Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Day Begins

Some mornings are wonderful. I open my eyes, well rested and eager to begin whatever is on my PODA (Parade of Daily Activities). My goals are in the forefront of my mind, and I whip through my morning routines and give immediate attention to the day's priorities. I seem to have energy for anything that comes my way, and that momentum continues throughout the day.

Other mornings, I lazily stretch, get up and putter about with aimlessness. Sip my coffee or tea and think about the things I need to do, the things I would like to do, and then ponder if I am going to get anything at all accomplished, as days like this usually don't end up very productive. Sometimes that is okay, as nothing is pressing. If it happens more than a few times, I start to sink into CHAOS and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Still other mornings, I get up later than I should, rush to do what has to be done, leaving many things to be taken care of "later". Barely make it to work on time, not enough time to do any preparations before my first meeting or assignment, and the day goes on at a very hectic pace, with me playing catch up or putting out fires. I end up at home, later than planned, exhausted and in no way ready to finish the day with any energy, let alone prepare for the day to come.

Then there are those mornings that fall somewhere in between. I have to get up and out the door, I have a list of things to accomplish, and my routines are usually the only things I get done throughout the day except just a couple of focus or must do tasks. I just do what needs to be done, but there is no time left for things I would like to do. I survive the day. All seems well in the world, but I have not enjoyed most, if anything, of what the day has offered.

I have noticed that there are many factors that can predict what kind of a morning I have. Did I get enough sleep? If not I'm dragging for sure. Did I get my workout in the day before? If I did, I am sure to have energy to spare. Am I drinking enough to keep me hydrated? Did I eat well, skipping most of the sugar that bombards me in a day's time? Are my allergies bothering me? Did I take any medications for my allergies? Did I do my before bed routine, setting out clothes for the day, having my bag packed, lunch prepared, an idea of what's for dinner tonight? Did I remember to pick up an item at the store, be it milk or toothpaste or something else we just can't function without? If I really stay focused on all of these things, and make sure that they happen, the likelihood of a good morning is high.

When I have a good morning, it is highly likely I will have a good day, despite what negative forces come my way. It is a cycle that makes it possible that I will attend to the many things that will make it possible to have a good morning the next day. It is a pattern that feels very good.

The pattern continues until something comes up. What is that something? It may be that I get sick, one of the kids get sick, I have late meetings several nights in a week, early meetings many mornings in a row, weekends that are packed with activities that don't allow for down time or catching up time, and just about anything else that takes me out of the get ready for the day cycle. Once I am out of the good morning cycle, it takes much work and motivation on my part to get back into the positive. Too tired to set my clothes out or to pack tomorrow's lunch, I then get up too late since I haven't the energy I need since I am somehow no longer exercising, getting enough water or watching what I am eating.

And the motivation to get back on track for me usually requires some force outside of myself. A big motivator for me are the workout DVDs and equipment that are kept very handy and usually visible in my home. I finally start paying attention to the daily or weekly e-mails from very motivating people. The act that needs the first bit of motivation is to move, to somehow, some way, just get up and move. A little moving leads to more moving. Movement brings energy to do all the things that I need to do to get back into a positive lifestyle pattern. A positive lifestyle pattern leads to good mornings and good days. I am watching out for the motivation stealers. I know they are coming. They are just one over-extension of my time away from taking away my good days.

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