Thursday, August 18, 2016

Optimize Your Day -- Introduction

Today I want to start a short series based on something that I've been pondering and working on for a couple of weeks now.  It all began when I heard about a book called The Miracle Morning.  The story was that this book contained a morning routine that was guaranteed to make you feel better, accomplish more and overall have a happier and more productive day EVERY day.  I'll admit.  I was intrigued.  There aren't many mornings that I'm jumping out of bed eager to begin the day.  Typically, I'm crawling out of bed, whining about my aches and pains and my mile-long to-do list.

Anyway, I went on Amazon, found the book and started reading.  I was excited to begin each day with my new secret weapon until I found out that this morning routine didn't fit my lifestyle or beliefs.  While the concept is fine, it's too "new age" for me.  It's all about affirmations and visualizations, and while I'll admit that these things have their place and have proven useful, it's all about me.  Everything in the morning routine focused on being self-sufficient and making your own way in life.  That goes against everything I believe.  I'm not self-sufficient.  I need God.  I don't make my own way; I follow where the Lord guides me.  So while I appreciated the thoughts and reasoning behind the system, I simply couldn't follow it.

As I talked with Jason about this, he started brainstorming.  (He's a man, which means he's a natural problem-solver.)  And, in this case, I'm glad he stuck with his natural problem-solving tendencies because he helped me develop my own morning routine that was based on principles that I could stand behind.  The best part is that I've been practicing it, and I love it.  It really does help me to get my mornings off on the right foot and with the proper mindset.  And for the next several posts, I want to share it with you in detail.

I call it "Optimize Your Day," and the steps to follow each morning are taken from the letters of the word "optimize."  But before I tell you what each letter stands for, let me explain the purpose behind this practice.  The reasoning here is not to add one more thing to your to-do list.  It's not to make your morning more hectic or your time more crunched.  In fact, if you'll follow it, I think you'll find that it does the exact opposite of all those things.  But the best part is that it allows us to get our focus on God first thing in the morning, every morning.  And let me tell you, starting your day with God is the best thing you can do.  Christian author and speaker, Sheila Walsh put it like this, I realized that if the first thing I pay attention to is what’s happening in our world, those images and words impact my view of the rest of the day. But if the Word of God is the first thing I give my heart and mind to, I see everything as under the control of my all-good, all-powerful, and all-loving heavenly Father.  Pretty awesome, right?

I also want to point out that this is not a long, drawn-out process.  The entire routine shouldn't take any longer than 30 minutes, and depending on your needs and schedule, it could take even less.  The point is to spend a few minutes on each step of the routine.  Do them all, and do them in order because they build upon one another.  Some of them will make sense to you right away while others will take some explaining.  Some will reap immediate results while others may take some time to see the fruit.  The key is consistency.  Ready?

Oil pulling
Prayer
Thanksgiving
Illumination
Meditation
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Exercise

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I'll explain each of these in detail as well as the benefits of each one.  I hope, like me, that you'll find that the routine works great to get your morning started right and to help get your mind focused on God and all that He's done.  What I love about "Optimize Your Day" is that you do it first thing in the morning before anything else (yes, even coffee).  But because it's the first thing you do, it gets done.  No matter what other chaos and curveballs the day may throw at you, you've already accomplished the most important aspect--tending to your spiritual man.  On top of that, by the time you have your coffee or head off to work, you already feel like you've accomplished a lot even though the day has just begun.  That alone will put a smile on your face.

Seriously, though, I am excited about this new program, and I hope you are too.  I'll tell you more tomorrow, and as always, if you have questions, feel free to contact me.  I'd love to chat with you!

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. - Isaiah 143:8
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