Build a Toolbox to Cultivate Positive Energy

Today I want to talk about how we can cultivate positive energy.

It’s helpful to know what activities and things raise our energy. Then when we are having a meh day we can try them to see if it helps lift us up. It may not always help and it may not always be what we need (sometimes we need to feel our emotions and not brush them aside). But it’s great to have an idea of what might help raise our energy when we want to try it.

Cultivating Positive Energy pin

Get to Know Yourself Better

Something that has been super helpful for me in how I cultivate positive energy is getting to know myself better.

There are various quizzes you can take online if you like that kind of thing (I do!) to help you discover more about your own traits. I know some people aren’t a fan of labels and being pigeon-holed but I’ve always found things like this a great leaping point to understand myself better.

If you do any quizzes I’d recommend following it up with research on your “type” to see if you do feel like it fits you. And then use that knowledge to give yourself tools and help in the areas you want to improve.

Knowing I am an introvert has probably been the biggest game-changer for my energy levels. Now I understand when my battery is running low and that quiet alone time is exactly what I need to help raise my energy again.

Get Ready to Cultivate Positive Energy

If we’re having a meh day and want to try and raise our energy – that often isn’t the best time to work out what we need. What is helpful is already having a file or toolbox you can open up when you need it. So let’s look at how we can do that…

Create an Energy Toolbox

Open up a notes file on your phone or a page in your notebook to record your answers to each of the prompts below. It can become something you revisit when you need to lift your spirits.

  1. Make a list of things that raise your energy. E.g. listen to music, dance, go for a walk, talking to friends, being creative
  2. What one thing can you do every morning to help you cultivate positive energy? E.g. journalling, meditation, hydrate, exercise, stretch, wear something that makes you happy, put on your favourite jewellery/perfume
  3. Make a playlist with songs that make you want to dance and sing. If you prefer podcasts to music – which ones inspire you and motivate you?
  4. Engage your senses… what colours mean happy or high energy to you? Which scents wake up and refresh you? What food/drink revives you?
  5. What’s your perfect break when you get overwhelmed or stressed? Do you like to get outside? Have a nap? Have a drink? Switch to a different activity?

This is a great starting point. If you know your personality traits or have answers to the quizzes you could also screenshot your answers and keep them together to refer back to.

Start creating a file on yourself – what makes you feel good and what helps raise your energy when you need to. And then open it up on those days when you need a boost!

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What’s the number one tool in your energy raising toolkit?

And if you liked this post you may also enjoy 9 Ways to Boost Energy and Get Things Done.

Build a Toolbox to Cultivate Positive Energy Pin with a photo of a person on a beach reaching up to the sun.

My Morning Pages Practice

I’ve recently started my 36th volume of Morning Pages so I think it’s a good time to share more with you about my Morning Pages practice and how I make it work for me.

I’ve been writing Morning Pages for over 5 years now and I first blogged about them here.

My Morning Pages Practice pin featuring a photo of a notebook, pen and cup of coffee.

What are Morning Pages?

Morning Pages are a form of journaling suggested by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way.

This is what Cameron says about them on her website:

“Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”

How I make my Morning Pages practice work for me

  • I use A5 notebooks and aim to write 3 pages each morning before I start my day.
  • I do miss the odd day – especially if I oversleep, have an early appointment or feel unwell.
  • Some days I only write one page and sometimes it’s more than 3 pages. It’s usually 2-3 pages.
  • I used to write whatever came to mind and sometimes still do. But I have also developed something of a structure which I often use to keep the words flowing:
    • I start out writing about how I’m feeling and how I slept.
    • I often give myself a score out of 10 for how I am feeling. Then note down some ideas of what I can do that day to improve my score.
    • Recently I’ve been drawing a card from my Starseed Oracle deck each day. I write down which card I’ve pulled and any thoughts about it.
    • Next I write out my affirmations – I currently have a list of 9.
    • I write about plans for the day, things on my mind and about dreams I’ve had.
  • If I don’t have time to write my pages first thing sometimes I get to them later in the morning. I’ve even written them in the afternoon and evening.
  • It usually takes me around 10-20 minutes depending on how many pages I write, what’s on my mind and if I am interrupted by family members.

