Tag Archives: positivity

Things that bring me joy

I wrote a post a little while ago about things that get under my skin so I thought it about time to write about the random things in life that do just the opposite and put a great big grin on my face!

  • Thursdays – this is the day I see my husband after he’s been working away since Monday.
  • Rainbows – when sunshine hits rain in just the right way you get the most brilliant light and the most beautiful rainbow, bliss! It probably sounds cheesy but I love knowing that even if it’s raining where I am, if I can see a rainbow, it’s sunny somewhere.
  • My work station set up with my purple laptop and next to it, my purple notebook, purple pen, purple refillable pencil and my purple highlighter – purple just induces a lovely feeling inside me so what more need I say?
  • Lindt chocolate – maybe not everyone’s bag but (at the moment) it’s my favourite! Malteasers are a close second!
  • A great pair of slippers – cold feet are just horrible so my slippers are my friends! I have a cute pair of burgundy Toms – check them out, for every pair purchased, they give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.
  • A good sort out and throw away – I love taking a bag of stuff to a charity shop. I don’t like clutter and I feel like I’m cleansing my house!
  • Cats – sorry, crazy cat lady here, I’m sure many of my readers are dog people, you’re welcome here too! Whenever I’m feeling down, cat therapy just does wonders! Videos of any baby animal will do to tell the truth!
  • Listening to someone’s story – how often do we have time and space to really listen to each other? It’s a real privilege when someone trusts you with their story, true connection happens in these moments.
  • Knitting – when I have time, this can become a bit of an obsession! I love that I can produce something handmade for someone and it’s practical and well as (hopefully) beautiful.
  • A long exhilarating run – when I was marathon training, I loved the long runs that got me out into the countryside, just me and the road, no judgment, nothing else mattered. I’ve also discovered yoga recently, I’m very new to it so I don’t do anything complicated but it’s giving me space to breathe, it’s helping with my chronic pain and I’m really enjoying it.
  • Meeting with God – this can happen anywhere! I love the community I experience in church but I find God in nature and in quiet times at home.
  • Ticking things off a list – it’s just so satisfying!
  • Making music – from playing piano on my own to playing with a symphony orchestra is an absolute joy to express myself through music making. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to play instruments since I was a little girl and have all sorts of experiences playing with other people. At the moment I have the joy of playing in church with a great bunch and also with Hampshire saxophone orchestra Saxophony.
  • Laughing long into the night with my husband – I love those nights where time doesn’t matter and connecting emotionally is everything. (It doesn’t happen often – I need my sleep!!)
  • Seeing other people happy – whether it’s a young couple in love or a toddler giggling as they jump in puddles, another human’s happiness brings joy to my heart.
  • When the windscreen wipers are on double speed – I have no idea why, since before I can remember, this makes me giggle! Strange but true!

We’re all different, please share below the things that make you happy!

How to stay motivated…

It’s that time of year again, are you someone who makes New Year resolutions? Halfway through January, have you already broken yours?
One year, I made a resolution that this year would be better than the last. This did not work out as many things happened beyond my control, the year went from bad to worse and I then felt even more of a failure as I couldn’t keep (what I considered) a simple resolution.
Of course, looking back, this was a foolish resolution as there are so many things in life we cannot control and it was not possible to measure whether I’d had a “better” year so how would I know if I’d “achieved” it?!
So, what makes a good resolution and how do we keep it?

  1. Make sure it’s SMART: (sorry if this sounds like school but it’s basic stuff that works)
    1. Specific – make sure you know exactly what you’re doing!
    2. Measurable – how will you know you’ve achieved it?
    3. Achievable – is this something you know you can achieve or is it going to stretch you a bit? Even stretching you a lot is ok, as long as it’s within reach.
    4. Realistic – is it really some thing you want to do? Does it sound reasonable?
    5. Time limited – when are you going to achieve it? Some things you can start straight away, others, you may do with a stepped approach and therefore you need to know when you’re going to do what.
  2. Know what motivates you – if you can pat yourself on the back internally, well done. Most people need something external, either someone else to congratulate them or some external reward. This could be money, a new meal out, a holiday – work out what it is and make sure it’s in place. When the going gets tough, focus on the reward.  If you need recognition from family and friends, tell them and be accountable.
  3. Get the support you need – studies show people are four times more likely to successfully quit smoking with support vs doing it on their own. There must be similar success rates with other goals, make sure you get the right support at the right time.
  4. If you slip up, call it that – you have not failed, you are not back at square one, you’ve got experience behind you now, use that experience to have another go. Beating yourself up is unlikely to help you achieve your goal!
  5. Count your achievements – if you kept your resolution for 1 day and slipped up over the next 2, you still know you can do it for a day, focus on what you achieved that day, forget the others.
  6. Don’t be afraid to change your goal – if it’s not working, don’t give up, just re-evaluate, think about what’s happened, is it a lack of time, a change of circumstances or lack of support? Set something more realistic.
  7. There’s no time like the present – if you’ve not started yet, don’t wait for next year to make another resolution, 1st February is just as good as 1st January.
  8. Just do it! Ultimately, be honest with yourself, are you making silly excuses? Your the only one who knows, do you need to “cut the c***” and just get on with it?!

If, for example, you want to “get fit” – that’s not measurable so make sure you know what you’re aiming for, do you want to run a 5k, 10k or marathon, set a date and enter a race. Or, set yourself a goal of exercising x number of times a week.
If you want to lose weight, but ultimately know that money is more of a motivator, put £x in a jar for every pound lost then make sure you know what you’re going to buy.
“Sorting out my finances” isn’t tangible, instead, set yourself a specific budget plan.
“Get a new job” may be measureable but ultimately a lot of things out of your control, instead, set the goal of applying for x number of jobs per week or make sure you get feedback from all job interviews attended.
Being honest and being positive are qualities that will help you makes goals and stick to them. So even if things haven’t gone too well so far this year, pick yourself up, try again! Good luck!