Reality Check: A Morning Outlook

How’s your morning outlook? Sunny and bright? Cold and dreary? Maybe it’s unsettled; you’ll wait to see how the day goes.
These outlooks could be describing the weather forecast, but our internal outlook is more interesting. What control do we have over our morning outlook?
Eric Barker, the author of, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” writes about how we can make life better. In his blog post, “Morning Ritual; The 7 steps that will make you happy all day” he makes this suggestion: If you want a better morning, start the night before. Think of something that you can look forward to tomorrow.
If you are thinking, “I don’t have anything to look forward to,” then this activity may be even more valuable for you!
Here are a few suggestions for how we might find things to look forward to.
Keep your expectations small and limit them to things that you can control. There’s little value to looking forward to winning the lottery; you can’t control that.
But you can control whether you choose to call somebody and spread good cheer. You can control whether you’ll step outside and listen to the birds for a few minutes.
You might choose to make a special lunch. You could go through some memorabilia (if that’s pleasant for you.) You could look forward to listening to a special piece of music, watching a funny movie, a favourite show, or some cat videos. You might do an on-line course or reread a favourite book. Think of something that you can count on to bring you joy, to make you smile.
If it makes you happy, you could always sing to yourself!
You could decide to say a cheery good morning to every single person at your workplace. You could make a plan to check in with a friend and do something together, even if it can’t be in person.
Perhaps there’s an activity that you see as valuable and useful. Whether it’s useful for you alone or also for others, you could look forward to doing something that has value.
You could choose to send a thank you note, a thank you email, a thank you text or phone call. Look forward to doing it. And then do it. You’ll have a cheerier outlook for your own day, and as a bonus, could contribute to a cheerier outlook for someone else.
Developing a habit of having even a small thing to look forward to every day could help us cultivate a sense of optimism. But it doesn’t necessarily happen automatically. Each evening, we may have to really think about it if we are to come up with something to look forward to the next day.
If you tend to be forgetful, make a list of the types of things you look forward to. It’s easy to forget what brings us optimism when we are feeling pessimistic!
It’s also easy to get the feeling that we have little or no control over how our day goes. Certainly, there is much that we can’t control. However, if we shift focus toward what we can do, rather than what we can’t, it could make our days just a little bit better.
How’s your morning outlook?

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