How to Make a Habit of Being Grateful in Everyday Life

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #23

They will be grateful that you cared enough to make it.

I feel like being grateful does not come quickly. I feel like you have to learn a few things to appreciate what being grateful is like. I only learned the true meaning of this word a few years ago when I was battling one of my life’s most significant storms, and my gratitude for what I had was what was holding me together. Before my struggle, I was pretty carefree and did not take the time to recognize the things that were in my life that I was lucky to have. I wish that I would have learned this lesson way before I had hit rock bottom, but there is always a time and place for lessons especially those that involve life. Here are some techniques that I have learned to be grateful and keep gratitude in my daily life so that I don’t take what I have for granted.

1. Commit to Being Grateful

When you commit, you are taking the time to take part in the activity, and it will hold you accountable to finish. Taking the time to write down what you are grateful for will help you to stop and think about these things in your life. Taking the time to stop, write it down, and look at these things gives you time to focus and appreciate them for what they are. Writing what you are grateful for is also putting your priorities in perspective and if you are feeling down about what is happening at this point in your life pull out your list to give you a gratitude reminder.
When I journal I sit and try to focus on one thing that I am grateful for in my life. I can be thankful for anything whether it is being in good health or sunshine whatever it is I take the time to write down how it makes me feel and why I am grateful for this.

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Lots of people love to journal. I consider my blog a journal and love to write about all my life lesson’s here.
Many times keeping a journal can help you achieve goals that you would like to accomplish in your life. Writing a recorded document will also keep your memories in a unique spot, and you can always reminisce. Writing is also an excellent way to relieve stress. Putting your feelings on paper is an excellent way to get whatever is inside out in a healthy manner. If you are looking to start a journal for recording your gratitude this Minimalism Journal from Amazon is very affordable and come in a variety of nice bright colors.

 

 

3. Slow Down to Acknowledge What it is You Grateful For.

Life is fast-paced, and it is time that you slow down and focus on the things that make you grateful. Slowing down lets you enjoy life’s little blessings. Taking each day at a time lets us become more aware and appreciative of the things we have encountered. I genuinely think that slowing things down makes us more aware of those around us and we then began to be better toward one another. There is nothing better for the soul than the genuine feeling of gratitude, and we want to go out in the world and do better. I experienced this a 14 years ago. I lived the majority of my life not knowing how to be grateful and taking life for granted up until I had my oldest son. Parker was born a month early, and I will say he did not come into this world easily. I was experiencing severe hypertension, and unfortunately, we had the earlier delivery. Even with an early birth, I was not worried my doctor told me these things happen and it will be fine. That was until I had delivered him. I held him for maybe a minute, and they rushed him off without any explanation. It wasn’t until the next morning that I found out our son was barely breathing and had caught a staph infection that was causing his lungs to backfire on him. We immediately flew flight for life to a Children’s Hospital where we lived for over a month, and the first year was filled with ER visits and another flight for life after getting RSV. That first year of Parker’s experience taught me a lot about life’s little blessings and that I should enjoy and appreciate every moment of every day. I woke up that day and realized that there was more to life than what I initially thought and this baby boy showed me a way to never take anything for granted. I am proud to say that after his first year of life Parker is now 14 and is a perfectly healthy teenager. If anything has given me the tools to be grateful, it has been my kids. They teach me the most, and I am genuinely thankful for them.

 

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I have compiled a list of 30 things to write about for the things to be grateful for that you can write about in your journal one for each day. I suggest if you can to write on each subject 30 minutes a day that way it gives you an adequate time to slow down and appreciate each one. I challenge you to take a 30-day Gratitude Challenge and slow down a little to focus on the things that you may not typically recognize. I can attest to learning the lesson of being grateful and how it can make your life seem better than you realize. Enjoy this challenge and let me know how it worked for you.

30-Day Gratitude Writing Challenge
1. Good Health
2. Your Family
3. Your pets
4. Your friends
5. Where you live
6. The Weather
7. A hobby you enjoy
8. Your neighbors
9. Your Job
10. Your values
11. You knowledge
12. What you have eaten today
13. Where you sleep
14. The ability to do what you want
15. Your Freedom
16. Your Life Experiences
17. Your Failures
18. Your necessities such as water and electricity
19. What you have learned from others
20. The Holidays
21. The stars at night
22. Your favorite place
23. Your favorite childhood memory
24. The weekend
25. Nature
26. Your Talents
27. For the little things
28. Your body
29. Your abilities
30. The challenges you face

7 Ways to Embrace Self-Dignity

Love who you are

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #12

Treat yourself with the same dignity and respect you give others.

