Dear problem, I’m going to conquer you.

This visit to the (free!) ship thrift store connected me to a pendulum clock shaped like an owl that ticks just like the big, fancy clock in the house I grew up in. This one is less fancy, more fun and cost nothing! I was so excited to find it. It looked brand new and would make my cabin feel a little bit more like a home.

I quickly discovered it would be tricky to hang. The pendulum had to be hanging perfectly vertical in order to swing. I’m dealing with magnets and steel walls and couldn’t get the right angle. Ruben got involved and we started working with a combination of sticky tack, magnets, and string to affix this clock to the wall at the perfect level so it would tick!

We tried a few methods, none of them working, and then it came to me: a brilliant idea that might work.

I’m already comfortable in this new year. It doesn’t even feel new anymore. I could use a jolt year-long, not just the first of January.


Ideas are powerful!

That is the power and beauty of ideas. Ideas get things done. Ideas make things possible. We’ve all felt that light bulb buzzing over our heads. When I’m working fruitlessly and coming up with nothing, that light bulb gives me a burst of power to keep going.

Why do we just wait for ideas to pop up? We need to go out and find them! That brilliant feeling of the perfect idea coming to mind can happen more often than fate would allow.

Ideas breed ideas. Average ideas give birth to good ideas give birth to great ideas.

When you’re always looking, you’re more likely to stumble across things.

So when I read about this man’s morning routine with only 3 steps, I was intrigued. I tried it.

Ideal morning routine; Stir your creativity; Great for New Year

I woke up a bit earlier than I normally would, pulled out my appropriately named Be Brilliant journal and started with gratefulness.

Step 1: Gratefulness. That was easy. I can do that. I have blessings pouring out of my ears. (I’ve also tried this method for recording gratefulness.)

Step 2: Free-writing. I’m not good at writing randomly, so this is my least favorite part. But at least it gets me writing and serves as an outlet for a minute or two of whichever emotion comes out first.

Step 3: 10 Ideas. This is the hardest, but I love it. I have not yet succeeded at coming up with all 10. I think my max is 7 or 8 since I started in October. Those 7 or 8 take every ounce of brain power I have. I allow myself to write down anything I think of, no matter how simple.

You can almost feel your brain sweating from the effort. It’s the same sting as holding a stretch for just 10 seconds more, 9, 8… and can’t wait to let go, relax. It’s mental exercise.

It’s hard but worth it!

Imagine how innovative we would be if we stretched our brains consistently?

How often do good ideas slip away because we didn’t write them down?

How often do we convince ourselves our ideas aren’t very good?

How often do we think of something promising, but offer it by saying, “I don’t know if this is a good idea, but…” (Note to self: This is not a winning intro. And yes, I do this all the time.)

My goal is to do this morning routine every day. I’ve already made a part of my daily ritual. It’s really cool to see all the things you think of. Sometimes the ideas are trivial. Other times I think of something really clever. And there are also times when the trivial ideas eventually morph into something helpful.

We are all idea machines. Every single one of us. It’s a gift from God. In fact, I believe it’s a characteristic we share with God. He’s great at original designs. He made us this way and He wants us to use our whole brain.

If you were wondering, I did hang my owl clock successfully with a strange combination of magnets. My idea worked!

Do you have a morning routine for your brain? Most of us have a hygiene routine or a breakfast routine, but what about a routine for you brain?

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I linked this post up at Faith-Filled Fridays!

30 comments on “My Morning Habit For the New Year”

    • Nikki, It’s amazing how writing down those ideas gives you fodder for coming up with solutions later in the day or week. Thank you!

    • I bet this exercise would be beneficial at any time of the day. And for the record, I am not consistent with this habit anymore. A lot of times it’s a miracle to get out of bed and shower!

  1. I do not have a brain routine beyond wake up lol even that takes me a while! It is a great idea, like you said ideas come and go so quickly. I often wake up thinking what a great dream i’ve had then 5 minutes later I have absolutely no idea what it was about. Would be nice to write them down

    • Sometimes I think I should write down my dreams because many of them have been very symbolic and powerful. It’s one of those things I just never get around to!

  2. This is great! I’m not someone who is short of ideas. I actually have too many and can’t get my mind to stop thinking and coming up with more. I do not have a morning routine for my brain, but now I will think of some things to do when I wake up!

    • Monique, it’s funny you say that because when I have been doing this for awhile I find it hard to slow my brain down also. I have to be intentional about letting my mind relax. It can feel like it’s buzzing and full all the time!

    • I love writing down what I’m grateful for too. I’ve done it in all different ways. Right now I really like listing them all in my journal on a designated page.

  3. Well you have a plan so start with that and see what happens. That’s 7 or 8 more ideas then you had before, lol. Maybe each time you try it the ideas come easier. I get some ideas based on what I read as a comment or someone elses post itself.

  4. Getting up early in the morning is the most healthy habit once can inculcate as it increases productivity and creativity of the person! I would have loved to see the picture of your owl clock in this post since you describe it so nicely!

  5. Love this idea! I try to do a “brain dump” on paper before I go to bed. I sleep better that way. I also free write for a little while before I turn in. Some days I craft great prose, other days, not so much. The important thing is to keep your brain active!

    • Doing this at night sounds great! I’d probably come up with a totally different set of ideas if I switched up the time of day haha!

  6. I think one of the worst things about social media and all the videos that attract us is that most of the time we default to watching someone else create instead of actually challenging ourselves to do the creating. While we can certainly get ideas from others, I think we need to do just what you said and challenge our minds every day to stretch on our own first, before we look for other people to help us. thanks!

    • I like the way you frame this! It’s like we need an idea-catcher in the mornings before they’re all diluted!

  7. Very thought provoking. I totally understand what you mean when you asked “how often do good ideas slip away because we didn’t write them down?”… recently I decided to create a blog, and there would be moments where I came up with some really great ideas…but because I forgot to write them down, they just passed away…ugh! Even when you do remember, you doubt and question whether this was the idea you orginally had…for some reason it never has the same impact as when you first had it… (for me at least). Anyway, because of those moments, I decided to create a DIY blog jar, where I write all of my ideas on paper (the moment I receive them), and place them in the jar. Problem solved! Thanks to a “great idea” 🙂

    • Bloggers like us have even more reason to hold on to as many ideas as possible because you really don’t know when you will need it! Thanks for stopping by Kaydeen!

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