This Is Why You Need to Start Your Day With Intent and Purpose

This-is-Why-You-Need-to-Start-Your-Day-with-Intent-and-Purpose

One of my main goals at the start of this year was to begin each day with intent and purpose. I am so glad that I stuck with it; it has allowed me to appreciate every day and helped me focus on what’s important. My year has been full of setbacks, triumphs, accomplished goals, and shattered dreams. Without it all, I wouldn’t have been able to see that I can focus on my purpose every day no matter what is going on.

In order to achieve my main goal of living with purpose, I must focus on being intentional with my time and energy. There are small and simple ways of doing so, and I think everyone could benefit from some of them.

The first thing starts right when you wake up: stay unplugged.

Resist the urge to look at your phone. The emails, texts, and notifications will still be there in an hour. Take a few minutes and set your goals for the day, and make positive mental notes for how you want the day to go. You control your mindset and that affects how the rest of your day will play out. Make it count from the time you first wake.

Second, create a morning routine that works for you.

It’s easy to let ourselves go when we are so often taking care of other people. Setting aside time for myself in the morning has been my key to overcoming this battle. I wake before everyone else does, even when I am exhausted and sleeping in sounds so much better. My mental health needs that time each morning.

I start by feeding my cats and letting my dog outside. That way everyone is content, and I can focus on me. I like the quiet when I first wake. No noise at all and Lord bless the person who tries to talk to me before I have my first sip of coffee, the juice that fuels my soul. It is my breathe of fresh air as soon as I wake. (For you, it may be water, tea, or juice—just find something that you look forward to after getting out of bed!) After I grab my mug, I sit outside and take 30 minutes devoted to something that feeds my soul: my devotional, prayer, reading some of the current book I am working on. I also enjoy listening to the birds, taking deep, deliberate breaths, and stretching. You might even want to do a short yoga flow. Just get your blood circulating. Say your affirmations while you do this, and set the tone for the kind of day you want to have!

Use these simple suggestions to make your day count from the first moment you wake!

 

After your mind is in the right place for the day, switch the tone.

This is what I like to call “Wild and Ready.” I turn on upbeat, fun music. Whatever I may be in the mood for that day. Pop, Christian, Rap, Best of the ’90s… Just make it fun, do a jig, laugh at your dance moves in the mirror! Then commence getting ready while you sing to your heart’s content. And sing, girl! Don’t hold anything back; you are building the stepping stones for your day. Once my mini debut for America’s next big star (home edition) is over and I am ready to walk out the door, I check my agenda for the day, gather my things, and head to the car.

Maximize your drive time.

My time in the car in the mornings is dedicated to personal care. Let’s also call it mental health, personal development, and growing my mind. This is when I tune into my favorite podcasts. My top three favorites are This Grit and Grace Life, The Dr. Zoe Show — Redefining Your Superwoman, and She Thrives (if you find cursing offensive, this one probably isn’t for you). These are just my top picks that resonate with me. Listening to them helps me get out of my head, learn something new, and receive encouragement from an outside source. You may not like any of these, and that is fine. There are so many options; find some you like and tune in. I promise you this will become a great time for self-reflection and mental growth.

Find simple ways to make an impact daily.

Once I get to work, I check my emails and see what I need to tackle. Before I do that, I take a quick five minutes and send a thoughtful, positive message to the first five people who come to mind. You never know whose day you might brighten. If they message back and I don’t have time to respond, I get back to them on my lunch break or the next time I have a quick moment.

Ladies, I think a lot of us get tied up in the go, go, go and forget to find the joy in everything. We can get so much more out of our day when our attitude is properly set. Whether you use my tips, tweak them, or discover your own—find a way to find the sweet moments and create a hopeful, optimistic mood for your day. Your life matters, so make your time count!

 

Article was originally written by Myself for, The Grit and Grace Project Online Magazine

Please Check out their amazing site at thegritandgraceproject.com to read some amazing and inspiring articles for women who are living this Grit and Grace Life!

 

Love and Light,

Ashley

Today I Will

 

img_9467I have spent the past few months wondering. Why? What did I do? How do I fix this? Where did I go wrong? Who am I? What do I do now? The thing is I could dwell on these questions for the rest of my life. And I would get absolutely no where. Today I choose not to question. I choose happiness and promises of a new day. I choose to put self doubt to the side.

Today I choose Psalms 139:14

“I Praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works: my soul knows it very well.”

 

So today I arose to your word and my devotion.

I choose to meditate and pray instead of worry.

I worked out and set my steps in your word and promises.

I fed myself a healthy meal.

I watched the sunrise in your promise for a new day.

 

I will set my sights on you. I will trust the process and allow the pain, hurt and healing that will come with it. Today I will to forgive. Today I will lean on you when I feel weak. I know I make mistakes and fall short. But today I choose to lean on your promise, Lord.

 

Thank you for your blessings even when they are hard to see.

Today I will push forward.

 

Light and Love,

Ashley

 

Making it through the unknown.

Life has so many unknown possibilities. So many different choice we can take and directions we can go. We can wake one day and our entire world can be turned upside down. What we thought was, no longer is. What we dreamed to be is quickly brought to a halt. The thing is somethings are out of our control. Somethings are consequences of our actions and somethings; well those things God brings to be or not to be. I don’t want to get all philosophical with this post, but I do want to share a little of what I am going through.