Benefits of Morning Pages

  1. My morning pages journals are a great place to vent, express emotion, solve problems, come up with creative ideas and untangle all the random thoughts that get in the way of me getting on with things.
  2. Writing them each day (usually in the morning) gives me that all important time as an introvert to process my thoughts and have time to myself.
  3. They often help me wake up. I am often bleary-eyed as I begin and feel much more awake by the time I am done.
  4. They are a commitment to myself and my self-care. By completing them first thing they often create a momentum for the day to get other things done.
  5. I usually write my morning pages before I pick up my phone or go near a screen. They help me have less screen time. Plus I get my own thoughts out before I am bombarded with the internet and everyone else’s thoughts!

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Have you tried writing morning pages? How did you get on?

I hope my morning pages practice inspires you to give them a go… be sure to let me know how you get on!

My Morning Pages Practice Pin features a desk with stationery items including a journal and pen plus a yellow cup of coffee

3 Ways of Finding Time for Happy Things

Today I want to share three ways of finding time for happy things!

I talk a lot about making time to be happy and doing the things you enjoy. But I can appreciate that sometimes we don’t think we have any spare time and that we are too busy to find the time for fun.

So how can we make room for the things that bring us joy?

I’ve also filmed this as an IGTV video so if you’d prefer to hear me tell you the suggestions hop over there to watch!

Finding Time for Happy Things IGTV Cover Image

Suggestion 1

Firstly – and this is part of a prompt in my Find Your Happy workbook – why not take a look at the things that you don’t enjoy and that don’t light you up.

How can you do LESS of those things? This will free up time for the things you love.

For me, checking my phone and scrolling too often takes up time when I could be doing more happy things! So if I really focus on not doing that (& it takes a lot of reminding and work to remember not to do it some days!) I magically free up some time for things I enjoy.

Another example is I don’t enjoy sorting the recycling so I pay my son pocket money to do it!

Suggestion 2

The next thing to think about… what things do you enjoy that you could pair with things you don’t like so much?

For example – I often watch TV shows I like or YouTube or IGTV videos while I’m folding and hanging up laundry. And I listen to my favourite music or a podcast while I’m tidying and cleaning the kitchen.

This has the double whammy of doing more happy things but also making the less fun things more enjoyable!

Suggestion 3

And one last thing to think about – which things make you happy as well as being important to your health (physical and/or mental)?

I love walking outside in nature. It’s great for getting my steps up and is so important to my mental health. I am usually more productive when I take the time to get outside and walk. So how can I not prioritise time for being outside?

What happy things should you prioritise because they are beneficial to your health?

Finding Time for Happy Things

So that’s 3 things you could look at to try and free up more time for the things that make you happy.

I’d love to know which ones you might try and what happy things you’re trying to make room for! Let me know in the comments below.

If you’re looking for some advice on finding out what makes you happy check out these posts:

3 ways of Finding Time for Happy Things Pin

The Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook

Hello! I want to share more information with you about Find Your Happy (the first Find the Good Everyday product) which is now for sale.

You can purchase the Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook here. It is available as both digital and print editions.

Find Your Happy journalling workbook printed out

What is the Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook

Find Your Happy is a book filled with 21 journalling prompts. Each prompt should take around 10 minutes and has been included to help you think about the things that bring you joy and happiness… and how you can get more of them in your everyday life. 

There’s space for your writing on each page (if you purchase the digital eBook version you could print the prompts out to complete by hand, fill it in on your device or write your notes in a separate notebook). 

You can also choose how to work through the prompts:

  • Do 1 a day for the next 3 weeks
  • Do 1 section (containing 7 prompts) at a time and allow around an hour & a half
  • Dip in and out when you feel inspired

There are some other suggestions in the book too. I do recommend you do them in order as they are designed to build on each other and take you on a journalling journey.

