I believe everyone at one point or another longs for MORE JOY in their life. Joy, in my definition isn't a feeling, it's a state of being. Happy is a feeling that usually comes with an experience such as going to a concert or a great movie. Joy is a sense of gratitude for being able to go to the concert or movie. Joy is being present in your life, feeling a sense of peace and purpose. Does that make sense? Life is full of highs and lows and we can't predict or control what is going to happen every minute of every day but, we can control our level of joy. What I quickly discovered was that this doesn't happen overnight and it takes practice.
I didn't really understand this at first. Facing a major transition in my life (empty nest), I realized that I had to figure out how to find joy daily... not happiness, but joy. I had happy moments after the kids were gone but those were fleeting and I was left feeling sad again.
MORNINGS ARE THE START TO CREATING MORE JOY
I realized that how I started my day, completely impacted my level of joy. So I needed to figure out a morning routine that inspired me to experience joy throughout the day. But you can imagine, for 20+ years my morning routine existed of getting kids out the door for school. I had no idea what I needed first thing in the morning to inspire joy.
Being the self help junkie that I am, I researched how to find the best morning routine and what I found was profoundly interesting. According to an article online at www.success.com, we all have a dominant personality trait- Practical, Action, Social or Emotional. Actually knowing your personality type, can help determine your morning routine. Practical types, like me, want a highly structured morning routine. I plan to do the same routine every morning: Meditation, Journal, Motivation and Exercise, but I mix it up by changing up what I read, listen or watch and how I work out to keep it interesting. Action people need variety. If this is you, you may need to walk the dog while you practice gratitude and your workout might be a high intensity, type exercise like running or biking. Social types need a morning routine built around people. If this is you, you might need to call a friend and visit with her on your drive into work, and your workout routine would most definitely be in a group setting such as a workout class. The Emotional type is sensitive and tends to be more introverted, so your morning routine should have a lot of quiet time and introspection. You might spend more time journaling and your workout might be yoga at home.
The key though, with all morning routines is being able to stick to your plan. Everybody has a morning routine plan until life hits you. So it's important to create one you can stick with. You will need to experiment and explore what works for you.
From all my research and personal exploration, I believe there are four constants to your morning routine no matter what personality type you are.
Embrace Life and Love What's Next!
What personality type are YOU and what is one of the four constants you are going to explore first? Share with us and leave a comment below.
Can you imagine how your life might be filled with more joy, if at the end of every day, you wrote down one memory from that day, that made you smile?
I did this for an entire year and I'm here to tell you... it SERIOUSLY WORKS! While on my journey to love what's next, I read that writing one positive thought a day allows your brain to relive the experience, which teaches your brain that the positive behavior matters. In fact, research found that patients suffering from chronic pain or disease who did this for six weeks in a row had dropped their pain medication by 50 percent six months later.
Since I was struggling to find joy in my life, I thought this couldn't hurt to try it. Each day I sat down and thought about my day. Some days were better than others, but I challenged myself to come up with at least one thing that make me smile, one positive thought from my day and write it down. I was surprised to see that even on the worst days, I was still able to think of one, happy, memory that brought me joy. I found that this simple, little, exercise definitely made me far more grateful and joyful. In fact, I started each day thinking, "I want to be sure I create at least one happy memory to write down today." Just thinking this created opportunities for me to bring more joy into my life.
So, instead of writing my one, happy, memory from each day in my journal, I decided it would be more fun if I had a cool way of doing this that would entice me to want to do it every day. This is how the Smile Playback Project was created!
This is how the Smile Playback Project works:
If you are interested in buying all the pieces that make up the Smile Playback Project, you can pre-order through the link below. Orders will ship September 10th.
I encourage you to try this Project. If this seems like a lot, don't commit to doing it every day. Start with once or twice a week. See if you enjoy it and if it brings you more joy. I personally found that if I knew I had to write down something that made me smile every day, I ended up creating a day that I could follow through with my goal. In return for committing to this, I was happier and closer to creating a life I loved!
Click here to order your Smile Playback Project
I cried the entire 16 hour drive home after dropping my youngest off at school his freshman year three years ago. I cried every time I walked past his room and he wasn't in it. I cried every time I thought about not seeing him every day. I cried A LOT the first year he was gone. I couldn't imagine anything hurting more than the last of my three babies leaving home and experiencing the world on his own! Sounds dramatic I know, but I couldn't help how I felt and no one else but a mother, could understand. Don't get me wrong, I was so excited for him. He was ready to take on the world and forge his own path in life, just like his two, older sibling did. I just didn't know what I was going to do next and that was really scary.
So I had to figure out how I was going to start MY NEW LIFE and find joy again without my kids. This is how "Love What's Next" was born. I knew I couldn't be the only one asking myself daily..."what's next?!" Actually, to be completely honest it was more like, "WTF am I going to do now!"
After years of searching, experiencing new things, and countless hours of research, I figured out how to really love where I am in my life. After launching Love What's Next and talking with hundreds of women, I knew my hypothesis was right... I'm not the only one who feels this way!! In fact, it's not just empty nest. It's any transition in life (a divorce, a career change, a move or death of a loved one) that can leave us feeling lost and unsure of what's next.
Your story may not be just like mine and that's okay, we all have our own, unique, story but if you're in a place where you are feeling lost or unsure of what to do next, I can help you. I've been down that long, winding road and I can honestly say that now, I truly have the most profound joy in my life.
I invite you to check out our three projects; the Free Project, the Membership Project and the official Love What's Next Project. One or more of these projects may just be the answer you are looking for to create your new normal and a life you love again.
Nicole Cavey is the Chief Pursuit Officer of Love What's Next. Through her personal journey to uncover what was next for her, she discovered that you can love where you are no matter what stage in life you are in... as long as you know how. Her mission is to show YOU how!