I am going through a phase of the unknown. A lot is “Up in the air.” There is nothing that I can truly do aside from leave it in someone more powerful than myself hands.

How I am getting through each day. How I am coping with the change and process. That I do have control over.

Here are some things you can also try to use if you to are going through a phase in your life of uncertainty.

  1. Organize and clean your entire house. Leave no pillow unturned and no closet corner ignored. This has been so therapeutic for me. Plus I have purged or donated so many things we don’t use in the process.
  2. Find other ways to use things in your home. I wanted to get my paints back out and start painting. I didn’t have a table or anything that would work for the small area I have so I used the benches from my dining table. I have a lot of random chairs (I have a problem with pillows and chairs), so those chairs are now around my table!
  3. Pick back up hobbies you haven’t done in a longtime or start a new hobby! I got my paints out again. I have been filling spare time with working out, writing, journaling, painting and digging into my bible. Really anything that keeps my mind busy and focusing on the positive.
  4. Surround yourself with those who mean the most to you! My boys are my light and my world. When I am with them they are my main focus and we have so much fun!! Family and true friends are always going to be there when you need them. Take them up on their offer to get dinner, coffee or just sit and talk. It is so good for your soul.
  5. Something else I am super excited about is that I love to read and have some like minded gals that do too, so we are going to start a Book Club. I hope this becomes a safe and fun place for us all to hangout, read and get in much need girl time in the middle of our crazy busy life’s.
  6. I have also decided to reach out to someone to talk to. Someone who doesn’t know me but from a professional stand point and can give me the guidance to get through my current situation in a healthy way. A way so that I can heal and not use substances, the wrong people or fall back into old patterns.

 

Y’all life can be so damn hard. I know we are all out here just trying to do our best and make it through things “One Day at a Time.” I know right now I am thanking sweet baby Jesus on the daily for my Dry Shampoo, Messy bun, Concealer and Coffee! Maybe channeling some of your troubles or energy into an outlet similar to some of these will help you. The main thing to remember is we will make it through this.

We are strong Woman, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters. Friends. With a little support when we need it we will get through whatever phase of life you are currently in. Just know when to ask when you need help. That’s what we are all here for.

 

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou

 

Love and Light,

Ashley

How to Own Your Life

Written Story

 

It’s crazy that life doesn’t always work out the way we think it is going to.  That sometimes it is in that blank sheet staring back at you, that still needs to be written that we find who we really are.

 

The thing is we may not always have control over every situation, but we do have control over how we handle it,  grow from it and if we become stronger from it or cower and lose sight of the lesson. The grace you show in every situation proves your power to prevail. Proves your capability. Life can deal us some shitty hands there is so doubt about that. We all have our struggles and trails. You may be the single mom, the person dealing with loss of a love one, you could have lost your job, you may have a sick child, or spouse or loved one. You may be in debt up to your ears and have no idea how you will ever get caught up. You may not know where you next meal will come from. Or if anyone will ever truly love you. You may have been abandoned in your time of need. You may feel so lost and alone that the thought of going through another day seems impossible.

Maybe more than one of these applies to you or it could be something else completely that you are going through. It isn’t the trial that we go through that matters its how we deal with it. How we get through it. What builds you up during this time is what adds to who you are and makes you a better person.

The hurt and pain may seems like it is too much. I HAVE BEEN THERE! I can bet that every person reading this has been. So excuse me if this next little bit of advice seems insensitive, but I am going to share with you how I get through these times.

First off, I wake up each morning and decide to Put on my damn big girl panties! This day is going to happen regardless of how I decide to handle it. BUT, if I wake up with the mindset that No matter what I am going to conquer this day and make it a productive one. Then it will be!

I start my day out positively. I start my coffee, check my planner, list at least 10 things I am grateful for, read my morning devotional and take a few moments to meditate on the positive. Then I go about my crazy routine. Which starts with waking the kids and hitting the ground running. Because lets face it; they aren’t going to slow down and it is up to me to give them a supportive, loving, attentive role model.

As I take on my day I try to remind myself that when negative situations arise, I can control how this makes me feel and how I go about the rest of my day. Sure I still get upset when cruddy things happen. I even get mad, hurt and discouraged. This is when I decide that it won’t effect the rest of my day. I let myself feels these emotions and then I get back on track. Things that help me are taking a moment to breathe, getting away from the situation for a few minutes and thinking about things that make me happen or that I am looking forward to that are coming up.

Most importantly, make a life you want to live! Find your inner peace and whatever it takes you to get that. Believe in something. It may not be for you, but if it wasn’t for my prayer life, the bible and Jesus there is no telling where I would be. (I am far from perfect) But I know when I need him God is always here to “Help a Sista out.”

Follow your heart! This one is tricky because clearly you need to also follow logic, reason and be rational. Weigh the risk and look at how your decision will effect everyone around you that you love and care about, but your heart will almost always steer you in the right direction.

And never for one second stop loving yourself and being your biggest supporter. Write your story page by page with dignity, love, pride and happiness. Never doubt yourself. Push yourself harder and harder to make your dreams come true. Climb that mountain in front of you with such vest that your obstacles don’t have an option but to get out of your way. Even the biggest obstacles and problems can be overcome if you face them one step at time.

You have to start somewhere and this moment seems like the best time for us to begin!

Strength and Love,

Ashley