The other morning, I woke up to a small voice saying, “Mama.” That’s when I realized I had slept through my alarm. Twenty minutes later, we were out the door, a cold bagel breakfast in hand all around. By lunch, I realized I was growing frantic, the feeling of being behind finally catching up to me. And by the time I reached the afternoon, it felt like the day had fully gotten away.
I felt myself starting to snap at everyone around me and saw my kids pulling away from our conversations instead of leaning in like they usually did. A woman of grace I was not. Productivity and peace were not mine and a bad start to the day triggered it all. Thankfully, there’s a better way that has been related to higher levels of peace, lower levels of stress, and more productivity, which busy moms crave. And it all starts with these 3 questions to ask yourself every day.
Try starting each morning five minutes earlier and asking yourself:
What am I grateful for right now?
Of the three questions to ask yourself every day, you should give this one the most attention. Take a moment to treasure whatever comes to mind as something you’re thankful for, from small things like not having to do drop-off this week to the big stuff like having kids who are healthy and happy today or maybe even simple things like having a cat that’s 13 and still brings your family joy. You can also use this question to put a spin on potential stressors: “My sink is full of dirty dishes because my house is full of people I love.”
If you’ve been feeling pressured or stressed lately, after just a few minutes with this question, you might just feel your heart start changing. Chances are, it’ll be a change that lasts. When we start the day by focusing on being thankful for the good things, we tend to see them more clearly all day long.
When we start the day by focusing on being thankful for the good things, we tend to see them more clearly all day long.
What do I need to be mindful of today?
Use this question to spend a few minutes with the things that are stressing you right now. Clear your heart and mind of everything you’re holding. You can even take out an index card or a Post-It note to write them down and really clear them out. It’s amazing how even little things like needing to call your dad back or needing to get some veggies into your kid can weigh you down. You can also ask yourself questions: How can I be more productive in the evenings? Which kid should I spend intentional one-on-one time with today? Facing each little thing lightens the load.
You can ask this question anytime throughout the day, but if you set aside time to do it in the early morning, you just might feel lighter and more positive the whole day long. This question can also help you identify when decision fatigue is bogging you down by allowing you to notice how many days in a row certain questions show up, like what you’re having for dinner or what book you should read for personal growth.
Feeling super stressed? Slide this article to your husband so he knows how he can help you out.
What’s my overall intention for this day?
Use this question to set an intention for your day. Note something you want to make sure to keep in mind—an anchor you can hold onto when you start feeling like you’re losing track of what you’re supposed to be doing or where your time is going. Sometimes your intention can be a passage of scripture or a goal like reading for 10 minutes alone on the porch.
This can also be a great strategy for keeping negativity from creeping into your life unannounced when you choose intentions like “no judging” or “choose kindness” or even “What if I showed more mercy at work today?”
Those are just three questions to ask yourself every day. What’s another that would help start your day off right?