How did the workbook come about?

I’m a long time journaller. I’ve tried many types of journalling over the years and if you’ve been around a while you’ve probably heard me talking about:

Getting my thoughts down on paper is how I deal with life! I make lists, I write down my thoughts and feelings, I weigh up pro’s and con’s of major life decisions, I keep track of what’s happening in my life. 

Journalling helps me in so many different areas! 

But I know not everyone has had the chance to build a journalling habit. Or perhaps you’ve been a journaller in the past and have fallen out of the habit.

I decided to create a workbook for journalling prompts to help people bring more joy into their everyday lives. I’ve purposely set the workbook up so that each prompt can take 10 minutes. If you want to you can spend more time but I can appreciate how hard it can be to find time for a new habit so I’ve kept it short.

I had a lot of fun putting the whole thing together and I am so pleased with how it’s turned out. Of course – it has a rainbow design (because rainbows feature very highly on my happy list!)

Feedback and Reviews

I’ve already received some wonderful comments about the workbook and I want to share them with you…

“I bought and downloaded your workbook, it is amazing! You’ve done a lot of hard work on it. Can’t wait to print it off and start working on it! Thank you.” – Amy

“Find Your Happy is a rainbow of joy in a bit of a cloudy 2020! I loved the collection of prompts, and Katie has clearly thought out the journey the reader goes through when using them. If you’re looking to get into journalling, or need a refresher, Find Your Happy is a must buy.” – Emma 

Is Find Your Happy for me?

  • Are you keen to give journalling a try?
  • Have you journalled in the past and you’re keen to get back into it?
  • Do you feel like you spend a lot of time making the people around you happy and run out of time for the things that bring you joy?
  • Are you keen to make positive changes to your everyday life to bring you more joy and happiness?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes- I really think you might enjoy Find Your Happy!

If it sounds like it’s something you want to try – you can purchase the Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook here.

And please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. The quickest way to reach me is by email using the Contact form or send me a Direct Message on Instagram.

Best wishes for Finding Your Happy!

Daily Journalling for Happiness – three ways

Today I want to share three types of daily journalling for happiness. I currently journal in these three ways every day. Together they help me feel happier, be positive, take care of myself and keep my life together.

So “what are they?” I hear you ask…

Three Types of Daily Journalling for Happiness - pin image

Three Types of Daily Journalling for Happiness

  • Morning Pages
  • Bullet Journalling
  • Gratitude Diary

I’ve written about each of these daily journalling methods before and they all work well as separate activities. But I find when I use all of them they work together to make me feel organised, creative and happy!

So let’s go into a little more detail about each one…

Morning Pages

Morning Pages are a concept from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The idea is to write 3 pages of long-hand stream of conscious journalling as soon as you wake up. This gets all the crap out of your head and frees up space for creativity and inspiration.

I’ve been writing morning pages since late 2015 and they have been so beneficial to me. I’ve written more about Morning Pages and how they are a self-care tool for me here.

I was also recently a guest over at Stationery Magpie sharing why Morning Pages are so important to me as well as a few tips for getting started.

Bullet Journalling

I don’t want to brag but I was doing my own version of Bullet Journalling back before it was cool! You can read my Bullet Journal Story here.

My Bullet Journal is my planner – it’s how I know what I’m supposed to be doing and where I’m supposed to be at any given time. It’s functional and not particularly pretty compared to some of the examples all over the internet. But it works. I am continually adapting it to suit my lifestyle and my needs. It is the glue that holds my life together.

Last year I shared a Bullet Journal set-up and I often share little snippets on my IG account too.

Gratitude Journal

I’ve kept a gratitude journal on and off for many years. Most recently I’ve been keeping one for the last few years consistently.

At the end of each day, before I go to sleep, I think back over the day and come up with (usually) 5 things that I feel gratitude for. The topics and their levels of seriousness (or fluffiness!) can vary greatly. This feels so good…and after a particularly bad day I see it as a personal achievement to find something that I am grateful for. I think that identifying and documenting my gratitude every single day makes me a more positive person.

