Strong Goals During the New Normal That Will Calm You Down

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The events we’re going through right now have the power to shape us forever. None of us will be the same after this. Even if we don’t get sick ourselves, we all know someone who knows someone. Or we know someone who narrowly escaped being sick. So why have new goals at all, you might ask? For one thing, you’ll feel more in control if you have goals.

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First Look at Your Old Goals

Did you have resolutions for New Years that are now out the window? Why not rewrite them, since you’re at home anyway? For instance, one of my New Years goals was to make my own clothes. Hahaha! As if that’ll ever happen now. But instead, I’m making masks for healthcare providers to use. You might need to pivot in a similar way. You might like: How to Make Stretch Goals That Make You Stretch.

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Lowering the Bar Might Help

Some days, getting out of bed, making coffee, and making breakfast might be all that you can handle. Or calling up an elderly neithbor or two. Making that big goal a bit smaller could be just the ticket. Everyone’s expectations need to be lowered right now, since for many even going to the grocery store isn’t happening the same way it used to be.

Be Kind to Everyone, Including Yourself

One of my friends said it best: be sure to vote for Team You. That is, hang out with people who nurture and support you. If people don’t support you, leave their orbit. Maybe try being around them later. So maybe take some of your goals off your list entirely. Try learning to bungee jump next year instead of this year.

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Be Introspective

One thing that’s really good to do right now is to meditate on what you want from your life, your career, and your family. Why not consider writing in a diary, or restarting the diary that you haven’t written in for awhile? You might even want to start a gratitude journal. We’re all getting more alone time, so why not take advantage?

Quick And Easy Ways to Incorporate Thankfulness Every Day

Quick And Easy Ways to Incorporate Thankfulness Every Day

Quick And Easy Ways to Incorporate Thankfulness Every Day

Quick And Easy Ways to Incorporate Thankfulness Every Day

Today is Thanksgiving, and it’s easy to forget to thank people on the other days of the year. Here are a few reminders that have helped me to remember, along with why gratitude is a wonderful practice every day.

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Helps You Remember How You Got Where You Are

Do you remember who showed you how to tie your shoes? Or who showed you how to drive a stick shift, if you’re someone who knows how? How about the person who taught you how to type? Remembering who taught you those valuable lessons might make you get into the WayBack Machine(tm), since they probably happened so long ago. What about more recent lessons? How to make a favorite dish, for instance? Someone had to patiently explain how to grate cheese, mix the noodles, and put everything in the oven. In my case, that was my mom. I learned a lot about cooking from her, and I’ll always be grateful to her. How do you express your gratitude? You might like to read about how to keep a gratitude journal.

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Gratitude Makes You Happy

Do you believe that giving thanks makes you a happier person? I certainly do, and so do the folks at Harvard Medical School. Here’s a quote from their article Giving thanks can make you happier:

“Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.”

Sometimes just acknowledging a little act of kindness can go a long way towards that grateful feeling. Recently, here in Northern California, we’ve seen the horrific natural disaster of the Camp Fire. We’ve also seen so many people go out of their way to help people, and sometimes those people aren’t able to thank anyone. But we can thank people, such as the first responders who were there on the scene (many still are as I write this).

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Shows You That You’re Not Alone

Sometimes when you’re counting your blessings you realize that others have similar problems. Do you have eyes to see with and ears to hear with? I love Louie Schwartzberg’s wonderful TED Talk about gratitude, in which he says to open your heart to the universe. Sometimes you may realize that people are much worse off because they don’t even have a roof over their heads or a safe place to sleep. Even though the air is terrible right now in California, most of us are safe. We can help people who have been through disasters and feel grateful for our own luck at the same time. A gratitude practice doesn’t erase all the negative from your life, but it does show you that you’re not alone.

You can thank the universe for basic things like good health, fresh water to drink, electricity, or technology, such as the internet or .gifs! Because why not?

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Magnify Those Positive Emotions

Do you want to feel happier for longer? Who doesn’t, right? Thanking people makes you feel just that. Notice when you thank someone or feel gratitude for something how good you feel afterwards, and how your mood can change without your doing much of anything.

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How Do You Incorporate Thankfulness?

Do you have a gratitude practice? Have you ever considered having one? Leave me a comment! And thank you!

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

The practice of gratitude has gotten a lot of press lately, and with good reason. Simply put, having a sense of gratitude makes you feel good. And sometimes it seems like there’s too much bad news in the world.

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When my brother was very ill recently, I went to see him. My house was in danger of flooding, and I complained to him that I was afraid of what could happen with the rising river. And he said “I wish I had that problem.” And just like that, I felt very differently, and very grateful to have my health.

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Gratitude and Serenity

Listing the things you’re grateful for gives you a sense of serenity, and reframes some of the not-so-good things, too. And those little every day miracles have a chance to surface, when they might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. If you’d like to read some other thoughts on gratitude, here are a few that I’ve written:

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Extend That Thanksgiving Feeling

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Brussels spouts, pumpkin pie, and time with friends and family? And showing gratitude in whatever way you please? Thanksgiving is definitely a feel-good moment, and so why not extend that feeling year-round?

Simple Things Matter, Too

Here are a few people (and things) that make me happy:

  • Friends. A couple in particular that I feel thankful for this week are fellow bloggers  and Dyane Harwood.
  • Parks. How fabulous is it that you find a park nearly anywhere you go, and unwind a little or a lot?
  • The Garbage Guys. These guys back up all the way down my narrow, road. I don’t know why, but it’s really cool that they show up every week. If someone from the Middle Ages time traveled to 2017, they’d say it was a miracle!
  • Indoor plumbing. And there are lots of ways that indoor plumbing has had an impact on us. Read about it at The Impact of Modern Plumbing.

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Finding the Perfect Notebook

My perfect notebook came from this year’s WordCamp Orange County. The lovely people from Dreamhost were giving them away, and they’re just gorgeous! Mine is smallish and is lined, which is perfect. Your perfect notebook doesn’t need to be made of leather, but you might like a beautiful picture, or maybe something customized, like this Steampunk Leather Journal with Brass Lock and Key // Hardback Artist Sketchbook. Or maybe just a regular ole notebook from the grocery store.

Find a Good Place to Write

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to write at a desk. Unless I’m recording dreams, a desk is the way to go.

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Start Writing

You may want to create regular paragraphs, but to make it even easier, how about creating a list? Lists are simple, and you can try to find ten things daily that you’re thankful for. The wonderful thing about writing is that you never really know where you’ll end up.

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Thank You!

Let me know if you have a gratitude practice, and how you express thanks. I’d be very grateful if you left a comment.

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