A great attitude in life comes easier when our bodies and minds are healthy, strong, and disciplined.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…”Luke 10:27a
I recently read the book, Just Choose Happiness by Nell W, Mohney, and a thought occurred to me. The book’s practical steps (listed below) may be one way we can live joyfully, along with our ultimate source of joy: knowing, loving, and serving Christ. These responses in our daily lives can be a reflection of offering our best to him.
The verse above reminds me that our heart, mind, soul, and strength are about our spiritual lives, our physical bodies, our mental capacities, and our desires and passions. We choose to love God with everything we have and therefore, give him our best.
Lists like the one below can seem overwhelming. Instead of tackling everything at once, determine to do one or two things. Offer them to Jesus and get them going in your life (again). Our minds, souls, and physical bodies are all tied together. What joy it will bring as we have the discipline to institute these habits.
- Exercise Regularly – Exercise is not my favorite thing to do, but I’m always amazed at my changed outlook on the days when I make exercise a priority. I usually do something for a while and change to something else when I realize I haven’t been as diligent.
- Eat Nutritionally – You don’t have to change all your eating habits at once. Make small, smart changes. I’ve also experienced more disciplined seasons in my life when I’ve taken part in a 21-Day Daniel Fast.
- Get Great Sleep And Rest – I do my best to be in bed around 9:30 and wake up around 4:50. This ritual usually helps me sleep through the night. When things don’t work out right, I don’t stress out. I say, “oh, well,” and try again the next night. The biggest thing to help me get uninterrupted sleep has been leaving my phone in the kitchen to charge at night. That keeps me from waking up and looking at my phone. (You might consider getting a cheap alarm clock like this one). I also had a shift in my thinking when I learned that sleep isn’t just because we’re tired. Sleep helps us prepare fully for the next day.
- Pray And Study The Bible Daily – Each morning I read something in the Bible. Sometimes, I’m on a plan. Other times, I read from the Bible App. For many years, I followed a plan to read through the Bible in a year. Most mornings, I pray and write in a journal. I include these things in the morning checklist that I keep on my Google calendar.
- Build Good Relationships With Family And Friends – It’s rewarding to have friends and family with whom we can share life. Full schedules don’t leave tons of time to connect. Texts and phone calls here and there can make a difference, and it’s good to make some close geographical connections.
- Develop A Fulfilling Career – Christians are people who are sent. We often think pastors, missionaries, and ministry leaders are the ones who are called and sent. But all believers are called to minister and live a faithful lives right where we are in work and life. Be open to God’s call. Grow in a positive attitude about your current work. Keep trusting God to lead.
- Take New Adventures to Add Freshness to Life – What would this look like for you? What new adventure do you need to say yes to today?
- Learn To Delegate And Say No – If we’re not careful, life will fill up with insignificant things. Say “no” to some things, so you have the freedom to say “yes” to things that matter. (Here are six kind ways to say, “no.”)
- Meet Your Problems Head On; Don’t Procrastinate – I like Brian Tracy’s image of “eating the frog.” No one wants to eat a frog (the big hairy task you have to get done), but you have to do it, so you might as well eat it quickly, first thing. Get it out of the way and become more productive.
- Laugh More Often – Children laugh more than adults. We start off in life seeing the fun side of things and can become too serious as we grow older. One remedy is to laugh more. Laughter is a powerful tool. (Read some goofy jokes here.)
- Learn And Practice Sound Financial Management – Finances are a big part of life. They bring contentment and joy when set up in a God-honoring way. Tithe first.
- Strive To Keep Life In Balance – Jesus was perfect at balance and I pray to be more like him every day. Jesus balanced doing and resting; praying and serving; compassion and judgment; and everything else.
Keeping these things going in your life is a great way to treat yourself. It’s a gift to your friends and family. It brings freedom to your life and your decision-making.
You can do it! I have confidence in you, so begin today.
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