Contrary to popular opinion, I love Mondays. I love the idea that every first of the week, we get a re-do. No matter how your weekend went, no matter how many workouts you missed or drinks you had, you can whip up a yummy breakfast like this one here, drink some coffee and start from scratch on Monday. This wasn’t always the case, though; I had to teach myself to love Monday’s, and then to love every day. It took a lot of time, and a lot of practice, but it is possible to become a Monday person, or a morning person, or a happier person. The key is a good mindset and building your own personal mantra.
It’s just like the saying goes; a healthy mind means a healthy body and a healthy life. I have been an athlete my entire life so I’ve always felt as though I was “healthy,” but it wasn’t until my mindset changed that I realized how unhealthy my mind was. I used to wake up every morning, look in the mirror, and pick myself apart. Why aren’t my legs thinner? Why don’t I look like (insert name here)? And in starting my day with a negative, detrimental attitude I dictated how the rest of my day -and week- would go. We give our minds so much power that we often forget how much control we still have over our thoughts and actions. Just like we train our bodies, we can train our minds.
One day I was scrolling through my Tumblr page and saw a word post that really changed my thinking. This quote right here has honestly changed the way I live my life. Cheesy, I know, but it’s true. It made me reevaluate the way I thought about myself and what I needed/wanted to change, and so all of the time and energy I had previously been putting into making myself feel bad about who I was and what I looked like was then poured into learning to love myself. I started to wake up and begin my Monday with a positive mantra or statement, which eventually formulated into a daily morning routine that works for me. No two people’s mantras or routines will be the same, but here is how I created mine. Hopefully it will inspire some of you to create your own!
Find Your Mantra.
I am a huge fan of quotes and the written word. I think there is power in knowing that someone else out there has the same experiences and feelings as you and can express them effortlessly in writing. I also (personally) find it more powerful to receive a message from someone other than myself. For that reason, I suggest finding someone else’s mantra rather than creating your own. It will stick with you that way, and if it is coming from someone you admire, you will believe in it. I looked on Pinterest and Tumblr, but there are thousands of fitness and health inspired Instagram accounts to look at in addition to quotes from your favorite athletes or mentors. Find something that resonates with you, and commit to embodying that message.
Create Good Habits
Before I even found the quote above, I knew that I wanted (and needed) to change my negative thoughts about myself into positive ones. I also knew that it wasn’t like a switch in my head that I could simply turn on; it would have to become a habit. Just like clean eating or finding time for regular daily exercise, I had to commit to positive thinking and practice it consistently. I had to want to change more than anything else, and make sacrifices in order to do so. You have to give up parts of your old life in order to create a new one. I won’t lie, it was hard! But I started small, and didn’t let a set back prevent me from making progress. I decided I would wake up every morning and instead of something to criticize when I looked in the mirror I would give myself a compliment. I am strong. I am kind. I am loyal. I may not have fully believed those things at the beginning, but now I do! My goal now is to start every day thinking positively so that those thoughts carry over into the rest of my day and eventually my entire week. Decide what part of your thinking you want to change, and start small. Eventually you will work your way up, and you new way of thinking will turn into a habit.
Recognize Not Every Day is Perfect
Life is a roller coaster with ups and downs and loop-de-loops, and that will always be out of our control. There will be days where you are sad, times when you are stressed and unhappy, but it is important to recognize that all of that is normal. If every day was sunshine and roses for me that would be great, but I know that it won’t always be that way. There will be failures, and disappointments, but there will also be successes and triumphs. Just like my mantra says, the amount of work that we put into being sad or being happy is the same, our mindset is everything. Sometimes, we simply need to be sad. Other times, we make ourselves sad. Recognize the differences between the two and respect them. Not every day will be perfect, but it is possible to make a perfect day.