Let’s talk about habits, shall we? There are good ones, there are bad ones, there are fun ones, and there are the ones that produce shameless guilt. As I’ve gotten older, though, I have found a few habits that are now crucial to my functioning as a productive member of society.
So that we are clear, the term “productive member of society” means that I can function with a smile on my face, not feel so overwhelmed by life that I want to give up, relatively anxiety free, and know – without a doubt – that no matter what happens during the day, I am covered in God’s love, grace, and mercy.
Oh trust me, friends, I know the list is above is a tall order. But if we shoot for the moon, we’ll land among the stars, right?
So here’s what I do. I know that this list may not work for you at all…especially the part about the apple cider vinegar. I hope that you will read this list and be inspired to figure out the key to maintaining your outstanding life and then do what it takes to consistently maintain it. Perfection is not the goal here (it never should be)…progress is.
- Spend a minimum of 2 hours each morning in quiet time with the Lord.I started waking up early to have morning devotion about ten years ago. Over the years, my time has grown from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to an hour to now, 2 hours. This time has proven to be absolutely necessary for me every day.
- Apple cider vinegar.This is an acquired taste. I get it. The health benefits of apple cider vinegar alone make the taste worth it. I drink one glass of water with a teaspoon of acv every day. I’m not very consistent on the time of day, sometimes it’s in the morning and sometimes it’s in the evening. But the exciting thing is, I take it. It helps control my blood sugar levels, it helps the negative effects of thyroid disease on my hair, it keeps my carbohydrate cravings under control…do I need to say more?
- Essential oils and aromatherapy. All. Day. Long. I’m the person that has an oil for every ailment. I may not know them all from memory, but if you describe symptoms, I will find out immediately the type of oil that can cure. Scented candles used to do the same in my life but because of safety concerns with fire, just use the oils. They can give you clarity, focus, and boost your immune system.
- Laughing. Silently. Uncontrollably. Loudly. Softly. A report by the National Institute of Health recently noted that laughter has great benefits to the immune system. An article on Helpguide.org reports, “A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.”
- Learning something new. I posed the question on Facebook not too long ago asking my friends if they could go back to college, what would they major in? For me, it would probably be web design or something IT-related. Instead of going back to school, though, I have a keen interest in lifelong learning. Through the wonders of YouTube, Lynda.Com, and many others, I can continue that learning – even if I don’t get a new degree, I get the knowledge.
- Wearing mismatch socks. This one is kind of silly, however, it is my story. I don’t wear socks often, but when I do they rarely match. Wearing mismatch socks frees me from the need to be perfect. Wearing mismatch socks reminds me that it’s okay if I don’t separate my laundry like Suzy Homemaker did in the 1950s. Wearing mismatch socks reminds me to be grateful for the socks I do have, whether they match or not.
- Doing the Next Thing. When God answers prayers, He says one of three things: 1. Yes, 2. No, and 3. Not right now. Regardless of what the answer is, you need to ask Him for guidance on what you need to do next. You need to keep moving forward and heeding His word. Obedience is my word for 2018, and that is critical to this point. Will you be disappointed if the answer is no or not right now? Probably. Do you still need to obey and do the next thing God tells you to do? Absolutely. Will it be easy? Probably not, but Do. It. Anyway.
It’s easy to get caught up in the trials and challenges of life that we don’t always stop to appreciate the smaller things that make our lives outstanding. Take a moment to reflect and write your list, because even when you’re not feeling your best, your life is still outstanding and you deserve to honor it every single day.