How do you plan to start the new decade?

Why not kick it off with a bang? After all, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” –  Neale Donald Walch.

Life outside your comfort zone won’t require you to jump out of a plane, but it will require you to go against the grain of the glorification of busy!

Are you up for a challenge?

I challenge you to do two things in 2020 that will require you to step outside your comfort zone.  Ready for the challenge?

I challenge you to…
  1. Start and end your day with gratitude
  2. Destress daily

Make these two simple tasks part of your morning routine.

At the beginning of 2019, I knew I needed to make some changes and in retrospect, I am so glad that I didn’t put it off! Last year was quite eventful and fulfilling.

Starting my day with gratitude and consciously taking the time every day to destress has helped me to accomplish more than I ever thought possible.

The funny thing is that I honestly can’t remember what it feels like to live in my comfort zone.

 NEW FUN CHALLENGES I took on in 2019 ways:
  • I Started an adult ballet class & I’m over 40 (I won’t tell my exact age).
  • I went back to school to finish my doctorate in Christian Counseling Psychology after putting it aside for 15 years! (I just finished writing the rough draft of my dissertation on Tuesday – over 150 pages).
  • I presented the benefits of aromatherapy for mental health at the 2019 Community of Wellness Symposium.
  • I volunteer, educate and support local PTSD Veterans with aromatherapy.
  • I am homeschooling my first high school child, OMG!

While all my endeavors in 2019 were full of purpose and meaning, I had to be intentional about prioritizing time to destress and incorporate self-care daily. I also started and ended my days with gratitude because it put me in the right mindset to tackle what I needed to do each day. People were depending on me and I didn’t want to let them down. I also wanted to enjoy what I was doing on a daily basis.

But gratitude and stress management are more than any common challenges. Research shows gratitude can support mental and physical health.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

In the morning before you get out of bed, say three things you are grateful for and repeat at night right before bed. I like to use the Young Living Essential Oil Gratitude blend. In the evening I  use E.O. blends that help with sleep when I do my gratitude including: Roman Chamomile, Lavender, and Patchouli.

Negative Effects Of Stress

Stress can cause the brain to shrink!  I can  also:

  • compromise the immune system
  • increase symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • cause digestive issues
  • It can also increase the risk of developing chronic disease

So it makes sense to kick stress to the curb! One way I destress is by deep breathing two-three times a day for 10 minutes. I like to use Young Living Stress Away or AromaEase essential oil to help me destress. My clients LOVE these blends and they are simple to use for effective results.

Practicing gratitude and stress management has helped me keep my mind and body well. I’m excited to report no sickness in 2019 and pray for the same in 2020.

Prayer, a predominately plant-based whole-food diet, Young Living essential oils, exercise, and incorporating FUN into my daily routine have been the best decisions I made in 2019 to help keep myself healthy.  I have more of myself to pour out into my six kiddos, husband, clients, our homeschool, charity, and to effectively wear all the different hats I don in a given day.

When I fill my pitcher up, I am able to pour out into others.

Is your pitcher full or are you running into 2020 on empty?

So what do you want 2020 to look like for you? Are you ready to LIVE? You have a decision to make. Are you up for the challenge?

Connect with me here or visit my website for accountability coaching, stress management, mindset and motivation, aromatherapy care, and other effective ways I can help support your mental and physical health as you take the challenge to LIVE outside your comfort zone.


Additional Reading about Managing Stress


Letticia Callies

Letticia Callies

Dr. Letticia Callies (a.k.a. Dr. Joy) is on a mission to spread joy around the world. She helps people who are stuck or overwhelmed by helping them get the results they need to live out their joyful purpose. She uses a combination of evidence-based strategies to help you bounce back when you fall, empower and encourage you in your faith, improve your overall wellness, and help you discover more time to do what you love. Her joyful demeanor and compassionate communication help motivate her clients to make positive changes that simply become second nature.

Dr. Callies is the wife of her best friend for over 20 years; she is a mom to four boys and two girls. She is the founder of JOYFull Inspirations, LLC, an author, homeschool educator, worship dancer, and joy-lettering journalist. She enjoys spending time with her family, sampling tea, leading joy-handlettering Bible studies, and creating healthy recipes in the kitchen.