Click here to read more about the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal as well as tips to start your own.

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So there you go – three types of daily journalling for happiness. Together they can make your life happier and keep you on the right track.

I’d love to know if you use any of these methods? Or if you have a different type of journalling that you do every day?

And if not – why not pick the one that intrigues you the most and give it a go?

Find Your Happy
Find Your Happy Journalling Workbook

If you’re looking for more journalling ideas for happiness please take a look at my Find Your Happy Journalling workbook. It contains twenty one journalling prompts to help you get more happy in your everyday life. And each prompt is designed to take only 10 minutes.

I do these 3 types of journalling every day and it makes me happier - pin image

Prompts for Creating Happy Lists

Hello. Today I want to talk about Creating Happy Lists.

The world is a strange place right now isn’t it? (If you’re reading this much later – I’m writing this post in March 2020 and we are in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic).

Did you know that today is the International Day of Happiness? So let’s try and find some things that make us happy that we can celebrate during these tough times. (You can do these activities at any time!)

I am going to share some prompts with you to help you create your own list. (We are mirroring these prompts today at home.)

Tips and Ideas for Creating Happy Lists pin image

Creating Happy Lists

Brainstorming Happy

First of all – let’s come up with some ideas. I like to do this on lots of post it notes but you can easily type out ideas or jot them down on some paper. Answer the following questions…

What does happiness:

  • LOOK like? (examples – my dog being happy to see me when I get home, a vase of pretty flowers)
  • SOUND like? (examples – listening to my favourite songs, birdsong)
  • FEEL like? (examples – cuddles, sunshine on my face after Winter)

You could also hit all of the five senses and think about TASTE and SMELL as well.

Let’s use that to come up with a list of 20 Happy Things.

Don’t worry about ordering your ideas and even if they seem silly write them down!

If you need some more I have extra prompts here including things like books, TV, seasons, hobbies etc.

Once you’ve got to 20 – feel free to keep going! I originally wrote a list of 100 happy things and then a few years later I wrote another 100! I’ve also been collating as many happy lists as I can find over on Pinterest so pop over for even more ideas (and do let me know if you publish your list somewhere so I can add it to the Pinterest board).

Then display your list. You could type it up in your favourite fonts and colours and print it out/set it as your wallpaper on a screen. Or draw it with doodles and use your favourite art supplies to make it a masterpiece!

Extra Happy Activities
  • Think of the songs that make you happy and that make you want to dance – and put together a playlist together
  • Create a happiness mood board – you can do this the old fashioned way and cut out photos and words to make a collage. Or make a virtual one using a programme like Canva
  • Come up with a list of accessible (i.e. you can do now if you choose) activities that make you happy. And if you’re currently in isolation or social distancing – come up with things you can still do during this time. I’m hoping to share some ideas for this soon.

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This may seem like a fluffy idea when there’s so much happening right now – I get that. But I know that spending some time thinking about happy things rather than constantly refreshing the news app on my phone is helping me. And I hope this helps you too.

Take care.

Creating Happy Lists Pin Image

Feel Better in 5 Book Review

I recently read Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s latest book – Feel Better in 5. And I want to share more about it here because I think it’s a great tool for helping you to find the good everyday.

The Tagline for Feel Better in 5 is “Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life”. It contains 30 plus 5 minute tips to lose weight, improve sleep and move more.

Feel Better in 5 Book Review - showing book cover

What is Feel Better in 5 all about?

Right from the start it’s clear that Dr Rangan accepts that we can’t all spend hours in the gym and train for marathons to get healthy. He is putting forward quick practical steps we can take to improve our health and wellbeing

The premise of this book very much reminds me of a quote by Gretchen Rubin:

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while”.

The book asks you for 5 minutes of your time 3 times a day to work towards improving your health. It’s full of useful suggestions for how to build small and meaningful healthy habits into your daily life. And it’s all about consistency of small daily actions rather than giant, unattainable goals.

