Learning How To Be More Grateful.

Gratitude: “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness to.”

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(The views in Rome will always be something I am eternally grateful for. Absolutely stunning!)

That’s what gratitude means according to the Oxford Dictionary but to me, it means “being grateful for the little things that life gives you and to be thankful for where you are right now”.

Since the start of the year, I’ve begun to incorporate mindfulness more into my daily life and gratitude is an addition to this practice. The one thing that I struggle with when it comes to gratitude though is when it’s a bad day. It’s the easiest thing in the world when you can think of all the great things from your day, but if you have a bad day, it can be very difficult.

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(Self reflection at the Ormeau Embankment in Belfast. It’s so gorgeous at night!)

You can show your appreciation for gratitude in many ways; some choose to write it on their blog or on their phone, some say it out loud as part of their meditation practice and others prefer to write it down in a notebook or a journal.

If you read the blog regularly, you’ll know I’m working with the Itty Bitty Book Co. on spreading the message of positivity and happiness and this is where their new product launch comes in. They have released their very own gratitude journal in three colours: yellow, blue and white. It’s a 21 Day Challenge with yourself (because the best person to compete with, is yourself) to see how gratitude can change your mindset, if that’s something you’re wanting to change or simply improve on.

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To give you a sneak peek into the journal, I thought I would share what my first day looked like. These were my three things for the day that I was grateful for. They don’t have to be big things; they really can be that really good cup of tea you had first thing in the morning or maybe you caught the early bus that morning to work. You can be thankful for the people that you have in your life, whether that’s your friends and family or the bus driver that smiled at you.

I’m planning on doing the journal every other day just to ease myself into the challenge, but if you can, you should try to do it everyday!

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(One of the first pages in the journal giving you a very simple explanation on how it all works.)

I wrote a post last year on appreciating on the small things (which you’ll find right here!) and I find that really relates to the gratitude journal, because you really are appreciating the little things in life.

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(One of the many bowls of Italian ice-cream I had on holiday with some tea; you can be thankful for the food you ate that day or the happiness you got from eating that food. It really is that simple.)

If you want to have a look at the Gratitude Journal for yourself, you’ll find it right here! It’s currently £4 for one but if you want all three colours, it’s just £10.

Please note: I am an affiliate for Itty Bitty Book Co. so affiliate links have been used throughout. This journal was sent to me to try for free but views shared throughout this blog however are one hundred percent my own.

Let’s Talk About… Summer Goals

Summer Goals

I’m a goal setter. I love New Year’s Resolutions, I constantly like to push myself to be better so I wanted to create some Summer Goals for myself to try and achieve at least by the end of the Summer. It’s always a good motivator for me and I believe everyone needs to have a few goals in their life to keep moving forward and to continuously grow.

1. Get my diaries organised.

Coming up soon in another blog post, I’ll go more in-depth on my diaries, but I have two Filofaxes and I want to organise them both before the end of the Summer. I got really into them before months ago then fell off the wagon again, and that was all because I missed a few days and I didn’t like that they felt blank, so I gave up. I’ve bought two new calender diaries for them for this academic year (even though I’m no longer an academic) so maybe once I’m a few months in, I’ll go through them on my blog and tell you how I organise and decorate them.

2. Update, organise and structure my blog more.

This one is quite a big one for me. This is the first time that I have been consistent with writing blog posts and writing about things that I want to write about and for me, that’s something to be proud of. I’m not that happy with the way my blog looks (as I have written about previously), I’m not too fond of the layout and would like to brighten it up and make it look more professional (even though this is just a hobby for me!). So over the Summer, I would like to organise it more; have more pages and categories, sort those categories out and  have a blog that I can be really really proud of.

3. Incorporate  meditation into my daily routine.

After seeing a lot of people I follow via blogs talking about the Calm app, I downloaded it myself and I’ve found it to be one of the best mediation apps. I can’t seem to find the right balance at the minute but I hope once it comes to using it every day, I’ll find the right time and the right place to use it and really see a difference.

4. Take part in a Park Run.

I’ve heard of Park Runs for a while but I’ve never taken part in one so what a perfect time to start! I’ve recently got a good solid morning routine down which includes a very early morning start (There will of course be a blog post about this soon, it’s something I really want to talk about!) and I think adding in a nice early Saturday morning run would be great! It’s also a sense of community and because it’s timed, you can have a competition with yourself every week. I’m not planning on running it at first, I plan to walk and jog for the first few goes but if I catch the bug for it, I would love then to build up my time and my speed. My boyfriend and I have already registered so we just need to take part now!

5. Take more control of my spending.

We’re all guilty of buying a nail polish here and there or an extra treat for dessert when you go home, but they do all add up at the end of the month when you ask yourself why you only have a small amount left in the bank? I’m planning on moving in with my boyfriend soon so that will include me paying half of his rent, and splitting food and electric bills for example (Although I do like to think I do add to that) so I want to get all that sorted out first then once I see how much I have left, then I can have the occasional treat.

I do plan on having a little Summer Goals with my boyfriend, so once the Summer is over, I’ll maybe share what my goals were from that list, and if I achieved them.