It was not designed to be a gratitude book only but rather to be “an easy way to record a quick thought or jot down and save a simple memory. As our lives become ever busier, this quick and easy journaling technique is a great way to keep special, happy, or poignant moments in life.”
Each day has its page in the journal. And each page is divided into 5 years, with 5 lines per year. So there is not a lot of space to write if you want to keep each detail of your days, but I think it’s enough to tell about the main events.
For my part, I mix happy moments with things I am grateful for, and it’s amazing how great and happy I feel after writing and reading my memories! So I started filling in during the year 2017/2018. It’s been a year now and I’m so glad I keep doing it each day!
Waking Up Early / Best Decisions I’ve Made
In December 2017, I’ve made the decision to wake up every morning at 5:30 a.m. And here we are in October 2018, and I am still doing it. I’ve made this decision after reading The Miracle Morning I’ve mentioned in my top 10 favorite books.
Why the hell do I do that?
Well, I’ve noticed that after dinner, I used to procrastinate a lot and I didn’t have enough energy to keep working. On the contrary, I’m the most productive in the morning. Moreover, each time I wanted to do something I was like “no I don’t have enough time.”
But what if I woke up earlier to do the things I love and what I “don’t have time” to do during the day?
That’s what I did: I transformed my morning into healthy and important habits I love and that makes me feel great for the entire day. I read I draw, I do sport, I work for the blog, I cook an awesome breakfast, etc. and then I go to school/work.
I remember last year how funny the shift difference was when I arrived at school in the morning. The majority of the students looked like zombies who has just woken up, and on the contrary, I felt like I already spent half of my day!
However, sleep is so important! That’s why it’s essential to go to sleep early too. I personally go to bed around 9:45 / 10:00 pm. If you’re planning to try it yourself, know that it will be very difficult to wake up the first few days. And if after several weeks, you still feel very tired, it can mean that you put your alarm on the wrong sleep phases. So I recommend you to take off your alarm and see when your body naturally wakes up.
However, it is also the one I had more difficulty being consistent with because sometimes you don’t feel like you want to sit and make the effort of letting go. But the more you do it, the more you’ll want to do it again! (which is a very good thing haha)
I will just quote myself from my other article (sources are there) to remind you of the benefits of meditation:
Before, reading was for me an inconsistent habit: I only read when I had spare time.
But one day, when I’ve realized how long my “To read list” was, I’ve made the decision to make it a priority. As I can’t read before going to bed (because I fell asleep very easily), I took the habit to read 20 minutes each morning before going to work.
Since I’ve put this habit in place, it’s incredible how many books I can read in one month compared to before! I feel so much wiser haha
Going Vegan / Best Decisions I’ve Made
I will always remember 7 years ago when I was at the table with a group of friends I just met, just after they learned I didn’t eat refined sugar, they were like: “Wow, you don’t eat refined sugar? That must be so hard! And are you vegetarian too?” I was like “vegetarian? No way, I love meat too much!”
3 years after, I went vegetarian. And I had another discussion with my best friend “I’m vegetarian but I will never go Vegan. They are too extremists, I don’t understand them.”
Here I am now, Vegan for a few years now and still healthy as hell! I became it overnight, after watching the Netflix documentary “What the Health”. I realized how ironic and contradictoryit was to eat animals whereas I have a Dog that I love (and don’t eat). Moreover, animal products are bad for our health and we can survive without them. Since I’ve never stopped informed me about this. I’ve also discovered the enormous ecological impact the meat and animal products industry has.
The lesson here: never say never, and always stay open, even when thinking you already know the subject. Oh, and I forgot to mention: stop making fun of people with different ideologies. Everybody changes. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be one of them?
Decluttering My Room/ Best I’ve Made
No more clothes nor useless objects I no longer love or use!
Another book that opened my mind on this matter: The Minimalist Mindset. I can’t laud enough the benefits minimalism had on me!
In August 2018, I made the decision to declutter my room, including my wardrobe and child toys that lied around. I’ve sorted out every single object of my room. Each one, really. With each one, I wondered myself:
Does this object bring me joy? Is it useful? Did I use it recently?
If not, I put it in one of these boxes
Should I sell it?
Should I donate it?
Should I throw it away?
Results: After one week of intense cleaning, the results were incredible. My room is way more spacious, beautiful and pleasant to live in. It feels more clear in my head and less anxious.
So, if you have said to yourself “yeah it something that I planned to do when I have time”, DO IT NOW!! Yes, it requires time and it’s not really enjoyable (except if you put your favorite music to help you). You can do it in one go or a little every day. The earlier you do it, the better you feel to do all your other important tasks.
Another tip: to avoid having to declutter again, be mindful of each one of your purchases. Ask you the good questions:
Do I need it or do I want it? (the distinction between the need and desire)
Do I already own something similar?
Is there something non-material that could fill this desire?
Can I borrow it?
Can I buy it but second-handed or already used?
Can I live without it?
Since I stopped compulsive buying I saved up so much money that I could do my first solo trip!!
If you don’t know how and where to start, I recommend the KonMari method.
I’ve read it and it was the trigger to motivate me decluttering! The main goal of this book is to offer the method that “if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again“. As I did it recently, I can’t say for the moment if I will have to declutter again, but let’s see if it works! 😉
Quitting refined sugar / Best Decisions I’ve Made
This was the first step in my health journey. It was this decision that made me discover the power of habits. It also helped me increase and develop my willpower.
What is refined sugar?
Refined sugar is only caloric and provides no other nutrients. It is added in almost every industrial aliment to enhance the taste and make you addict (i.e buy again). Basically, the majority of the time it’s the white sugar you see everywhere.
