Improving Your Day in 8 Minutes: Practicing Gratitude, Positivity and Setting Intentions

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To perform your best and get the most out of your training sessions, you have to stay focused on your purpose and plan. The best way to do that is to keep a centered and present frame of mind. Try these four two-minute mental routines throughout your day.

8 Minutes for Practicing Gratitude

1. Two minutes first thing in the morning, practicing gratitude, positive talk and setting intentions

  • When you wake up, immediately take a few slow, deep breaths and take your time opening your eyes (or keep them closed). Take time each morning to think about what and who you are thankful for. This will remind you not to take anything for granted.
  • Doing this will help keep you focused and grounded.
  • Start your affirmations and positive thoughts immediately — “I’m so thankful for the breath in my lungs and to be up and awake.” “I slept so well and my body feels rested.” “I am prepared and ready to take on the day because I have trained myself for this.” “I am strong, capable and adaptable.”

2. Two minutes before your workout, appreciating the opportunity, reminding yourself of your why and setting intentions

  • Before you even start warming up, think through what you want out of the workout, some of your specific goals and what reminders will help you stay focused and motivated.
  • You may even want to write down some notes about why you’re there and who you want to be during the training session.

3. Two minutes after your workout, reflecting on takeaways/learning lessons and positives

  • After your workout, consider how you got better, what challenged you and what you want to make sure you take with you as a learning lesson. There is always something that you did well or improved on — it’s just a matter of taking time to intentionally think through those things.
  • You may want to make a few notes in your daily workout entry about what went well and what you’d do differently next time.
  • Keep your focus on the good and how you will get even better.

4. Two minutes before sleep, practicing gratitude and positive thinking

  • Many people have trouble falling asleep because they are worrying and stressing. At the end of the day, it’s important to unwind, reflect and relax. You can actually create better thinking patterns by practicing being more positive.
  • The more often you focus on the good stuff, the less time you’ll spend focusing on doubt, worry, fear and all the negative.
  • Quickly think through the best parts of your day, the best 30 minutes or what exactly you’re thankful for from the last 12 hours or so. Review your favorite moments and take time to be thankful for them.

If you’re not an athlete, you can at least do this when you wake up and before bed. You can take notes during these routines to make them even more powerful and impactful. I suggest that we all practice gratitude, positivity, prayer or quick meditations, mindfulness, setting intentions and centering ourselves throughout the day.

Of course you could make these routines longer or do this more often, but you get the gist. Start with these quick, two-minute routines and you can always build on them as you get more comfortable and consistent. These tips will help you to be more optimistic. They’ll remind you to find the good and search for the positive in your day.

When you’re more intentional to take time to consider why you’re doing what you’re doing and what the purpose is, you’ll feel more focused and less distracted. You actually have to create the practice of looking at the “good” in your life.

Bottom line: it’s crucial you create a routine of regularly reminding yourself of what’s most important throughout your day.