Notify Yourself!

Notifications. They flood our inboxes, ding from our phones, and buzz from our smartwatches. They keep us informed — and on edge. That’s life, though, unless you’re the type of person who doesn’t do social media and says so with a wrinkled nose, like you’re handling someone else’s dirty tissue. Are these our only two options? Is there a happy medium? I think there is.

Imagine your friend, or perhaps only a casual acquaintance, calls you on the phone several times a day to tell you what they just ate or to recommend a song they just heard or to tell you a stupid joke someone just told them. Imagine if ten friends did that. Or twenty. Annoying, right? But many of us allow this constant bombardment from our social media accounts and call it normal. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. But missing out is not always a terrible thing.

Several years ago, I turned off all my notifications. It doesn’t keep the apps I use from trying to strong-arm me into turning them back on again. But it’s been worth it. Now, it’s up to me to check my Facebook pages, websites, and other social media sites for activity. What a concept! Choosing to notify myself. (Of course, there’s still the real danger of getting sucked in and spending way too much time scrolling. I keep telling myself to put a timer on before I log in. Do I always listen to myself? No. But at least I know it’s possible to practice healthy distancing from my newsfeed.)

If you’re looking for a way to de-stress in this new year, may I suggest taking control of and responsibility for your own notifications. Stop allowing the apps that are there to enrich your life have so much control. Notify yourself, instead. And happy new year. 🙂

Happy New Year!?

Most of us can’t wait to slam the 2020 door shut and open a new door into 2021. But, before you put your hand on that 2021 knob, it may be a good idea to reflect on your expectations for the new year.

The easiest way to bottom out by March is to set your goals and expectations higher than even Wonder Woman or Superman have a right to fly. Be kinder to yourself than that.

The pandemic that put a major damper on 2020 is not over. It’ll be months before enough of us have taken the vaccine and developed an immunity. And many of us have suffered losses — of our social lives, of jobs, of income, of loved ones. There’s a lot of grief going around. So, be kinder to others, too.

Expect a slow journey back to whatever you want your new normal to be. If you can help someone else recover, then reach out. Instead of expecting everything to work out for you and your life in 2021, be a part of things working out for someone else. Let’s make 2021 a year of lifting each other up.

And if you really want to make some New Year’s resolutions, make them achievable. Keep them simple and specific. Instead of I want to lose 20 lbs., how about I’m going to choose a healthier snack at 3 o’clock each afternoon. Make a small change and develop a new habit that’ll bring you closer to your bigger goal. Instead of I’m going to go to the gym everyday after work, or I’m going to start running every morning, try I’m going to take a fifteen minute walk on Mondays. Making a simple, achievable resolution may sound too easy, but how many Mondays do you think it’ll take before that fifteen minute walk becomes a true habit? Try it. Maybe by March, you’ll be adding resolutions, instead of giving up on them.

OK. Ready to turn that knob now and open a new door? Go for it.

And have a happier new year!

Peace. 🙂

Gratitude Spiral: Day 365

Today, I’m grateful for Thanksgiving Day and the completion of a year of traveling the Spiral path of Gratitude.

It began on Thanksgiving Day 2019 and has come, day by day, to Thanksgiving Day 2020. As I stated in the first Gratitude Spiral post, I wanted “to come around to gratitude over and over again, but be moved forward or outward, like a spiral.” I was aiming for a new place. A more grateful and appreciative place. And I think that’s where I’ve landed. What about you?

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 340

Today, I’m grateful for this new month of November.

I started this Gratitude Spiral in November of 2019, on Thanksgiving Day. (See the first Gratitude Spiral post here.) So much has happened since then. Who knew there’d be a pandemic, political upheaval, protests, and riots of the magnitude we’ve seen. I’m grateful to have started this daily practice.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 300

Today, I’m grateful for three hundred days of gratitude.

I started this Gratitude Spiral on Thanksgiving Day, 2019. It’s an accomplishment to still be posting daily doses of gratitude hundreds of days later. I’ve not only developed a habit of practicing gratitude, but have also practiced blogging daily. We’re entering the home stretch for this series of posts, but who knows what could be next. 😉

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 237

Today, I’m grateful for my owlish glasses holder.

A gift from my youngest daughter, this cute owl sits on my kitchen counter, right where I keep my pitcher of water each day. I trained myself to perch my kitchen reading glasses on its beak whenever I take them off. But sometimes, I still find myself looking around for them, thinking I must’ve tossed them on a table somewhere. And then, lo, there they are, sitting primly on my owl friend. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 100

Today, I’m grateful for this 100th day of a new habit.

For 100 days, I’ve been turning my thoughts to gratitude and it’s becoming a true habit. Some days the number of things I’m thankful for is overwhelming. Some days I find myself searching. But the habit of seeking an attitude of gratitude is becoming ingrained. And for that, I’m grateful. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

To look back at Day 1 of this Gratitude Spiral, click here.


Gratitude Spiral: Day 50

Today, I’m grateful for fifty continuous days of practicing gratitude.

I can feel a minute shift in my overall approach to life and I find myself mentally searching each day to discover things or situations to be thankful for. It’s a habit in process. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?