Rochelle Melander has been coaching and teaching writing for many years. I subscribe to her weekly e-news. This particular edition really caught my attention. You can read more about and by her at her website WriteNowCoach.com. K.H.
Master Your Mindset and Jumpstart your Writing
By Rochelle Melander
“Good morning, Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it IS a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
–A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
When I set the goal of reframing my mindset, my colleague Sarah Schwab asked me, “How will you systemize that?” I’d been practicing the Bob Newhart method of overcoming a negative mindset. Every time I noticed that my thoughts were unhelpful, I told myself to “stop it!”
After I confessed that my method wasn’t working well, my colleague suggested I try a morning routine recommended by Tony Robbins. Each morning, I take a 30-minute walk. I devote the first ten minutes to being grateful for the gifts in my life. For the second ten minutes, I vision what I will accomplish during the day, sometimes even planning the scene or chapter I will be writing that morning. The key to this is to treat this as if you’ve already achieved it. Finally, I spend the last ten minutes practicing what Tony Robbins calls “incantation” or saying positive mantras that will help me enact my vision.
At first, I felt awkward working through this routine on my morning walks. But it sure beat my regular habit of obsessing over past mistakes and worrying about the future. After a time, the morning routine became a habit, and when I am unable to do it, I miss it.
In this quest, you’ll create your own morning mindset routine and practice it for several weeks. Trust me: it will change your life.
Morning mindset routines can help us reset our mindset, increase our feelings of well-being, and get stuff done. In this quest, you will choose from helpful mindset tools and design the ritual that works best for you.
Practices to avoid:
Most mindset writers agree that when we do any of the following practices first thing in the morning, it can create a negative mindset or trigger monkey mind: watching or listening to news, checking email, surfing social media, and texting.
Practices to consider including:
The following tools are often part of a healthy morning routine. Choose 2-5 of the following ingredients and play with combining them in an order that works for you. When you find the magic combination, practice it for a week or two and see how it affects your writing.
The following practices appear in random order.
Exercise (walking, running, yoga, light stretching)
Gratitude (verbal or written)
Reading (spiritual essays, artistic essays, poetry, personal development, or other affirming literature)
Prayer (written or verbal, traditional prayers or mantras)
Journaling (morning pages; gratitude; day, week, or life planning; mantras)
Game Play Tips
- Play with the practices. Try different practices, vary the order you do them in or how you complete them. Even small tweaks can make a big difference.
- Combine well. I can’t sit still in the morning, so combining my morning meditation ritual with walking has helped me focus. Consider how you can combine healthy rituals to get more out of your morning routine.
- Give these practices time to work. It often takes 2-3 weeks before a routine can feel, well, routine! And it’s in the midst of nourishing routines that we often get our “aha!” moments.
- Change your routine with the season, event, or project. Different circumstances require different routines. It can be helpful to have routines for unique circumstances—such as a change of season, being stuck inside with a virus, holidays, and big projects.
Our mindset can make a huge difference in how we approach and appreciate life. When we transform a small part of our day, we ignite a process that can transform our entire day. As Jillian Michaels said,
Transformation is not five minutes from now; it’s a present activity. In this moment you can make a different choice, and it’s these small choices and successes that build up over time to help cultivate a healthy self image and self esteem. –Jillian Michaels