How to Seize the Day

UPDATED: November 29, 2017
PUBLISHED: November 29, 2017

Are you tired of waking up and starting your day in a low mood at best? Are you allowing negative thoughts and emotions to dictate the tone of the coming day? Well, try this common-sense success strategy.

As soon as you open your eyes to start the new day, before your feet hit the floor and you put on your fuzzy slippers, know that the creation of your day has begun and, more important, know that you are the creator. You can choose to seize the day or you can let the day seize you. Or you can choose to seize the alarm clock, throw it out the window, and pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep.

Related: How to Wake Up With an Unstoppable Attitude

Whenever you first rise, set your mental stage and your emotional gauge to feel good. Why first thing when you wake up? Because this is when you leave your dreams and emerge into consciousness. Your creativity and ability to dictate the tone of the day is at its most powerful. It is the best opportunity you’ll have to steer your thoughts and emotions in the direction that will enable you to create a day in which you can feel good and get motivated, regardless of what you’ll be doing. And when you first wake, your mind is most susceptible to messages of any kind. Why not take advantage of this fleeting window? Set the precedent.

I think we can all agree that far too many people today start their days in bad moods, and they’re not even aware of what they’re doing to themselves. As soon as they open their eyes, they immediately focus on the grueling day they had the day before, the irate people they had to deal with and all of the fires that had to be put out.

I know people (perhaps you, dear reader) who reach over to grab their iPhones first thing to view all of the emails and text messages that need to be answered before they leave the house. That’s insane! Then they start internalizing all of the things that need to be done in the coming day and can’t understand why (even after they’ve had three cups of coffee) their energy levels are depleted before they set out to achieve their goals. Think of your responsibilities. Think of the things that need to done on any given day. Your energy level has to be cranked. That’s your choice and your responsibility.

Related: 4 Easy Ways to Wake Up Refreshed

So, what I’m asking you to do is to get your shift together! In other words, when you wake up to greet the day, rather than focusing on what isn’t working and all of the things that have to be done, shift your focus to what is working. Shift your way of thinking to the things that lift your spirits, bring you joy and make you feel good. Think of who you have to be in order to handle the challenges of the coming day.

Your only goal as creator is to simply raise your energy level and feel good, whatever that means to you. Focus on the person lying next to you or the comfort of the room, or photographs of happy times with family and friends. Relive one of these wonderful memories, or allow your attention to settle on the sound of the birds outside your window or the unfaltering loyalty of the dog at the foot of the bed. It can be the achievement of a past goal, your garden, a hobby or the neighborhood you live in. It really doesn’t matter what it is, just as long as you hold your attention on it long enough to notice how wonderful it feels to have these things in your life. Dial into your gratitude. Feel it with your heart and soul.


Before you get out of bed, focus on how grateful you are for something. Make it part of your waking process and you will engage your subconscious, that great misunderstood mind that basically runs your life.


This is important. If you’re not really feeling it or if you’re forcing it because you need a cup of coffee or you’re hungry and want your English muffin, the exercise will be less effective. (Or… you could just be grateful for your cup of coffee and the English muffin you’re about to consume!) Consider the act of being truly grateful as if it were a daily vitamin. Commit to something. An attitude of gratitude simply makes you feel good. And feeling good is the fuel that drives motivation. The stronger the connection, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more creative, productive and motivated you are. When you fully appreciate what you have in the moment, good things come into your life. Why? Because the gratitude bone is connected to the happiness bone, and the happiness bone is connected to the motivation bone. And it’s this fun little cycle that eventually acts as a magnet to attract the things you desire most.

Here’s my challenge to you. Try this exercise for seven days in a row: Before you get out of bed, focus on how grateful you are for something. Make it part of your waking process and you will engage your subconscious, that great misunderstood mind that basically runs your life. I guarantee that within seven short days you will begin to feel better. It isn’t magic; it’s taking the steps to create a healthier mindset and making happiness a habit, motivating yourself to create the life you want, one day at a time.

Related: How to Start Your Mornings Right

Steve Rizzo is the Attitude Adjuster. You can’t attend one of his keynote speeches and leave with the same attitude. He’s a personal development expert, comedian, motivational speaker, and best-selling author. It’s no surprise that he’s been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon on fewer than 250 speakers worldwide since 1977. You can find out more at