I look in the mirror and what do I see? The question that I asked myself seven years ago and the answers were not very pleasing. I have always battled with this concept and beat myself up over it many times. Can I genuinely look at myself and say yes, I am worth it? Most of my life this would end up in an instant, no you are not, and to me, that is the saddest part. I have only actually embraced my self-dignity a few years ago when I decided to take control and win the war that I battled with myself for so many years. I can honestly say today that I am worth every minute of every day.

What is self-dignity? To have self-dignity one must have self-respect and a sense of being worthwhile. Mastering self-respect can be a hard task to grasp and takes a lot of work if you are struggling with not having feelings of self-worth. Here are seven ways to help you gain a sense of self-dignity.

1. Have Encouragement
Having a way to encourage yourself is a great way to help you gain self-respect. Surround yourself with positivity and good influences in your life. Give yourself a chance to grow and never give up on how you want to feel about yourself. There were days that I lost my encouragement and on those days I would listen to positive music. One of my favorite musicians is Matisyahu, and his message always helped me get through my worst days. Find a source that gives you the hope to keep going on in your journey.

2. Perfection is Not Happiness
Perfection is not crucial to happiness. Not being perfect is one lesson I had to take to heart when I was finding my self-dignity. I always thought I had to be perfect and that mistakes were weaknesses. What I didn’t understand is that this was a distorted way to think and that with errors comes growth and growth is essential in finding one’s self-dignity. I was so focused on being perfect that I let my self-worth go down the drain because I was always beating myself up over nothing. When I let go of the perfection problem I noticed that I was happier and that I wasn’t as anxious about things. When you make a mistake in life take time to reflect on this mistake and move on because you will grow from this reflection.

3. It is Ok to Say No
Not being able to say no can be hard for someone who struggles with self-worth. Many times I considered myself a people pleaser and would agree even if that is not what I wanted to have happened. I feel it was more of a fear of not being accepted by those around me. I starved for acceptance because I did not recognize myself. When I started to say what I wanted to say and do what I wanted to do I gained a sense of power. I had control over what I thought was right. Being able to say no and be comfortable also gave me freedom from always being told what people would just automatically expect from me. It is ok to not go with the flow that’s part of being an individual.
Also, remember that it is ok to say no to someone who wants to bring you down. There are people out there that merely might wish to see you fail. Rember that this is not your problem and you do not have to accept their treatment. Stand up for yourself and be strong. Embrace who you are and love what makes you different from others.

4. Have a Plan
Just like setting goals having a plan for life gives you the motivation to work on things you want to change. Plan on knowing how to handle certain situations and people around you that might affect how you view yourself. If you are prepared, it will be easier for you to deal with these situations in life. Not everyone and everything will be on your side, and that is ok as long as you know how to handle these types.

5. Do Something
Do something fun and make the day great. Many times if I have a bummer day I just solely go for a walk to clear my thoughts and breathe. Read a good book or listen to pleasant music. Anything to boost the mood you are battling is better than just sitting there feeling bad about yourself. Enjoy life and remember that you are worth the time take and check with yourself. Invest in a hobby that makes you happy. Nothing is better than using your energy and creativity on something that heals you.

6. Choose You
Choosing you is not selfish. I had a hard time with this one when I became a mother. I had this desire to sacrifice myself and my world for my kids. I still do this, and every once in a while I need to take a step back. How can you help anyone when you are not helping yourself. Everyone needs time to reflect and grow and not choosing yourself holds you back from doing this. When I need time, I take time, and when I am done, I am a better mother, wife, and person for taking the time. Many times when dealing with not feeling worthy you feel as if you should not love yourself and this is not the case. Take the time to help yourself gain the respect you deserve.

7. Exercise
Getting up and moving can naturally boost your mood. Not only can this be positive to your mind it can be positive on your physical aspect as well. Exercise gets the body and minds active. Physical activity can get the endorphins going, and it can also help you in times of stress. I have friends that run merely because it is a form of therapy for them. Exercise can help you focus on goals and challenge you in ways you never thought possible. Challenging yourself can boost confidence and give you a sense of accomplishment.

