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  • Writer's pictureAnn Christensen


When I was a kid, I lived on a peach ranch. Every summer I graded peaches in the forest. (That’s what I called the orchard. It’s fanciful thinking like this that got me through my childhood.) I journeyed into the forest each day to help my dad. It was a family affair. We started at the break of day, at sunrise, at that terrible time of the day for any teenager—first thing in the morning. Sunrise in the summer in California is 5:30. We were in the field by 6:00.

My dad had a lovely way of waking me up. He would softly call into my room, “Time to wake up, Ann. Just put your feet on the floor. That’s all you have to do.”

Groan and grumble! However, putting my feet on the floor seemed like a reasonable thing to do. I could do that. Surely, I could lift the covers a bit and place those piggies on the hardwood floor. My mind couldn’t think beyond putting my feet on the floor, but I could do that. That’s all it took! Once I started, once my feet were on the floor, my body became upright, the blood rushed to my extremities and my head. I took the one long inhale that triggered the “wake up” nerve and I was ready to begin the day.

All I had to do was put my feet on the floor.

So all you have to do with any task is to figure out the one thing you have to do that signals to your brain and body that it’s time to do it.

It’s time to begin your day.

It’s time to start that task.

• Get your car keys and gym bag and place them by the door to start your exercise routine.

• Step outside and gather your trowel to begin working in the yard.

• Sit in front of the computer to begin writing your next book. All you have to do is sit in front of the computer. You will find you hand moving to the "on" switch. Once you hear the "bing!" start-up sound, you can't help but begin your task.

How do you being the day and start your a routine task?

Tell me what you do to inspire yourself to begin your day, or the first step in doing the next task on your list.

How do you maintain a regular schedule of beginning the day with energy, movement and (dare I say it) JOY?!


Ann Christensen writes the Mental Health Toolkit series for Sleepy Phoenix. This is an excerpt from her next book, scheduled for Spring 2020 release:

“Goldilocks and the 3 Energies: Manage your mood swings for the Just Right life”

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