30 Days to Happiness: Finish What You Start

procrastination3FThere it is. . .looming in the darkness ahead of you. You can’t see it, but you know it is out there lurking in the shadows. It is nagging at you, calling you. . .louder. . .louder. . .LOUDER. “Finish me, finish me, finish me.” it’s one of your unfinished projects calling you again. Will they never leave you alone?

“Quiet!” you say. I will finish you later. I don’t want to do it now. I want to do something else, something fun or relaxing. It will still be there when I’m ready to do it. Now it’s LOUDER again. There’s only one way to stop this incessant, annoying, nagging voice. Get it behind you. You’ll be so much happier when you see the finished product. It will encourage you to finish another one, and another one. You will find yourself getting happier and more confident with each one. Finish it and then relax and have some fun.

What unfinished projects do you have on your “to do” list? Can you work on one a little every day until you get it done? Or tell us about a project you have finished and how that made you feel. We need all of the encouragement we can get!

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30 Days to Happiness: Exercise is Exhilarating!

It has been suggested that 20 focused minutes a day can provide a “full happiness boost” every day. Can exercise really affect your level of happiness?  Here are 10 Fun Facts about exercise that can motivate and stimulate our desire to get moving.

Ten Fun Facts About Exercise

  1. You will stay with your exercising longer if you are listening to music or are otherwise distracted.
  2. Exercise is more effective at increasing your energy levels than caffeine.
  3. You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.
  4.  Regular exercise can enhance mood and overall well-being.
  5. The top three factors that determine whether or not you will stick to your exercise routine include having support, finding a workout that you like and knowing what you’re doing.
  6. There is no “best time to exercise.” It turns out that the best time to exercise is when it works for you.
  7. Exercise1Visualization can help to improve your workout. By visualizing yourself completing the exercise before you actually perform it, then you will be able to perform the exercise with more intensity and effectiveness.
  8. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity.
  9. Exercising for 30 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. Endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise so you feel much more energized the rest of the day.
  10. If all 600 muscles in your body pulled in the same direction, you could lift 25 tons.

exercise2Why I am starting tomorrow:

1. I will have increased energy. Sounds like the more I exercise, the more I will exercise. That’s encouraging.

2. I will burn more calories than sleeping.That’s encouraging!

3. My mood will be enhanced. Wooohoooo! It’s working already!

4. My mind will be clearer. That will be a big plus!

5. If I can figure out how to get all of 600 of my muscles moving in the same direction, I will be able to lift 25 tons! Now who wouldn’t want to give that a try?

Let’s hear it, what’s the status of exercise in your life, 0 to 10. What do you do? What works for you? Have you noticed any correlation between happiness and exercise? All of your comments will be valuable in getting this girl moving!

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The Lion and the Porcupine DECLARE the Day

lion1lion1lion1Louie, the Lion came out into the forest clearing, his crown tilted slightly to the side, his large mouth opening wide, as he declared, “It’s going to be a great day, here in the forest! I declare that every forest creature will be blessed, prosperous, safe, and healthy today.” All of the animals, small and large came out hopping, loping, and some slithering in response to his roar as they did every day. It was going to be another good day in the forest, plenty to eat, plenty to do, perhaps some challenges to overcome, but King Louie had spoken and surely all would be well with them today.

porcupine1Quintessa, the quietest of the forest animals slowly meandered from her favorite tree where early this morning she had climbed down from the comfortable crook she had been sleeping in. Yes, that’s right porcupines like to sleep in the crook of a tree unless they are nurturing their babies in a cozy burrow. This morning, she carried a basket of clover in her mouth and greeted the other animals with a nod of her prickly head. She looked characteristically happy, and content and ready to take on the day.

giraffe1“She’s done it again,” the giraffe exclaimed. I know what you’re thinking and you are right. Giraffes are not usually found in forests; they are out on the savanna with the lions and zebras and such but for the purpose of this story, all kinds of animals of every size, shape, description, and personality will be found here in our extraordinary animal kingdom. Here we will meet and interact with God’s creatures as they live and breathe in the imagination of this author. These fanciful animals have unforgettable and pertinent messages to deliver to us. Today’s message: “Declare (decree) a thing, and it shall be done.” Job 22:28 So back to our story. . .
“What did you say?” questioned the believable beaver, Belinda.

“She’s done it again,” replied Johnny, the giraffe. “She’s been up early, she’s gathered food, she’s got a smile on her face. I don’t know how she does it. I barely have my eyes open now, and the smile that started at my toes won’t reach my mouth before mid afternoon. Course that’s because it has such a looooooong way to go, but that is beside the point. Quintessa is always so positive, and optimistic. What’s her secret? You told me the other day, but I forgot.”

beaver2“Her secret,” Belinda reminded Johnny patiently, “is that she does the same thing that King Louie does, just in a completely different way. She explained it to me this way, ‘I open my eyes and I look up to the sky. I can see it through the branches of the tree, and without saying a word, I send my thoughts up to God, and I say, It’s going to be a great day in the forest today. I declare a blessing over all the forest creatures, and I say they are blessed, prosperous, safe, and healthy today. Then I get up and wash my face and gather food and then meet you all here to see what adventures await us. It’s going to be a great day, today.’ That’s what she does every day without opening her mouth because she’s quiet like that. She doesn’t roar it out. She just thinks it, you could say prays it out. Of course when she does say something it is lined up with how she’s thinking, that’s for sure.”

“That’s all very interesting,” Johnny remarked. “Different kinds of ways to get the thing done that needs to be done. We should all roar it out or pray it out, and even think the right things out every day. Is that right, Belinda?”

