Why is it so easy to form bad habits and can be so hard to form good ones? A lot of mine seem to centre around technology. Because I use it so much for my work, I end up having a lot of screen time. You would think at the end of the day, the last thing I’d want to do would be to lie in bed, scrolling through my social media feeds or playing Candy Crush, but somehow, that’s what I do every night. And yet the nourishing habits that take a bit more effort – like reading something that engages my brain, or doing daily yoga, or going for long walks – they all too easily slip away.
Even something like writing in my gratitude diary every day! Something so simple and easy, something that I designed to be simple and easy…sometimes I forget. One thing that startles me is how quickly I forget what I did each day. Not just how I felt, what I thought, what delighted me, but even the routine tasks evade my memory unless I make a concerted effort to think about them.
But the beauty is, each day is a new day and an opportunity to start afresh. I actually put a reminder in my phone to do some yoga this morning in my studio, then spend half an hour filling out my April snapshot in my diary. Having done both those things, do I feel great? Of course I do! My energy is up, and my mood has gone from flat to calm and positive.
So that’s just a little encouragement from me – don’t worry if you haven’t been using your diary regularly. Today’s a good day to start anew! (and if you don’t have a diary but want one, they’re only $28 in the online store)
Having done my April snapshot, can I say, I am so excited about the month to come. I’ve got so many pleasant things coming up that I’ve slotted in for my birthday (a picnic! Going to the zoo! Going to the theatre!) and then a holiday. It really does make the month ahead sing with promise (I said it before and I’ll say it again – pleasant event scheduling is da bomb!).
Another thing I want to do, given it’s one of those Big 0 Birthdays, is to spend some time thinking over my life to this point, or even just the last decade (I think I did a similar thing when I turned 30). I realise it’s something that I very rarely do, which leads to a feeling of scarcity and neverendingness – like I’m always pouring out of my jar of stuff, and not ever properly topping it back up.
Just as I was thinking about this, I got a great email from the lovely Jessie Neave, the yoga extraordinaire who guided us on our Bali retreat. She said, “modern life can sometimes feel like trying to fill a cup with a hole in the bottom of it.” YES! (Isn’t it interesting how our metaphors around energy and creativity tend towards the emptiness/fullness of a vessel?) She then went on to talk about the importance of acknowledging completion “of the smaller things that take our time & energy as well as the more obvious things that might deserve glory and praise.”
I recently went through and updated my design portfolio and it was like splashing cold, refreshing water on my face, to see all the work I’ve done in recent years, to be proud of it, to acknowledge that I completed those things and put them out in the world. You might not have work you could put into a portfolio, but I’m sure your life is made up of all sorts of things that deserve a round of applause – getting through a day of parenting, cooking yourself a nourishing meal, leaving work on time instead of staying back…sometimes even just getting out of bed and getting dressed is an achievement (I’ve managed the first one today – I’m still in my pyjamas and it’s past midday…).
Now that #40everydaygratitudes is finished on Instagram (thanks to those who played along!), I reckon we should start a bit of an Everyday Gratitude completion cheer squad. If you have something you’re proud of completing, no matter how big or small, Instagram and tag it #gratitudecheersquad and we can encourage one another!