While there are 7 chapters worth of 7 Simple Skills in our Simple Skills™ series, I thought I would simply look at our “every day” schedule and see what SIMPLE choices have helped us create a life that brings that precious balance between marriage, ministry and making money to provide for our family. Using the acrostic SUCCESS, here are 7 SIMPLE HABITS to use each day to lower stress and raise your enjoyment:
Say a Prayer: I begin my day by reviewing the attributes of God, A to Z so I am looking at the mountain mover, not the mountain of responsibilities. (Click here for an excerpted list of God’s traits/names from Becoming a Brave New Woman). I also mentally put on the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18). Prayer has many positive benefits (besides tangible answers or clarity . Prayer can improve health, help you see life from God’s perspective, and it gives a sense of peace and calm so your stress is lower over all and you are able to be in tune with life the way God intended it to be lived. (7 Simple Skills for Every Woman also shares tips on how to experience God’s love for you and how to discern God’s will.)
Unplug from media and plug into God’s Word. I begin the day in the Word of God AND I also layer God’s Word throughout my day in various forms from email and text devotionals, scripture of the day apps, audio Bible and Bible scripture songs. (For devotional ideas, see 20 Ways to Wake Up Your Quiet Time excerpt from Woman of Influence, Devotions for Women on the Go 365-day devotional book, my Bible Art journaling board on Pinterest, or 7 Simple Skills for Every Womanwhich explains How to PLANT and WATER God’s Word in Your Life.)
Chart out Priorities: Before I go to bed, I review my goals and I set a realistic To-Do List for the next day. I mark the top 5 “MUST DO” priorities. To have a productive To-Do list, I recommend setting specific goals. Typically I write my 5-year and 1-year goals each January (using the Best Year Yet goal sheets (for women or for couples). Then I set aside time, usually while I am traveling, to review quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. Each morning I review goals and fine tune my To-Do lists. I start with the quickest-to-accomplish goal first, then tackle the toughest or most time-consuming one second while energy and focus is strongest in the morning. At the end of the day, I try to check off as many easy 5-minute tasks as possible as a reward! (7 Simple Skills for Every Woman has chapters on “Becoming Proactive” and “Becoming Decisive” with simple methods of goal setting and decision making.)
Connect to loved ones: I greet my husband (and/or kids/grandkids) with a hug and cordial hello. While doing research for my 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband book, I discovered over 94% of couples who greet each other in the morning have a great day and a happy marriage! Also, I discovered while writing Red Hot Romance Tips for Women, a hug will lower a person’s stress and raise their confidence level, so hugging your mate and kids will help everyone have a better day. (We also pray while we hug.) In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman there is an entire chapter on how to “Become Relational” by becoming adept at simple personal interpersonal skills.
Exercise and eat healthy: I aim for the recommended 10,000 steps a day, and I alternate weight-bearing exercise, stretching and core, with aerobic. I wear a Jawbone UP to track my wellness journey. I appreciate the equipping for health I gained from First Place 4 Health, so I try live in a balance of body, soul and Spirit. In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman there are tips from women who have lived to be 100! Plus, there are steps to help you create a clear path to health and wellness in the chapter “Becoming Healthy.”
Style for purpose: Each day I select classy, cozy or comfy. I get ready for my day based upon what my major activity is that day. I try to do all things that require me to be dressed up and looking sharp on the same day (video, speaking, meetings, consulting, etc.). For writing I am more productive if I dressed very comfortably and casually. Cozy dress means the day is for fun (with my spouse, or friends, so sporting attire, etc.) By grouping like activities, more can be accomplished in a day. In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman I share MANY more skills, tips and tools to help you be more productive.
Stay positive: I begin the day focused on God, and I try to stay focused on God—and God’s view of life. If I hit an obstacle, I go back to #1 and review God’s traits and claim God’s wisdom and power to overcome the obstacle. I try to surround myself with friends who are positive and point me to hope found in God. I also strive to be grateful and appreciative knowing that people around the world are struggling to eat, find clean water, or are in jail for their beliefs. So, often I will tell myself, “That’s a “first world problem” meaning it is merely an inconvenience as those in the Third World have real issues to deal with. When I hit a tough spot, I try to view it in perspective, pray for those less fortunate, and do something for others daily to keep an “attitude of gratitude.” (In 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman I share many of the obstacles I have faced, and how God gave me the wisdom and courage to push through them—and how God can help you too!) Order 7 Simple Skills for Every Women or/ & 7 Simple Skills for Men
- Pam and Bill Farrel are Co-Directors of www.Love-Wise.com, international speakers, relationship experts who have been happily married 35 years.