Hmmmmm… Even a routine can hold those time smashers with few rewards.
Is your routine serving you well?
We all develop routines, even if we don’t mean to… and one set of regular behaviors may work well when we’re parenting children, but they don’t work as well once those children are adults. Sometimes we have habits that are left over from other life experiences…
Sometimes we do things because we’ve always done them. There are times when unhealthy habits creep into our days . And even if those actions are not hurting us, perhaps they don’t make the impact we would really want longterm.
What would you remove from your routine?
What would you remove from your routine if you could?
Let’s say that you have something you do every day or week, and it isn’t helpful. Or maybe you’re not good at it… Could another person help with that item on your list of “to-do’s”?
I have a personal example. Rob and I have been married 38 years. All these years I’ve enjoyed doing laundry. Yup. I’m odd. Even when we had loads of laundry we called “Mount Never Rest” and I had to go down into an unfurnished, unheated basement in Canadian winters, laundry was a chore I embraced in my routine.
Why? I could quickly take what was messy and make it clean and organized. Bada boom – bada bing!
However… all those beautifully clean and folded loads of laundry somehow rarely made it from the basket to the drawers or closets. Oh, yes. That’s where the routine of laundry broke down.
We didn’t find a solution until we were married for 30+ years!
That was when we were traveling full-time in our RV, doing laundry in laundromats, and Rob, having dealt with the issue of often finding his clothes in a laundry basket and not the drawers, took over putting the clean laundry away. I still happily did the washing and folding but he finished the job. He loves to finish things! It’s his strength.
We now have a routine that serves us both. I was no longer a prisoner of my laundry basket! I no longer need to feel like a failure because the routine wasn’t healthy. Ha!
So, there are times when what we’re doing may need a refresh – another set of hands, or even hiring someone to take over where it makes sense financially and relationally.
What other reasons would a routine not serve you well? Consider…
A routine can either serve you or waste your time.
Maybe that’s a harsh statement.
But as many statements go, there’s a little truth there. Maybe.
What are you doing that is a waste of your time? Ponder a bit – how does your day go? They euphemistically can be called “time-sucks”. Checking email or social media instead of completing something? Reading or streaming a few more shows or sports than you’d want admit to? Excessively exercising, working out or playing video games instead of investing time with family, on the pretext of “I need me time.”
Why is this important?
We all have a finite number of days – we need to use them well!
I was listening to a podcast and the fellow proposed an interesting concept. Take the number of days in the number of years most people live – maybe it’s 90 years, or 80 or… (if we said 80 years that would equal 29,200 days.) Now, take the number of days you already have lived, and subtract it from that number.
29,000 days – your days = ?how many days you have to use well!
This idea isn’t meant to scare you, or make you feel depressed… but, if you’re at all like me, the number you come up with is less than you’d imagined. And that feeling is important!
And we have no idea how or when our days are complete. But this is just a “what if” scenario…
Which brings me back to the initial question…
If there was one thing from your routine that you could eliminate, what would it be?
Don’t let your routine activities become a prison just because you haven’t thought them through in the last while.
Review what you do each day and ask yourself,
“If I have 7280 days to spend, how would I invest those well?“
Just for fun, do the math and leave a comment on how many days (imagining a life of 80 years) you have to use well… maybe even share what you could eliminate in your day-to-day unconscious routines to use those days in better ways!
If you’re a journaling kind of person, use this question in your journal – or download a sheet I’ve created for you to doodle/color on with the question…. And if you’re a “junk journaler” and want to make something, I’ve also created a PDF to download – download the images here.
The above quote is from this post by Tom Corley. In his post, he’s talking about toxic people and then contrasts them with positive people. He suggests we surround ourselves with other positive people.
Tom’s post got me thinking… there are at least 8 ways positive people help other people’s outlook on life. (I’m guessing they’re more than eight… maybe you can add some.)
Rather than overwhelm you with all eight right now, the rest will come to you one every day for the next eight days. Little bites to consider.
There’s every chance that none of us will be good at all eight – even if we are pursuing positivity. No worries. Optimists always know there’s room for improvement.
Here we go:
#1 of 8 Ways Positive People Help Other People’s Outlook
1 – Positive People acknowledge the truth and manage the overflow.
There are some truly overwhelming events which cause ripples of anxiety, fear, pain and doubt in every life. Not every happening is good.
A positive person can see and determine the truth in these events while (eventually) putting a plan in place to handle each ripple.
These plans help other people’s outlook because everyone feels better when there’s a plan. A direction or plan adds a feeling of hope. Positive people find hope even in the worst circumstances.
Is finding hope in a difficult circumstance one of your strengths?
If you can acknowledge the truth, make plans to manage the overflow and find hope… you might be a positive person!
What about exploring foods to build a better body? How to easily identify the vitamins and nutrients in food, and their impact on the body?
Guess what? There’s an app to play with… if you’re curious. It won the 2014 Innov8 For Health Business Expo, and it’s created by a husband and wife team who believe in living a healthy lifestyle over fad diets and calorie obsession.
This app, called Wholesome, covers many areas. What drew me to it at first was its “eat the rainbow” option. Of course, if you want to use the entire functionality of the app, there’s a cost.
Wholesome tracks 90 nutrients including: macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and omega 3’s and antioxidants. Using Wholesome you can easily identify gaps in your nutrition and get whole food suggestions to improve your diet. You can track foods or an entire recipe with just one-click. Save your own recipes in the app so that you can easily track them anytime. Wholesome syncs with Apple health.
To eat more mindfully, I’m beginning to have a little fun exploring this app – so far, just the free version. I click on an ingredient and see what kind of nutrients/vitamins, etc is a part of each food. Learning is something to celebrate also!
Do you have any app recommendations you use?
