Thankful Journal #1

As we close out the year, I wanted to take some time to reflect on all that’s happened in 2017 and seal it with a moment of gratitude. A regular gratitude practice is the single most expert-recommended trick for short and long-term happiness, and it just so happens to be one of the easiest. 

The honest effects of gratitude and positivity! 

The honest effects of gratitude and positivity! 

Knowing this, I try to end each night playing the game, “Three Good Things.” In it, I mentally list three things I’m thankful for that day. It’s really simple, but so powerful. I usually fall asleep as I’m naming my third thing and drift off with a smile on my face. So not a bad deal. 

Thankful for the chance to explore Chicago over St. Patrick's Day weekend with some of my best buds. 

Thankful for the chance to explore Chicago over St. Patrick's Day weekend with some of my best buds. 

There are some days that I need more of a pick-me-up, so I’ll pull out my journal and physically list the things that bring me joy or that I'm feeling grateful for in that moment. I wanted to do this digitally to help give some insight into my regular practice and also help answer the question of, "How do I meaningfully reflect on 2017 in a way that brings me joy?" I've divided my life into six different facets to help narrow the focus a bit more:

Thankful for beautiful walks in the green, green nature.

Thankful for beautiful walks in the green, green nature.

In 2017, I was thankful for...

Socially

  • Best friends from college whom I feel so comfortable and at home with
  • A family who texts, calls, and leaves voicemails
  • The chance to be there for my friends when they were going through tough times (i.e. the chance to put the needs of others' before my own)
  • Regular game nights that allow me to connect with friends without the pressure of drinking 
Some of the aforementioned best friends, making my heart burst just a little at the seams. 

Some of the aforementioned best friends, making my heart burst just a little at the seams. 

Professionally

  • The chance to revive my passion for writing & creativity with this platform  
  • Being recognized and nurtured in my job  
  • All the challenges I faced at work this year that lead to personal growth. I learned so much about starting a new role, negotiating for my worth, interviewing, and make decisions about change. 
  • The chance to start the year with a clean slate and a new job! 
Just two of the amazing people I got to work with in 2017. 

Just two of the amazing people I got to work with in 2017. 

Romantically

  • All the romance of a new relationship :) Little things like an Easter basket filled with my favorite candy, a surprise visit on Valentine's Day, a romantic drive up the 1, a getaway weekend to Costanoa Lodge, all the bouquets of flowers "just because" ...I'll spare everyone, but the list goes on. 
  • Falling in love with a truly good person who cares for me in a way that I have always wanted
Best part of my 2017 was you :) 

Best part of my 2017 was you :) 

Spiritually

  • Moments that humble me, like times I've failed and times I needed to be called out on my attitude
  • Books that make me feel understand and less alone 
  • Disconnecting from tech and dropping into stillness 
  • Days that I got to spend all on my own, doing exactly what makes me happy
  • Discovering Rumi's poetry (one of my favorite poems here)
  • Simply, that I have hope for the future
Thankful for the chance to travel to Bali this year and stay in incredible locations like this one in Ubud. 

Thankful for the chance to travel to Bali this year and stay in incredible locations like this one in Ubud. 

Financially

  • A steady job that allowed me to live in my favorite city in my beautiful apartment
  • The ability to put a good chunk of money into retirement
  • Seeing some of my first investments in the stock market pay off
The aforementioned favorite city.

The aforementioned favorite city.

Physically

  • The opportunity to travel to Chicago, Bali, New York, Spain, and Portugal
  • A hometown I love to visit 
  • All the sweet puppy dogs who make me smile when I meet them
  • The many nights I got 8 hours of blissful, restful sleep 
  • Other creators who help me stay fit/sane without a gym membership by producing amazing free content. Some of my recent favorites: 

60 Minute Beginner Yoga Flow

60 Minute Intermediate Yoga Flow

KaylaItsinesFullBodyWorkout

I've struggled just a little to get this post out, because 2017 was not without its challenges for me. In fact, a lot of them seemed to culminate in the last few months. But when I lay out my life like this - with everything that I have to be thankful for - I realize it would be more inauthentic to not share. Hopefully by giving a peek into my regular practice, you’ll be inspired to start your own and experience an increased sense of joy and contentment with your already incredible life. 

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