10 Little Things...Journaling to Find Joy
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
Guest Blog Post by Heidi Hough.
As I embark on the last couple of months in 2018, I have taken on a challenge to tackle 5, small, daily steps to lead me on this journey of leading my best life. Rather than waiting until January I am working right now on some small baby steps to close 2018 with the same enthusiasm as I start a new year.
Below are my 5 Daily Steps:
Journaling 10 small things that I am grateful for.
Give up a food that is something that I reach for in emotional eating. – I gave up Twizzlers and Fuzzy Peaches after noticing that Hot Dog (my Wheaten Terrier) had swallowed a portion of a sock, and panties, and not been able to digest either – so no mineral oil for this girl’s tummy. If Hot Dog cannot digest cotton with blend of polyester I am guessing digestive tract does not want a layer of mineral oil covered in sugar.
Move every day for 30 minutes. – My favorite part of this experiment.
Get up one hour earlier to use the extra hour for ME – yoga, meditation, pilates – to start the day on a calmer note verses bringing in the day as HURRICANE HEIDI.
Drink at least 2 liters of water per day (this has also helped with my Fitbit footsteps count in the number of trips to the washroom). Double Win!
I have been bouncing around with these five daily goals for the last couple of months. Some days I do well, and others I really need to remind myself that it is okay that I fell off the tracks, and that tomorrow is a new day. Get up. Press the RESET button and start again.
October was a trial month. A gauging tool to note where I need to hone my skills so that I can play full in as the lead actress of my life. I am reaching the age of mid-life. Yes. I just typed “mid-life”. The middle chapter in our lives when we look at the first few chapters and go “holy doodle” I better amp up the pace to finish everything that I set out to do! In October, I learned that one of the most important things that I can do is to keep a promise that I have made to myself. A promise to tackle five goals each day, rain or shine; calm day or day filled with distractions.
Goal number one is probably the most important goal. Every week day morning I journal 10 LITTLE THINGS OF GRATITUDE. On weekends I have been slack. Guess what…..I missed starting my day on a positive note. It turns out I need just as much positivity, and gratitude, on a weekend as I do on a week day…even on a “Funday Sunday”. Otherwise, I fall into the comparison trap that is even magnified with the extra time to see a home improvement show or scroll through all the uber cool things people post on social media. Gratitude seems to fend off the comparison game.
So why write them down?
Can’t you just think about them, or give thanks in a prayer? For sure you can. For me there is also greater power in the written word. I learn by writing things down, and so for me, the exercise of journaling is a great outlet. The added bonus is that if I can write down 10 little things that bring me joy in a good season, I will have 300 little things in just one month to read in my journal on a day when I enter a season of challenge.
My 10 Little Things range from an entry of “I found the sock that Hot Dog had swallowed” to the snow sparkling like a bgillion diamonds on a sunny afternoon walk, and how I felt so fun and young when I wore my blue shoes from my high school grad a decade (ok….decades) ago. It is the little things, the little moments that sustain our joy and bring the greatest meaning to our story.
As I journal “10 Little Things”, I am starting to really appreciate the small things that bring me joy, I am becoming more present to the DANG AWESOME things that surround me on a regular day. It is also helping me identify that I in the past have fallen in to the IF/THEN trap.
I will be happy when …..(x) happens. Alarm Buzzer!!!! Uhhhmmm… Why not be joy filled now rather than putting a smile on hold till (x) happens! Often when said (x) happens we do feel happy for a fleeting second, or week, but when the excitement fades around (x) what then? Do you set another goal and put being happy on the shelf until that goal is attained?
It is the small little things in a regular day that bring joy. Perhaps the quote, “Joy is in the journey” summarizes it best. Joy comes in various forms; and is unique to each of us. Joy is in the PRESENT. It can be from finding a lost sock swallowed by a dog; to the delight in coming home to the smell of dinner in a crock pot; to the inner peace of lying in savasana to close a yoga practice; or taking the time to stop and study the sparkling miracle of a snow flake. Joy is rooted in kindness both to yourself and to others….even in the exchange of a smile with a stranger as you hold the door open.
Each day leaves clues to how to fill up your cup of joy. As I continue my little journey to close out 2018 in joy, I will be journaling 10 little things daily. At New Year’s, I will have 600 reminders of the joy in my life to prepare for both the good, and challenging bumps along the road ahead. Joy is in the journey.
Wishing you a joy filled day with love and kindness. Hugs.
Thank you Heidi Hough for writing this beautiful blog post.
Heidi is a mother of two awesome adulting daughters and two sassy terriers (Zoey & Hot Dog). She is also a dedicated project manager by day, a magnificent yoga teacher by night, and a healthy living enthusiast that inspires so many. You can find Heidi on Instagram at @pink_palace_on_the_prairies.