Monday, August 4, 2008

On the Life Balance Side

Keeping A Gratuity Journal

I fell off the wagon for a while, but I'm going to get back to writing in my gratuity journal again today. I started one about 2 years ago, after hearing repeatedly about the benefits of keeping one:
1. It makes you focus on what's positive in your life
2. It is a great start to your day, if you journal in the morning, or a great way to end the day and relax happily before bed if you journal at night (I prefer the latter)
3. You end up looking for the positives in everything during the day because you know you'll have to find something to write about later on (I remember Oprah, herself, making this point about keeping her own gratuity journal, saying "You see a squirrel and you think to yourself, 'I noticed something good today'--I'm going to remember that I saw a squirrel, because if nothing good happens to me the rest of today I need to have something to write down"!

You know how when something unpleasant happens (the line in the post office is terribly long, someone cuts you off when you're driving, the business office screwed up your paycheck) you fester about it and make a point to remember it because you have to be sure to vent to your spouse/friend/neighbor? Well, keeping a gratuity journal makes you focus on remembering anything good that happened all day! Instead of walking around holding on to the 'bad stuff', you end up spending free moments listing the good stuff in your head. If you feel like nothing great happened that day, just remember all you have to be grateful for in general, and write a few of those in your journal (I have a roof over my head, I have a job, I have a great family, my cat loves me, etc).
I like to keep it to three sentences, to make it easy--if there are more to add that day I love to extend my list to 5 or 6!

Here are mine for today...
1. I got a great haircut, which I've been needing for too long now!

2. I started with a new client this morning and I really enjoy talking with her ... some people just make our jobs fun, don't they?

3. I have this really unique pen pal relationship going with a woman I ordered a book from on ... it turns out she's this famous feng shui interior designer, and she is such a warm and interesting person... I just love meeting new people.

Please post your comments below about what you're grateful for today: we could all use a list of reminders and 'extras' for those days we're not really sure what went so right....

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