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Upgrade Your Quality of Life

By Valorie Burton
Author and Motivational Speaker

CBN.comNow that the weather is warming up, I am enjoying the ritual of an early morning walk. In fact, I have a list of seven things that empower me to start my day off in a joyful and effective way posted just inside my closet where I can be reminded of them. They include rituals such as 20 minutes of exercise, listening to good music, reading my Bible, and eating breakfast. When I created my set of rituals, I wasn't sure I had time for all of them. Now, I feel like I don't have time not to do all of them.

How you begin your morning largely determines the flow of your entire day. Is your morning a frantic sprint for the door? Or a well-thought out series of actions that prepare you to have a joyful and productive day?

It is often the small, simple changes that we make in our schedules that can create a sense of greater control and satisfaction. Your habits create your future. This week, I challenge you to be deliberate about how you start your day. What daily habits would you like to enjoy in your life? Make a list of five things that would enrich your day. For the next seven days, incorporate those habits into your life and see how it goes. You can do anything for seven days, right?

Here are five simple ideas to help you create deliberate, daily habits:

1. WRITE A VISION OF YOUR IDEAL MORNING.
What are the things you would like to be able to do and enjoy as you begin your day? Make a simple list. Then post it in places where you will be reminded of your ideal morning such as the refrigerator, inside the medicine cabinet, or next to your alarm clock.

2. ESTIMATE HOW MUCH TIME EACH MORNING "RITUAL" WILL TAKE YOU.
You will find that if you think this through ahead of time, you can design a morning that energizes you for the rest of your day. Choose things that you can do now without a tremendous amount of effort. For example, if you haven't been working out at all, and you insist that your morning ritual will include an hour workout at the gym, it's likely your ritual will not last. Make your morning rituals and habits easy.

3. IDENTIFY A SIMPLE WAY TO CONNECT WITH LOVED ONES IN THE MORNING.
It can be as simple as a kiss when you wake up or being sure to hug your children when they get up. Mornings offer the opportunity to connect with your children. Sit down for breakfast together for ten minutes. One of my clients began this ten-minutes-in-the-morning ritual with her 4-year old son to help ease her concern that she was not spending enough quality time with him. After two days, he said, "Mommy, I really like getting to eat breakfast with you. Are we going to do this all the time now?" She was delighted to be able to answer, "Absolutely!"

4. CHOOSE THINGS YOU TRULY WANT TO DO, NOT WHAT YOU "SHOULD" DO.
The habits that you choose should be ones that will help you better express your values and who you are. Do not choose habits that you think you should do or that others think you should do, but the ones that will nourish you and help you create the kind of life you believe is possible. This is all about upgrading your everyday quality of life.

5. TEST YOUR HABITS AND ADJUST THEM.
Commit to practicing your habits for the next seven days. Notice what works and does not work. Personal growth happens when we take action and then learn from our actions tweaking and improving them along the way. For now, just try your habits for seven days and notice how it impacts your entire day.

My challenge to you this week:

Create a vision for your ideal morning. Identify the five rituals you would like to incorporate into the start of your day and practice them for the next seven days.

Journaling assignment:

What will you have to change in order to create your ideal morning? Are you willing to make those changes?


Valorie BurtonA sought-after life coach and speaker, Valorie Burton seeks to inspire people to live more fulfilling, less stressful lives. She is the author of Listen to Your Life, What’s Really Holding You Back?, Rich Minds, Rich Rewards, Why Not You? 28 Days to Authentic Confidence, and How Did I Get So Busy?.

 

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