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Sunday, January 4, 2015

7 Suggestions for Finding Inner Satisfaction - Any Time of Year

New Year's Resolutions. Ugh. We've all tried to make them at some point, and we've all abandoned them at some point. And we feel guilty. Right now, some of you might have already given up on one of your resolutions.

So this year I'm not bothering with them. 

But what I have been doing for some time is looking for ways to feel better about myself and the things that I am doing.

Because when we feel good, we feel motivated, and more likely to be inspired. And then you won't need those lists, because not only will you feel good about what you're already doing, but you'll feel more confident about tackling those things you aren't.

My husband and I are constantly looking for ways to stay motivated. Especially since we both work at home, all day long! It's easy to get distracted and feel like we're not getting work done. So we've implemented some of these ideas, and plan to implement a few more.

1. Create a happiness jar – each day put in slip of paper with a happy moment from the day written on it. If you’re ever having a bad day, you can reach in and pull out some happy moments. Or at the end of the year go through them.

2. Create an achievement jar -  whenever you accomplish something you’re proud of, or do makes you feel good, write it out and add it to the jar. Decorate it and pull it out when you need it.
- My husband and I did this and we actually decorated each other’s jar with encouraging things. I wrote on a slip of paper “Alex’s jar of awesomeness” and tapped it on his jar, and he wrote “Danielle is intrepid”

3. Make a list of past accomplishments. Like the achievement jar, but reaching all the way back in time, past this current new year. Did you get a degree ten years ago you that were proud of, read a tome of a book, do something others told you couldn’t, travel somewhere unusual? Write it out and add to the list as you go. 

4. Each night think of, or say out loud, 3 good things that happened during the day. My husband and I do this every night right before we fall asleep. It’s helpful even if it’s something tiny, like being happy that we had a good cup of coffee, or that we’re lucky enough to be able to afford groceries and that our store stocks most of the foods we like.

5. At night, or in the morning, think of something you’re looking forward to that day. Appreciating the small things and having something to look forward to can help motivate you. Little things, like a nice cup of specialty tea, or a few moments of silence listening to a relaxing piece of music, can be worth looking forward to. Of course, big things can be great, too! If you delay gratification a little bit (like waiting until after you’ve cleared out some of the junk mentioned below), you’ll appreciate it even more.

6. Practice Mindfulness – take 5 – 10 minutes to really let your mind relax and take in the moment. In today’s world we’re bombarded by technology and social media and being plugged in non-stop. Taking a few minutes to stop thinking and take in the moment, to really be in the moment and experience it, can be very grounding. My favorite way to do this is to take a cup of coffee or tea out on to my deck, try not to think, and just appreciate the birds chirping and playing in the trees, breathing in the air, noticing my surroundings, and taking deep breaths. You can also do this by turning down the lights, playing some classical music, burning some essential oils, and just sitting on the couch and being in the moment.

7. Clear out junk -  The less physical clutter you have the more free and inspired you’ll feel! At least twice a year, spring and fall, I pull out all my clothes and go through them. I make 3 piles – 1) throw away 2) donate or put on consignment 3) keep. Anything that I haven’t worn in the last year should probably be gotten rid of. Other types mental clutter include To-Do list type things. Do you have a cupboard of clutter? A shelf with knick knacks collecting dust? Make your list, make a schedule to work through it, and get it done. 

How do you find inner satisfaction and inspiration? I'd love yo hear your ideas in the comments below! 

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