Happy New Year! 

Happy New DECADE! 

What are your plans for 2020? 

For me, the first week of the new year was a time of self-reflection. 

The last three months of 2019 kind of left me with my head spinning. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to do with it because I have felt so genuinely–and publicly–happy for so long. Feeling Good had become a habit, and suddenly that habit seemed to have lost some of its luster, and I wasn’t sure why…

…until it hit me during my SHiNE ™ workout…  Even though the playlist included a lot of my favorite dances, It felt harder to me, heavier than usual, like a ”have to” more than a ”want to.”

I tried to convince myself that I was too tired, that my body could use a little break, and then I had the thought: “What if you just put your all into it?” So…I did, and BAM! The blah was gone, and the rest of my workout felt GREAT!

As I contemplated that thought, I realized that It wasn’t just my workout. Everything I had been doing for the past few weeks was just going through the motions.  Even though I was still doing all of the things that I have learned to do to make my life feel like a fountain–full of happiness, confidence, inside-out authenticity–I just wasn’t doing them with intention:

  • Morning routine ✅
  • Nutrition✅
  • Exercise✅
  • School ✅
  • Hobbies and passions ✅
  • Gratitude ✅

I had put it all in the habit box and was running on auto-pilot. Automatic habits come in handy in many ways, but when everything I do is in robot-fashion, I end up feeling like… well…a robot! 

That’s not ok with me.  I prefer to feel like a fountain!⛲

So… What am I going to do about it? Put it back in the Intentional Action box, of course!! 

How? Let’s look at my morning routine as an example.

My morning routine is EVERYTHING when it comes to creating my emotional state every day. 

After the usual morning hygiene stuff, I go to my favorite comfortable place (which, when I am home, is the massage chair in my office) and I have quiet time–active quiet time. My morning routine looks something like this:

1. Personal Study: For me, this begins with scriptures and often also includes a few pages from another uplifting book/audio/video. When I’m intentional in my study, I actually STUDY the books I read. I often begin with a question in mind, and I look for answers to that question by applying what I am reading to my situation. I look up words that stand out to me, even if I think I already know the meaning. I jot down thoughts. I continue to ponder on what I have read throughout the day, I often find that other books and audios and even conversations align with the thoughts I have during study time. It absolutely amplifies my day!

When I am just going through the motions, I open the book, read for a certain amount of time, just to say I did it, and move on to the next thing. It’s also interesting to me that it is easier to find excuses to put other things first, which also often cuts my study time short–but hey, at least I did it. 😉 

2. Journaling: My goal with my morning journaling time is to create the feeling that I want to feel. I do that by first writing the details about “My favorite memory from the past 24 hours…” If I write until I feel it. This reminds me and creates proof in my brain that I already know how to feel joy, peace, confidence, successful, connected, love….

My journaling habit is to just think about it and skip the writing part. Or sometimes I skip this part completely because “I already know I can create the feeling.” Sometimes this is true. More often than not, I can know how I want to feel and find a reason to feel it.  That being said, skipping this step too often can lead to me to skip other steps…until I lose the “Intentional” part of my action.

3. Daily to-do list: Once I am “in the feeling,” I bring my mind back to today. I list the different tasks of the day and remind myself to look for ways to recreate the feeling of my favorite memory as I do them. When possible, I actually plan them in as part of my tasks. For example, if I have a cluttered closet to clean, I think about music that puts me in a really happy mood and I intentionally plan to play it while I clean–and of course sing along! (Just writing about that one makes me smile.)

4. Exercise: Intentional thinking and visualizing are an important part of living life from the inside out. However, thoughts can only hold for so long unless they are assimilated into my whole being by ACTION!  Exercise is a powerful mood-creating intentional action. My movement of choice is often dance, and as I explained above, it’s especially effective when I put my whole heart into it.

I am grateful for the times when life reminds me what it feels like to NOT be intentional with my daily habits. Feeling the opposite of how I want to feel is a great motivator to get back on track!

Do you have a favorite morning routine? I’d love for you to share it with me!

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