My Newest Habit: Journaling

As I mentioned in this post, January has seen me trying out a new practice in both my morning and evening routines.

Inspired by The Five Minute Journal, the prompts of its pages provide a simple and swift way to enjoy your days more.

Gratitude and looking forward

In the mornings, you’re asked to think of what you’re grateful for and then what three things would make that particular day great.

Some examples I’ve written include lunch with a friend, a yoga class, a productive day at work, a relaxing evening with a movie, etc.

I enjoy this practice because rather than feeling sleepy or grumpy about getting up and starting the day, you are immediately putting a positive spin on the day ahead.

I also usually check in on the journal when I get home from work. I can then see what I’d hoped would make the day great when I was starting my day, and try to make sure it happens before the day is out.

Looking back

I don’t always remember to do the evening questions, but when I do, I’m prompted to think about what went really well that day and what I would improve.

What may have seemed like a standard work day, with a night at home doing the regular chores, now has a much more positive spin when you think about what went well.

You can also start to see patterns of the areas where your days don’t go so well. For example, feeling swamped at work, missing a workout, not connecting in relationships, etc.

As you can tell, my mindset has definitely been shifted in a positive way, and I’m also more conscious of what I want day to day.

Do you journal? Has this inspired you to try it out?

 

Where I'm At with Rachel Gadiel from Nourish

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Welcome to the next interview in the series, 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them.

Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, are captured in these interviews.

This month we’re talking to Rachel Gadiel from the blog, Nourish. Rachel is a gorgeous coach and blogger, who lives in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. She focuses on many of our favourite topics around here – simplicity, productivity and of course, nourishing ourselves. Rachel also coaches other creative bloggers and business owners on intentional ways to grow their passions.

When I reached out to Rachel, I had the loveliest response from her, so admire her even more than when I was reading from afar! Enjoy the interview and head to her blog and social media (her Instagram is one of my faves) to show her some love. 

 

What is your usual wake up time?

During the week I generally wake up at around 7am. Weekends are definitely an indulgent, slower start at around 8 and sometimes 9am!

How do you like to start your day?

On weekdays my morning routine is super simple as I’m on a mission to get out the door to work. It starts with a glass of warm water and lemon juice and a healthy breakfast, followed by a cup of coffee. I always make sure I begin each day with positive affirmations and a chapter out of a personal development book I’m reading.

A positive mindset is everything – become the master of your thoughts and believe you can achieve anything, and you will!

Tell us about your commute.

I’m lucky to live super close to work – it’s a 5 minute drive and 30 minute walk. I intentionally set the goal of walking to and from work 3 days a week which is a great way to fit in moving my body. To make this time productive I love listening to an uplifting podcast or a book on Audible. The other days I drive, and when I do it feels like a luxury!

Do you like to plan your day ahead or allow for some spontaneity?

As I’m working full time and hustling my coaching biz on the side, it is super important for me to be organised and keep on top of my daily to do list. I’m a firm believer that the secret of success lies in your daily routine and habits. Being super clear about your overall vision, combined with the daily discipline of your habits, will naturally mean you’re on the path to success.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think leaving room for spontaneity is important too, but it’s all about balance and getting your priorities in order.

How do you spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?

I always grab my book and get out of the office to soak up the fresh air and sunshine – this gives me more energy and a positivity boost to power through the afternoon. I find reading always inspires me with ideas for blog posts and my coaching clients, so I always have a notebook handy to write down any nuggets of wisdom!

What kind of workout schedule do you try to adhere to?

I aim to work out at least 3–4 times a week and try to move my body most days. I tend to do a mix of both resistance training and cardio. I like to mix things up by doing a boot camp once a week, pilates and I’m also a fan of the BBG by Kayla Itsines and love doing her workouts at home. Throw in the odd yoga class and run when time permits. 

How do you like to end your day?

End of the day is all about unplugging and cuddling up to my love on the couch, watching a TV show together. At the moment we’re watching season 3 of Orange is the New Black - such an awesome show!

What time do you doze off?

Bedtime for me is 11-11:30pm. 

And to finish off, here's Rachel's current manifesto:

Thanks for giving us a peek into your daily life Rachel. I’m sure you can see why she’s such a success,  with discipline and focus propelling her forward.

Go and give Rachel some love (and follows) at the links below:

Website: rachelgadiel.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/rachelgadiel

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hopscotchgrace/pins/

Bloglovin': https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/nourish-10306535

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thisisnourish

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelgadiel

Light Links: May

How has your May been lovely readers? We’ve had some beautiful crisp days in Melbourne but the early mornings and evenings are definitely getting a little too chilly for me as we head into winter starting in June.

Luckily I escaped for a warmer weekend in Sydney, with quality girlfriend time. I also did some more decluttering at home and we celebrated my husband’s birthday. I’ve got lots of great links for you this month so grab a warm tea (or a cool wine) and enjoy.

Having a bad day? How to turn it around and talk yourself into a great day at work.

Smart ways to dial back at work (yes, you can dial back!) once you’ve set an expectation around your performance.

A personal story on saying yes to your purpose. Can you believe a female’s confidence peaks at 8 years old?

False ideas we may have around being a mother and having a career - a three part series:

Inspired by the original post from Jess Lively, Grace from Design Sponge shares the things that scare her.

Stop fighting against your feelings and ‘accept what is’.  