What will Belinda answer? And what adventures will greet the animals of the forest today?

Before I get out of bed each morning, like Quintessa, I usually quietly say in my mind , “It’s going to be a great day today!” or I remind myself, “I’m happier than I’ve ever been! God is with me, today! I have the mind of Christ today!” God Then Like Louie the Lion, I often will shout declarations when I am in the car. I will speak loudly about the blessings that will come upon each family member during the day. I have a very strong belief that declaring our day is a great way to tap into the happiness that God has planned for us! How do you start your day? Do you have any declarations or routines that help you have a happier day? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and have a GREAT day!SharySignature

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30 Days to Happiness: Creativity

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When I think of the word, “creativity,” I automatically think of this verse, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 This is a prayer we can pray every day. It can help us quickly get back on track when we’ve gone a stray into sin, or negativity of any degree. Without doing this, any amount of creativity we develop in our lives will be tainted. It is clear to me that nothing can block creativity better than guilt and shame that comes from knowing we have done wrong or displeased the Lord. It is a simple matter, according to Scripture, to get the heart right. God does this so readily and so completely for us so He can restore fellowship with us. Only then can His creative Spirit  flow through us. By having a clean heart, we open ourselves up to the happiness that comes with creativity.

Being creative will enhance our ability to hear from God. That alone is motivation for taking steps to develop creativity. This is going to be fun!  He is going to flow through the creative side of us because He is the Creator. He wants to teach us how to create. We use our imaginations to create. We can go anywhere, do anything, be anything in our imagination. His ideas can flow to us through our imagination. Here’s a list of random thoughts about creativity, with the hope that by trying some of these, we can be open channels for God’s ideas to flow to us:

Mind mapTry Mind Mapping

Tapping into the Creator

Hearing His voice

Letting ideas flow from Him

Trying new things

A new food each week

A day of the week to do something I’ve never done before

Playfulness

Vivid Colors

Buy markers and/ or crayons tomorrow, maybe a coloring book

Become like a child

How would a child solve this problem

Try “tangling”

Put together that colorful puzzle you’ve been wanting to do

Relax

Listen

Listen to classical music or other relaxing music

Smile

Exercise to stimulate the brain and raise self-image

Unique uses for common items

Games

Adventure

Think vibrant

Unique ways to present ideas

Take a break from reasoning

Let creativity flow.

Please share something creative in the comments. It could be your favorite game, something unique you do as a family or something you have imagined that was ridiculous. Share your fun with us. So glad you stopped by!

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30 Days to Happiness: Believe

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Join the A to Z Challenge

 believe

 

All you have to do is Believe.

 It doesn’t matter how God does it or

when He does it.

All you have to do is see it done.

Call it done. See it done and rest in it.

Don’t struggle.

believe4

It doesn’t even matter how things look right now.

All you have to do is believe.

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Just Believe!

30 Days to Happiness: Ask

A for alphabet

30 Days to Happiness? Is it possible? Can I really be happier than I am right now. Will some of my problems disappear just by reading a blog? Good questions! Over the next 30 days, through the A to Z Challenge, we will go on a journey to happiness together. There are guiding words that will move us along from day to day and at the end of April, 2014, we can evaluate our progress together. You’ll meet new friends along the way, and get some great ideas for getting the most out of your day! Writers from all over the world will be joining the challenge, and you may want to join us in writing, or just read what others are writing about. You can find the list  by clicking the link here. Each day in April we will be blogging about what comes to mind for each letter of the alphabet, taking Sundays off, we will be finished by April 30. Let’s get started!

A is for Ask. Each day, I ask the Lord to give me a question for the day. “What question should I ask, Lord.” Before I give you some of my favorites, here’s some questions not to ask:

  1. Was your hair always that color?
  2. When is your baby due? (unless you KNOW she’s pregnant)
  3. Do you plan to start a diet soon?
  4. What does your therapist think about that?

Seriously, asking questions opens the door to understanding. It shows your interest in people and allows you to find common ground on which to build a relationship if you desire. Here’s a few questions to get you started:

  1. Do you have family here?
  2. Do you work in the area?
  3. What’s your favorite place to vacation?
  4. What is your favorite. . .?
  5. Is there anything I can do for you?

The questions above actually follow a little formula I learned years ago. When you aren’t sure what questions to ask, use FORM. It stands for F-family O-occupation R-recreation and M-message. When you ask questions about each of these, you can continue a conversation indefinitely.

Sometimes on a “date night” Larry and I will start with one of these questions and see how long we can go on one subject until we move on to the next. After so many years we still learn things we didn’t know about each other’s lives and views on aspects of life. You can also have a lot of fun while asking questions that begin with “When, where, who, what, why.” A when question might be, “When did you get your first haircut?”, “Where would you like to go, if you could go anywhere in the world for one day.” “Who would you like to meet if you went back in time?”

Leader3Two of my favorite questions  now are simply, “What can I do for you?” and “How can I help you?”

By asking questions, you are not only opening windows and doors to others, you are opening your heart to receive the happiness that comes by focusing on others.

The most important question you can ever ask is “Jesus, will you come into my heart right now, forgive me of all of my sins, and be the Lord of my life?” And then accept Him by faith because His answer to you is most assuredly, “Yes!” You will have a lifetime of getting answers to your questions because He truly has all of the answers.

Here’s my question for you, “What’s your favorite thing to do?” and “Where are you visiting from?” Please leave your answers in the comments and feel free to ask a question of your own!

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