Happy November! I hope you enjoyed the extra hour of sleep you got on Saturday night. I know I woke up feeling much more refreshed and awake at 6:30 a.m. than I normally do!
One of my favorite things to do when a new month starts is to journal my goals and intentions for the month. It helps me get back on track with my goals that I may have strayed from due to day-to-day craziness, and gives me a sense of purpose as we enter the month ahead.
My main intention for the month of November is to live with gratitude. I am beginning to believe more and more that gratitude is the key to happiness, because we can never be happy if we don’t stop and take a moment to appreciate what we have right now.
With that being said, I’d like to share some ideas for ways to live with more gratitude this November (and hopefully beyond!).
Refrain from shopping.
A good way to remind ourselves of what we already have is to take a shopping hiatus, whether it’s for a couple of weeks, a month, or several months. Challenging ourselves not to buy new clothes, shoes, make-up, household items, etc. forces us to get creative and look at what we already own with new eyes. That simple black t-shirt and jeans you always wear becomes a whole new outfit when you add that pretty scarf you forgot about and those heeled booties you haven’t gotten around to wearing. Challenge yourself to appreciate the items you already own.
Cook homemade meals.
I think that a good way to become more grateful for our food is to put effort into the process of preparing our own meals. When you spend time peeling garlic, chopping vegetables, and sauteeing and simmering your food on the stove, you are more aware of the ingredients that go in your food and the process that went into making it. I find the process of cooking to be very grounding. When you sit down with your homemade meal, remind yourself to feel grateful that you have access to fresh food, a stove to cook on, and maybe even someone you love to share your meal with.
Say thank you.
You probably already say thank you to the barista who makes your coffee or the checker who bags your groceries. But do you say thank you enough to the truly important people in your life? Do you tell your mom thank you for cooking you homemade meals and for always being there for you? Do you tell your significant other thank you for being so understanding when you were busy and cranky and kind of a mess last week? Do you tell your friends thank you for taking the time to listen when you need to talk? For some reason, we never seem to thank the people in our lives enough for doing the things that truly matter. Challenge yourself to voice your appreciation more.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but if it is difficult for you to keep gratitude in mind, it may be helpful to start a little journaling practice where you physically write down the things in your life that you are thankful for. That way, when you are feeling down and need a reminder, you can open up your notebook and be brought back to a place of gratitude.
Let little things go.
I am a perfectionist and will admit that it is hard for me to let little things go sometimes. I get down on myself if I eat 4 cookies instead of going to the gym. I get angry at my boyfriend if he leaves the room a mess. I get annoyed if I spill coffee on the shirt I picked out to wear that day. It’s those little things that can take you from a good mood and a perfectly fine day, to being a grump. In those moments, we need to remind ourselves that those little things that make us angry really don’t matter in the scheme of things. Try to come up with a plan or ritual to remind yourself how to let things go. Maybe when you start to feel a bad mood coming on you go for a run, do some yoga, get in the kitchen and bake, get outside for some fresh air. While you do this activity you are forming a fresh start in your mind, letting the dumb little irritants go, and coming back to a place of gratitude and centeredness.
Keep these ideas in mind as you set intentions for the month of November. We are entering the busy holiday season that can come with a lot of stress and chaos if we let it, but amongst all of that bustle, challenge yourself to live with gratitude and focus on the things that really matter in your life.
I hope today’s post has helped you enter November feeling grateful and inspired. In the spirit of gratitude and feeling thankful for the people in my life, I am taking a few days off from work to visit my family and wish my sister a happy 12th birthday. I will not be posting anymore this week since I am taking some time to relax and focus on family, but I will see you here for more inspiration next Monday! Thank you for reading.