And finally, 40 quotes to help quiet your mind


4 Reasons You Should Stop Feeling Like A Phony

 
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Imposter syndrome, your inner ‘mean girl’, fraud complex, your ego who is certain you’re going to be found out as a bogus sham – whatever you want to call it, it’s likely we all have a similar voice swirling in our heads. 

Being hard on yourself is not uncommon, but feeling like an imposter at work, in your relationship, or in a personal pursuit, is no fun for anyone, least of all you. Below are four reasons to help you make peace with that voice, or at least not let it take you down the rabbit hole.

1. People believe in you or you wouldn’t be where you are

This one often relates to career – many women I know are a bit baffled as to how they’ve made it to where they are. They are intelligent, hard workers but still hear internal murmurs that they’re not deserving or that they’ll be ‘found out’. When I became an editor many moons ago, I had a deep seated fear that someone would arrive at my desk and demand I complete a pop quiz on split infinitives and non-verbal clauses. Needless to say it never happened.

Don’t disrespect the judgement of those who have hired you, promoted you, given you good feedback and helped you get to where you are. The more people you work with and the more workplaces you work for, the less likely it is that it’s a coincidence!

2. We’re all playing roles in our lives

A dear friend imparted this advice on me years ago. We are all ‘acting’ in some capacity – sometimes my role is a project manager, sometimes my role is wife, sometimes it’s zen yogi. The principle is that you don’t have to know everything in all of your roles and you don’t have to embody all of the roles at once, 24 hours a day.

It’s ok to act as if you’re gorgeous and funny and deserving of your relationship. It’s ok to pretend you’re a high-powered, confident employee, even if the little voice is trying to throw you off track. The more positive talk you instil in your mind, the closer you’ll get to believing it and showing it outwardly.

3. Everyone feels the same

I promise, ask anyone and they have likely felt like an imposter at some point in their life (if not, day / week / month).

I remember having to give a nerve-racking speech a few years back in front of the CEO and MD of my company. A number of other people had to give a speech that morning, including an experienced publisher, who I looked up to as a kind of mentor. After revealing my anxiety, he admitted he felt the exact same way. I knew then that if someone with 30 + years experience was doubting themselves, it was totally ok to feel how I did and enlightening to know that I wasn’t alone.

4. It’s ok to feel negative emotions completely

This one is a struggle for many women. It’s much easier to favour the upbeat emotions and brush away nerves or sadness in an attempt to get back to brighter days. But if you never fully feel these emotions, it’s likely you’ll never actually deal with them.

When you’re spiralling with negative self talk, set aside time to feel it. If you’re jealous in your relationship, freaking out at work or doubting your creative skills, step back and assign some time to dwell on it. Just not at that exact moment.

Set aside 15 minutes that evening or the next day to let the negative talk go crazy. Chances are it will have passed or quietened down a little by then. Either way, spend some time writing down how you feel and what you’re afraid is going to happen. What is the absolute worst thing that could materialise?

Once the time is up, you’ll often feel better and can resume your day. What’s even more useful is going back and reviewing the journaling – did any of it come true? If it did, was it as awful as you thought? I hope not but I’m also pretty sure not too.

Tell me – how do you deal with your inner critic?

And in what area of your life are you afraid of being ‘found out’?

Why schools are ahead of workplaces

At a recent work conference, I found myself in an awkward situation.

‘Close your eyes and smell it. Place it in your mouth and roll it around…’

No, my career is not going down the path you think. I was in a positive psychology session, savouring my malteser.

sunny disposition

Positive psychology

The session was run by Karen Marangio from Monash University in Melbourne and Kerri Morey, a psychology teacher from Brauer College. It was aimed at psychology teachers of 12–16 year old students. The presenters discussed the rise of positive psychology in schools and in wider society over the last 15 years or so.

Positive psychology is about creating and relishing the happy moments in our everyday lives and one of its main pioneers is Martin Seligman – he explains the concept succinctly in this video.

 

Brain breaks

Kerri talked about using positive psychology activities in class to refocus her students and improve concentration and enthusiasm – she called them ‘brain breaks’.

Why every trainer or workplace doesn’t use this strategy, I don’t know. Not only do we lose concentration in our day-to-day work, but longgg meetings and full day training courses are perfect opportunities to recharge.

As mentioned, one of the simpler activities we completed was to each take a Malteser and spend up to three minutes savouring it – the glossiness, the smell, the feel in our hand, the taste. It was great to reset the brain during a long conference, while also bringing up feelings of gratitude and activating our senses.

Other simple brain breaks might include :

•           the ol’ tap your head and rub your stomach trick
•           doodle time on a blank sheet of paper
•           a quick game of noughts and crosses.

Basically anything that sends your brain away from your work completely.

8 tips for a more satisfying life

We also discussed some of the strategies students at Kerri’s school are using to try and create a more satisfying life. Developed by Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, there are eight steps they are implementing:

•           Keeping a gratitude journal

•           Practising acts of kindness

•           Practising mindfulness

•           Thanking a mentor

•           Learning to forgive

•           Spending time with people you love

•           Taking care of your brain and body

•           Developing strategies for managing stress

 

Psychology wasn't even offered at my high school, and I think these strategies are so important and could be really beneficial in both schools and workplaces today.

Are there workplaces out there employing any of these strategies? Let me know if you work for one or have heard of any.

Martin Seligman also gathers and compares happiness data via his questionnaires. You have to sign up but it’s worth adding to this important study here