Little things that make a big difference to my day

photo-1445883791079-421522d11f18I do lots of things every day- some are recurring, some habitual, some usual and others are one-offs. However, there are a few things that I try to do everyday and make a habit of. They are not major stuff (though I would like to think they are) but they have a significant impact on my day.

The first thing I do when I wake up and open my eyes is to close it again- for my five minute visualization and gratitude exercise. In these five minutes- I run through all the key things in my life that I have and which I am grateful for (my life, experiences, home, relationships etc.) and say ‘thank you’. I also express gratitude for the things/experiences/people that I want to be present in my life- I find that the way to manifest the life you want is to visualize that you are already living it and hence giving thanks for it. I end the short session with an intention: that the day will be filled with happiness, love, peace and mindfulness, abundance, inspiration and fulfillment. I have kicked off my day with this very reassuring exercise and I’m ready to get out of bed.

I have made it a habit to do about 10 min of exercise every morning (stretches, air squats, push ups etc). Not much but better than nothing- I find that I’m comfortable with 10 min of work-out for now. If I wake up early enough, I’ll head off for a swim at my local  gym. There is something about a morning swim that makes the start of a day extra special and invigorating.

Next, physical cleansing. The morning shower serves two purposes- cleansing and a ‘wake me up’. To me, it’s one of the most if not most important ritual in my day- I can’t start my day without it.

That is followed by the other ‘wake me up’- a good hot mug of coffee. I am particular about the kind of coffee I drink – I tend to buy coffee from independent roasters- and I make mine with a filter. It is slightly more complex than an instant coffee or a quick cup of tea but the first cup of the day is worth the extra effort and it serves as a good mindfulness practice: boiling the kettle; spooning the coffee into the filter; pouring in the water; waiting for it to drip into the mug and inhaling that earthy luscious aroma the coffee gives off; stirring in a little milk and taking the first few sips. My morning is complete.

Then I’m off to do a little ‘Quiet time’- to be on my own and enjoy that short period of solitude before the demands of the day flood in.  I use this time to reflect, intend and plan my day. This is also the time for me to quiet my mind through meditation and raise my energy with Qigong exercises.

Whenever I do the few activities above in the morning,  I feel better and my day tends to flow more smoothly and intentionally. They are not big stuff but they make a significant positive difference.


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  1. What a great idea to do a gratitude-ritual in the morning! Rituals usually don’t stick with me, but I’m definitely going to try this for as long as it will last. My only ritual is having coffee. I’m usually not too happy in the morning, but I love coffee so much it makes up for having to get out of bed. I try to keep it my only coffee of the day. Now that I come to think of it, I also have made a useless but fun ritual out of playing the first song that is stuck in my head as soon as I wake up. Today it was “Under my thumb”. Some mornings just are better than others 🙂