Create a Joy Generating Routine

Create a Joy Generating Routine

How often do you wake up feeling TERRIFIC?  I mean  SUPER terrific?  Ready to jump out of bed and start the day just knowing it will be fantastic. It’s an amazing feeling when that happens, but for most people, that isn’t an everyday occurrence.  Even the happiest people don’t always wake up feeling fabulous. There are days you wake up grumpy, tired or just dreading another iteration of the daily grind.  Once you’ve started down this negative path, it can be really hard to turn your day around.  You find yourself without patience, snapping at other people and just not enjoying your life. If you want to start your days with joy, I have a basic recipe for you that I call my “Joy Generating Routine.”  It includes some movement, some gratefulness and some indulgence. Sounds lovely, right? The best part is that if you have a plan like this in place, you can invoke your routine any morning you are feeling down.   Short on time?  Make sure you have a shortened version at the ready too. Although this needs to be tailored for YOU, I’m sure you’d like to see an example.  Here is mine: My Ideal Joy Generating Routine: 20 minutes of yoga (Daily Yoga), a fresh, hot cup of coffee with a splash of my favorite vanilla creamer and 15 minutes of devotions/ writing a line in my daily journal with what I’m grateful for, and running a few drops of Joy through my hair.  If I can add in a ten minute walk outside in the fresh air the routine is perfection! My shortened...
Joyful Lotion Bars

Joyful Lotion Bars

Since the oil for the month is Joy, this felt like the perfect time to try a little project I’ve been wanting to create for a while. Lotion bars I had about half the ingredients on hand from other projects and ordered the rest from Amazon.  I’ve included links in case you are interested in exactly what I used.  This project didn’t use much of each ingredient so I have LOTS left for future use. I have this fun heart shaped silicone tray and that’s what I used for my mold.  I think I picked it up at IKEA years ago for a few dollars.  The entire project was super simple and took about ten minutes – I can’t give you an exact time as I was also making dinner and packing lunches at the same time!!! Joyful Lotion Bars 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (I picked mine up from Aldi, so no link to the actual product) 15 drops Joy essential oil 1/4 t. vitamin E oil (GreatFull Skin 10000 IU Natural Vitamin E Oil for Scars, and Stretch Marks, Unscented, 1 Ounce) 1/4 cup Shea Butter (Raw Unrefined African Organic Pure Grade A, lvory Natural Shea Butter,1 lb– Use In DIY Whipped Body Butter,Lip Balm,Hand Cream,Eye Cream,Face Moisturizer,Kids Cream, Deep Hair Conditioner.) 1/4 cup Beeswax pellets (The Best Organic Yellow Beeswax Pellets 1Ib By White Naturals – Top Quality, 100% Pure, Triple Filtered) Step 1:  put all the ingredients in a glass container (I was lazy and just used the coconut oil jar as it was almost empty) Step 2:  boil a pot of water and then place...
Add Joy to your Relationships

Add Joy to your Relationships

February is the perfect month to think about relationships.  A healthy life includes solid and meaningful relationships, so it’s something we must focus on.  Since the oil of the month is Joy, I’m going to concentrate on adding joy to our relationships.  After all, who doesn’t want more of that? Regardless of what relationship you are working on this month (significant other, children, friends, etc.), there are a few guidelines to follow to help you improve, enjoy and add joy to those relationships. Some Don’ts: Don’t fall into the comparison trap.   This one can kill the joy in our relationships almost instantaneously.  It’s important to remember that when we look at someone else’s relationship, we are only looking at it from the outside.  We don’t know what really goes on behind closed doors, so it does us no good to compare ourselves to what we see as that isn’t the whole picture.  Also, forget about comparing your relationships to those in books or movies.  Those are imaginary.  No relationship can compete with someone or something that isn’t real – don’t even try. Don’t wait for later, enjoy today.  It’s common for us to think that things will get easier later – you know, when the kids are older, the schedule isn’t so busy, you lose ten pounds, whatever you are “waiting for.”  The reality is that your life is happening right now.  You aren’t even guaranteed that future whatever.  So why are you waiting for something that may never come?  Instead, make it a point to enjoy and grow the relationships with the people in your life NOW. Some Do’s: Look at the positive....

Favorite Books of January 2017

Well, I started the year off reading a LOT of books – and I can’t really tell you where I fit them in as it feels like I’ve been reading less than normal.  I guess a few of them were shorter, but still . . .  HERE is the complete list and below are short reviews of my favorites. NON-FICTION So I have to admit I picked this book up from the library simply because The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) wasn’t available at the library and this one was.  Regardless, I really liked it.  I loved the Miracle Morning “formula” and have the original book on hold.  I found some very useful tips as well as some good encouragement to making the most of my mornings.  My rating 4.5 out of 5. Not only did I get a kick out of this book, I also got some good tips.  One of my favorites is to put something away immediately when you are de-cluttering – don’t place it in a pile to put away later because if you get interrupted in the middle of the project you’ll have a bigger mess and have accomplished nothing.  SO.TRUE.  That happens to me all the time – and yes, it takes longer to get up and go put something away, but at least when I stop midway through I have still done something.  Love it!  My rating 4 out of 5. FICTION This book kept me up almost all night finishing it.  I started mid-afternoon and finished it late that evening.  I loved the way the...