Why you should stop eating refined sugar?
Not only is excessive sugar consumption primarily responsible for the problems of obesity in this world, but it is also linked:
to the deterioration of cognitive functions, such as memory and learning ability,
to the problems of depression and anxiety,
at the appearance of dental caries,
at the risk of cancer,
to heart disease
to make you fat
to make you tired and irritable
to prevent you from sleeping
to feeding diseases…
I was addicted to sugar. When I started a packet of a cookie, you can be sure that I ate the whole packet and not just one cookie.
So I went sept by step, quitting all the industrial meals first, and started cooking my own cakes and lunches. I learned how to cook by the way! (Before I only bought already made industrial lunch)
The results were above my expectations.
No more spots on my face. More energy. Less binge eating.
It was also interesting to know that before quitting sugar, I was doing sport every single day to lose weight. I didn’t lose a single pound for 6 months until I stopped eating industrial meals and refined sugar. A month after this decision, I found my perfect weight and I felt much happier and confident!!
Another interesting fact is that my sugar sensitivity has reset. Now I don’t like anymore the cookies I used to eat because I can feel how extremely sugary they are and it disgusts me.
To replace it, I simply use fruits. There are generally already very sweet, so I don’t see why we should add sugar again. In other very rare cases, I also use Maple Syrup and Coconut sugar. But as I said, I don’t feel the need to replace it because my taste has changed and I already take pleasure with natural contained sugar.
It can be a hard habit to change, that’s why I think any bits of help and guides are welcome.
To tell the truth, I didn’t go through the 8 weeks. I stopped at the 6th because I felt like I was already weaned. So that’s rather a positive point!
Concerning the recipes, there are not vegan at all. But as I wasn’t vegan yet at that time I could test some of these recipes.
Conclusion: yes, those recipes are sugar-free but she uses a lot of cheese and meat which I don’t consider very healthy. However, I must say that she shares one of thebest granola recipes I’ve eaten! It’s been 3 years and I still use this recipe haha
I Stopped being distracted by things that don’t help me with my goals: The Priority Mindset / Best Decisions I’ve Made
I make simplicity my first choice: after reading the book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, I’ve started to apply this mindset: how can I reach this one goal with just One Thing? One little action? What is the most efficient step that will bring me more results?
Try it yourself: ask this each time you start a new task. You’ll see that most of the time, the actions you’re doing are not a priority and won’t bring as many results as you would have hoped.
Also, I’ve tried a quick exercise to help me prioritize. I recommend you to do it if you want to be more productive and spend less energydoing things with low results: (it takes 5 min-max)
Take one task you need to do
Split it into steps by steps with more details as possible
Then, draw this graphic and put each task in the box that matches:
It enables to have an idea of the ideal time and priority order. You’ll see that it’s not that easy to find the right case for each thing to do!
Trusting my intuition and Listening to Me / Best Decisions I’ve Made
Live your life, not the one others want you to have. It’s so important to be attentive to your own needs and to develop your own intuition. It requires effort, time, and self-love to become clearer with oneself, but the benefits are essential.
It’s not because someone’s dream is to travel the world, and that this person seems happy, that you have to do it too. Reach your own dreams and personal visions.
That’s why for me it’s so important to spend time and energy on personal development! I can’t recommend you enough to read more self-help books and take part in courses and programs.
So make the promises and decisions now to:
invest in yourself
trust in yourself (you are more powerful than you think)
love and kindness toward yourself (stop putting you down)
let more space to your intuition (if a little voice is advising you of something, try to listen to it for once)
This realization and decision to finally trust me led to a better understanding of what I want to do in life. For example, I first thought that I should apply for a prestigious school after high school because it’s what most of the students and parents aim at.
But by being attentive to myself, I’ve realized that working like crazy, no having time to take care of myself, and waiting 5+ years to develop my own projects was not what I really wanted. Moreover, I couldn’t imagine myself specializing in only one field. What if I discover after 5 years that I don’t want to do illustration all my life? (You have to know that I love changes and I get easily bored when doing the same thing)
I know that prestigious schools can help with finding jobs in famous firms and make millions. It can also create new opportunities, which is important too. But I’ve discovered that it’s not my personal purpose in life. Prestige does not equal happiness after all.
I didn’t send my application to this school. My parents were mad because I always told them since childhood that I wanted to go there. And these moments are hard. When you feel that nobody understands you and that you’re not supported.
My point is that hopefully, I learned to develop my intuition, trust myself and I’ve realized that I value freedom more than having everyone’s approval.
Taking my Bachelor Degree Online (even before covid) / Best Decisions I’ve Made
This one does not suit not for everyone. But it was the perfect match for me and for what I want to do in life.
This decision was the result of the other decision I’ve mentioned just above.
Here are the benefits that made me take this decision:
More flexibility in scheduling
Gain of time and energy from no commuting
The diploma has as much value as if I were attending classes (same program)
Develop our independence and management skills
Get more personalized help from teachers
Interactive learning environment
Allow traveling while studying
Enable me to work aside
I have access to all the resources of my University (library, equipment)
However, there are also inconvenient to keep in mind:
It needs to be disciplined
It requires a lot of motivation to keep pace and not fall in procrastination
It can lead to a lack of social interaction
It requires an effort to keep up a social environment. For my part, I have a virtual class and 15 classmates I can chat with on the online platform with. But as human contact are important, I go at least twice a week to a social event to meet new people or co-working. I do not want to work alone in my corner!
So yep, that was 10 of the best decisions I’ve made so far. I hope it inspired you!
What about you? What are your best decisions? Which ones had a huge impact on your life?