We all have our daily rituals and routines. We wake up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, drive the same route to work, listen to the same news station in the car, type a version of the same email, drive home, eat dinner (often in front of the TV) and then go to bed. This pattern day in and day out creates deep rooted habits that seems impossible to change. When we reflect on our daily patterns we can easily identify flaws and areas to fix – but we don’t. We don’t fix these areas because the fear of change or the complexities of how to change overwhelm us and we feel safer staying the way we are.
We feel safer with an extra 10 pounds because its just too much trouble to diet. We feel safer in a job we hate because it gives us a weekly paycheck. We feel safer in a relationship we aren’t happy in because what if we end up alone? We have created routines and rituals that no longer challenge or uplift us. But what if you could slowly implement simple small changes throughout the day that could uproot the mundane and put you on a path towards living a joyful life? Imagine that life! Imagine every moment of the day being exciting, powerful, and important! What would that be like? What if we could address the fear of change, acknowledge the process, and embrace the future? Does that excite you? I certainly hope it does!
I want you to do a little dreaming today. Close your eyes and imagine your perfect life. What do you look like in that life? How are you interacting with people? Listen to the laughter and the stories being told! What are your surroundings? Are you by a roaring fire with family or sitting on a beach with not a care in the world. Feel the heat on your back or the sand between your toes. How do you feel in this life? Are you relaxed, at peace, feeling free from worry? As you’re dreaming of this life I want you to dive in a bit deeper into this life. Acknowledge the details of this life. Wrap yourself in this life and feel the excitement, the freedom, the joy.
So now that we know how we want to feel and what we want to experience out of life – it’s time to get it! I challenge you to create new rituals that will bring you closer to this dream life every single day. We’re faced with decisions all day every day. And we can be lazy in our choices. But what if you broke it down and acknowledged each choice by saying: “Is this bringing me closer to my goal or pushing me farther away?” By asking this simple question every single day, you are actively creating your future as opposed to letting life take you wherever it goes.
Here are 5 powerful examples of thoughtful daily action that will help you on your path towards your dream life:
1) When you wake up in the morning, say something positive about the day, your life, your body, and welcome the day with gratitude instead of annoyance.
2) When you look at yourself in the mirror for the first time that day give yourself praise for being alive and pump yourself up for the day. Do this instead of looking at your flaws and tearing yourself apart before you get in the shower.
3) When you’re commuting to and from work, turn off the radio and listen to something that motivates you. If you don’t like your job and want to do something else, then listen to every possible book or podcast about that subject and immerse yourself in that dream job. The more you’re absorbing the more it becomes a part of you.
4) During the day find time to give someone praise. It could be for the simplest task, but acknowledge their work. I want you to look at how your words change the shape of their face! I feel such joy when I see someone smile and blush at a compliment! You’ve made a difference in that person’s world today! That might be the first compliment they’ve heard in months.
5) When you get home and you have the choice of work or TV OR acknowledging your spouse, kids, roommate, etc. I challenge you to consciously make the effort to choose connection. Choose to connect and listen to the people in your life. This small act of listening can be the one thing that makes a difference in that person’s day.
Bonus: This one is too important not to share. I recommend starting a gratitude journal. Every night write down all the good things that happened to you that day! You can even take it a step farther and create a gratitude journal for someone else and every single day write something wonderful about that person. By acknowledging and recognizing all the positives in your life it encourages you to keep doing these daily actions.
We have been given the freedom of choice. We have been given the freedom to dream and to create. We have the tools, the resources, and the will to live our dream life.
We are in the last week of January 2015 and many of our big dreams for this year have already faded into the background. It is time to revisit and give more attention to these dreams. This dream is yours for a reason. Don’t wake up a year from now having not moved the needle forward. Ask yourself every single day: "Is this bringing me closer to my goal or pushing me farther away?“ Decide your future and live your dream life!