The January 2021 Giveaway

Holiday box giving you a chance at a planner or journal.

I’ll keep this simple since probably, like me, you are slammed with New Year’s Resolutions (checkout how to make them SMART) and Things To Do (write Thank Yous, take down decorations, get out belated newsletter…). For reasons I won’t go into at this juncture, I ended up with two extra planners and at least one extra journal. So I’m giving them away.

And trying to boost my email subscription list.

For a chance to win one, simply join my email list.

(If you are already subscribed to my list, you are already in the pool. Enjoy! Paddle around.) You’ll get the standard goodies (and more to come 1st Quarter 2021) as well as entry in the give-away. Share a link to the give-away on social media or your email list and get another chance to win.

Deadline for entries is January 6, 2021. (Epiphany; the Twelfth Day of Christmas)

Descriptions of the items are below with links to related sites. The “Cultivate What Matters 2021 PowerSheets Goal Planner” started January 1, 2021 (sorry I didn’t do this sooner). The Intelligent Change “Productivity Planner” and “5-Minute Journal” have no specific start date. Nor do the Smock Paper Company journals. If you are interested in a specific item only, either Tweet me @MTFWM1 or email me.

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A Brief Guide to Handling the Unexpected

40 inches of snow on the roof and deck change plans.

On Tuesday, the weather forecast called for an accumulation of 1-3 inches of snow between Wednesday and Thursday morning. By Thursday morning, the official record was 40 inches. Some folks were without power. No one was driving anywhere. So plans had to change. 

Step 1: Don’t Panic in Large, Friendly Letters

Instead of grabbing your towel (as recommended by The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), take a deep breath. Our primitive limbic system reacts to the unexpected with an automatic reaction of fear. 

Successful people know this and take a moment to curb that response and regain control. The military teaches its forces breathing techniques for combat situations. We may not be dealing with a life-or-death issue, but taking a moment to breathe and regain control of our initial response.

Step 2: Remain Positive & Maintain Control Over Change

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3 Key Steps to Gratitude and Core Resilience

Orange tabby kitten surrenders lacking resilience

Like a character in Game of Thrones, I keep pointing out winter is coming. I was not supposed to be here for winter. I suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder, or SAD for short. Apt because that’s what the seemingly endless grey days make me — sad. However, thanks to the worldwide pandemic, I am stuck here until at least next spring. 

But I’m still grateful to be here right now.

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Gratitude Journaling for Resilience, Growth, and Happiness

An open journal with "I am grateful for" lies with a pen ready to write

Gratitude journaling is the surprisingly simple element in wellness and mental health. First, medical studies show gratitude journaling helps lower stress and improved sleep. Behavioral psychologists report increased resilience, greater happiness, and even improved interpersonal relationships. (And yes, I am grateful my husband unloads the dishwasher — and I tell him so.) It can even combat materialism and improve empathy and generosity in adolescents!

But it isn’t a miracle cure for our problems. Research with some depressed patients find it’s not for everyone. Nor is there a “one-size-fits-all” method of gratitude journaling. There’s disagreement on whether it’s better to gratitude journal daily or weekly. Professor of psychology, Sonja Lyubomirsky, found in one of her studies that counting blessings once per week increased participants’ sense of happiness. Doing daily gratitude exercises backfired. Some study participants became resentful or desensitized to the benefits.

However, for most people, developing our gratitude is core to strengthening our resilience to setbacks, hard times, and pain. You need to find the technique and frequency that work best for you. 

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Journaling Resources and Links

Large India elephant moving and looking straight at you

This one is for my Journaling: Beyond the Diary students — and anyone else interested in journaling. Here are a few links and resources I use. If you have any other recommendations or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. And let me know if you are interested in an online version of my class or workshop.

(Note: Comments are moderated to eliminate spam and trolls, so there is a delay between posting a comment and it going live. Sorry about the inconvenience but the trolls and greedy ruin everything.) And the YouTube videos are collected at the bottom of the post.

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