Let’s talk about gratitude. A big idea and an important one.
Feeling gratitude triggers a state of mind that exudes peace and wellbeing. From this place of gratitude things just seem to flow a bit easier. Life seems a bit lighter…even if we are in the midst of difficult times.
Take time every day to focus on the things you are grateful for, tangible and intangible. Ideally being grateful would be a constant companion in your day, but sometimes life doesn’t lend itself to the ideal.
At the very least, take a few minutes each day to write down several things you’re grateful for…or simply contemplate them during a few minutes of quiet if you prefer.
Consider the things that you rarely stop to notice, that you typically just take for granted.
Consider the people in your life – both significant and passing – people who give your life meaning and bring joy. Sometimes I am just grateful for a pleasant cashier…
Consider experiences that you have had – both positive and challenging – that have affected your life in a positive way or perhaps have taught you lessons.
Consider the fundamental things that you would have difficultly living without, the big things that make your life livable, comfortable, that allow you to function.
Consider the things that you enjoy, that brighten your life in some way – fun, passion, hobbies, vacations, indulgences, pleasures, spiritual pursuits.
There are so many things in life to be grateful for…It shouldn’t take long to come up with a few each day. Gratitude brightens your mood, shifts your focus, lowers your stress level and puts you back in touch with your life. (Feel free to tweet that
Some days I am grateful to just have woken up to another day and still be breathing…but then I remember that I have a home and food and heat and people who love me and music and books and a good cup of coffee and…I am grateful.
Do you have a gratitude practice of some kind?
What if someone told you that you could change the quality of your life just by making one small change each week. Would you do it? I mean who doesn’t want to have a better quality life – live better, work smarter, be happier and all that goes along with that.
Well, this year, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, along with hopefully many of my “reader friends,” (yes, that’s you.) We’re kicking off a yearlong series of weekly mini-missions, (we’re all busy after-all,) broken down into manageable chunks – smarter choices, actions, steps we can take improve the quality of our lives one week at a time. Practical. Do-able. (If you’re thinking you’re life is already pretty good, I challenge you to raise the bar!)
Here’s the thing: I bet quite a few of us know what we need/want to do to have the lives we envision. We’ve heard the experts, read the tips, seen the studies, bought the books even, but we already have so much going on…and there’s just so much information and advice out there. It’s just too much…too much to take on.
The more we learn about goal achievement and change, the more we discover that our greatest odds of success are achieved when we make small incremental changes in our lives and build, build, build.
The problem is that for many of us that path to growth, (personal or professional,) seems too slow. I don’t know about you, but I can be very impatient, I want change NOW. But, that said, I think you and I are both smart enough to recognize that it’s wiser to use the strategy that works…even if it takes longer, than to find ourselves in the same place week after week, year after year…because significant change takes too much time and energy.
Let’s bite the bullet and get it done…week by week, bit by bit, we can make those small changes that are standing in the path of a Better Life…a Better You…and a Better Me.
Over the course of this year we’ll tackle things like – Health and Wellness( Fitness, Energy, Stress,) Money Management,( Earning, Saving, Financial Stewardship,) Developing the Potential of Your Mind,(Attitude, Shifting your Mindset, Expanding your Knowledge and Skills,) Cultivating more Positive and Meaningful Relationships, (Deeper Connections, Better Communication, Expanding your Social and Professional Networks,) Organization and Time Utilization (Focus, Organization, Action, Planning, Being Productive, Follow-thru,) Fulfilling Worklife, ( Success, Rewarding Career, Balance,) Responsible Living (Environment, Community, Contribution,) and Life Juice, (Joy, Happiness, Passion, Creativity, Fun, Gratitude, Meaning and Purpose.)
You don’t have to tackle them all of course. Pick and choose…take what you need…try what you like, but as with anything in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it. (I’ll be doing it right along with you and I can’t wait to compare notes…)
*Speaking of notes…Got ideas, problem areas or requests for what you’d like to see in upcoming weekly missions, feel free to drop me a line or post on our Facebook page. (Just joining us…Find all of the Better Life Mini-Missions here…)
Now, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite authors, Danielle LaPorte…
Life’s Too Short, Let’s Do This
There’s a reason this appears on nearly every list of goals, resolutions, things to do, habits…because it’s the foundation of everything else we do in life…and most of us are still doing a terrible job of it.