Health Snacks are Bite-size Actions

Feel Better in 5 lays out a range of healthy activities we can introduce into our daily life. The activities are called “health snacks” and Dr Rangan recommends you select one from each of the Mind, Body and Heart sections to do every day.

Within the 3 sections there are categories of activities. Each category has multiple benefits to our health and well being. The ‘how to get more…’ and ‘how to get less…’ lists are a genius idea – especially if you’re overwhelmed by the choice of all the different health snacks.

Some examples of the different health snacks are:

  • Spending 5 minutes out in nature (and I love that the book discusses all the amazing benefits of this)
  • Breathing exercises (with clear instructions)
  • A recipe to make a brain nourishing smoothie
  • 5 minute HIIT workouts (with diagrams and instructions)
  • Reaching out to a friend
  • Forgiveness Practice
  • Gratitude Game

Each section also offers case studies and tips for making your new health snacks stick. (Some of the suggestions line up with my own recommendations in my Sticking With It post from a couple of years ago.)

My Take on Feel Better in 5

I was very pleased to see that I already do a few of the activities suggested in the book! And now my aim is to start adding more. It feels motivating to know I can make a difference to my health 5 minutes at a time.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to help you introduce and develop healthy daily habits.

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Last year I shared my thoughts on another book by Dr Chatterjee – The 4 Pillar Plan. Feel Better in 5 is a great follow on from that but each book can also be read independently. Dr Rangan also has a weekly podcast called Feel Better, Live More which I recommend.

Feel Better in 5 Book Review and How It Will Help You Find the Good Everyday pin

For more book related posts and recommendations for books that will help you to find the good everyday check out my Reading Rituals posts.

Making Peace with 2019

I recently mentioned I was keen to be making peace with 2019 (in my Monthly Mantras post) and today I want to write more about that.

2019 felt like a big year. I didn’t give birth, move house, move from one side of the world to the other or lose anyone close to me (each of these fit into the definition of a “big year” for me). And yet it still felt like a lot happened last year. And I feel that needs to be reflected on.

So I’ve been doing some reflection exercises and I thought I’d share some of that with you.

Making Peace with 2019 Self Portrait with sun flare

Reviewing and Reflecting on 2019

I started with a review of the year. Deciding to follow the format suggested by Elise Joy in her email newsletter, I drew out a template in my Bullet Journal for the review back in December but ended up stalled for weeks. I think I had to get into 2020 before I could complete it! I recently finished it by taking it one month at a time.

For each month I went through my Bullet Journal and wrote a quick summary of what I did and what happened each month. Then I noted down how I felt that month. It’s interesting to see how much happened in 2019. And that there were definitely some up’s and down’s throughout the year.

I’ve also been journaling in my Morning Pages. My Morning Pages don’t have any defined structure – I just aim for 3 pages each day when I can. It’s usually whatever is on my mind, reflecting back and planning my days. I have found myself reflecting back on 2019 some days. I find Morning Pages a good way to get things out onto the page.

Other good exercises to help you reflect are:
  • Keeping a gratitude journal and writing down something you are grateful for at the end of each day
  • Writing Happy Lists (things that make you happy so you can bring more happiness into your life!)
  • Thinking about what you want More, Less and the Same of in your life going forward (or what you want to Stop Doing, Start Doing and Continue Doing) – I have an example here
  • Dreaming about your Ideal Day and then working out what small things you can start adding to your current days to work towards the ideal

What Happened in 2019?

So what happened in 2019 that made it feel like such a big year? Here’s just some of the things we did last year…

We:

  • Had some building work done on the house that took a couple of months
  • Tried to rehome a rescue dog but unfortunately she wasn’t able to be around children (we didn’t know that when we took her in)
  • Visited family in Devon and Scotland
  • Visited New Zealand as a family for the first time since we left in 2016
  • Celebrated 10 years of marriage

And I:

  • came up with the idea of Find the Good in 30 Days, created all the content and released it throughout April
  • Learnt to sew and got stuck in with lots of projects
  • Got my Style Analysis
  • Attended writing, blogging and stationery events by myself and got a lot out of them
  • Reached 1000 days of yoga and meditation
  • Had some health stuff to deal with (that I’m still dealing with now)

Amongst all of this we did all the daily life stuff as well relating to school, work, family and home.