How much are you worth? Take the time to understand and appreciate the things you do. Remember not to let negative people and actions get in the way of enjoying who you are. Surround yourself with positive people and energy. Know that you are not perfect and it is ok to be who you are. Being able to be strong will help you see your dignity.

 

 

 

 

 

Get What You Want With Goals

Believe to Achieve

 

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #11

Two things to aim for in life to get what you want and to enjoy it.

Wouldn’t the world be a fantastic place if we all could just get what we want in our lives? Too bad we all couldn’t just have a magic genie that could grant all our wishes. How can we still have reality and get the things we want in our lives? The answer lies in goals. Having goals gives us a vision and a purpose to achieve what we want. Goals are the closest genie we will get in life, and it’s time we embraced it. Here are some ways to crush your goals and create the life you want.

1. Believe and you will achieve
Many times most of us want to do great things, but we hold ourselves back from getting what we want. Holding ourselves back can be an array of reasons. We may not have the self-confidence that we feel we need to get to where we need to be. There is also a great sense of fear when it comes to challenging ourselves and trying new things. To be able to beat this curse learn to be a high achiever. Instead of thinking I will work at this start thinking I will do this. Change the way you think, and believe you will achieve.

2. Challenge Yourself
Like I mentioned above don’t hold yourself back. If we don’t try how will you ever know? Creating challenges for your goals can be fun. I am a fitness queen and love to work out. Exercise was not always my thing. I had to start from the beginning and work to where I am now. When I started, I was weak not mention my body was pretty sick. It has taken me three years to get to where I am now. Every time I would work out it was a challenge for me, and I had the mindset that I was going to crush each challenge. Some of these challenges scared me and other tasks I thought I would never be able to accomplish. Through hard work, discipline, and patience I was crushing each challenge and hitting each goal. Now that is not to say that there weren’t downfalls because there were, but I picked myself up and kept going till I obtained what I wanted. Challenges are mindsets to helping you get to where you want, and you feel amazing after you accomplish success.

3. Not All of Your Goals Will Work
Sometimes we think we want something and end up not wanting what we thought we would. Changing our minds is ok and helps us understand our real wants and needs. If you decide that what your working toward is not what you want just change your goal and move on. Strive to achieve the goals that give you the most excitement. These types of goals will be the ones we work the hardest on and provides us with the drive to create our vision.

4. Write it Down
I write everything down. I love to visualize what I am doing and what will happen in my future. Take these thoughts and put them on a vision board or paper and look at these goals. What I love to do is journal and keeping a journal helps me to take a look at my progress. It is a constant reminder of what I am working toward to getting what I want. I write lists for me to work on every day. It gives me a roadmap and lets me know I am one step closer to get what I want, and I am motivating myself to get things done and keeps me focused on the big picture.

5. Small Steps Leads to Big Sucess
Working on goals to get what we want can be overwhelming. Especially if the goal is enormous and we don’t even know where to start. Look at these types of goals and decide what small steps you can begin taking to where you want to be. Evey small step that you choose will get you closer to what you want to achieve. These big goals do not happen overnight, and it involves lots of work and patience. Rember that this is a process and keep visualizing the big picture. I used to tell my clients that I worked with in personal training that exercise and diet were not a quick fix and that this was a whole body challenge. Each of these individuals can make these small changes to reach what they want out of their fitness. It takes time, determination, and patience.

6. Get Help From Family and Friends
Working on getting what we want out of life is a whole lot easier if our family or friends are supportive and involved in reaching a similar goal. Having a support system is key to success. If you are working together to get things done, it takes all of the pressure off of one person. Usually, if the whole team is involved the goal is achieved faster, and everyone knows what is expected. An excellent example of this is our family budget. My husband and I work as a team when it comes to our finances. We have found by doing this not only are we on the same page, but we manage to get to where we need to be in a faster time frame rather than just one of us working on finances. My children are also on the budget train and know what we are spending and what we are not so there won’t be any hassles later on down the road. Doing this keeps us all in check, and we find that we don’t overstep our bounds. You can still obtain success without help it is more challenging, but if anything it makes you most substantial in the long run.

If there is anything we should be doing at this point, it is aiming for what we want out of life. Life should be what we make of it, and after we have worked to get where we want to be, we should be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. By conquering our goals, we can live the life we want. Believe in our futures and move towards the outcome. Remember these goals don’t just magically happen overnight and it is essential to make changes along the way. If we can keep a focus on the vision and create a plan especially with friends and family soon, we can celebrate the life we have created for ourselves