Day 489, Ten Activities to Spice Your Morning Ritual

“Where is the energized, heightened, exhilarated pulse one would expect from such a chosen and capable people?  Why do we not hear more laughter and life?  Where is the vibrant, mad fury and passion of the fully engaged human?  Where are the people burning with charisma and joy and magnetism?  Where is the appreciation for life’s spark?  We must reexamine our attitude toward life.  Our supreme duty must be to rekindle the magic of life.  For this, we now declare:  WE SHALL PRACTICE JOY AND GRATITUDE.”
 
-Brendan Burchard, Motivation Manifesto
 
What to include in your morning ritual is not set in stone.  It takes trial-and-error to get a morning ritual working, and then when the novelty wears off, and it needs to be updated.  Here are some activities currently in my plans.  I plan to re-write my morning ritual monthly.
 

Sunday Evening

Weight

 
 
It is almost too embarrassing to show you this graph.  December and January have gone out-of-control.  Starting now, I intend to reverse this trend.  Instead of evaluating what went wrong, let me put my program in place.  I have Achieve 50 kg.
 
Here is a checklist:
 
  1. My nurse practitioner lowered my thyroid medicine probably too much.  Get it back to a level that works and is not too high.  (I have an appointment to get this done.)
  2. Stay within your calorie budget, right on, if possible.
  3. Make and consume a green drink at least every other day.
  4. Resume intermittent daily fasting and record it.  Fast from 5:30 PM to 8:30 AM.
  5. Keep logging all food and supplements in Cronometer.  Use recipes to streamline data entry.  Update progress reports showing your consistency.
  6. Get off and stay off added sugars.
  7. Keep Google Sheets showing your weight and exercise.  See Achieve 50 kg for links.
  8. Keep checking off your nutrient information in JV Life Tracker, as shown by this sample two-week report.
 
 

Scales

 
 
After the holidays, we may not be celebrating this much.  Many of us are thinking of removing a few pounds, even if we were careful the previous year.  During my experience with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned that even aspiring health coaches sometimes overeat nutritious food.  Balanced quantity and quality of food are necessary.
 

Cronometer

 
Cronometer is a tool to help you with your diet.  With so many nutrients being tracked, it can seem daunting at first.  However, it is the best way I know of to ensure getting complete, balanced nutrition.  For years, I wanted to write an application like Cronometer myself.  When I was first introduced to Cronometer, I knew it was something that would take me more than a lifetime to program myself.  I got excited about it and started using it right away.  That was June 28, 2017.  Since then, I have had to encourage myself to keep up with it, but I am so glad I have done what I have.
 

Excitement

 
This coming year I plan to remove that last three kilograms to 50 kg.  I am food-centric.  I get excited about food.  When the food is cooking, I can hardly wait to eat.  I ask my husband, “Are you excited?  Can you wait nine more minutes?”  He always says yes.  I can tell his excitement does not match mine.  Oh well.  That must be the way I am.  
 
Tonight, my mood and energy are high, close to 100 each.  It must be the excitement of resuming my blog and getting an entry posted earlier today.
 

Time Management

 
On January 1, 2020, I re-installed RescueTime on my desktop.  Right now, I am paging through my first five days.  An explanation of the RescueTime app is in my free ebook Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood!
 
So far this year, I have spent seven hours and 16 minutes on apps related to my blog.  I have spent an additional 18 minutes a day on Cronometer.  At first, Cronometer will probably take more of your time than that, but it gets easier as you streamline your workflow.  Using stored recipes is the key to saving time.  If you make your meal a little differently each time, no problem.  You can explode the recipe and quickly change the individual values that are different.  It can be useful to make numbered recipes for common variations.  Or if you make your dish close enough to the recipe, you can say it is close enough.  Do not waste a lot of time trying to be absolutely accurate.  An estimate will usually do.  Over time, you will get better at making estimates.  Keep a digital kitchen scale handy, though, so you can improve your accuracy and guesses in the future.
 

Monday Morning

 
Last night, I finished off some of my husband’s leftover vegetables after supper.  That blew my 15-hour fast.  I will attempt my intermittent fasting again tonight and tomorrow morning.              
 
On the bright side, I ate healthy food within my calorie budget, so I will celebrate that small win.
 

I. Shower

 
I got a shower this morning and recorded it, another small win.  Natasha Tracy, in her book Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar, wrote about her struggle to take showers and vacuum.  I grapple with those activities also.
 

II. Bible Memorization

 
I am reviewing some key Bible verses I have copied into MindMeister.  When I do this, I sometimes add one or two or even create a new mind map for another set of passages.  Currently, during my morning ritual, I am memorizing Psalm 23.  My friend Jacque encouraged me to do that.  Let me see if I can write it from memory based on the NIV (New International Version) of the Bible.
 
