When I started my healthy habits project last January, my intention was to introduce a new daily habit each month that would improve my life. I committed to continue each one for a year to make sure it was really embedded and whether it made a difference to my life.
This year, I’ll review each habit in turn, let you know how it went and whether it’s something I’d recommended. So I’ll start with the gratitude diary. In summary:
- Days habit missed: a handful
- Ease of doing daily: V. easy
- Equipment required: Notebook and a pen
- Is it something I’ll continue? Yes
I’ve really enjoyed this little habit. I keep a pretty notebook next to the bed and each night, before I go to sleep (or before I go out if it’s going to be a late one!), I just jot down a few things which have made me happy that day or have felt like achievements. That could be literally anything, sometimes it’s big achievements like getting a good grade in my latest college assignment (one from yesterday 🙂 ) to seeing a beautiful sunrise. Sometimes, it’s just recognising when something goes better than you expected – a meeting at work for example. Some examples include:
- Getting my habits done
- A funny moment with the girls (or just generally being grateful for my family)
- Feeling the sunshine on my face
- Catching up with friends
- Trying a new recipe
- Finishing a book
Nothing particularly earth shattering (well, there may have been a few of those but I’m not going to share them on here!), but nonetheless, the little things that make a difference.
In terms of what I’ve learnt, there have been a few things. Firstly – it really is the little things that can make the difference. You can look back on a day you’ve felt really good on, and find that there hasn’t been anything massive that’s made you feel good, just a selection of moments.
I’ve also found that it’s possible to find goodness on even the most shitty days of days. Sometimes you crawl into bed feeling like you just want the day to be over, then you realise that actually, quite a few good things happened, or you managed to achieve something in spite of everything else, or that even though you’re cheesed off with work (or the weather, or people who tow caravans outside the hours of 2am – 6am), there is still a lot to be happy about.
Finally, it’s interesting to reflect on what actually makes me happy. I’ve realised that being outdoors or things in nature are massive things – a quick walk, a beautiful moon or being by the sea are all things that regularly crop up. The family is another one – sharing a joke or just reading together. This is good as it means you can build up a little portfolio of things that you can do if you’re feeling a bit down.
Some top tips if you decide to have a go yourself:
- Do it just before bed so that you go to sleep feeling happy thoughts
- Don’t try and write too much or force it
- Leave the book out so you’re less likely to forget (the couple of times I’ve forgotten is when the cleaner has been in and I’ve put in away in a drawer
- If you’re having a bad day, get it out and flick through it to remember what’s good in your life
This is definitely one that I’ll be keeping up, it’s really quick and easy to do and has had a really positive impact on my mental and emotional health!