Hello and happy January 3!
Do you still feel as revved up and motivated as you did two days ago? If yes, awesome, if no, you are not alone. The pitfalls of setting NYE party resolutions are many.
We borrow a resolution from someone else that sounds pretty good - oh hey I'd kind of maybe also like to lose weight, declutter, get my finances in order, too, yet we lack the true intrinsic motivation to get 'er done.
The pat answers about our resolutions were easy to give at the cocktail party, but that doesn’t mean that they are especially meaningful to us.
Change isn't a walk in the park. It takes commitment, perseverance and consistency. You need new neural pathways in your brain to replace rutted out old ways of doing things.
Our brains like to be as efficient as possible, which makes the old way easier. The new way takes time and effort before it becomes ingrained as a new way of life. So motivation for the long-term is key.
The topic of the upcoming New Year can be quite loaded. Some of us are so ready to shut the door on 2019 and others are all amped up with lists longer than Santa's on all the ways we need to improve ourselves in the next 12 months.
How we're going to choose to fill the next 52 weeks can be either exhilarating or daunting.
Whether this is the bitch of a blank canvas for you or a fresh start and a clean slate, it's an opportunity to set some intentions for the next decade.
Do Resolutions Even Work?
When set properly, goals and resolutions set at the beginning of the year can work wonders. When arbitrarily proclaimed at midnight on Dec 31 with no plan to back them up, well, yeah, those resolutions barely make it past the late-night Uber ride home.
My favorite perspective on the year ahead is to think about the new year as 365 opportunities!
I realize that 2019 might have given you 365 ways to want to bang your head against the wall or 365 ways to...
What do I mean by Marie Kondo your Christmas?
Don't worry! I do not mean folding your underwear in a weird way or having to organize ANYTHING in your home right now.
Marie Kondo is that incredible professional organizer who wrote the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Did you read it?
Makes a great holiday gift ;-)! Just kidding. I mean it does, but that's not what this is about.
This is less about holiday presents and more about holiday presence...
which probably just made you feel guilty. Because in going overboard and trying to create a magical holiday for our loved ones, we are usually more stressed and less present than we are at other times in the year. And that feels kind of crummy.
Christmas is touted as the most wonderful time of the year ... except that comes with a hefty emotional and financial price tag for those of us who are orchestrating the magic for everyone else.
I saw the funniest quote the other day that basically said that December...
Well, we’ve officially transitioned out of the season of stuffing to the season of stuff. Thanksgiving is over, but it’s always a good time of year to give that thanks away.
Today is Black Friday and before you give your credit card a workout, take a minute to pass some gratitude gravy.
Black Friday can be rough on those who work in retail. Yes, investment bankers, CEOs, and stockholders love Black Friday, but those who are manning (and woman’ning) the stores often bear the brunt of shoppers’ seasonal anxieties, which isn’t always easy.
#GratitudeGRAVY day 14
For years I pretty much missed the point of Thanksgiving. Sad, but true. I'm the person who has literally lit my oven on fire while trying to broil bagels.
Despite the Thanksgiving hits and misses we've had chez Larock, I've come to realize that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a celebration of the great FULLness* of life with some of the wonderful humans that are in my world. Flawed and funny, weird and wonderful, I give thanks for all of them.
GratiTIRED? I get it. This is why gratitude fatigue is real…. And, while the healthcare industry is starting to realize that gratitude is some of the best medicine, the correct dosage for each of us does vary.
But stay with me. We are in the home stretch of #gratitudegravy and this next practice is one of the best gratitude practices for boosting happiness.
Think of someone who is still alive who has changed your life for the better. Pick someone who has never been properly thanked. It could be a teacher, a parent, grandparent, an old friend, an old boss, anyone who had an extraordinary impact on your life.
Ok do you have someone in mind?
Call the person or arrange a visit and...
#GratitudeGRAVY day 12
There are plenty of days, in this beautiful messy business of being human, where we might be feeling LESS than grateful for whatever is happening in our present or for what has happened in our past.
Gratitude is not a practice of "superficial happiology" - Robert Emmons, Ph.D
An effective gratitude practice does not require us all to become some kind of Stepford version of Miss Mary Sunshine. We are allowed to have bad days and not ride off into the sunset on our unicorn.
Heck, I had an entire decade of massive personal challenges in my business, in my marriage, in my everything, and there were plenty of days where I couldn’t muster up much gratitude.
A true gratitude practice is not one where we plaster a smile on our faces during the dark night of our soul.
#GratitudeGRAVY day 11
Several years ago, I was at a yoga retreat and one of my favorite teachers Patty Zimmer, said grace before we ate a meal together.
I'm not a very religious person, so saying grace isn't always in my repertoire.
Patty thanked everyone who made the meal happen, thanked the food delivery truck drivers, the cashiers at the store, the farmers who grew the food. She thanked as many as she could think of whose hands made the meal possible, not just the almighty ones or the ones in the kitchen.
I loved this practice and adopted it as my own. It’s a beautiful way of being grateful and full of grace.
Then, I stumbled upon a crazy gratitude story that took this one (or 1000) steps further.
A NYC-based writer named A.J. Jacobs was doing a similar practice with his kids. He said he’d been in a bad mood for a while and thought the practice would cheer him up, while also teaching the kids about the power of gratitude. So, as a family,...
#gratitudegravy day 10
I know this headline isn't actually newsworthy to any of you who have been watching Oprah for the past few decades. Gratitude went prime time A LOOONG time ago - when Oprah created a frenzy for gratitude journals just by talking about her own practice as being a key factor in her success.
The prime time that I'm talking about here is not too far off.
What's a Primer?
In psychology, primers are defined as conscious or unconscious cues that are paired together and create a behavioral change. (Adams-Miller and Frisch, 2009)
Psychologists have found that as much as 80% of our day’s activity is directed by our unconscious reactions to cues in our environment.
This Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving, I want you to gamify your gratitude. That's right be a gratitude gamer!
Another way that we can keep our gratitude practice fun and frequent (and to get our loved ones involved) is to gamify it.
Not only does being a gratitude gamer help our own practice stay interesting, but it also is a great way to involve others and reap the benefits of what psychologists call, the upward spiral of positivity.
The upward spiral is contagious, meaning the energy from others' gratitude can greatly increase our own and vice versa.
This next gratitude activity is an easy way to spark your specificity, get you moving and keep you laughing …
Plus, it’s a great gratitude icebreaker, and we all need to move around before or after the tryptophan hits the bloodstream...
Gratitude Gravy Practice #9
Gratitude Ping Pong
This game was invented by my mentor in positive psychology, Emiliya Zhivotovskaya.
It's very simple. You just take a ping pong and...
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