How to set the pace for a perfect day in 5 minutes or less

About 2 years ago, I became aware of various mindfulness practices that help me stay grounded in the present. Prior to this, I was constantly revisiting my past and quite fearful of the future. One of the practices that helped me to live in the present is setting aside time each morning to decide how I am going to “show-up” or present myself to the world each day. I’d like to share this practice with you…..

  1. At the start of each day, take a few minutes to sit in silence and decide how you are going to “show up” to this world today.
  2. Write decision, in your own writing, somewhere where you can see it throughout the day.
  3. Align your actions with your declaration.

Let me break this down for you:

Yes, you heard me correctly. You’ve got to decide how you are going to “show up” in this world. You must decide who you are going to be and what you are going to do. Also, this must be decided daily. If you fail to set the pace for your day, other factors, such as life, circumstances, and other people, will dictate the way that your life is experienced. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to leave that up to chance.

There are two ways that life can be lived, proactively or reactively. When you live life from a proactive stance, you are making a choice to step up to the plate and call the shots on how your life is experienced.

On the other hand, a life lived reactively gives the experiences of life up to fate. At times, life will seem grand. However, there is great chance that you will also experience a lot of suckage too. It is a life where you don’t know what to expect or how to respond at any given time. This is a perfect breeding ground for frustration….. I don’t know about you, but I hate being frustrated

When you decide how you are going to “show-up” to the world you are making a declaration to take a stance and live life from that declaration. For example: I frequently decide that I am going to “show up” as “a man who brings joys to others.”  As I make this declaration, I then align all my actions to match it. I become mindful that my goal is to bring joy, so I choose to smile, I choose to laugh, I choose to pay people compliments. My mission throughout the day is to make others smile and enjoy life too. Lately, I’ve been working on being a better husband. My daily declaration has been, “Today I stand before God and all his creation as a man who is willing to love his wife as she needs to be loved.” In making this declaration, I become mindful to love my wife as she needs to be loved (not as how I haphazardly attempt to love her). I know that she values time spent together, so I spend time with her. I know that she likes when I help with the upkeep of the house, so I help her with it. I know that she loves to talk to me, so I listen to her. At the end of the day, my experience with my wife is amazing. She’s happy, I’m happy. However, if I chose to live that day reactively it may involve me sitting on the couch surfing the tube, meanwhile my wife sits in the other room frustrated. She may try to speak to me, but I’m more interested in the show, and by the time we are ready to sleep she may give me the cold shoulder and say something snarky about how my day went, which may frustrate me and cause me to struggle to fall asleep….. With that said, I’m not willing to exchange a fulfilled marriage for the unknown.

But what if I don’t feel like it?

You will never feel your way or think your way into fulfillment. You are not your thoughts, and you are not your feelings. Your thoughts will wander to various places throughout the day. Your feeling may try to lead you on another path. You might decide to “show-up” as “A person who is willing to lead a healthy lifestyle.” Yet, five minutes into your day you start thinking about Krispy-Kreme donuts. Let me remind you……. You are not your thoughts!!!! However, you are your actions….. I believe that is where the power of the pen comes in. When you write down your declaration and review it throughout your day, you remind yourself of what you are committed to being.

Why Daily?

Your goals change daily. Currently I’m working on being a better husband. Last week I was working on showing up as a man who is willing to not be swayed by the opinions of others. I’m also at a place where I have a couple of ongoing declarations that I’m working on, and I add one that is specific to the day that I am living out. You will find what works best for you.

There is no reason for us to live an unfulfilled life. It is my hope and prayer that your declarations will help you to live the life that you desire







Photo credit: Cindee Snider Re via / CC BY-NC


3 power-statements to help you take control of your life

Only you are responsible for the life you live. What are you doing about it?


Hey there friends!

I’d like to share a quick recap of the three power-statements that I shared with you on this video.

  •  I am unwilling to allow my present and past circumstances to become permanent conditions.

You are not obligated to repeat your past. Let this power-statement be more than a declaration. Turn it into a lifestyle. Make your choices match your words and step into newness of life.

  • I am unwilling to allow anything or anyone to keep me from   (fill in the blank)     .

What do you desire out of life? Is it happiness? Fulfillment? Purpose? A career? What ever your dream might be, protect that dream with all that you are, and all that you hope to be. Use this power-statement as a declaration that you have set your goal, and nothing under the sun, will keep you from reaching it.

  • I am unwilling to settle for being anything other than my best.

Make a declaration that you are committed to show up as the very best “version of you” every day, for the rest of your life. There is no need to settle for mediocre when you have the ability to live out loud and be 100% you.