Celebrate Every Bite
When you eat well, celebrate every bite! You’re on the way to health!
Living in 282 square feet, Rob and I haven’t set up a specific space designated for dining, so when we do use a table, it’s a folding tray between us. There isn’t much “savoring” happening in our meals – it’s more of a necessary consumption and then we carry on with life. I think this is an area we need to put some focus toward…
How are you doing with savoring your meals?
Mindful = pause and notice. Does this happen when you’re eating? Harvard Health Publishing has an article I appreciate about this mindful eating idea. They suggest:
shop with intention
eat before you’re ravenous
pause to look at and appreciate what you’re eating
Good food is often simple food. Fresh. From the ground or plant or tree. Nothing added. Colorful.
A good life is often filled with the simple things…
Take time to enjoy the simple things in life – start with simple food.
What’s your favorite “simple food”?
Today is a good day to enjoy your favorite simple food… right?
Share the joy – delight in your favorite simple food with someone else.
You’ll be doing more than sharing food – you’ll be sharing life and health!
PS – the favorite simple food I’ll share today is strawberries. They’re in season here right now, so I’m off to the market to buy some! (I might even put some cut up strawberries in a small portion of wine with a spritz of seltzer. Wine is simple too, right? <wink> )
Just like those celebrities who appear on the red carpet wearing the same dress, yet don’t look alike at all, “healthy” is made up of different aspects for each person. Obviously, we all need to consume food, sleep and breathe – but there are a great number of activities with many options to demonstrate our health.
Have you determined what “healthy” looks like on you?
Remember – HEALTH has many aspects! Just consider, if you were “healthy”…
what activities would you be involved in?
what food would be on your plate at the next meal?
what topics/ideas would you be discussing with your friends?
what would you be drinking?
when would you have time to pray and ponder?
how much of your day or week would you be working?
when would you go to bed, and when would you wake?
when would you be pondering and experiencing God’s Word?
when would you be visiting your doctor and for what?
how often would you be experiencing fellowship with other Christ followers?
which fruit, vegetables and protein would you eat every week?
what would your environment look like? Would you add or delete anything?
from those already in your life, who would give you a hug, a shoulder rub, a pat on the back?
who would be both affirming and challenging your choices?
who would be encouraging you?
how would you document all you’re thankful for?
what would be on your phone or computer?
how much time would you spend watching TV/movies?
how often would you be outside, beside water, hiking, or just smelling the roses?
what would your environment look like if you were comfortable?
who would cry with you?
who would be around your table if you were serving a celebratory meal?
what would you snack on?
how would you relax – where, doing what, with whom?
Take a few moments and answer some of these questions.
Begin to draw an outline, a blueprint, of what healthy looks like on you!
If you want to go more in-depth, then download and print a PDF with the questions. Day dream – fill in the blanks to create a plan for your healthy life – make it unique for you!
Grab the PDF - Answer the questions to build what "healthy" looks like on you!
It's a 3-page PDF just for you - with all the questions, prompts and space to answer.
Here is your PDF - "What does Healthy Look Like on YOU?" Enjoy!
Quick! Take a mental look into your ‘fridge and cupboards! Will you find “health” on those shelves?
(If you’re at all like me, then you’re grimacing a bit – don’t worry, I won’t judge.)
Only you know what makes you feel healthy…
Every person has a different view of health. Even the scientists who study health have differing opinions. This isn’t surprising if you consider that God made us all unique. What will work for one, may not be the answer for another.
Consuming healthy foods isn’t about losing weight – it’s about gaining a life.
(Yes, I’m speaking to myself in this too.)
What could you add to your kitchen – today – for your health care?
And what would feeling healthier ADD to your life?
Sometimes we have a vague idea of areas in which we’d like to improve or grow in, but that desire just simmers on a back burner. We haven’t become specific enough. We don’t turn up the heat to become more of the person God has designed us to become. A clue to what you might want to pursue lies in who you admire.
Who do you admire? What about that person do you admire? Which characteristics – physical, mental or spiritual – would you like to add to who you are?
5 steps to steal with your eyes.
Here’s a quick exercise to pick out one aspect to mirror from a person you admire.
Choose one person you admire.
Concentrate on that one person.
Make a list (on paper or your device) of the physical, mental, spiritual characteristics they embody – those attributes you admire.
Beside each characteristic describe one way they outwardly show (what they do) to demonstrate this thing you admire.
How can you adopt or adapt their action into your life?
Will you adapt or adopt what’s in the mirror?
Sometimes we can’t adopt the specific way a person we admire does something. Perhaps they’re younger or older, have more income to spend, are in better physical health, live somewhere we don’t live, or they possess something else we don’t currently have. Sure – there are barriers. Being strategically optimistic means we acknowledge the barriers.
Just because we can’t mirror exactly what we admire, doesn’t mean we can’t mirror an adaptation.
Consider the ways in which you can take the list of what you admire and create an adaptation to those actions in your life.
What small transformation will you make today?
Adapt and mirror what you admire! Let’s turn up the heat.
PS – My mirroring will be to adapt something a pastor I’m familiar with does. He goes on a daily “prayer” walk and reaches out on social media to ask people if they’d like him to pray for them while he walks. “Just” going for a walk has never appealed to me, but if I connect prayer to this walking, then it has some appeal!
This pastor’s action caught Robert and my attention because it is a wonderful way to do three things: to pray, to get a little exercise and be held accountable. 😉 If you know me personally, you realize that I need to move more – so this is a healthy transformation/adaptation I’m seeking. I’ll be posting my “prayer- walk” time on Facebook just like this pastor does. If you’d like me to pray for you while I walk, reach out! You’ll hold me accountable. And if I can help you in your adapt/adopt mirroring, let me know!