I’m losing count of what week we’re on of being quarantined at our home – anyone else?! However, I do know we just finished WEEK TWO of the #NEXT90CHALLENGE! How are you feeling? I need this as much as you do, friend. Just as much as you’re fighting to keep your habits in check and stay sane, I am too. You’re not alone in this! If you haven’t joined in on the challenge and found community, it’s not too late. Sign up here

Our theme this past week was JOY. Many people think that focusing on joy right now is inappropriate or even unattainable. I couldn’t disagree more. Right now is the time to make up your mind that you get to decide how to view this season. If you pick to see everything through a lens of joy and gratitude, you will see the blessings that come with it. You can still choose joy in the midst of pain, hardships and trauma – and that’s what this week was all about. 

If you let the world choose your narrative, you’re in trouble. But. What if you decided to live out these next six months as your very best? What would that future version say to yourself today? That holds clues to how you should be living today. That version tells me to fight for joy, fight for laughter, fight for family time, fight for those moments of joy because they will root me in the present. We can’t predict the future but we can be present today and even in the hardest of seasons, it’s possible to find joy. You know what it means to find both pain and joy simultaneously? It means you are human

If you’re struggling to find joy in these season, start with these four ways to choose joy right now: 

1. Create a daily gratitude practice 

There’s a reason why this is so important. Look for small moments in the past 24 hours and write them out by hand. Every freakin’ day and you can easily do this practice with a Start Today Journal

2. Make a joy list 

Do you know what fills your cup? Make a list of items that make you super happy and things you know you can always reach for. I even made lists of best moments ever, favorite songs ever, etc. and continue to add to these lists.

3. Schedule joy into every single day 

If you have a list of things that make you happy, then you can plan for them. 

4. Find joyful accountability 

When you’re having a hard moment, have someone to turn to. 

Here’s the thing. We’re not getting our old lives back. We need to stop wishing for things to “get back to how they were” because we’re not emerging from this situation the same. We’ve already been changed. The faster you can come to accept these existing terms, the sooner you will be joyful in what is. It’s ok to grieve what was and what’s being missed, but don’t cling desperately to what was.

Start practicing joy in the present because we only have today. I say practice because it’s not what comes naturally to us. Our bodies are programmed to reach for things that make us feel not great. But once you start to practice what it means to choose joy and see blessings around you, you train your brain to do it automatically. It becomes a habit instead of a forced afterthought.

Speaking of habits, next week during the #NEXT90CHALLENGE, we’re talking all about habits and how to make them and keep them when it’s hard. Lord knows it’s anything but easy during a time like this – it’s going to be a GREAT lesson and week! Join us here if you haven’t already.