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How do you start your day? Waking up with optimism, looking forward to the day ahead? Or do you hit the snooze button, putting off rolling out of bed until the last possible moment? I’d like to suggest how you begin each morning determines the quality of your day. I’ve created an acronym to use that will help you develop a routine to start mornings with enthusiasm, energy and high expectations – N.O.T.I.C.E.
N: Be NICE. Practicing self-compassion is the first step. There is no such thing as perfect. When you are starting a new routine there will be days you fall off the wagon. Allow yourself to fail. Start over as many times as you need. If you oversleep, overeat, overindulge…forgive yourself and begin again. It’s OK.
O: Be OUTSIDE. A big part of staying well is getting out in nature every day. As weird as it sounds, it’s healthy to stand barefoot in the grass, hug a tree, breathe fresh air, and feel sunshine on your skin. Go ahead, let your inner hippie out to play each day. Remember “There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” Alfred Wainwright
T: Be THANKFUL. You’ve probably heard this before: develop an attitude of gratitude. Make a list of all that you have been given – little things, big things, even challenges. Some things are easy to list – family, health, home. Try to list 3 things every morning with no repetitions. Start right now. You woke up and opened your eyes. Each moment is a gift.
I: Be INTERESTED. Instead of always making statements, get in the habit of asking questions. The practice of Appreciative Inquiry focuses on what’s already working in your life, relationships, job, or schedule. It teaches you “to approach a situation with a new perspective that considers all possible aspects with a positive, strengths-based focus.” – Positive Psychology Program
C: Be COURAGEOUS. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” It’s true, as we get older, our comfort zone tends to get smaller. But we don’t have to let it. Expand that circle by pushing back against your perceived limits. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
E: Be EARLY. By setting your clock ahead 10 minutes, you can create and integrate a morning ritual which will jumpstart your day and set you off on the right foot. If hitting the snooze button is a habit, move your alarm across the room. Prepare the night before by having everything ready and set an intention that you will awake refreshed and ready at the designated hour. Your routine can include meditation, exercise, journaling, prayer, etc. You may find you love your new-found quiet time so much, you’re ready to wake up even earlier.
Louise Hay said, “How you start your day is how you’re going to live your day. How you live your day is the way you live your life.” Be inspired to NOTICE and commit to making a change to your daily routine beginning tomorrow. Make it a great day!

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Janice Stanley is (in no particular order) artist, photographer, teacher, writer, speaker, Realtor (R), encourager, traveler, coach and mom of 4. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Chris, where they divide their time between helping people buy and sell houses as The Stanley Team and spending time playing outside in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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