Every day is a new beginning, with no exceptions. It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday, or what’s going to happen tomorrow. What you do today is entirely up to you and entirely within your control, no matter how much it may seem like this is not the case.
Sometimes our lives get flooded with tasks – errands to run, appointments to make on time, meetings to catch, dinners to plan, you name it. The list goes on for what seems like forever. Do you ever stop to make time for yourself? I’ll be honest, I never used to. I flew around at the whim of what grabbed my attention most, whatever that may be.
Then one day I was listening to a podcast and it drove a point home very clearly in my mind. I am in control of every movement and decision I make. If I don’t focus my efforts on making sure I’m taking care of myself then the world around me would dictate who I was. I would much rather if instead I was the person dictating who I am.
So, I started developing some daily habits to help ensure that I am centered, calm, healthy, and motivated to tackle any day that comes my way, no matter how intimidating, frustrating, or drab they may seem. Here are some of my favorite routines. Please note that I don’t do all of them every day, but I do make an effort to incorporate at least one of these or similar tasks. If I can do two or three of these a day, even better.
A Trip To The Gym
Probably every single person who has ever written an article of this nature makes mention of physical exercise in one fashion. I hope I’m not singing the same old song here. This has been life changing for me though, so I really can’t overlook it. Making a habit of going out and exercising at the gym simply makes me feel great. Sometimes I don’t want to go, but without question every time I show up and put in the effort I come out feeling proud, healthy, and strong. If you don’t exercise on a regular basis I highly recommend it.
I find that practicing a language keeps my mind sharp and also makes me quite proud when I look back after weeks, months, and years and reflect on my progress. As we get older we get less incentive to learn non-essential things like languages, and I feel like you can lose a bit of sharpness if you’re not trying to commit new facts to memory on a regular basis. Personally, I love learning languages because I love to travel to countries around the world. It’s so nice to show up to a foreign country and be able to navigate in their native language, at least to some degree. Perhaps for you the memorization task isn’t a language exactly, but you can certainly replace it with something that fulfills a similar need.
Preparing A Meal
There is something to be said for the peace of mind that comes from cooking a meal of your own. It requires planning, critical thinking, action, and of course taste. A secondary benefit is that every time you cook yourself a meal you end up with something that is likely more affordable, more wholesome, and certainly more appreciated than you would have if you obtained your meal by other means.
If you’ve read my site much you’ll know that I’m a writer. I obviously write all day to make a living, but many times I’ll make an effort to create something simply for the sake of creating. There’s something about removing the pressure of a deadline and just letting your mind grow an idea from seed, as if it were a garden. You can’t force that. You can nurture it, you can prune it, but you’re going to have to rely on the plant itself to grow as it normally would. That’s what you get by creating something for pleasure.
The last ritual on my list may not be for everyone, as I was a bit skeptical of it myself. I forced myself to keep practicing it at least for a while though because I promised a good friend of mine that I would. I have to say that over time I grew unexpectedly attached to morning meditations, and started to feel a bit out of place without them. Now I try to get it done every single day. Of course sometimes things come up and it’s just not practical but whenever I can make it happen my mind does feel at ease.