Gratitude & Dance Parties & Spreading Love, Oh My!
Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in the minutiae of everyday life that several hours had passed and you weren't even sure what you'd been doing?
Maybe you've experienced falling down the infamous Googling Rabbit Hole. Or it's possible that you've Social-Media-Stalked your way into a time warp, or Netflix Marathoned to the point of a mini-coma. Or perhaps you've found yourself so deep in concentration while working, studying, or doing household tasks that you've forgotten to eat, drink water, or move your body for several hours.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not bashing a well-deserved Lazy Day now and then with a friend or loved one. But, it's not a great feeling to "lose time" on a regular basis and be totally bewildered as to where it went. I mean - if the present moment is all that truly exists - the goal should be to experience more of it, right?
What if I told you that something as simple as utilizing the alarms on your phone could change how you live your life? What if these alarms could help you to refocus on your priorities, improve your mood, and allow you to spend more time in the present moment? Sounds pretty good, right?
For me, it all started with a promise to myself. I vowed to be more grateful for what and who I had in my life. I had been listening to audiobooks and podcasts touting the power of Gratitude and decided that I wanted IN! And it's ALL RIGHT; the health benefits of expressing gratitude cannot be overstated! I'm talking... boosting your immune system, improving your mental health, and elevating your relationships. Who doesn't want that?!
I started off slowly; I set a few daily alarms on my phone to remind me to stop in my tracks - no matter what I was doing - and say aloud (or to myself) a couple of things or people in my life that I was grateful for. I would even invite those around me to join me in my practice if they were present when the Gratitude Bells chimed.
And it worked so magnificently that it occurred to me... Why stop there? What else do I need more of in my life? (Are you asking yourself the same question?)
So, the next thing I added was "Dance Breaks". Honestly, it was less about dancing and more about moving - but moving to songs that made me happy. Setting a dual intention for any one alarm gives you the freedom to creatively respond to the alarm based on your mood, circumstances, or surroundings.
In fact, each alarm can offer the opportunity to "Choose your own adventure."
If a Dance Alarm goes off during laundry, that's a good opportunity to shake what ya Mama gave ya, and it certainly makes laundry more fun. If you're deep in a work problem and a Dance Alarm starts to play your jam, it may be time to roll out your shoulders, take a quick walk, or even just smile and tap your feet along for a few beats. There's no right or wrong way to do it, so long as it feels good!
So, do you find yourself in need of reminders to take breaks throughout the day to enjoy life?
For me, there is nothing quite as defeating as laying down to go to sleep at night and mentally assessing the Wellness To-Do list that I neglected.
"I wish I had made the time to meditate today." "Did I drink ANY water?"
"I guess I'll start journaling tomorrow."
"How did I only get 4,000 steps today..."
And while I have yet to experience a day where all of my boxes are completely checked, I am certainly a better version of myself - thanks to my Alarm System!
You can find my daily routine (and playlist) below:
Wake Up Alarm
Morning Meditation Alarm
Express Love Alarm
Fitness Goals Alarm
Evening Meditation Alarm
My personal experience was a several-month process of playing around with what worked for me. For instance, I realized that if I wanted to close out my Fitbit or Apple Watch Fitness goals each day, I needed a reminder before it was too late to get the job done. And so my 6:30 PM Dance Alarm was converted to a Fitness Goals alarm. I would also sometimes find myself feeling disconnected during intense spurts of work. And so I traded my 1:30 PM Gratitude Alarm for a Love Alarm, which reminded me to reach out to at least one friend or family member per day that I hadn't had contact with in a while.
And then there is Meditation. Just because I was spending part of every day scripting, recording, or editing meditations didn't mean that I was being loyal to my own practice.
And so, remembering to continually assess how your life is going and how you want your life to be going is an integral part of the process. The key is to play around with it, make it your own, and design it to be enjoyable.
My Top 5 Tips for Waking Up To a Better You:
1. Wake up to a song that brings you instant joy or energy.
When the first thing you hear in the morning is a joyful, or energetic song, you are making a conscious decision to start your day with the intention to experience more of those states. If you intend to have a playful day, choosing a playful song to open your eyes to in the morning is an excellent way to achieve that goal. And even if you don't realize it - lyrics matter - so choose mindfully.
2. Discover what things make your day complete and make it a point to set an alarm for them. It's a funny thing, but we don't always prioritize the things in our life that are truly important to us. Taking the time to discover what your objectives are and then setting alarms to help you attain them is great reminder to start each day with the end in mind.
3. Use the Snooze! If you are mid-conversation or fully entrenched in a task when an alarm goes off, it's totally OK to hit snooze for a bit. On many occasions I had to put my dance party on hold to check out at a store or finish a task that needed my undivided attention. The moment is never lost when this is the case. I actually find that I give it more conscious regard when the alarm makes its second announcement.
4. To avoid Slacking, try Habit Stacking!
I first learned about habit stacking while reading Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. The idea is simple but brilliant. When you are trying to adopt a new practice into your life, you can opt to create an association with a currently established habit. So if you didn't want to set as many alarms, but wanted to accomplish several tasks per day, you could always double up. Ex. If you had goals to both move more and to increase your water intake, maybe you make a note in the alarm title to cap off each dance party with 8 oz. of water.
5. Don't be afraid to Change it Up.
Nothing needs to be set in stone. One amazing side effect of using alarms is that those designated tasks can very easily become second nature after a while. So feel free to adjust, add, remove, and reinvent as desired. It is, after all, your ideal life that you are waking up to.
Big Love, Bright Light, and Purely Positive Vibes, Kris