happiness is routine

(source: Pinterest) 

Ever feel like your life is a broken record of mindless & predictable routines? I do. Frequently. This year, in an effort to attend to the pursuit of mindfulness I'm being more intentional about ways to infuse happiness mindfully into my days. 

First day's moments: Before reaching for my iPhone to read emails, check Instagram, or whatever my typical groggy morning habits are I try pausing & treating my first morning moments to myself. By my bed I hang a bright pink sticky note that reads "Quiet your mind before starting your day" it's my simple reminder to pause & pay attention to the way I feel, the morning sounds outside my window, the glow of early sunshine & all other features of a fresh new day. I've found it much more peaceful to wake-up this way than immediately rushed by action items & the hustle to get to my first assignment. 

Experiencing everyday tasks: Pat has a philosophy he calls "wash the dishes" meaning that since we are often so hasty to get through our tasks & begin the next one we end up spending our time just going through the motions- rather than focusing on the present mission, like washing the dishes. How often do we really wash the dishes to wash the dishes? I know anytime I wash the dishes all I can think about is clearing out the sink & getting to my next action item. Next time, truly wash the dishes- embrace the aroma of the dish soap, feel the smooth textures of the dishes on your finger tips, create gratitude in each new dish as it become cleansed & ready for another blessed meal to rest upon it. Focus on the senses & the gratitude of the chore rather than just plowing through it. 

Smile: Smiling is an instant mood booster for me. I've made it my commitment to smile in the times when I typically wouldn't- like making the bed, or driving my morning commute. It's even a way to share happiness with others, like when you're on the phone with a customer service representative or in line at the bank- when others see a smile (or even hear it, yes when you smile & talk your voice rings of happiness) it's contagious & spreading happiness is a reciprocated gift to yourself as well.

Embrace nature: Even though I live in a metropolitan area there are so many opportunities to appreciate & be mindful of what's around. When I'm walking somewhere I like to notice the ground below my feet, admire the big fluffy clouds above & the colors of the sky, listen to the chirps of birds or the rustle of tree leaves and fill my lungs with the air all around me. This awareness makes me happy & it also makes the walk through the parking lot or a trip to the dumpster significantly more enjoyable. 

Attitude of gratitude: At the restroom in my office there are no paper towels & only a very old & very slow hand dryer. At first I was so frustrated & impatient with the hand dryer that I finally gave up drying my hands & went back to work with wet paws. One day I finally became fed up with my cold & drippy fingers that I decided to use the opportunity to amp up my current attitude. Now every time I visit the hand dryer I make it a point to think of five specific things I am currently grateful for, it's made my experiences so wonderful that I have even stuck around for a second push of the button to continue counting my blessings. 

Are there mundane tasks that are taking the joy out of life or pushing pause on your day? Do you often feel like you move from task to task without any real joy until you can do something for yourself? Think of one or two moments or activities in your day that you can make joyful to boost happiness & mindfulness. Once you start with simple awareness I promise you will begin to uncover many more opportunities to make happiness your routine. 

Happy dish washing-


  1. Brittany Toll!!! What a beautiful soul you have. :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I am going to start doing some of these things.

    1. Kelly Beth Todd, YOU are my inspiration. Thank you for the kind words, you always know how to brighten my day.

  2. I agree with Kelly Beth above! I’m Kathleen’s mother (MS) and I plan on sending this to her to make sure she reads it as well. It has a message for young and old and I plan on incorporating your ideas in to my life that is not so busy…..but can always use betterment.
    Karen Williams
    ps. I love how you 2005 girls still communicate with each other!

    1. Oh my goodness- first of all I am so humbled that you came to my blog!!! Kathleen is one of my favorite ladies EVER and I just love & adore her to pieces. I think it too is quite neat that we have all stayed so close, I'm so thankful for the long-lasting friendships.

      Thank you for your feedback I greatly appreciate it. So much love to you and Kat!

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