The Power of Daily Rituals: 7 steps to a productive, joy-filled day

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Want to know the secret to a productive, joy-filled day??

Plan for it. 

When the girls were young, and our schedules were filled to the brim with homeschooling, practice management, home-church, daily to-do lists, and lots of activities, I was regimented like a marine! I knew if I wanted to accomplish the tasks at hand each and every day, I needed a plan, and then I needed to commit my plan to God. So I would rise at 5:30 a.m. before the girls woke, and I would spend time writing in my prayer journal, and connecting to Him through Bible study guides, followed with a little personal development reading. As the girls woke, we would get some juice, and head out for our 2 mile walk in the neighborhood, then back for breakfast and school. I focused my mind on what was most important and it resulted in less stress and more joy! I did this for LOTS of years. 

Once our daughters were grown and living in their own homes, I didn’t need to be as disciplined, so I wasn’t. But I missed that special morning time with God, connecting to His Will for me, and providing that purpose that I needed to thrive. I missed that discipline and organization that had propelled me through my day with a happy heart. So a couple of years ago, I began a new daily routine. It goes like this:

I rise with the birds just before the sun to sync my rhythm to the day. This fluctuates with the seasons, but it’s effective to follow those circadian rhythms as closely as possible, so that your sleep patterns stay consistent, which is so necessary for your body’s restoration and rejuvenation. You will wake refreshed and ready to embrace the day. Once awake, I follow this plan:

  1. Celery-cilantro juice to flush toxins and adjust my body’s pH for improved digestion throughout the day 
  2. Bible reading and meditation to learn more about Him, and to align my ways with His instruction
  3. Prayer journal and gratitude list to reconnect to Him
  4. 30 minute swim to activate the nervous system and stretch the body
  5. Wild Blueberry smoothie to boost metabolism by 25%, and to nourish the system
  6. Adjust the to-do list, identifying and prioritizing the top 3 items of importance to be most effective
  7. Smile and affirm my core beliefs in the mirror to give a confidence boost that lasts throughout the day.

There are several steps that I take to prevent being thrown off course before the day commences:

  1. Avoid evening news and the morning news. Eventually people share updates through the day, but I choose not to end my day on those negative notes, nor do I want them to start my day.
  2. Avoid sleeping "in" because that grogginess can make us sleepier during the day. It also causes me to rush through the 7 valuable parts of my morning ritual.
  3. Avoid a heavy breakfast that slows us down, but do have nutrient-rich smoothies or a light meal.
  4. Avoid social media until the rituals are complete to prevent that time trap from upending the day.

Following these positive action steps sets the tone for the entire day. It’s simpler to feel enthusiastic about life when you are grounded in truth, and you will end your day feeling fulfilled and accomplished, eager to start again the following day.

Stringing these good days together creates a balanced, beautiful life. 

#livingwellbydesign

Lisa McCoskey