Creativity, Meaningful Work, Spirituality

Letting my intuition be my compass in business

honest and authentic

This morning my intuition spoke to me, clearly.

It was unexpected, while I was doing something else, as is often the case.

I was making coffee and thinking about what I want to achieve today. I was thinking that I should write a blog post, that proper bloggers post regularly and share helpful things like ‘Five ways to ditch self-doubt’ and ‘How to get more energy in three simple steps’, and my inner creative self just shriveled up at the thought of it.

I hate the pressure I sometimes feel as a blogger. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing. It’s one of my main passions. I love putting words on the page and expressing my deepest feelings. Actually, most of my journaling is written. But I hate feeling like I should post, and like I should share something that is catchy, useful, inspiring, entertaining… because most of the time I don’t have things like this to share.

I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about life coaches – that they have it all figured out – that’s why they are coaches. Not at all: coaches aren’t experts, and if you come across one who claims to be, please don’t give them your money. Coaches don’t have the answers – not for you. They have the tools to help you find your own answers inside.

And that’s one thing I am good at – listening to my own answers, from my own inner wisdom inside.

As I was making my coffee, I thought, I wish I could just blog like I write in my journal: tune into my intuition and let it flow, see what it has to say. Just as I trust my intuition to offer answers in my journal, I wish I could blog in much the same way.

And then my intuition spoke. It said: you can.

I’ve been longing for more authenticity in my work. I’ve been longing to be seen more, to share who I really am, to let my guard down.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed about how I’m just one tiny voice in a massive sea of people all clamouring for attention, and feeling like I will never be heard. Every time I open my inbox there are another 15 emails from people launching a new course or product, asking for my money. I don’t want to be one of those people, but at the same time I want a flourishing business and I want to help people. I also need to, you know, buy food and stuff.

I recently read this fascinating article about how to make your business and brand stand out and it spoke to me:

As the face of your brand, you have an automatic advantage because you ARE inherently different. You bring to the table a unique perspective, a different set of life experiences, a distinctive personality. You are what makes your business and brand distinctive – and so by bringing more of YOU into your business and brand, standing out becomes second nature.

After doing some work in my journal I realised that what makes me, me – that is, what makes me unique – is my sensitivity. The reason is this: I have very strong feelings about things. I care a LOT about things, I am extremely passionate and opinionated, easily excited… but I seldom share this passion and excitement because I am (most of the time without even realising it) trying to construct a certain image. I’m trying not to offend people. I’m trying to remain palatable for everyone. But of course, this means I’m not really being my whole self.

While I’m busy trying to write blog posts that are catchy, my own voice is lost. I’m never going to be heard this way.

my truth

So when my intuition nudged me this morning to try writing from the soul, instead of writing what I think people want to hear, I was curious. This is the result: a piece of writing that is true and honest. Because, what’s the point if what I’m writing isn’t true to me?

This is how I want to blog: in the same way I journal. Show up, let my intuition speak, see what it has to say. Some days it might offer ‘three simple tips’ for something, other days it might ramble and make little sense.

But I am SO SICK of trying to fit into the online business world and be something I’m not. One of the main reasons I chose to grow my own business and work for myself is to work in a way that honours who I am – not to find another mold I need to try and fit into.

If I can’t be authentic in my own business, where can I be? If I can’t let my soul speak in my creative work, if I can’t just be myself in my online space and in the way I interact with others online, then what’s the point? I may as well go back to a more stable paycheque as a teacher!

Really I think this comes down to trust – trusting your intuition. Trusting what it has to share. This is all fine and good in your own journal, when no one else is going to read it, but what about in a blog post? What about online, in my business, where I’m supposed to be ‘professional’?

What if I really leaned into this?

What if I trusted my intuition to share worthwhile content and messages, not just for me in my journal, but here, on my blog, in my business, with others?

What if my intuition doesn’t just have something that is necessary for me to hear, but for others too?

What if I really let this be my compass in my work?

The advice we are given is that we have to find a way to stand out, that people are more distracted and busy than ever, that unless we write something catchy we won’t get their attention.

But what if I just write what my soul wants to share, regardless of whether or not it gets multiple pins? What if I trust that being authentic, speaking from the heart and sharing my truth is enough?

What Inspires Me

What’s inspiring me right now…

on my table

Sometimes I share the things that are inspiring me when I’m not busy being mama. Here are some of the things I’m loving at the moment…

Read this if you have forgotten you are magic

Are you struggling with idea debt?

The stories I’m reading in Naked Money are truly inspiring and enlightening. You can still sign up for this free community project to explore what it means to make money as a creative

I loved this post on what it means to be an artist – with or without the support of your partner

Feeling overwhelmed as a mother? Maybe this is why…

Here’s 46 lists you can make when you are feeling overwhelmed

Also, did you enter the giveaway for Write to the Centre? It’s such a gorgeous journaling book!

