I started a new practice around my birthday this year. It became apparent to me that I was not living my life in gratitude and taking many things, both big and small, for granted. Something had to give as I have so many things in my life that I am so thankful for. I decided for my birthday, I was going to live this next year in a place of abundance and not scarcity. So I shifted my mindset!
In order to do this, I had to come up with some tools to help me keep it front and center in my life daily. I have been following motivational speaker Rachel Hollis for over a year now and she had given some great practices that she had been doing for years that seemed to really work. One in particular was the Start Today Journal (STJ). The concept is that you write down five things daily that you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big things, it can be something as simple as the amazing HOT cup of coffee you are enjoying while your house is still asleep. I found since starting this practice, I actually look for things throughout the day that I can capture the next morning in my journal. I’ll be outside in my yard and hear my wind-chimes start to chime and I think to myself “wow, I love that sound. Something to capture!”
The other piece the journal captures is writing down 10 dreams every single morning as if they’ve already happened. So for as long as it takes you to make those dreams a reality, you will write them down every single day. Sounds a little crazy right? It’s not! It’s like writing your intentions down first thing in the morning and then it keeps you motivated towards them throughout the day. The goal is that one day they will come true and it is all thanks to your hard work and setting intentions. I’ll be honest, this blog was one of those dreams that I wrote down every single morning until I made it a reality. Writing it down kept me focused and determined to make it happen..
Then the final piece of the journal is to write down a goal you are going to work on today that is going to make one of the 10 dreams come true. So for months I wrote “work on getting my blog live” daily. It kept me laser focused on a much bigger goal that I had to hit. I sat in this moment for a couple of minutes and thought of my day ahead and how I was going to give it the energy it needed, in addition to the rest of my responsibilities. It was hard work, but hey, look, I did it!
In addition to working on my Start Today Journal, I also have a notebook that captures some daily trackers I update every morning. Currently I have three that I work on. They are:
- Daily Habit Tracker: I have eight things that I aim to do every single day. Keeping a tracker helps me keep accountable for habits I want to keep consistent in my life. Each month they can change a little. For example, one month I did no carbs so I tracked out how I did with that.. For this month, these are the things I am tracking:
- Drinking 80 ounces of water a day
- Moving my body every single day for 30 minutes
- Starting my night routine at 9PM
- Getting up at 5AM
- Zero spending (outside of my budget)
- Triggers: If I had a trigger that day that I festered on and let ruin my day I track this.
- Working to get 100 subscribers to my blog email list
- No sweets! It’s part of my challenge for 30 days to give something up.
- Daily Mood Tracker: This might seem silly, but I was constantly feeling like my mood was all over the place. So, I decided to track it and see if there was a pattern I was missing. I created a fun design for each month and then colored it in each day depending on my mood the previous day. I will post some pictures of examples on my social media accounts. I am no artist, but it is fun to think of new designs to do each month. And I love seeing how my month plays out. Did I have a good month? A tough month? Is there something I need to work on? Maybe a recurring trigger?
- Spending log: I am trying REALLY hard not to buy outside of my budget. One of the things I write in my STJ every day is “I am debt free”. So by holding myself accountable each day, I check off if I had a 0 spending outside my budget or if I broke down and bought something. I also make sure to call out what it is I bought as I seem to see a theme with take out at work………… An area to work on for sure!
- Savings: I have a goal to have a certain amount of money in my own savings account. It is not something I have pressure on myself to do quickly, but something I feel I need to have on my own. So I have a designed piece that allows me to see how I am doing when it comes to my savings account. It helps motivate me to continue to make it a priority!
You might wonder what the point is to track these things, but by doing so for the last couple of months, I am able to see progression AND areas where I need to work on myself a little more. I am a strong believer in habits and these techniques help me to stay focused and accountable. If you go to Pinterest and do a search for daily trackers or bullet journal examples, you’ll see all sorts of different options you could track. Do a quick search and then find maybe one that you could start doing daily for 30 days. It’s amazing how quickly you can create a habit, especially as you see the progression in your mood and behaviors that this habit has on you.
By making this a daily practice for myself, it allows me to wake up every morning and set an intention to walk in the direction of my purpose. Remember, motivation is what gets us all started, but habits is what keeps us going.
What new habits will you start today?
To read more on how these daily habits changed my life, check out my blog post on my morning routine.
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