I read an interesting self-help article called “Take Charge of Your Life in Just One Hour,” 1 by Anna Rich. It stood out to me because the advice was simple, clear, practical, and putting it into practice actually fits into one hour. Here are my favorite tips (and a few personal adaptations) of what you can do in that one hour. Some points might work for you and others might not, but hopefully, a few things will make sense and help you get your day in order.
One minute: Make your bed
It might seem silly or inconsequential, but once your room looks neater, you’ll feel better already. If you’re a relatively neat person, it helps you feel on top of your day when things are in place. If you’re on the opposite end of the scale, making your bed may help you find your favorite, long-lost slippers or that bank statement you were sure the dog ate.
As the Bible says, “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 2
Fifteen minutes: Eat breakfast
There are a lot of health benefits to eating breakfast, although not everyone is a breakfast person. The main point is being aware of your health, making good choices, and not letting them be made for you by running out of time before you can manage to catch a bite.
King Solomon wisely told his sons, “Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry.” 3
Two minutes: Write a to-do list for the day
Having a to-do list helps you see exactly what you need to do so you can make sure you get the most important things done first. Being able to tick things off your list gives you that fantastic well-deserved feeling of accomplishment and helps ensure you don’t neglect or miss doing things that are timely or that have a deadline.
The author of Hebrews wrote, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” 4
Ten minutes: Read a Bible chapter and pray for someone or some event
Getting your spiritual side geared up is as important as the physical side. Take some time to pray for friends and loved ones that come to mind, as well as for the things you’re working on or your upcoming projects. Did you hear about something tragic in the news? You can take a few minutes to pray for those involved.
There are a lot of great Bible-reading programs that can help you choose a chapter or two to read every day and also help you to get through big sections over time. Other ideas are reading a Psalm or a Proverb each day, or a chapter from some other uplifting book or devotional selection. Referring to the Bereans, who were exemplary in the daily reading of God’s Word, Luke says, “They received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day.” 5
Two minutes: Practice gratitude
There are so many things we take for granted each day—like our eyesight, our health, opportunities to study and work, friends and family, a roof overhead. Taking a few minutes every day to thank God for the things He’s given you helps you to see life from a better perspective. Positivity is a powerful thing; it has hosts of health benefits and can even help you walk through doors of possibility that you may not have attempted if you were focused too much on the negative.
King David ruled out nearly all excuses for not praising the Lord when he said, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” 6
Thirty minutes: Exercise
We are physically inactive for much of modern life: studying, working at a desk, reading, driving or riding in a car or on public transport, sleeping or watching TV, sitting in front of a tablet or a PC. The challenge is to see if we can give ourselves at least 30 minutes to go for a walk or do something active that we enjoy. The Bible refers to your body as “the temple of God.” 7 That means that taking good care of yourself is important.
John said it well: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 8
If you can add these things to your daily routine, you may be surprised at how much better you’ll feel and how much more on top of things you’ll become. I’ve just started, and I love it already.
The most important thing is sticking with it. Anything good that you do, even for a few minutes every day, pays off over time!
What are sixty minutes worth to you?
- Fairlady, April 2013
- 1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV
- Proverbs 19:15 NIV
- Hebrews 6:12 NIV
- Acts 17:11 NIV
- Psalm 150:6
- 1 Corinthians 3:16
- 3 John 1:2 NIV