It’s not just about getting more sleep (we’ve heard that before,) it’s about knowing the best sleep solution for us personally. The problem may very well be that we don’t really know how much sleep we need, or what sleep pattern works best for us, let alone how to get it.
This week take the time and effort to figure it out. Don’t make any other changes. Just experiment with how much sleep works best – make it a priority just for this week. The good news…not everyone needs the often-recommended 8 hours, many do just fine on less, and some actually need more. Moreover, it might not even be the amount of sleep; it might just be the pattern or timing.
Tactics to Try:
Go to bed 30 minutes early – you’d be surprised at what a difference it can make.
Squeeze in a 20-minute nap during lunch.
Shift your sleep pattern – For example, instead of going to bed at 11:30 and getting up at 6, try going to bed at 10:30 and getting up at 5:00. You might be able to get more done in the early AM anyway.
Trouble falling asleep? Try some wind down tactics – do some yoga, stretching, meditate, read a boring book, whatever calms your mind.
You know the drill…avoid caffeine, alcohol, news, electronics, and work close to bedtime…
There are many over the counter sleep aids that might help – natural and pharmaceutical. This may be a temporary solution, especially if you’re going thru a stressful time.
If you’re truly suffering from insomnia or chronic poor quality sleep, this is the time to make an appointment to see your doctor. Prescription sleep aids should be a last resort…but that said…you have to sleep. And a sleep study may uncover an underlying issue.
Sleep really does affect everything from attitude to weight to productivity to brain function.
We are just now discovering that sleep deprivation actually shortens our life span!
Just experiment. You may actually not need to change your sleep habits as much as you think.
This will not be easy for me…and it may not be so easy for you. My days are filled and I imagine yours are as well…and when I do get down time, I really want to decompress and read (my favored leisure activity,) but in all honesty, I need the sleep more.
So let’s give a try…you and me…
What are your sleep issues? Obstacles? Do you know how much sleep you need? Can you remember a time when you felt well rested?
Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!
(Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…)
Some things are relevant year after year…
Say Thank You – Thank you is a gift to you and to others…
10 Ways to Make Office Meetings Productive - Improve the productivity of office meetings by implementing some guidelines.
The Highest Form of Thankfulness - The highest form of thankfulness comes from helping others, even in simple ways.
As that yearly turky day approaches, it’s a good time to think about what it really means beyond the day with football, turkey and pies…
Why do we really need a holiday to remind us to be thankful?
Because without it we too easily slip into the complacency of taking life’s treasures for granted and complaining about petty inconveniences.
I’m not a huge Thanksgiving connoisseur; vegetarian, don’t watch football, hate cleaning up the kitchen and so on, but what I do like is that it gives us a chance to slow down for just a minute and think about those things little things that together combine to make a life worth living, a business worth growing.
Quickly, off the top of your head list 10 things you are happy to have around you; that you would hate to do without.
My 10 things I’m grateful for right now:
Good health – Though I have my aches and pains like everyone else on the other side of 40, I am alive and fully functional.
Family – A husband who is not deployed this year, a mother and sibling who are close by, children I adore and a new grandson who I absolutely cherish.
Good friends – Steady, wise old ones and wonderfully witty new ones.
A house over my head and food on the table – In this economy…enough said.
Technology that allows me to play “Words” with my friends and family in different cities and see photos and videos of my grandson in the palm of my hand.
A good book…or 10 or 20,000. Words have power – humor, knowledge, comfort and inspiration.
Online shopping – For a busy mom, it is a lifesaver!
Music – Whether working, relaxing, dancing or even exercising, music soothes and energizes at the same time.
Laughter – Smile and brighten someone’s day; laugh and the world laughs with you.
A really good movie – Having recently been disappointed by some of the not-so-well-done productions churned out by the movie industry, I am ever so grateful for the wonderful ones that make me laugh or cry or get angry, especially a masterful work that can do all three.
What’s on your list?
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