Making Peace with 2019

I think that 2019 was a full year for us with lots going on. There was always something happening or preparation and planning was happening for future events. When we travelled it was to visit family and/or friends and it was jam-packed. We didn’t get much down time. And when we did it felt enforced (because we were poorly or exhausted!).

Now that I’ve been able to reflect back on everything I can see that there were highs and lows (as there should be) and that we achieved a lot. It wasn’t all bad. It’s good to look back and find the good!

Looking back on 2019 has helped me work out my themes for 2020 and where I want to focus my time and energy currently.

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I’d love to hear some of your favourite exercises for reflecting and how you’ve been making peace with 2019.

Making Peace with 2019 pinnable image

My 2020 Themes

Today I want to share my 2020 themes.

In the past I’ve set goals. I’ve had guiding words for the year (2016 and 2017, 2018) and last year I picked a different word each month (see the words HERE and HERE). Plus I have my Core Desired Feelings and Personal Values to guide me in my daily and life decisions (sometimes I need a reminder though!). I think it’s safe to say I enjoy collecting words and using them to help me shape my life and make decisions.

This year I do have some goals which all fit within the three 2020 themes I have set this year.

I had 3 themes in 2019 as well – they were Wellness, Writing and Home & Family. They worked well but I wanted to tweak them a little this year to make them more inclusive.

My 2020 Themes Pin with Post-It’s showing words Wellbeing, Creativity and Connection

My 2020 Themes

The three words I have chosen are:

  • Wellness
  • Creativity and
  • Connection.

So what does each word mean to me? And why did I choose it?

Wellness

For years I used to set myself goals to lose weight or reach a certain clothes size. (Spoiler – I never quite reached any of these goals. Many times I came close and yet I still thought I was failing.)
Over the last few years I’ve realised that I want my focus to be on WELLNESS rather than a number on the weighing scales or in a clothes label. This year I want to focus on eating nourishing foods, moving my body in ways that I enjoy and other activities that contribute to my wellbeing. And I want this to be one of my top 3 priorities.

Creativity

I changed last year’s theme of Writing to CREATIVITY. I wanted to include other activities that I enjoy and that allow me to try new things and create.
For example – I learnt how to sew last Autumn and I’ve been enjoying being a beginner and getting lots of practice in. This wouldn’t fit under writing but it fits under creativity.
I have realised I am very much a creator. It fuels me. It inspires me. And it makes me happy. So this year I intend to embrace my creativity – whatever form it comes in!
I usually share what I am creating on Instagram – come over for a peek!

Connection

When I used the term CONNECTION in my Core Desired Feelings I used these words to try and define it: Mindful, Loyal, Engagement, Collaboration and Love. And these are the things I want to focus on this year. I want to stay connected to myself, my family, my friends, nature and the bigger picture.
Connection (or Love) is the thing, for me, that makes life great.
Of the three – this is possibly the most ambiguous theme but I have tried to set some more concrete goals around this to steer me in the direction I want to go.

So what now?

I will be referring to my 2020 themes often. They will form the focus of goals I set both short and long term over the course of the year. I’ve got them noted down in my Bullet Journal and I’ll be trying to check in with them at least monthly to see how they are working to help steer me where I want to go.

Do you have a word for 2020? Or themes? Or goals? I’d love to hear about them. Please do share in the comments.

Choosing Theme Words for the Year Pinnable Image showing someone journaling outside

Choosing Monthly Mantras

Monthly Mantras Post-It’s Pin

Back in July last year I shared a blog post about the Monthly Mantras I’d been choosing in lieu of a Word for the Year.

Today I want to share the words I picked for the remainder of last year and what they meant to me.

