Saturday, October 5, 2013

Embrace the Simple Act of Gratitude {Day 5}

Today I wanted to share how embracing the simple act of gratitude can set the tone for your entire day.  Simple living is really about making mindful decisions.  It means letting go of the complicated and focusing on what matters most.

Yesterday we talked about how routines can simplify our schedule by keeping things running smoothly and, as an example, I listed several elements that I include in my daily morning routine.  One of those elements includes writing in a gratitude journal.

Ever had those times when you just wished you could go back to bed and begin all over again? Getting started on the right foot is so important and focusing on thankfulness is the key.  Keeping a gratitude journal could be the easy "add" to get things moving in the right direction.

Keeping a Gratitude Journal...

Keeping a Gratitude Journal is quite simple...each morning I make a list of 10 things for which I'm thankful.  It can be something as small as a great parking space to a biggy like healing. The depth of content really doesn't matter. The important thing is to begin noticing all of the good in your life, because we all have it. I know sometimes it feels like there isn't much to be thankful for, but oh, what a misconception (;

By training our eyes to look for the light in life, we begin to see more of it. We all know that focal points are important in design, but they also matter in life. That center of attraction pulls everything together. If you're focused on blessings, then you'll see more blessings. If you're tuned in to lack and what you don't have, then that's exactly what you'll see.

When I first started keeping a gratitude journal many moons ago, it felt a little odd and sometimes I kept writing the same things over and over again. Then one day I decided to look for new blessings during the day so I would have something different to write about in my journal the following morning...Seek and ye shall find (; 

When we open our hearts to being thankful, we begin to catch sight of the good that is sometimes hidden in the everyday. We begin to notice the small gestures made by others. We begin to witness the touches of grace that were so woefully neglected before. It's easy to spot the irritating, aggravating and annoying and it doesn't require much spiritual fortitude to express our disdain for these things once discovered. 

People love to complain. Why? Because it doesn't require anything of us. It's easy. But when we're surrounded by the uncomfortable things of life and choose to be thankful anyway, that requires a part of the soul that digs deep. By excavating and using our thankful muscles, it trains our spirit to keep the lacks away and we naturally begin to see our days in a blessed way.

So, if your days seem to be filled with more dark than light, try starting a gratitude journal.  This simple act of thankfulness will center your days and keep you focused on what truly matters.

Today's Challenge...

For today's challenge I'd like for you to begin keeping a gratitude journal and incorporating this into your morning routine.  We want to get your day moving in a direction of being blessed and joyful and you can't help but be joyful when you're looking at 10 blessings each day (;

          1) Grab you favorite journal (or print out the free goodies we have for you 
               below) and begin writing down 10 things for which you're thankful.

          2) Make sure to include this in your morning routine.

          3) Give it time to become a habit - if you're not used to seeing all the good 
               around you, it might take some time.  Begin to notice the little things...a 
               call from a friend offering encouragement, a hug from your child, snuggles
               with a pet, finding a coupon for the last day of a sale, helping a neighbor, etc.

          4) Review your gratitude journal at the end of the day.  It's the perfect boost 
               to send your thoughts in a positive direction as you drift off to sleep. 

Tools for the Journey...

I've included some printable Gratitude Journal Cards to make sure you had the tools to get startedThere are two sheets.  You can download the first one HERE, which includes a cover with 3 journal cards and the second sheet HERE, which has 4 journal cards. 

 photo GratitudeJournalCards.jpg

I've left space at the top of each card to punch holes.  Cut the cards apart, punch holes, insert metal hinge rings and you have an instant booklet that can grow with you.  Print more cards and add to your booklet for an endless supply of gratitude (;

Come back tomorrow for Day 6 of our 31 Days of Simple Living series as we begin to tackle the distraction of clutter.

Join Our Pinterest Group Board to Share Your Progress...

I've created a group board specifically for the 31 Days of Simple Living series. Each day I'll be pinning our posts along with other pins that relate to the daily challenge.

If you'd like to pin your progress or helpful posts related to the daily focus, email me and I'll be happy to add you to the group. The neat thing about this new board is that it can provide a continual supply of encouragement even after the 31 Days is over.

Don't miss a single post by subscribing to our RSS Feed or enter your email below to automatically receive posts in your inbox. You can also share your progress or questions below in the comments section and feel free to join us on Facebook and #31SimpleDays on Twitter.

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Ÿ Intro              Ÿ Day 6             Ÿ Day 12           Ÿ Day 17           Ÿ Day 22           Ÿ Day 27
Ÿ Day 1             Ÿ Day 7             Ÿ Day 13           Ÿ Day 18           Ÿ Day 23           Ÿ Day 28
Ÿ Day 2             Ÿ Day 8             Ÿ Day 14           Ÿ Day 19           Ÿ Day 24           Ÿ Day 29
Ÿ Day 3             Ÿ Day 9             Ÿ Day 15           Ÿ Day 20           Ÿ Day 25           Ÿ Day 30
Ÿ Day 4             Ÿ Day 10           Ÿ Day 16           Ÿ Day 21           Ÿ Day 26           Ÿ Day 31
Ÿ Day 5             Ÿ Day 11           Ÿ Day 18           Ÿ Day 1             Ÿ Day 22            Ÿ Day33

In Gratitude,

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