1. Early Morning Workouts
One of my favorite ways to start each day is with a blood-pumping, sweat pouring workout session. I prefer cardio (running and spin primarily), but also do lifting and yoga to stay balanced. Beginning my day like this makes me feel great because I know I did the hard work of getting out there and taking care of myself physically. Doing this also gives me energy, focus, and sharpness for the things that come my way later in the day. I usually do my longer workouts on Saturday morning, and afterward I treat myself to a delicious hot, foamy latte from my favorite café! (What’s better than a good workout followed by the very best in coffee?!?)
Fresh-brewed with a splash of skim milk or a tall skinny vanilla bean latte … either way, I’ll take it. Coffee is a MUST for me every day. I give myself extra time in the morning just to enjoy my coffee. Coffee invites me to sit and soak a little longer with God and my thoughts, or in a book before the busy day begins. Coffee, for me, is not so much about the caffeine as it is about the opportunity to usher in a quiet and peaceful heart as I move into the day’s activities. And this practice is something I have so come to appreciate over the past couple of years.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a journal. What started as a way for me to write down my own private thoughts has become a place for me to keep not only these, but notes, quotes, scripture, praises and prayers. The blank page serves as a space for me to meet and commune with God in my own creative way; and has become an essential part of my every day, whether I do it in the morning or before I go to bed. I love to see the collection of journals I’ve written in through the years on my bookshelf, and skimming their pages, I am in awe of how far God has brought me in my life. The captured memories serve as a great reminder of who God is and how faithful He is to me.
4. Gratitude Lists
A practice I’ve adopted recently is making lists of things I’m most grateful for on any given day. Sometimes the list includes the simple things, other times it includes the grand things, and there are times where it’s a combination of both. These treasures I capture on paper serve as great reminders of what makes life so sweet and worth getting up for, especially on days when I’m struggling or just not feeling it, and we all have those days. I have found that gratitude for the gifts I am graced with brings joy to my heart and satisfaction to my soul.
I am a person who thrives on having things to look forward to, and that includes traveling. Near or far, I’m always up for planning an adventure – escaping routine and exploring the beauty this world has to offer. I’ve been fortunate to see and visit some pretty amazing places, and I am in the process of planning future vacations with my husband. We have it on our bucket list to hike every US National Park and fully revel in the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Hannah Leigh Gottschalk is an ordinary girl loved by an extraordinary God who does all she can to live life to the fullest and never take one moment for granted. She resides in Pure Michigan with her hubby, Ken, and enjoys her home life in the country and summer weekends on the Great Lakes. Hannah is the author of the eBook, I AM … A Girl’s Search for Jesus and the Discovery of Herself, and invites you to check out her blog, Living the Good Life.