A Twist on the Gratitude Journal

I had an idea based on the idea of acting “as if” when you are trying to reach a goal, have more self-confidence, land the job and so on.  A gratitude journal is usually what you are thankful for at that moment.  Good job, healthy kids, enough money to pay the bills and you get the idea.  It’s a great idea because it gets your mind off the negatives in your life and places it square on the good.  Our minds are a very powerful tool.  Just shifting one thought process can make a huge difference in your life and outlook.

I’ve read all sorts of self-help, motivational and biographies of successful people over the years.  It started when my first husband went into sales and he was given Vincent Norman Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking”. I read the book but I don’t think my then husband did because we were barely getting by on what he was making.   Some of these books were helpful and some were not.  Some may have been more helpful if I had put their advice to work.  But I was watching a documentary and it talked about writing a gratitude journal daily but using the pretense that you had already achieved your goals.  I was skeptical but since I am a hoarder of journals and cool notebooks, I dug one out and started the process in mid December.

At first it seems a little insane to be writing things like “I am grateful and thankful for the fact that I am a best-selling author who has published dozens of books.”  Or “I am grateful and thankful that I am in the best physical shape of my life and I am no longer limited by my weight or size.”  The gratitudes have changed and evolved over the past few months though I will admit, I’m not great at doing it every day, but I write in it most days.  The sky is the limit when you write these gratitudes based on the instructions.  So if you want to have a lot of money, you write someting like “I am grateful and thankful for the five million dollars I have invested that I am living comfortably on now.”  Or whatever strikes your fancy.

The documentary gave some new age reason for the journal that it puts this positive energy out into the universe and brings your dreams to you but I really think what it does is removes the roadblocks from your mind.  If you don’t believe you can write and publish books deep down, then you will find ways to make that a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you don’t believe you can be a millionaire, you won’t ever be one.  It’s not that you don’t have to work hard toward your dreams and goals because you will, I doubt your dreams magically appears one day.  An agent isn’t going to show up on my doorstep saying I heard you were writing a book and I want to be your agent!  I actually have to write the book, edit it over and over and submit it.  I have to do the work.  I have to overcome the obstacles.  I have to persist.

One thing that is very important when you do this exercise is to really listen to your heart and yourself.  If you find it hard to keep writing something over and over again even though you thought it was something you truly wanted, listen to that pause.  At first I thought I was just annoyed with the process of writing essentially the same thing over and over but when I really looked at why I wasn’t wanting to write it, I ended up revising the goal.  Which I thought was a very interesting twist and a way to really fine tune your goals and dreams so you are wasting time reaching for something you think you want, or you think you should want but deep down it isn’t your heart’s true desire.

Don’t limit yourself either.  If you want something that seems completely out of reach, journal it anyway.  The sky is the limit!  You can find stories all the time about people who have achieved the impossible.  The common thread of these stories is that they believed it to be possible and they never gave up, even in the worst situations.

So grab yourself a notebook and start living your dreams, even if it is on paper first!  Believe!

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The Oddball Things I’m Thankful for this Year…

Family, friends, health and good job get all the limelight this time of year but what about those oddball things you find yourself grateful for.  Such as:

1. When I get to work early enough that no one is in my cube farm area.  The quiet is serene.

2. When they mix my salted caramel hot chocolate just right at Starbucks.  Nothing worse than weak hot chocolate.

3. Having our Thanksgiving early so I get to enjoy these days off relatively relative and drama free, just like now as I write this.  Not that I don’t love my family, I do.

4. When the copier at work doesn’t jam when I have to print a big set of documents once a month.

5.  When someone else empties the dishwasher.

6. When I actually sleep in.  This is rare.

7. A nap in the afternoon (see #6 – I never sleep anymore).

8. Curling up on the couch with my iPad and reading endless free magazines through our public library’s online system.

9.  Living in the country.  The views are amazing from my own windows, there is never anyone but the dog looking back at me through them (it’s okay little buddy, I’ll let you back in) and the quiet helps us all sleep better.

10. That most of my closest girlfriends are much like me.  We have a distinct dislike of stupid people, we aren’t a fan of baby/bridal showers, we aren’t exceptionally girly but yet we keep our feminine charm.  We prefer wine, alcohol and books to people.  Love you guys (you know who you are)!

11. For my crazy mixed up heritage.  German, Irish, English and a bit of Shawnee Indian.  Stubborn, passionate with a fiery temper that is tempered by my more refined blood though I still have a wild streak a mile wide.  I like that about myself.  I seem all quiet and shy but really I am a hella lot of fun at times.

12. For all my challenges and struggles in life.  I won’t bore you by listing them but I prefer instead of feeling sorry for myself to remember it’s what made me who I am today.  I found I am incredibly strong at times, the times I need to be.  I am grateful that I have that inside of me.

13.  For solitary moments in nature.  The moment I step into the woods on a trail where I never see a soul. Some people hate being alone but I find these moments some of my favorite.  My mind can wander, I can stop and take as many pictures as I want and sit and put notes in my notebook.

14. Having Mondays off.  I am fortunate that I am 32-hour full time

employee.  My company should realize they are too because I took a job the former woman had to work 45-50 hours and streamlined it to fit into my work schedule.  I save them thousands each year by being uber efficient.  Mondays are great days to be home, to go grocery shopping, to hike or bike.  No one is around.  No crowds.

15. That I never know what will come out of my kids’ mouths.  Things I hear are “Old ladies are so my spirit animal”  and “Yes, I like to touch my own butt, I have a nice butt.”  Never a dull moment with them. They are my favorite girls to hang out with.

I could keep going on but I want to keep it short and sweet.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday no matter how you celebrate.  I’m grateful for everyone who reads my blog, it amazes me that my ramblings on interests people.  Now to start dragging up the Christmas decorations.  Onward!