One of my favorite authors and thought leaders is James Clear (jamesclear.com). Much of his research and writing is focused on our habits. How we lose the poor ones and create/sustain the good ones. One of his shared learnings is that consistency is critical to the the establishment of healthy, sustainable habits. We all have routines and rituals that have been established over time, or created with intentionality to better our lives, or destruct our lives. What if we could create a system founded on the understanding that routine and consistency could radically improve our lives?
An online poll, conducted last month, used a series of questions to determine Americans’ levels of contentment and life satisfaction. Overall, just 30 percent of Americans said that they were happy, remaining consistent with happiness levels in 2011 but dropping from the 35 percent who reported being very happy in 2008 and 2009. Think about that. Seven out of ten Americans are not happy!
For all ages, the survey reflected a general decline in optimism levels among Americans, with only 57 percent of respondents saying that they were optimistic about the future, as compared to 75 percent in 2011. Optimism levels in the U.S. are significantly below the global average — 89 percent of citizens internationally feel that the future will be as good or better than their present situation, according to a recent Gallup World Poll.
But on the bright side, other research has found that Americans are less likely than ever before to view wealth as a necessary ingredient to a happy life. Only around one in four Americans still believes that wealth determines success, according to the recent LifeTwist study. The survey’s authors noted, “Americans are increasingly placing greater priority on living a fulfilling life –- in which being wealthy is not the most significant factor.”
Back to our routines. We Americans clearly need to have some significant change in our daily lives if we are to live this life in joy, peace, hope and happiness.
I’d like to offer the following morning routine into evidence, that it can indeed improve your level of peace, freedom, joy, hope and health. To prove this routine beneficial, you must commit to it for 3 weeks. Then STOP. Assess the benefits. Then make your personal edits to the routine. Work that routine for another 3 weeks. Now you will have either built a new and improved routine for your betterment, or you will have proven that this has no impact for your personal development as a person, spouse, parent, leader, or friend.
Here you go:
- Select the time of day that you can, should, and will consistently get up for the day – Then intentionally get up 15 minutes ahead of that time. I choose to use this routine Monday – Friday only. Remember, I’m a pastor. Sundays are pretty built in for me. If you know it’s best to awaken at 6:30am to insure you arrive where you are to be, set the alarm for 6:15am.
- Tackle the next steps with great honesty and transparency. Follow the process and don’t add additional items or repetitions. Just work the process. Here’s the key: Don’t overthink this. Don’t attempt to make this perfect. Don’t worry about if it’s pretty. But make sure you write it down and capture your responses. Keep them like a necessary plane ticket to return to Atlanta from a winter trip to Siberia. Again, be sure to capture these items. Do not just read and answer “in your mind.”
- I am grateful for these three things today: __________________________. __________________________. __________________________.
- If today is to be awesome, I must accomplish or achieve these three things: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
- The attitude I must live with through today is: _____________________________________________________________________________.
- My declaration of affirmation today is: ___________________________________________________________________________________.
- Read today’s daily reading from either “He Reads Truth” or “She Reads Truth”. THEN SWIPE LEFT & READ THE BRIEF COMMENTARY. This is an app for iPhone or android. It is also available HERE.
- Stop everything. Take 3 deep inhales…hold them…and release. Speak to the Divine out loud. Thank Him, Ask for wisdom, Request His Direction, Ask His heart to be move for the next 4 things you ask of Him. Affirm you conversation with the Divine is the name of Jesus.
This entire routine – if you do not overthink this and you do not get distracted from it should take NOT MORE THAN 15 MINUTES!
When you get in the car, listen to today’s WEEKDAY PODCAST HERE (5 minutes a day / 5 days a week).
PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU LEARN!
Then let me know how you improve this PROVEN ROUTINE.
For those of you that need a little encouragement: The world is full of evil and our lives are not all sunshine, but we ought to be grateful to God and we ought to express our gratefulness to Him. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100: 4, 5)
Blessings! The poorest of us have some good things–some health, some friends, some food, some clothing, some sunshine. We need to emphasize these blessings more. With the blessing of God we can be rich even when we are poor, for ““The blessing of the LORD brings true riches, And He adds no sorrow to it [for it comes as a blessing from God.” PROVERBS 10:22
Gratitude – Focus – Attitude – Consistency – Scripture – Meditation – Understanding = Peace, Joy, Fulfillment & Contentment
You Can Do This! Nothing changes until something changes! Be that change!
P.S. There isn’t a download today as I’m spending a brief time in the hospital. See you tomorrow with this week’s 4forFRIDAY.