 
Psalm 23
 
The Lord is my shepherd.  I lack nothing.
 
He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside quiet waters.
 
He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
 
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;  your rod and your staff they comfort me.
 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
 
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.      
 
Wow!  Except for punctuation, I have it memorized.  I will have to recite it for Jacque when we get together tomorrow.
 
That makes my day!  If Jacque, at 87 years of age, can memorize chapters of the Bible, I can do it too.
 

III. JV Life Tracker

 
I scored JV Life Tracker last night and got 142 points, which is the most I have earned for a while.  It can also be done in the morning.
 

IV. TMJ

 
My TMJ pain is reduced this morning, probably because I lowered the amount of Risperdal last night to 1.5 mg instead of 2.0 mg.  I have long had my physician’s okay for this.  I had nearly run out of Risperdal and was resorting to some pills left over from a previous dose, not wanting to cut them down.  However, only two days at the higher dose appeared to cause my TMJ pain to increase noticeably.  I am glad it is feeling better now.
 
I also took some butterbur for the pain.
 

V. Meditation

 
This month, I am playing my exercise meditation.  Insight Timer is also a useful repository of meditation recordings.
 

VI. Core Code for Living

 
Last year, I wrote my Core Code for Living.  I added 20 activities, each a reference to one of the 20 keys, to my JV Life Tracker Master Activity List.  I did this to check off daily that I am living by my code.  I have a Core Code filter in JV Life Tracker that selects the items to report.  I am now looking at the monthly reports for November, December, and January.  Interesting.
 
Here is the code:
 
 
Has my life improved since adopting the Core Code?  December was kind of a tough month for me.  However, I had smooth relationships with my neighbors, friends, and spouse.  Christmas and New Year’s were peaceful, joyful holidays.  Maybe my life is improving.  I intend to keep living by my Core Code.  I encourage you, my reader, to adopt a code of your own based on your faith.  Mine is influenced by my Christian beliefs.
 

VII. Eyes

 
After writing two novels about blind people, including Scarlet Night on Amazon, I have given eyes considerable thought.  This morning, I hot packed my eyes with a heated-up washcloth to loosen the Meibomian glands in the eyelids.  I should do that daily, but who does things because they should?  Today, I did it.  Hopefully, it will reduce the discomfort I am having in my eyes.
 
Maybe I will add it to my morning ritual for January.  There.  I did.
 

VIII. Videos

 
My morning ritual is a reminder to watch videos about my new Serif Affinity Designer application.  Wow!  It can do so much.  It reminds me of a childhood toy I had called a Spirograph.  I loved that.  Only it appears that Affinity can do even more.
 
 

IX. Gratitude Practice

 
5-10 things I am grateful for:

  1. my husband’s attention to the estate this morning
  2. sauerkraut–a relatively inexpensive and delicious way to get probiotics
  3. my husband’s dental group, which is customer friendly and ready to take me on too
  4. Serif Affinity Designer, a whale of a program at a mouse of a price
  5. the Bible, a source of wisdom, comfort, and courage (I now know Psalm 23!)
  6. this condo–where it all happens for my husband and me
 
comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
Soon I will be celebrating as this young woman is!
 
 
0-100
comments
mood:
95
I am feeling great now that I am doing my blog again!
energy:
90
I have vitality too.
 

X. Prayer

 
 
PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
I had a joyful morning.  The aim of this journey is to do everything with vibrant joy, including losing weight.
 
Immediately before this, my husband and I enjoyed a couple’s devotional together.  The topic was, “God is not a fault-finder.”  Wow!  If I were to turn my heart to constant-and-never-ending improvement, I could learn from my mistakes, correct my aim, and not let them bother me.
 
I have plans for the coming month and year.  Will you help me create a reality with them?  I especially want to be free of depression.  That will start with valuing myself.  If people pin labels on me or my work, I can realize they are merely labels and therefore do not adequately characterize me or what I do.  Dr. Robert D. Burns said something about this as labeling is a cognitive distortion.
I recited my 10 affirmations a few days ago, saying, “I believe I can do anything.”  My husband commented, “That’s the truth.”  Wow!  I was surprised to get his acclamation.  Lord, help me to make that affirmation real.
 
Lord, accept my petition I mentioned yesterday.  My TMJ is already feeling better with a medication change.  It appears that getting Serif Affinity Designer was a wise choice for me.  Help me to be the artist I know I can be.
 
Bless my readers as they design their own morning rituals and accomplish goals and resolutions they have set for the New Year.  If they want to lose weight, let them find success.  It is an important thing to do, even though some people discourage and make fun of it.  Even netting a gain of two pounds a year can be disastrous over time.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
 
 
 

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