According to a global survey of mobile phone users, 96% of people who own a smartphone check it within their first hour of waking up.
To many people this number won’t come as a surprise. After all… we’ve all got texts to send, inspirational quotes to upload, and cute puppy pictures to double tap. But let’s think about it a little more deeply. What is it that happens when you roll out of bed and check Facebook, Email, WhatsApp, and Facebook again?
The most likely answer is that you are hit with an onslaught of questions, like:
What time are we meeting today?
When can you complete the assignment? Our deadline is fast approaching.
Can I call you urgently? I’ve got something important to tell you.
When you turn on your phone first thing in the morning and answer everyone else’s questions, you give everyone else the authority to prioritise your day. And then at the end of it you wonder why you never had time for yourself or to focus on the things that matter.
Now imagine how much happier and more productive you would be if you asked YOURSELF these three questions instead:
Three questions for greater health and happiness
1. What am I grateful for?
Write down 3 things that you are grateful for. This can be a person, a pet, a place or a possession. Take a minute or two to visualise it, hold it in your heart, and be sincerely thankful for what it brings to your life.
Why is this important? Because showing gratitude first thing in the morning literally hardwires your brain to look for the good in everything you will encounter that day. And the more you are grateful, the more positive things you will attract into your life. So you’ll have even MORE to be grateful for the next morning.
No matter where you are and how you feel right now, I promise you that there is something in your life to be sincerely grateful for.
2. What kind of person do I want to be today?
If your life was a movie, and you were the director, what character would you play?
When you wake up you are under no obligation to be the same person that you were yesterday. You have no loyalty to the habits or personality traits that no longer serve you. You can CHOOSE to be more confident, more charismatic or more productive at any moment simply by changing the story that you tell yourself.
Every morning I tell myself that I want to be optimistic, courageous, loving and supportive. I want to make other people smile and be happy to be alive. I want to be authentic and to make a difference to the world we live in.
I remind myself of this every morning and hold myself accountable to be the best version of me that I can be each day.
3. What can I do to get closer to my goal?
What is the biggest thing in your life that you are working towards right now? And what are the actions that you can take TODAY to get closer to it?
We all have dreams that we want to achieve, but often they seem so distant that it feels like we’ll never reach them. I know from experience how easy it is to be so overwhelmed by the magnitude of my goals that I end up getting nowhere.
So instead, I focus on the small and sustainable steps that I can take to get me closer to where I need to be. Rather than doing everything at once I let these small actions add up to make a big difference over time.
If you were twelve pounds overweight, would you try to lose it all in one day? Or would you start by going for a walk and cooking a healthy meal, and then build on those habits one day at a time? If so, try these three easy ways to turn your diet into a lifestyle.
The same logic applies to every area of your life.
If your goal is to learn to play guitar start by booking one lesson this week.
If your goal is to build a better relationship, set aside your evening for a date night and be present without any distractions.
If your goal is to write a book then put pen to paper and start with the first page.
Continue to work at it
Put one foot in front of the other in the direction of your goal every day. And in a few months’ time, turn around and marvel at how far you’ve come.
These three questions might not feel like much. But ask them consistently and I guarantee your life will change for the better.
Before you turn on your phone tomorrow try them out for yourself, and let me know how differently your day turns out.