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Gratitude

I’ve been listening to a series of talks on generosity and gratitude this past month, which is timely since we just celebrated our Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. Another reason the talks are timely? The three VERY large goals I’ve been working toward this year, building a business, building a garage, and making everything else work during the pandemic, is finally moving to fruition. So, yeah, I’ve been doing my Snoopy happy dance for sure!

 

Going The Distance

In going after my goals, this year has felt like a series of competency tests, one after the other, and for that reason this year has been a marathon. Those times where the goal isn’t to finish really quickly, like a sprint, but just working to finish! A good part of the challenge was a feeling that no matter what I did, there seemed to be no movement, and even, at times, it felt as if I had setbacks. Yep, even after taking action that should have given me forward movement. So this year, I’ve been doing a lot of filing in the “you can’t make this stuff up” file. Yeah, it’s funny now but there were times I was glad to have friends who let me vent my frustrations.

Because of all that, I ended up with a new tool for life, and that was the realization of feeling deeply grateful. It not only made me feel better in the moment, but also created an opening for me to figure out “what next”. And a huge part of that was my daily journaling! Listing 3 things I’m grateful for each day meant really focusing on where I have it good, especially on those days where it felt like I only had problems to solve. If you’d like to see that, get my free Journal workbook at the end of this post.

What It Is

I’ve always been optimistic, and, for the most part, I’m satisfied with my life (though I believe a little dissatisfaction is a good thing because it’s one way to see where you want to experience your next adventure in the form of change). Years ago I read somewhere that gratitude isn’t a laundry list of items, a recitation, though that can be a good place to start. It’s really considering what you are very deeply thankful about, or where you are very satisfied.

Maybe because of the curves life handed me this year, and how relentless I had to be to keep things on course, I begin to feel a deeper sense of thankfulness and satisfaction. Sometimes it was coming home in the evening and snuggling in with whatever interested me at the moment. It was also sharing a good meal with good friends, or even just watching trash TV.

Perseverance

I’m going to do a series of blog posts on managing the long periods of challenges, whether they’re seemingly never ending tasks to reach your goal, or whether you’re facing new experiences without a “how-to” app. For those times it’s all about digging in, persevering, and taking that next step even if you feel doubt or uncertainty. Those times aren’t always easy, or fun, but sometimes it’s just what you have to do.

The First Take Away I’m Sharing: Feeling Deep Gratitude As Much As Possible, And Persevering To Push Through.

You’ve Got This!

Bye for now!

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Ready to start journaling? Click to get my free journaling workbook!

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Last year sure created a different lifestyle for us, and very unexpectedly too! While our situation was scary, in many ways I felt so alone, it was enjoyable to go online and see what people were doing to pass time. Puzzle making, knitting, growing container gardens, and probably the most popular-making bread! For me, I sewed more, did adult coloring to play with color combinations, and I started journaling.

Now, this wasn’t my first time at the journal rodeo, in fact I’d tried several times over the last ten years and for whatever reason it didn’t stick with me. Even trying different styles of journaling, such as writing free form or responding to prompt questions like my favorite book, felt off. Purchasing fancy journals, colorful composition books, and bright, colored pens didn’t make a difference-it just didn’t resonate. It was frustrating because I’d heard of the many great benefits of journaling regularly and felt I was missing out.

I’m not sure why journaling came to me last year. Maybe it was the overwhelming feeling of confusion to be without my normal routine, being without the daily contact of my friends, or maybe just finally being ready but this time journaling stuck with me and felt natural. It actually felt amazing! Plus, it gave me a rhythm, a routine and connectedness that went missing last year. Even better, I became more focused, goal oriented, and even stopped procrastinating. Bonus!

 

 

 

Researching the long term benefits reveal a lot of pluses, some obvious and some not so obvious, and here they are:

5 Reasons To Start Journaling

1. Maintaining A Journal Reduces Stress

Information on how stress negatively impacts your physical, mental, and emotional health has been around for awhile. Journaling, along with diet and exercise, is an amazing stress management tool. Studies have shown that journaling even 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a week helps.

2. Journaling Keeps You Cognitively Fit

Journaling boosts memory, comprehension, and increases your working memory capacity. Yes, I’ll take second helpings of that!

3. It Boosts Positive Feelings

This probably plays into the first reason, stress reduction, but people who journal regularly have discovered it helps improve their mood, and they had a greater sense of emotional well-being and joy. Those feelings will attract more positivity into your life, a big plus.

4. Journaling Improves Problem Solving

Continued journaling helps you become more connected with your inner needs and desires. You engage right brain creativity as you write and flexing this “muscle” boosts many things, including problem solving.

5. It’s Fun

Hey, it’s new territory so it could feel awkward at first. Once you get a rhythm going, like anything new, it’ll be a part of your life you look forward to. Just show up at least 3 days a week, even if only one sentence is what you end up with. It’s amazing to go back a week or month later and see what was going on.

The journal system that got me going is easy and has three different segments that can easily be finished in 10 minutes. You can spend more time if you want but it’s not necessary. For me, I think best when writing so it’s all about pen and paper. Studies have shown that writing, particularly cursive, helps boost creativity, improves memory, learning comprehension, and fine motor skills. It’s your thing though so be comfortable. I’ve created a free workbook to get you started! Just download it below.

You’ll have so much fun in the morning with your cup of coffee, or winding down at night capturing everything end of day. Let me know what you think and if you come up with any cool new methods of journaling!

Bye for now!

If you’d like more information plus inspirational images, please follow me!

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Ready to start journaling? Click to get my free journaling workbook!

 

Download Workbook

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