I hate those commercials that promise their miracle product will somehow miraculously solve everything that’s wrong with your life. Shampoo that will grow your locks twelve inches in a week? A pet rock kit that will magically make your kids forget that you really really don’t think a new puppy is the right move for the fam? Yeah, right. The point is I don’t buy into these snake-elixir-type ads. I don’t believe in overnight fixes, and I don’t think that a magic potion will help you wake up 50 pounds lighter, living in a mansion, with adorable children who never color with permanent marker on the walls. That’s just not how life works.
However, I do believe in The Three G’s. Mostly because it’s not a snake elixir, and it’s not a magic potion. Instead, it’s three actionable steps that I’ve turned into my life philosophy. I believe in The Three G’s because they work. Doing all three of them (or really, any number of them, in any order) will improve your life. You’ll live happier and healthier, and it only takes a few minutes at the start of each day. No clickbait here, and no Pinterest-worthy mile-long lists of how to live a better life – just three steps. Let’s walk through them together.
G #1: Glass of Water
You read that right. The first step in this process is as simple as starting your day with a glass of water. A lot of you might already do this, and that’s awesome. And if you don’t, maybe consider giving it a try. Drinking eight glasses of water in a day will help keep your body on track, and starting your day with one gets you in the right mindset to continue taking care of yourself throughout your day – no matter how busy you are.
A glass of water at the start of your day rehydrates you, giving you that energy boost your body needs when you’re still groggy and fumbling for the coffee pot. It also helps to flush toxins, and it wakes up your metabolism. It does this by giving your body the signal that it’s time for your day to begin – just like eating breakfast (or breaking your fast). You can increase your metabolism up to 25% just by starting the day with some water – not bad! It’s an easy step to take, but it really does set you up for a day of success. Making a point to take care of your physical self at the start of your day tunes up your body, gets you in an excellent headspace, and reminds you that taking care of yourself is just as important as everything else in your busy world.
G #2: Gratitude
I’m a big believer in gratitude at the start of a day. I don’t care if you feel like you didn’t sleep a wink and are staring down a to do list that could wallpaper your house. Five minutes of gratitude is all I’m asking for here, and it can increase your long-term wellbeing by over 10%! Do you know what else can increase your long-term wellbeing by 10%+? Doubling your income. Five minutes of gratitude is a heck of a lot easier.
The impact that gratitude has on health has been studied for a long time. Health benefits of gratitude impact pain, sleep quality, depressive symptoms, and overall energy level. Depressive symptoms are shown to decrease by over 30% if the practice of acknowledging gratitude is continued. Being grateful also boosts your creativity at work, helps you find the confidence to network, be more productive, and it can improve your decision making. Gratitude also gives you an emotional boost – you’ll have happier memories, feel more resilient, and you’ll be generally more content. Your aggression will reduce and empathy will increase. All of this spills over into a better social life, deeper relationships, a more productive career, and a better marriage. Yeah, I said it, a better marriage.
My husband NEVER cleans the cat box. The only time he has willingly cleaned a cat box regularly was during the gestational periods of our three children. Over 30 years of cat box cleaning and I have gotten approximately 27 months out of him. A little more if I could convince him that “You never know, I MIGHT be pregnant!” Do I spend time being cranky? Nope. Conveniently our cat box is in the laundry room - a room my husband uses every day for its stated purpose. I rarely, if ever, do laundry. I hardly ever do dishes, or mow the lawn, or understand the inner workings of a computer. That’s what I focus on. Poof! A better marriage.
G #3: Goal
This might be the hardest one, and even it isn’t that hard. Before you get overwhelmed ruminating over your upcoming day (flashback to the to do list that you could wallpaper the house with…and maybe your neighbor’s house), stop. Take a moment and think of one thing. It doesn’t even have to be a big thing. Pick something that pops into your head first, or pick the task that’s been bugging you for a while. Maybe it’s that you want to focus on your client call this morning, or that you need to schedule a call with a business coach to rev up your business this upcoming quarter (shameless plug, what can I say? I love chatting with people about how to boost their businesses).
The point of this exercise is not to only accomplish one goal a day. The point is to kick that overwhelming, and often paralyzing, feeling of, “Argh there’s so much to do and I don’t even know where to start!” Once you take steps to accomplish that first goal and organize your day, you can go from there. But start with goal #1.
The Three G’s aren’t revolutionary, but there’s something cool that happens when you string them together to start your day. Give it a shot tomorrow, see how it feels. I can almost guarantee that your day will go better, you’ll feel better, and you’ll probably keep starting your day intentionally this way for a long time.
Here are some handy-dandy sources on the benefits of gratitude – just in case you thought I was blowing smoke. It really does work!