I’ve recently rediscovered the need to acknowledge the joy and lessons in life.
The last 30 days of my life have been interesting and incredibly busy. We welcomed our third grandson a month ago and he is the sweetest thing. His brothers are also sweet, just really big.
In this time, I’ve done very little with my own stuff. I’ve worked up and have had things scheduled every weekend which makes me forget to take care of me. My goal for the next several months is to work at self care. I hope you find the things I’ve learned as amazing as I do.
But first, I want to talk to you about a simple exercise that you can do daily to add some value to your life.
Gratitude journals are all over the place now and everyone is talking about them. Spending time each day listing the items you are grateful for can help lower stress levels and give you a greater sense of calm.
Except when a person doesn’t follow through each night – like me. I struggle, not with the act of listing things I am grateful for, but with actually keeping the journal.
I am grateful for many things in my life. And, the very idea of having to sit down and list the things I am grateful for is not easy for me.
A Different Way
Recently, I discovered a couple of different ways to sit down and take stock of the good things in your life.
The first is to list three things that brought you joy during the day. It doesn’t matter if it is that first morning cup of coffee. If that brought you joy, then you get to list it.
I feel that another of the reasons gratitude journals didn’t work was that they appear to require a separate journal. And I didn’t need to keep track of another journal.
How I made this work for me is in my bullet journal. The daily log is a perfect place to add in your few items that brought you joy. And it doesn’t require a different journal.
The bullet journal is a perfect place to add items like these, including gratitude entries. Part of the process of bullet journaling is reflection. It is taking a few minutes to look over your day and reflect on how things went. And, writing down the things that bring you joy can be part of that reflection.
In the evening, I tend to spend a few minutes reflecting over the day and the transition into the next day.
The only question you need to ask is what brought you joy today and write down at least 3 things that did.
You can always add more and when when you feel like adding more, challenge yourself to 5, 7, or 10 things that bring you joy each day.
I believe that when we find joyful things by looking for them. And we could all use some more joy in our lives.
A second thought
This exercise is closely related to looking for the joys in your life but this time we are looking for lessons learned.
Again, this could be done in a separate journal or in your regular journal. However, this also fits in with your bullet journal due to the reflection process.
The method is similar to the joy exercise – you simply ask yourself what are 3 things that I learned today.
It may be harder to find the lessons in your day but it is something that can help you grow. It can also help in reaching your goals.
So, as you reflect on your day, think about your over all day. Was it good? Was it a down day? What does that tell you? Did you learn that you need to sleep more because you were groggy all day?
Think back on the people you encountered. Each encounter is an opportunity for learning something. A former coworker told me that each experience or encounter we have has something to teach you. It is our job to figure out what that was?
Are you working toward a goal? Were you successful today or not? What do you need to change tomorrow?
The list of questions is endless. Begin with three lessons per day and really reflect on what these lessons are trying to teach you.
My lessons for today
Today, one of the things I learned, or was reminded of, is that people are gracious. I know it seems like our world is getting less kind and there is lots of ugliness out there. But when it comes down to individuals, there is a lot of grace there.
You see, today, I lost my voice. There has been a terrible virus going around my community and somehow I managed to catch it. I’m feeling better but, as usual, things have landed in my throat and my voice is nearly nonexistent.
And I work with people – by talking. My clients were patient and kind about it. We even had a few chuckles. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
And this is also one of the things that brought me joy today too. Amazing how that works.
I hope you try one or both of these exercises. Even if you can only find one thing, write that down. Tomorrow is a new day and you can always try again.
Until next time.
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