Me and my mister being kids.

Me and my mister being kids.

My experiment this week is working and I’m excited. I’m trying something new by spending the first five minutes of the day thinking about good stuff. Instead of letting my mind do whatever IT wants, I’ve been giving it something else to do: make a list of three things I’m grateful for that day. This at least gets the ball rolling in the right direction.

My days usually start off by quietly sipping a cup of coffee and looking out the window. I work for myself so I can sit as long as I want. Extra time is the upside of getting older and is a grand luxury. This “5-minute habit” could just as well be right before you get out of bed if your days is too busy for lollygaging. The point is to start the day off with good vibes. Instead of letting my mind jump around willy nilly — sorting through what happened yesterday or what’s going to happen today — it now has a task.

Keeping the list to three makes it easy and means I don’t have to rack my brain first thing. Today I’m grateful that I can finally walk on my sprained ankle. I just found out that my daughter is coming for a visit soon. Yea! I’m even grateful for the inspiration to write this piece. Nothing earth shaking, but it’s amazing how three little sentences have changed the whole tone of my days.

Big problems are hard for me to ignore, even for five minutes, but even they look a little different with a new outlook. Staying positive is challenging sometimes, especially with the nastiness of politics dominating the news and facebook, but concentrating on something positive is helping. Timing is important, though. Getting that mindset first thing is a head start on staying calm when things don’t go like I want during the day.

This new habit is also helping with my blog, which sometimes slips into a gripe session. I don’t want that so I’m getting better at weeding out the crap before clicking “submit”.

New Habits are Worth It

Working on a new habit has always been worth it to me, like flossing faithfully. The determination to take better care of my teeth started after a new dentist showed me photos of a neglected mouth (I can’t bare to repeat what I saw). Also burned into my brain is the image of those floating teeth in the glass beside my mother-in-law’s bed. Fear was a great motivator. This habit took a while but guess what, my new dentist loves my mouth.

Even though I can set my own hours, I still face balancing my work life with everything else, but starting the day in a better mood is making it easier. I never ever want to slip into that “glass is half empty” frame of mind. No no, not that.