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Chasing the Dream: Start the day positively

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Off to a good start?

Hey, Mama! We all know that when you wake up on the wrong foot, the whole day has to struggle to improve. But why does starting the day positively matter so much? And how can it help you achieve more?

Off to a good start?

Hey, Mama! We all know that when you wake up on the wrong foot, the whole day has to struggle to improve. But why does starting the day positively matter so much? And how can it help you achieve more?

The other day, my son woke up with a series of grunts and protests — unusual for him, because he is a consummate morning person. The grunts were followed with scowls, a little stomping and a general bad attitude. He'd woken up, as they say, on the wrong side of the bed.

It would have been easy for me to get caught up on the nitty-gritty of how he was acting, but I knew it really was that he'd woken up too soon. I've been there. We all have. And it can be so hard to dig yourself out when you wake up in a bad mood. As we walked to the bus stop, I reminded him that it's his choice whether he stays in a bad mood or chooses to make it a good day.

When he boarded the bus, he sat down and looked out the window at me. Then he raised his hand and waved, turning to watch me as the bus pulled down the road and out of sight. In that moment, I knew he'd chosen positive.

Why a good start matters

Whether you are a young boy heading off to school or a mom going after her dreams, starting the day positively sets the tone for the day. Positivity sets you up for good things and opens you to potential. Furthermore, it can help you achieve more. Yes, really.

"Starting the day off with a positive attitude gives yourself psychological permission to believe that anything is possible," says April Masini, who writes AskApril. "Conversely, when you start off with a bad attitude, you conduct your behavior as if you've already lost whatever it is you're trying to win — a deadline, a relationship or just a task."

To help make your day start well, you need to figure out what helps you stay positive in the morning, says Masini. "It usually involves eating well, exercising, dressing well and being prepared for the day. It involves knowing that there will be tasks to conquer with hard work, and treats (like a lunch date with someone special) to win and enjoy throughout the day."

Can you really control it?

In short, yes.

Michele Howe Clarke, bestselling author of Face Forward: Meeting Challenges Head On in Times of Trouble, says that you have the power to start your day positively. "Tak[e] control of the first 45 minutes when your mind is still in a programmable alpha mode. The first 45 minutes program your general behavior for the rest of the day. Catch negative habits here and really impact the rest of [the] day positively," says Clarke.

You can also take advantage of this to make your day even more positive, Clarke says. "Taking time to be grateful, meditate, affirm or journal here can compound your intentions," says Clarke. "Breath practice early in your morning routine creates centered focus and expanded capacity."

Next time you're faced with a rough start to the day, choose positive. It's worth it.

More from Chasing the Dream

How this mom seized a niche
Dreaming of a TV pilot
Organizing your life to reach your dreams

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