*quick reminder*  It is your responsibility to take control of your future. Nobody else can steer your life in the direction that you desire, but you. Rise to the occasion! Be your own hero today.


John Garay



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Bullying and why the anti-bullying movement frustrates me

I was bullied as a child. This is how I dealt with it. Feel free to share this with others. (Take control of your life)

Thank you for taking the time to view my vlog today. In my video, I mention 4 ways things that you can do to help someone that is being bullied. I have listed them for you below

  1. Empathize

Empathy is the best thing that you can give someone that is being bullied. Empathy is not creating a silver lining. It is not selecting a magical phrase to minimize the pain that the bullying victim is experiencing. Rather, it is making yourself available to connect with the person and letting them know that they are not alone. Renowned author, Dr. Brené Brown, states, “rarely does a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.” (Click on hyperlink to view her lecture on empathy)

  1. Empower

Don’t be scared to teach your loved one how to defend themselves. Ask yourself, “What skill does this person need to defend himself/herself?” Some people can benefit from learning self-defense techniques. Others, can benefit from learning how to verbally defend themselves. Each person is different. Ask them what they need. Don’t have them do anything that they aren’t willing to do.

  1. Encourage

Speak life into those that are hurting. Give a compliment. Give them words of affirmation. Here is a small list of phrases that you can use.

  • I believe in you.
  • You are more powerful than you know.
  • I love you.
  • You are perfect, whole, and complete.
  1. Expose

Expose the perpetrator if the bullying does not stop. Advocating for your child or loved one may require you to call child protective services (CPS) or other agency.  It is common for children to act out when they face challenges that are beyond their control. CPS has behavioral health specialists that can provide an assessment for the bully and his/her family. The results of the assessment will allow them to make a referral to an appropriate agency.  The behaviors of the bully can be addressed through counseling and parent education. It’s also important to consider that the perpetrator may be in an unsafe environment and the child can be moved to safety.


John Garay


Photo credit: andy z via / CC BY-NC-SA

3 ways to start each day with clarity and focus

Hello Friends,

Few things are worse than starting off the day on the wrong foot. Unfortunately, many of our morning habits are rituals that invoke chaos. Today I share with you 3 things that I do to start off my day with clarity and focus.

  1. Start the day with gratitude
  2. Set your intention for the day
  3. Identify a way to contribute to the greater good of the world

It is my hope and prayer that you find these suggestions to be useful.


John Garay

It is my desire to partner with you on your journey

I am available to coach you as you set goals and create a path to reach them

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Photo credit: Zach Dischner via / CC BY

Roaring Lion


it wasn’t long before I realized that a life that is lived without living up to one’s potential is meaningless.

Throughout my childhood, I never thought that I had what it takes to be a leader. I was an awkward mess with absolute-zero-coolness factor. I had the athletic ability and poise of a new-born calf, I had a crazy mane that no amount of hair gel could tame, and I was so poor that I could barely afford to wear the decade-old hand-me-downs given to me by family members. I clearly remember looking in the mirror and hating who I saw. I knew that I was different from my peers in appearance, thought patterns, interests, and socio-economic status. I could have ignored my unhealthy way of thinking, but the words and actions of my peers, class-mates, family members and community members reinforced my self-loathing notions.  Throughout my childhood and even into my early adult years, I allowed others to control me simply because I had no self-worth. Buying into the standards of others I found no value in my natural and creative abilities to connect, advocate, demonstrate compassion towards, educate, and lead others. Nevertheless, it wasn’t long before I realized that a life that is lived without living up to one’s potential is meaningless. Coming to this realization helped me to recognize that it was time for change.

Through a painful process of trial and error I broke the mold of conformity that I was once forced into and chose instead to be the person that my creator designed me to be. Much to my surprise, the areas of my life that I once considered to be areas of weakness turned out to be areas of strength. My attributes that others wanted silenced have now been used to advance my career, increase my education, grow my faith, and most of all…. they have been used to empower others. Today I no longer find myself bound by the expectations of others. Instead, I have decided to unleash my inner lion and announce my decision with a glass-shattering roar. I make no apologies for my decision, I have a clear path laid out in front me, my goals have been set, and I live in anticipation of the day when my goals will be met.

In the blogs to come you will hear more about “my journey”. My desire is that you too will be inspired to unleash your inner lion and become what you were designed to be.

*This was posted on a prior blog of mine, “unleashed lion”, in April  2013


Photo credit: ucumari / / CC BY-NC-ND