affection too, so I make it a point to go to each one and give them a hug and speak to them lovingly. They lift my spirits too!
21. Do Laundry – I like to keep on top of the laundry and believe in the one load a day rule. I don’t want to be drowning in laundry on the weekend.
22. Make Another Pot of Coffee – I like to make sure the girls have as much coffee as they want or need. Caretaking my mother can be exhausting and I want them to feel at home to come downstairs, sit and sip a cup of coffee anytime they need a break.
23. Go For A Walk – Around the middle of the day I like to step away from the computer and get moving. I like to go for a walk or do a spinning video. Anything that gets my heart pumping and me sweating. It’s a great stress reliever too!
24. Eat Healthily – I try my best to eat healthy foods. I don’t always succeed, but when I make a conscious effort in this area of my life, I do well. I have to learn not to let the stressors of the day affect what I put in my mouth. I’m getting better all the time.
25. Drink Plenty of Water – If I don’t drink enough water, I don’t feel right. I try to drink water all day long. I don’t drink milk or juice, and I never consume soda, so getting the proper amount of water would seem easy, right?
26. Do Something For Someone Else – I think it’s so important not to get so caught up in your life that you forget there are others out there who are struggling. I try to find someone to help each day, whether it be a reader with a problem, a friend who needs a shoulder, my daughter who needs me to watch Lucas or just a stranger I meet along the way. It’s important to be of service to others any way we can.
27. Call My Friend Who’s In Rehab – My best friend Janet had a stroke last year. She’s had her ups and downs, and I have been her shoulder to cry on many times, but I realize how important it is to maintain our daily contact so that life can seem like it used to. It helps her, and it helps me to be able to talk every day. It’s a blessing for us both.
28. Tidy Up The House Before Bed – When I come downstairs to start my day, I want the house to be tidy and ready for the beginning of a new day. The only way to accomplish this is to tidy up the house before I go to bed at night. I clean up the kitchen, run the Swiffer vacuum, pick up and put away what’s been left out before I shut the lights off downstairs and head to bed.
29. Read – Night time is my reading time. I love to read and only wish I could keep my eyes open longer to get more reading time in each day. I like to focus on books that will improve my life or get me to think about an issue in a different way. I’m not one for reading romance novels.
30. Daily Reflection or Meditation – Before bed, I reflect on the day, evaluate where I could have been a better person and vow to make the next day the best day it can be.
31. Go To Bed Early – Finally, I go to bed early and get a good nights sleep (which is often difficult since menopause). That way I’m well rested and ready for another day!
What do you do to make your life better each day?