Yesterday you identified how you want to feel and the types of behaviors that already make you feel that way. Today, it’s time to choose your new habit. Take out your worksheet from yesterday (“Decide How You Want to Feel”), and look at your list.
What To Do Today
Task #1: Pick a gratitude practice. Here are two ways to decide.
For now, pick just one activity to start with. My strong suggestion is to pick low hanging fruit, people. This is the behavior that you want to do the most.
Task #2: Give yourself permission to do something fun and easy. To take time for yourself. You have a choice: Do something hard and ambitious for a short period of time and then quit it, or do something fun or relaxing for the rest of your life. I promise, the people who know about these things (like your doctor, therapist, or coach) want you to pick the gratitude practice that you are going to stick with. This program is about hardwiring a gratitude habit into your brain that you can build on later.
Other people, women especially, struggle with this fun and easy criteria because it feels selfish to them. Their own needs lose out to the needs of the people and institutions around them–their kids, spouse, boss, business, etc. “This leads to a disturbing paradox,” writes Michelle Segar in No Sweat. “When we do not prioritize our own self-care because we are busy serving others, our energy is not replenished. Instead, we are exhausted, and our ability to be there for anyone or anything else is compromised.” So it isn’t at all selfish to take care of yourself in a way that is fun, that will truly replenish you, and that will make you feel happier and healthier for the rest of your lifetime. Gratitude—and the happiness and connection it creates—is essential if you want to make a difference in the world.