7-D Transformational Morning: Delight & Declare

Last week I encouraged you to create a fresh start to your day by purposefully thinking about how you spend your first hour each morning. Over the next three posts I will be sharing with you the 7 D’s I do each morning to renew my mind, refresh my soul and restore my body. These steps can be done in one hour, two hours or half a day just depending how much time you have and the depth of transformation you want to create. Do not compare how you spend your time You might only spend 5 minutes doing declaration statements whereas someone else spends 15 minutes on that step. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” So focus on doing your best and then leave the rest. No matter how you divide the time on these seven steps, if you are intentionally about practicing them, I promise you will reap the benefits. The first “D” that I want to urge you to put into practice is taking time to DELIGHT in God.  Matthew 6:33 reminds us to “first and most importantly seek His kingdom and righteousness and these things will be given to you also.”(AMP)  And Psalm 37:4 says to “delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (ESV)  Before I even try to focus on my to-do list for the day I have to remind myself of my to-be list which is found in God’s Word. Now delighting in God does not mean you have to pledge to read three chapters of the Bible each day. It...

Maximize Your First Hour to Get a Fresh Start

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You wake up in a rush because you have already hit the snooze button twice and now you are on the verge of being late for work. You jump out of bed, hurriedly get ready in the bathroom and briefly stop by the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee or a quick on-the-go breakfast bar. As you head out the door, you see your Bible and your notebook on the table, but you don’t have time to breathe let alone stop and read because you are just too busy. You hop into your car brainstorming ten million excuses as to why you are late and already wishing the day were over so you could go back to bed. Now maybe your morning didn’t go exactly like this, but I bet it comes close. Realize your first hour awake sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you want to transform your life, you can start by adjusting how you spend the first hour. Even if you are not crazy like me and want to wake up at 5:00 a.m., you can choose to wake up an hour earlier no matter what time you get your day started. You have to be willing to create what I call the whitespace or margin in your calendar in order to proactively allow room for joy to flow. As I said in my “Joy Notes” book, “to let joy flow you need to go slow.” We need to not let the excuse of we are too busy to slow down get in the...

Wake Up Happy

Beep…beep…beep. Your alarm clock just went off. What are the first thoughts that go through your head? “Oh no, it’s already been five hours. I have to wake up, but I don’t want to wake up. Just 10 more minutes.” If it is, realize you are already starting your day with negative energy and creating a state of resistance to your day. Instead of waking up with resistance, what if you could wake up with energy and enthusiasm? Think it’s impossible? Think again. The secret to waking up happy isn’t actually about the amount of sleep we have gotten but rather about our mindset before we go to bed. You most likely have heard the saying, “what we think about we bring about.” Well that is no less true then when it comes to how we wake up. The mind-body connection is a powerful force so if you are hitting the hay at midnight and already telling yourself you are going to feel tired at 6:00 a.m. when your alarm clock goes off, guess how you are going to wake up? If you are worrying about all that you have to do tomorrow as you toss and turn and you believe you will just have to suck it up and drink several pots of coffee to make it through the next day, guess how you are going to wake up? On the other hand, if you go to bed saying “Thank you for the six hours of sleep I am going to get tonight. That is exactly what I need to feel rested and refreshed in the morning. My...

Keep Your Passion & Optimism for 2017 Alive

It’s the start of a brand new year and the excitement levels are off the charts, but research shows that by about January 13th our enthusiasm starts to wane. Now we can accept that fact and just go through the motions until the next surge of New Year’s energy comes about or we can proactively take steps to revive and renew our passion and optimism for 2017. Our first step to breathing new life back into our eagerness for 2017 is to actually stop and APPRECIATE all that happened in 2016. Take some time this week to reflect back on all the been throughs, break throughs and still going throughs. What lessons did they teach you that you can bring into the New Year with you? How did they help you become a better version of yourself? What blessings did they help you notice in your life? Also spend some time showing appreciation to those who encouraged you, listened to you and did life with you. After you appreciate, then you get to ANTICIPATE. This year is full of possibilities and limitless joy. What do you want to see happen? Who do you want to become? Dream it, visualize it and plan for it. Create milestones that you can work towards. Plan out upcoming adventures or fun events that excite you. Build in opportunities for refreshment, renewal and restoration. Plant seeds of hope by focusing on what you do have and all that you can do. The last way to motivate yourself beyond the first few weeks in January is to begin to take action to ACHIEVE.  You cannot...

Travel Happy

“I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again.” That’s the words that are playing in my head as I gear up to travel out of the country for the next 26 days. Last night I felt like the kids from the Disneyworld commercial where they say “I am just too excited to sleep!” Four of us friends have been planning this great adventure for over a year and a half now and the day is finally here to hop on a plane and land across the pond on a different continent and into a different culture. Is there stress in our trip? Absolutely! Are we letting that stress steal our joy? Absolutely NOT! Yet when I talk with folks about going on vacation it seems to cause more stress than relieve it. I heard one person once say that he needs a vacation from his vacation. We need to learn how to travel happy because studies show that we need to get away, slow down and allow ourselves time to refuel. Here are just a few tips that I will be practicing on my trip. 1. Have a pre-departure conversation: Make sure everyone you are traveling with is on the same page in order to lessen some stress. Are we going on vacation to sightsee, relax by the pool, veg in our hotel room, etc? People define vacations differently and so it is important that if you are traveling with others you know what their expectations are. 2. Plan ahead: I am a planner by nature so this one comes easier for me, but...
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