Morning Mindset – How to Change Your Attitude

Morining QuestionsThis month at our kung-Fu school, we are working on our 30 day attitude challenge 2.0.

We got such great results we decided to do it again.  This time with a little more detail and more resources.

We are now on day 8.

I think the fastest way to change a bad attitude to a better one is to change your mindset.  And one of the fastest way to change your mindset is to ask yourself empowering questions.  See the previous article for more detail her at: Mindset it’s What Makes the Difference.

One good way to get into the habit of this and start your day off right is your morning ritual.  Do you have one?  If you do the same thing every morning, then you do.  The time you spend from getting out of bed to getting your morning started can be a great place to build in a ritual that will serve you and help you change your attitude for the better.

I use to, for many years, have one that I thought was pretty good.  Basically, I would get up, go the bathroom, go to the kitchen and make myself a big cup of coffee and then go to my computer and start answering and sending emails.  I would have about 3 cups of coffee (my wife says it was more like 5) then hit the shower and get to the school to start my classes.

It served me pretty well.  But one day I got up and thought to myself, “Can I do better than this?”.  Having never been a morning person this routine seemed to work for me, but I thought it worth a try.

So, I changed it.  I rebuilt it.  I knew giving up coffee, after taking it up more than 30 years ago and living in Seattle was not going to be easy.  I would need to replace it with something.  I decide on herbal tea.  But I knew that would not be enough and I since I used the coffee to wake up while doing my email I needed something else.  So I added a morning walk to it.  1.2 miles to be exact.

The first day I gave up coffee, I had a headache from @#$#.  It was a Wednesday.  And I think I took it out on my kung Fu students that came to that day’s class.  But that was it.

Now it has been a daily habit of mine for the last four months to get up, fix me a hot glass of herbal tea, put it in a travel mug and take a morning walk.  Then I come back home energized and in a great mood.  Then I sit down and do my morning stuff.

What I have found is that my mindset changes during the walk and I don’t need the caffeine.  In fact, I don’t have the drop in energy during the day.  At all.  It changed my mood and my outlook.  I also lost those last five pounds.

Anyway, back to how to change your attitude by changing your mindset.

After I changed my morning ritual my instructor got this idea about doing a 30 day attitude challenge.  Basically, it was trying to keep a good attitude and do good for 30 days and see what would happen.

I thought it was a good idea so we did it.  It worked.  Now we are in stage two.

What we had to do was say, do or think of one positive thing about ourselves or others each day.  Post it somewhere if we wanted to.

What I started doing was thinking about this every morning before I got up.  Then I thought about it on my walk.  And slowly my attitude started to change.  I just became more positive.  I guess you are what you think about.

The days got better and I got happier.  So did my instructor.  The proof was in the fact that our school also improved.  In the month that we both did this little experiment all of our stats went up.  Every one of them.  And we had a blast.  We both showed up an hour early because we wanted to get things done.

This brings me to the power of thought and how it shapes your life.  Questions are the answer.  Ask empowering questions, questions that give you answers that you can take action on.  And stop the why questions and the negative ones that disempower you.

Once you ask a question your mind will start the search for an answer.  It can’t help it.  Take this question a father might ask his son.

“Son, why don’t you focus and do your homework?”

Well the son’s mind is going to start answering that question and most of the answers will not be ones he can take action on.

Some of the answers might be:

I don’t like it.

It’s boring.

I am stupid.

It’s too hard.

I can’t remember to do it.

But if the dad would ask the right question in the right way, they both could learn something and figure out how to move ahead.

A Question like:

“Son, how can we learn to focus a bit more and create a system to start to help you get your homework done and take some of this stress off you?”

Each answer you will get will be something you can take positive action on.

Well, this is what I started doing in the morning before I got out of bed.  I started asking myself what positive thing I was going to do today that would help me or someone else out.  Then I went about my business.  It took about 17 days before I noticed I had a permanent change in my attitude.  No, I am no saint and I still have bad moments.  But far less of them.

Benjamin Franklin had his morning and evening questions.  You can start with those.  But I would come up with a few more that really motivates you.  Write them out and read them every morning and evening.  Then pay attention to the types of questions you are asked, and that you ask.  Also the self-talk.  Are they questions that you can take action on and move forward or do they just get your mind to come up with negative statements that make you feel like a failure?

Once you get this you can change your mindset fast.  Which will change your attitude and your outlook.

We have challenges not problems.

We have opportunities not issues.

We get feedback not failure.