I am sharing some of my favorite quotes and short exercises with the idea of creating the perfect week — seven days of reflection and action to help you live better, more resiliently, and more peacefully. You know my mantra – sometimes, action is more important than over-thinking😊. The first tiny step you take to your important goals, people and dreams is the key to your success, love and joy in your life.
“essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
― Hector Garcia Puigcerver, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
Write on a few post-it notes and leave it scattered around your house – your bathroom mirror, by your bedside, in the kitchen, at your work desk “I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad”
Day 1: Start with Love and Connection
Everyone knows that I love hugs – I have been getting a lot of them “virtually”. Take time to connect with your family and friends. Make a list of 5 family/friends with whom you have not connected in a long time. You can check your phone, social media or email for these connections. Send them a note on your status and ask them theirs! Easy Peasy!
Tiny action: Today, when I talk to any family member, beloved friend or respected colleague, I will acknowledge in my mind and through words or actions as to why they are important to me.
Mini-reward – Sing and/or dance along to your favorite song. My favorite song is Happy by Pharrell Williams
Day 2: O stands for Optimism and Opportunities
I have suddenly found time for many of my pet projects (Unfortunately, my room is cluttered as ever). I am making time to explore some ideas, read books that I have kept for a rainy day (who knew?) and helping friends with their business ideas. Make a list of your pet projects or ask your loved ones how you can help. Be prepared for surprises.
Tiny action: Each time, I finish a phone call, I will write out an idea or pet project that I want to work on
Mini-reward – if you capture at least 3 pet project ideas, eat a small piece of dark chocolate or a favorite treat. Okaaaay – one glass of wine after 5 PM is acceptable. LoL
Day 3: R for Resilience
“The Devil whispered in my ear, “You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.” Today I whispered in the Devil’s ear, “I am the storm.””
Journaling is a great way to capture these tough times. I promise you; these days will be over in a flash. Take time to record your fears, anxieties and anger. You will look back at these days with fondness because these days will make us stronger. Set a timer for 5-10-or-15 minutes and write . . . it is as easy as that!
Mini-task – After I finish an important task, I will set a timer for 5 minutes and reflect on my challenges and “difficult” emotions. No judgement or self-criticism
Mini-reward – Watch my favorite TV episode or read a short story on the internet
One of my favorite sci-fiction stories – Isaac Asimov – Nightfall -http://www.astro.sunysb.edu/fwalter/AST389/TEXTS/Nightfall.htm
Day 4: E is for energy – start your day with music, dance and exercise
Yes! I know the gym is closed, we are supposed to be inside the house. Just check out the number of free online Zumba, yoga and meditation classes that are available. Make time to do one new class. If you are on Facebook, join your friends and do the class with them virtually
Mini-task – After eating any snack or meal, I will dance, walk around or do stretches for at least 5 minutes
Mini-reward – Buy something online for under $10.00 as a gift for yourself or for a loved one. Write a nice thank you note to yourself for keeping on this journey!
Day 5: Make time for “Negative Feelings’ Anger, Anxiety, Sadness …
“Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength.” –Brigitte Nicole
If you know me well, you know that I will never ask you to put on a “happy” face. The world is going through challenging times. Today, reach out to a friend who needs emotional support. Reach out by phone or the internet.
Mini-task – As soon as you wake up, set an alarm on your phone to call or reach out to a family or friend who you know is in pain or going through a difficult time. Email, call or
Mini-reward – Give yourself a massage – check out youtube for some great 5 minute self-massages - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUNi-lqZz84
Day 6: Reflect on your life goals and objectives
“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.” –Rick Warren
Many of our plans and actions have come to a standstill. This is a great time to evaluate
Mini-task: Set a 30 minute appointment with yourself. Use color pens and your journal. Write your bucket list, text your family and friends for ideas and suggestions. At the end of the day, plan to start your work on 1-2 of your favorite bucket list item.
Mini-reward: Take a 15 minute nap – My favorite sleep nap app - https://pzizz.com/
Day 7: Gratitude – the Key to Joy!
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar
This is the easiest and most powerful of all exercises. If you struggle with this exercise, reach out to me and I will give you a personal 15 minute guided session. Why? Because you have read the article till this point. You are clearly interested in this program! Good for you!
Task: Each time you sit down, write down what you are grateful for and what you do to make it happen. Check out this blog article for more ideas
Celebrate your end-of-the week with some “sinful” eating (ice-cream and chocolate?) or binge-watching. My favorite binge watching channel is hoopla – there are many great Canadian, Australian and British TV series in that free channel from my local public library. Schaumburg District Township Library is one of the top 10 best libraries in USA!
Please send me your comments and suggestions after you try out these ideas.
If you liked this article, check out this blog article -
Start Your Day Right - Simple Routines For A Successful And Happy Life
Here are 40 simple ways for accessing joy on a daily basis
Want reward ideas – check out this blog article 155 Ways to Reward Yourself for Reaching Your Goals
BJ Fogg Ph.D, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything (2019, BJ Fogg Ph.D (Author)
"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."
- Samuel Johnson
One of my friends sent me this lovely quote. It reminded me of the many risks and obstacles we face in life. We often are paralyzed to take the actions to make our lives more fulfilling, energized and joyful. Many of us are scared about the future and the word “change”. If we want to reduce the impact of negative stress in our lives, we have to be aware of how much we tend to take things personally that actually are not personal. We rush through life, meeting deadlines and missing out the fun aspects of our life, our loving relationships and the beauty around us. We literally shape our brain to run in this treadmill of more stress, anxiety and unhappiness.
Our brain is plastic – that means both the function and its structure can be changed quickly and permanently to become positive and joyful. Even a simple act of spending a few minutes with our loved ones, indulging in our favorite art activity or thinking of our last vacation has the ability to energize and relax us. We often wallow in self-pity and self-doubt and don’t fully realize our strengths and our inner resilient nature - having the capacity to bounce back when things go wrong, and ability to enjoy life even when we have pain, stress and challenges.
Science has shown us that these practices can shape our brain and enhance our well-being. Make time for these three important activities on a daily and weekly basis. These practices are as important as healthy eating and hydration in managing stress and building your resilience over time!
Combine these activities. Go to a meditation or yoga class with your best friend. Walking meditation in a local garden or labyrinth may be a beautiful break from your daily stress. Help out with a local 5k race. Most important – don’t just read this article. Share it with a friend or family member and spend time with them! Take Action! Now!
My friend Vicki created the beautiful CORE graphic for us! The acronym CORE serves as a reminder of the components of Resilience:
C – 5 Cs - Compassion, Courage, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking
O – Optimism and Hope
R – Resilience
E - Energy - healthy eating, meditation and physical activity
R J Davidson, B S McEwen, Social influences on neuroplasticity: Stress and interventions to promote well-being Nat Neurosci. Apr 15, 2012; 15(5): 689–695.doi: 10.1038/nn.3093
Steve Paulson, Richard Davidson, Amishi Jha and Jon Kabat-Zinn Becoming conscious: the science of mindfulness, doi: 10.1111/nyas.12203 Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1303 (2013) 87–104
a guided finger meditation
Engage your senses with soothing music, guided imagery and a labyrinth tracing activity which leverages the power of touch. Click the album cover to learn more.