If you haven’t picked a word for the year why not choose a monthly mantra to steer you for the next month and see how that goes? You may decide to stick with it for the rest of the year or choose a different one each month depending on what’s going on in your life.

Monthly Mantras – July to December 2019

July – Connection

July was a month of social engagements and networking. I also set up the FTGE Facebook group. We had a family holiday to Scotland and I wanted a reminder to use every opportunity to form connection.

Connection is one of my Core Desired Feelings.

August – Balance

When I was throwing around ideas for August I quickly skipped past Balance – which is one of my Personal Values – as it didn’t feel achievable! But I quickly realised as I threw other words into the ring (adventure, routine, celebration, relaxing) that Balance was exactly what I should be focusing on that month.

August meant it was the Summer Holidays in the UK so my son was home. And he celebrated turning 9. I wanted to get to the end of the Summer break and be able to look back knowing we had fun and spent quality time together but that I also kept other things (the blog, social media, house work, creativity, food & exercise) ticking along as well.

And that’s where balance came in. As a Libra I am intrigued by balance and it’s something I often struggle with. In certain aspects of my life I can be All-or-Nothing…and Balance doesn’t get a look in.

I wanted to be mindful of balance. I wanted to remind myself that:

  • days spent at home can be just as much fun as days out
  • this introvert needs to seek out quiet time amongst the noise
  • I can enjoy an ice-cream AND the homegrown lettuce
  • we can do things on a whim and not have it all planned out.
September – Fresh

September makes me think of Fresh Starts. I used to love pencil-case shopping for back to school (& still use it as an excuse to look for new stationery)! When I thought of Fresh it led me to:

  • Start,
  • Ideas,
  • Food and
  • Air
  • plus Freshen Up.

In September I wanted to freshen up my routines so that I was putting more time and effort into my writing. I also wanted to make the most of the sunshine and summer vibes and get outside and eat lots of fresh salad and fruit while it was still available.

October – Magical

For October I chose MAGICAL for my monthly mantra. I’ve always found Autumn to be magical plus it’s my birthday month and there’s Halloween right at the end so it felt like a good choice! We also returned to New Zealand for a visit in October and I knew that I wanted that trip to be magical. I was ready to look for magic in daily life.

Magical is one of my Core Desired Feelings.

November – Adapt

I didn’t choose November’s word until a little bit into the month. We returned from our New Zealand trip on the 9th of the month full of jet-lag and feeling discombobulated. Adapt seemed to be the right fit. I wanted to get back into the right time-zone, guide us all back into regular daily life and get back into the swing of things. I was also adapting to the change of seasons and light levels as Autumn took hold. Plus I had some recent changes to my health that I needed to adapt to.

December – Peace

I chose this word in retrospect right at the end of the year. It took longer to adapt then I’d expected and December snuck up on me. I ended up needing to relax and rest and let things go. I made a conscious decision for less stress, rushing and busy-ness. And most of all I needed to make peace with the year and everything that had happened (I’ll be honest and say that in February 2020 I’m still working on that! And hope to share more soon).

Peace is one of my Core Desired Feelings.

Did Choosing Monthly Mantras Work for Me?

It’s interesting to look back at the words I chose over the course of the year.

5 of the words chosen (Nourishment, Spark, Connection, Magical and Peace) are my 5 Core Desired Feelings and I think this has helped me realise that those words are still very important to me. Two of the words (Love and Balance) are Personal Values of mine.

Towards the end of the year I felt less connected to this project. I was late picking the words each month but I did still continue. And I think there was value in selecting words midway through the month and even in retrospect. I’m glad I did it. I enjoyed having a different theme each month and I’d recommend giving it a go – particularly if choosing one word for the whole year is daunting.

Choosing Monthly Mantras BuJo Pin Image

Forward into 2020

In 2020 I haven’t chosen a single word for the year and I’m not currently choosing a monthly mantra. Instead I have some themes for the year and I am setting goals relating to the themes. I’ll be sharing more about this with you very soon.

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Do you have a theme word this year or this month? If so do let me know. I love seeing what other people choose.