Sunday, 28 May 2017

Why You Need to Start Journaling Now

There is something so magical about putting pen to paper. It's a form of meditation, communicating with your soul and dare I say even the Source Energy, Universe and/or God. 

I find journaling incredibly therapeutic and I have been journaling every single day for a few months now. I use 2 notebooks to journal. One is a Plain Jane notebook which is for my general thoughts. And then I have a beautiful Liberty London notebook dedicated to gratitude; because gratitude deserves its own notebook. It is the Bomb Dot Com. 

I journal at least once a day sometimes even twice, usually first thing in the morning and then last thing before bed. 

My general journal is filled with my thoughts - good ones and bad, my dreams, anything thought provoking that I come across or just how I feel on a day to day basis. When I am looking for answers I will write that down. When I am looking for help I will write that down. And if you pay close attention, answers & help are delivered to you within days if not hours of your request! I also must credit Tim Ferriss' work as that has sparked my passion for journaling. If you are not familiar with Tim Ferriss, I highly recommend you check him out! I also listen to podcasts and/or audiobooks and take notes obsessively.

The notebook of gratitude is fairly simple. I write "I am grateful for... 28/05/17" and I simply make a list of things I am grateful for on that day. Writing makes it easier for you to genuinely start feeling grateful. You are solidifying your gratitude, you are bringing it to life by writing it down!  

I have to say that it's not quite the same when you type on your laptop or when you take notes on your phone. The act of using your hand & fingers, holding a pen and writing on a piece of paper is the real deal. Old school is the way to do this. I don't know the scientific explanation behind this, if at all there is an explanation.

To sum it all up here are reasons why I love journaling- 
  • A great way to self coach when you are feeling stressed, depressed, anxious sad or angry 
  • It's almost like organising your haphazard thoughts and is very therapeutic 
  • Journaling dreams is a great way to remember your dreams as well as seeing any patterns in your dreams and what your dreams might be trying to communicate with you
  • Writing down things that you are grateful for activates gratitude and makes you happy 
  • It's a way of becoming more self aware and getting to know yourself better
  • Of course writing down your goals and vision helps massively in achieving them 
  • Writing down what you want activates the law of attraction to work in your favour and you are able to manifest quickly and effectively 
  • The practise of writing daily helps you being a better writer and an effective communicator 
Let me know if you have a practise of journaling and what are your experiences with journaling? I would love to hear from you. 


Monday, 1 May 2017

How I Became a Morning Person

I am 33 years old and my biggest struggle most of my young & adult life has been waking up early. It takes me a while to wake up fully and for the most part of these 33 years, I used to wake up proper grumpy! It reminds me of my 3 year old nephew!

Fast forward to present; it still takes me a while to wake up fully but I don't wake up grumpy, I try and wake up feeling grateful instead. This is just a habit, a shift in perception of life and a choice. And with little practise, anyone can change.

I always said to myself and others- "If I had 'something to do' in the morning, I would wake up early. Otherwise why bother?" The funny thing is- that is the answer to the 'waking up early' puzzle. And 'something to do' in the morning can't be just a job. It has to be a bigger 'why' than your job. That's why anyone who talks about personal development talks about vision & purpose.

I kept struggling, trying to be a morning person but eventually gave up and labelled myself as 'just not a morning person.' If this sounds familiar to you, get rid of that label immediately. This is the first step towards becoming a morning person. Occasionally though, whenever I woke up early, I was AMAZED with the amount of tasks I could accomplish within the first 3 hours of my waking up. So I kept thinking about what it would take for me to really become a morning person.

When trying to change, self awareness is always a great place to start. Here's what I learnt about myself. The most important thing when I wake up in the morning is that I don't like being rushed. Being in a rush makes me anxious and stressed and I go along dreading the whole day ahead. On the other hand what I do love is a relaxed morning. I like taking my time with things.

I thought long and hard about how my perfect morning would look and the things I would love to do first thing in the morning. After a lot of self reflection I realised that meditating, exercising, having a heavy-duty healthy breakfast and then getting ready and not being rushed through any of these was very important to me. I then calculated that in order for me to do everything that I want to do in the morning without being rushed, I will have to wake up by 6 am. Most days I am able to wake up at 6 am but of course there are some not-so-perfect days and even then, I am up by 7:30 am at the very latest and try and get most of my morning routine done by 9 am.

Here are some key tips that have helped me become more of a morning person and I hope you will find some of these useful too.
  • Sleep Early. If you get in a good night's sleep and enough hours of quality sleep, you will automatically wake up on time, feeling recharged and refreshed. That's just how our bodies are designed. I am disciplined enough to get in bed at 10 pm or at 11 pm (most days) at the very latest. 
  • The Magic of The night before. The importance of planing and scheduling everything the night before really helps. Plan your outfit, do things like hair and nails. Plan your meals and snacks. This really helps in having the right mindset. Having these tiny tasks out of the way ensures you wake up feeling calm and not stressed just by thinking about the sheer amount of things you need to get done on a certain day. 
  • Do not use a dreadful alarm and no matter how tempting do not press snooze.
  • Try and wake up early in small increments. So if you wake up 7 am right now, wake up at 6:45, then at 6:30 and so on.
  • Don't look at your phone, email or social media first thing in the morning.
  • As soon as possible write down a list of things that you are grateful for. This instantly makes you happy.
  • Create your morning rituals or morning routine and fill it with things that you LOVE. Make your morning time really special. Make it your 'me-time'. Do things that energise you. If you look forward to doing something in the morning, chances are you will wake up early.
  • Have a daily vision. The days that I know exactly what I am  set to accomplish, I get up with an alarming ease. And days that are left unplanned bring about dread.
Let me know if you struggle with waking up early? And what are some of your top tips on becoming a morning person?

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