Perfection, when it comes, just seems to sort of happen.
But what if we could actively create it?
Sometimes, you look around realize that life is just right: the weather is gorgeous, your relationships are strong and your heart is at peace.
“I’m completely content in this moment,” I messaged my friend Sunday afternoon. “Days like this are few, so I’m just going to savor this for a moment.”
I don’t want to leave contentment to happenstance, however. I want to make it happen.
So I spent some time Sunday identifying the source of my contentment and deciding how I … and you .. could experience it more every day. Then I outlined this easy plan to use our morning routines to do just that.
A contented life every day? Yes, please!
Here’s what I realized led to my joyful Sunday: Over the previous 48 hours, I had done something to nurture every aspect of my well-being. (There are a lot of ways to dissect well-being, but I like this one: Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social and Spiritual.)
PHYSICAL — The health of our bodies
MENTAL — The health of our minds
EMOTIONAL — The health of our emotional state
SOCIAL — The health of our relationships
SPIRITUAL — The health of our spirit (no matter our religious beliefs)
Some examples from my weekend:
My husband and I began a 30-day exercise challenge together (PHYSICAL and SOCIAL), and planned and created healthy meals for the week (PHYSICAL and MENTAL and SOCIAL); I spent time with all of my kids and had dinner with a friend (EMOTIONAL and SOCIAL); I washed and dried all the laundry and then my family and I put it away together (MENTAL and EMOTIONAL); and we went to church where the topic of the day was physical health (ALL FIVE!).
It’s little wonder, then, that with all aspects of my spiritual health served, I was feeling pretty great Sunday afternoon.
The trick is to take that principle and carry it into Monday morning, and every day after.
The plan for daily well-being
Incorporate a “wellness workout” at the start of every day, devoting 10 minutes to each area of our overall well-being.
You can do that whichever way works for you. You can stick with a routine, or mix it up.
This is how it looked for me today:
PHYSICAL — Ten-minute walk around the neighborhood and a healthy breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, strawberries, whole wheat English muffin and caffeinated flavored water. (Probably should have been plain water, but I’m no saint.)
EMOTIONAL — I made sure to wake each of my children with “Good morning! I love you!” Missed my husband on that one, though. Whoops.
SOCIAL — I checked in with a couple of friends who are struggling or going through some big changes in their lives. Made an exercise date with my husband.
SPIRITUAL — I began the day with a devotional, which I rarely do. And I even read the Bible chapter that went along with it. (Which is even more infrequent for me.) I also made my morning walk a prayer walk, saying silent prayers for the people I passed along the way. (BONUS social well-being for the quick chat I got to have with my neighbor as a result.)
That whole process took less than an hour, and mostly incorporated stuff I was doing anyway. I like morning walks. I was already eating breakfast, so might as well make it healthy. “Good morning! I love you!” literally takes two seconds.
The only thing I really gave up was mindlessly browsing the Internet. In exchange for that, I checked in on family and friends. And I feel better for it.
Now, am I having a perfect morning? Nope. Am I still tired? Yep.
I’m feeling more grounded.
I have a plan for the day (that includes exercise, healthy food, valuable work and time with my family).
And I’ve already had two valuable conversations this morning with people I love.
It’s 10 a.m. Monday, and I feel pretty darn good about life.
I can’t wait to see what Tuesday will bring.
(Interested in trying this approach to create a life brimming with contentment? Try it any day and comment below!)