I hate making New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I never seem to keep them. So, when I needed to teach a class on how to make and keep New Year’s Resolutions, I realized that I had a lot of research to do in a short period of time.
Immediately, I turned to my research assistant (i.e. Google) and began looking for some information. That was when I was reminded of Claire Díaz-Ortiz.
Claire is a writer with quite the resume that includes running a non-profit for an African orphanage and being one of Twitter’s early employees. Using her experiences and her voluminous reading (200 books a year), Claire has published two books that I read and used as the bulk of my material for my resolutions class.
The Better Life presented several small vignettes designed to encourage the reader to improve their life, general through a gradual acceptance of selflessness, introspection, and a search for transcendence. Design Your Day was a more traditional book that aimed to equip the reader in building a better day with topics including goal-setting, morning rituals, etc. I enjoyed both books and found them easy to read, encouraging, and very informative. With them as the basis for my class, I taught for four weeks and received more positive impact on this class than on any of the dozen other classes I’ve taught.
Now, while this is included in the other books, Claire has written a stand-alone ebook, The PRESENT Principle, that is offered for free on her website. In it, Claire describes the “PRESENT” acronym as a way to build a morning ritual. While I haven’t read this book, I have read her summary of this principle in her two mainstream published books. I should also note that this was one of the most popular elements of the class, so I’ll give you an overview really quickly.
P = Pray – Reach out to God, seek wisdom, guidance, strength, etc. Center your mind on Him. Colossians 3:1-2
R = Read – The Bible, a devotion, a good book – stretch your mind, leisurely
E = Express – Write something down: your thoughts, feelings, the catechism, a memory verse, record progress on goals. Put pen to paper.
S = Schedule – Look over what you have to get done, what you’d like to get done, and how it aligns with your goals.
E = Exercise – Stretch, run, cardio – get your body moving. This will pay-off all day long.
N = Nourish – Eat a balanced, light breakfast. Drink one or two glasses of water. Drink some good coffee or tea.
T = Track – This might be the only one you leave till the end of the day as you’ll want to reflect over your day and your progress on your goals, to-do list, etc.
I heartily recommend that you out Claire’s website – ClaireDiazOrtiz.com – and her two books, along with her free ebook. Do yourself a serious favor and invest some time in improving your life. Claire has a lot to say on this topic.