Day 2 Be Present: Habits and Rewards

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Being present in our daily lives is the first habit towards more peace of mind. It allows us to feel the joy rather than fear or stew on the “What ifs” and “Why me’s”.

I am a slow learner, but finally it dawned on me at the dentist’s office last year that I am not serving myself when I read People and Us magazines. I used to love to sit and indulge in the latest issues in the waiting room, reading about Meg Ryan’s latest love affair or Martha Stewart’s recommendations for Easter dinner decorations. It felt like a really nice treat! However, as I sat down in the chair, and answered the hygienist’s questions about how I was, what vacations I had taken, what my plans were for the holidays, etc. I would end up feeling really down. And then, she would start cleaning my teeth.

I do not look like Meg Ryan or have Jenifer Aniston’s wardrobe, or her boyfriend in Paris. I did not have Easter plans yet, or a ham bought, or family gathering from all around the country. And my mouth really hurt too.

I was comparing and wishing for a life I don’t have, and am so susceptible to the media’s picture of perfection (except Meg really screwed up her lips, those are far from perfect). Comparing is a challenge for me. It wastes our time and destroys positive energy. We know this, but we still do it…

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”
-Marcus Aurelius

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”
-Shannon Alder

Comparing myself paralyzes me, I couldn’t call my friends for Easter dinner becasue my table didn’t seat 16 like Martha’s’, and I don’t have a 6-tiered egg display. I couldn’t laugh with my kids, I wasn’t kissing a cute man on the Eiffel Tower wearing the perfect outfit.

Affirmation for the day (10 times, 3-5 times)
“I deserve good things in my life, including peace of mind. I am ready and willing to work for peace of mind in MY life”.

What if we attach rewards to new actions we can take to enjoy where we are now?

Goals + Rewards + Consistency = A New Habit

What inexpensive rewards could you enjoy? What system of linked goals and rewards are you capable of adding to your life on a daily basis? Keep it super simple right now, maybe just write down 2 things… Let’s not get overwhelmed on Day 2.

Write down your own little 5-minute jobs and rewards.

These are examples:
Laundry folded daily + Youtube comedy video after = Habit after 21 days

Walk/run dog in dark daily + hot shower or bath after = Habit after 21 days

Cleaned kitchen + cup of fave tea after = Habit after 21 days

Make small part of holiday plans + reward = Habit after 21 days

Dinner with teens at table + candle or singing = Habit after 21 days

Mentally take a picture and visualize how you will feel after the job is done. Imagine the feelings of (small but real!) accomplishment during your reward break. Feel and live and even meditate on that accomplishment feeling. Write down 3 words to describe it.

Go back to the affirmation and write it down on a scrap of paper for your pocket today.

Go live peacefully…


  1. So true, Anne! Once we start comparing ourselves with others either we can never “measure up” or we feel superior in some way. This is dangerous and counterproductive! Like you, I try not to do this, but I don’t always succeed! –Patti

    1. Hi Patti! I always like hearing that others struggle with the same challenges. Just admitting that I struggle with it helps me actually do better. It is our secrets that bind us. After I let them out in the light, they seem to heal.

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