Goals 2017: Faith and Finances

Time for my last three categories of goals.  These three focus around faith and finances.   In case you missed it, last week I shared my goals for health and wellness and the week before relationships.  The finance goals are a bit more challenging for me as it’s not an area I’m terribly interested in, yet I KNOW I need to pay attention and get my finances in order.  Anyone else feel the same way?  So let’s start with faith since it’s much easier.  Faith.  Why?  For me, my faith is something I want to be the center of my life.  I want my faith to be reflected in how I live, the decisions I make and how I treat others.  So, it only makes sense to focus on it, right?  How? Daily devotions (right now I’m working through Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are and like all of Shauna Niequist’s works, I LOVE it), get my family to church regularly, meet with my small group weekly and make sure to give thanks daily for my many blessings. Finances.  Why? I’m getting to that age where I need to be seriously thinking about paying for college, retirement, etc.  I haven’t exactly ignored our finances, but I’m not as on top of them as I could/should be.  How?  Gather all the financial info and decide if each area is in the best shape it could be – if not, make appropriate adjustments; figure out where I’d like to be in ten years; make a plan to get there; execute the plan. Day Job.  Why?   I spend a lot of hours...
Goals 2017:  Health and Wellness

Goals 2017: Health and Wellness

Last week I shared my relationship goals – goals that included others.  This week I’ll be sharing my health and wellness goals – so the goals that really just include me!  I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of you have set health and wellness goals – probably more than once.  When I think of health and wellness I don’t think of just exercise and eating right – there are other aspects of personal wellness that I believe are just as important.  Hopefully a little insight into how I look at them will inspire you to think about your health and wellness goals in a different light. I think the most important aspect of a successful health and wellness goal is that it has to be exciting for you.  Say one of your goals is to get in better shape or to exercise consistently.  If you hate running, then by all means, don’t set yourself a goal of running a 5k.  It’s only going to piss you off every time you get on the treadmill – if you even continue to get on the treadmill!  Instead, think about what types of exercise would be fun for you and set a goal to do THAT consistently.  You are much more likely to succeed if you aren’t dreading the work involved in reaching a goal.  Healthy Living.  Why?  Losing weight or looking a certain way isn’t as important to me as feeling great.  Especially as I’ve struggled with not having the energy I desire in the past.  That means that being at my optimum health is super important to me –...

Goals 2017: Relationships

As I mentioned last week, this year I have a few very specific goals in each of the important areas of my life.  Goals I’ll be concentrating on and reviewing each quarter.  I’ve outlined nine areas, so I’ll cover three each week for the rest of the month.  I know many of us are hammering out our plans and goals for the year so hopefully this will spark some excitement or give you some good ideas on how to achieve the ones you’ve set. The first three goals are ones I believe ALL of us busy moms feel are important – they all center around relationships.  Now your relationship areas might be different than mine, but I’d be willing to bet you have some relationships in your life that are important to you and that you’d like to keep in mind and keep growing as 2017 unfolds. Spouse.  Why?  Pretty obvious I think, but especially now as our kids are in such a busy time of life – it’s very easy to get caught up in the “divide and conquer” method of parenting.  Efficient, yes, but also isolating.  So in 2017 I want to be intentional about making time for my spouse and not letting the busyness of this season take over.  How?  Weekly date nights, walking the dog together, making sure to talk for 10 – 15 minutes each evening (at a minimum and not about scheduling), and also Monday morning planning sessions to figure out who is doing what – that way that topic will hopefully not take over the other time we spend together.  Also at...

Ready for the New Year?

What do you do to get ready for the New year?  Do you set resolutions?  Create goals?  Pick a word or a feeling you want to embody for the year?  I’ve done all of these and more each year and I’ve found some years to be more successful than others. Throughout my years of experimentation, I have found two things that have been crucial to a successful year – regardless of how I plan for the year.  Ready for the secrets? Tie whatever you plan to do to your values.  A few years ago I went into depth on this topic (check out the post HERE), but the gist of it is to make sure your goals align with your values.  If they don’t, you will be hard pressed to follow through because you’ll always be feeling uneasy about your plans for the year. If you aren’t excited about it, you won’t succeed. No matter how detailed or specific your goals or resolutions are, if you aren’t really jazzed about them, it’s going to be very hard to actually take the action steps needed to succeed.  So don’t bother creating goals you feel like you “should” do, create ones you can’t wait to get started on.  Even if they don’t make a lot of sense right now, excitement and the energy that goes along with it will take you a lot farther than a detailed plan of ho hum steps. I’ve decided this year to go back to the basics and come up with a list of 3 or 4 BIG goals for each area of importance in my...
My Favorite Books from December 2016

My Favorite Books from December 2016

It was a busy month of school concerts, plays, Christmas parties, swim meets and all kinds of other fun, so I didn’t read as much as I’d hoped.  However I can’t regret a minute of the fun we had this month!  HERE is the link to everything I read this month, and below are short reviews of my favorites: FICTION I really enjoyed this lovely story of a woman who hasn’t been making the most of her life discovering the hidden life of a woman who recently died.  What she learns helps her re-think her life choices – in the best possible ways.  Nice, uplifting book.  My rating 4 out of 5. Gifted teenage musician Zoe is about to perform again after a three year hiatus.  She was involved in a horrific accident that left 3 of her classmates dead.  After a disturbance at the concert and a stressful evening at home, her mother ends up dead.  As Zoe well knows, nothing is simple or clear when it comes to situations like this.  My rating 4 out of 5. NON-FICTION Although I didn’t love this the way I loved Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, this was still a wonderful book – full of wisdom and truth.  A must read for anyone looking to change the way they think about their life.  My rating 4.5 out of 5. Did you read anything fantastic this month?  I’m on the lookout for some more recommendations, so please share! There has to be a way for you to enjoy your life instead of rushing through it....

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