Creativity

Write to the Centre – A book review and giveaway

Write to the Centre: Navigating life with gluestick and words
by Helen Lehndorf

Write to the Centre - Helen Lehndorf

Do you ever feel like you are a total weirdo? Like no one understands you, or if people knew what you really think, they might be horrified? Do you ever struggle to understand your own feelings and reactions to things and need a bit of help untangling them? I do, I do and I do. – Helen Lehndorf

This book. I don’t know where to start except to say that I love it. LOVE it.

Flipping through it simply to look at the gorgeous imagery is enough to inspire me – a few pages in and I’m itching to get out my journal, gluestick and paints, and get creating.

But the text itself is also inspiring. I’d describe it as part how-to, part memoir. The author shares excerpts from her own journal alongside guidance on journal-keeping. All her ideas and advice are illustrated by her own words from her own journals.

From Write to the Centre

There’s just something so intimate and comforting about reading the words of another’s journals – something that tells you that you’re not alone in your feelings, experiences, views of the world. By the end of the book I feel like I know Helen – like I’ve met a kindred spirit on a journey similar to mine: someone trying to find their way in the world, using creative practice to make sense of it all.

She covers topics like getting started and making journaling a habit, allowing the ugly, navigating life transitions in your journal, processing pain, solving problems, creating rituals, appreciating the good. And each chapter ends with a unique and detailed journaling prompt to get you working in your own journal.

From Write to the Centre

My favourite thing about this book is the imagery from Helen’s visual journals. It is an absolute feast for the eyes and soul; Helen’s distinctive and unique journaling style is colourful, messy and intuitive. She combines collage, painting and her handwriting to create honest and interesting journal pages (see more of her style here). It’s a great book to dip into for a creative boost.

You can grab your copy of the book here.

Giveaway

—- The giveaway is now closed —-

Helen has been generous enough to provide me with a copy to give away. I’m so thrilled to be able to do this because it is such a gorgeous book and it needs to be in the hands of every visual journaler. I’m also throwing in a set of watercolour paints to get you painting in your journal. Here’s how to enter:

  • Share this post, or the image below on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+) or on your own blog
  • Use the hashtag #writetothecentregiveaway
  • Comment below (so I know you’ve shared it and I have a way to contact you!) telling me where you shared it and what you love most about journaling
  • Closes August 31st midnight EST 2017

Win a copy of the gorgeous journaling book Write to the Centre and a set of watercolour paints!

Full disclosure – I was sent a free copy of the book and asked to review it – but I had already purchased my own copy so that’s why I’m giving this copy away. Everything I’ve said in this review comes from my heart – I just adore the book and recommend it to any journaling enthusiast like myself.

What Inspires Me

A little inspiration

Every now and again I share some of the things that have inspired me. Here are a few favourites from this week.

journey

I was honoured to be featured in the Art Journal Love series over on Leslie’s blog, Words of Me. You can find more from the series on her blog (there is SO much art journaling goodness on there, including this list of 20 ideas to get you inspired in your art journal!)

I’m so excited to have my friend Deb join me in the 17 non-fiction books in 2017 challenge (read more about the challenge here)

I’m currently obsessed with this album

Love this flip-through of Rae Missigman’s art marks journal

There are some great art journal ideas in the Journal Friday posts over at Journal Fodder Junkies

Have you ever tried making a moonboard?

*  *  *

Have an inspired week!

 

What Inspires Me

What I’m reading this year: 17 books in 2017

a reading challenge

I love reading.

Well, more specifically, I love books.

In particular, I love non-fiction books – especially those of the spiritual, self-help and creativity variety. It must be the coach in me.

Plus I love a good memoir – especially one where the writer overcomes some kind of obstacle or grows in some way – and I especially love memoirs with a dash of travel or some kind of journey – the rainbow waythink Eat, Pray, Love, Paris Letters or Wild. I have a hunger for adventure and growth but can’t quite see myself making it through the entire Pacific Crest Trail (although eating my way through Rome or Paris is another story!).

I collect books like they’re going out of fashion (actually, some people think they are). I’m moving into a tiny house in the next month or two. And when I say tiny, I mean this tiny. There isn’t a lot of room for books. Really I should stop buying them and maybe even get rid of some (lots).

But I can’t. I can get rid of clothes and live off only a few main items (right now I’m living in really stylish nursing tops). I can get rid of kitchen items, linen I don’t use – even shoes and handbags are a non-issue for me. But books – it’s like asking me to give up little parts of my soul.

To me, these non-fiction books represent possibility.

They are tiny portals into a better version of my life, manuals with instructions for growth and change, portable life and spiritual coaches to help me become the me I know is in there and live the life I keep imagining.

But I have a bit of a shameful confession.

As voraciously as I collect these books, I don’t always manage to read them all.

In fact, most of them have underlining and notes in the intro and first chapter or two, and that’s it. I get distracted by the next purchase and abandon it.

Last year I read two books that really inspired me – I would go so far as to say they were life-changing: Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell and Unwritten by Jack Delosa. I couldn’t get enough of these two – they spoke to me with what I needed to hear right when I needed it. They are full of notes. I want more of this.

you are your heroes

I was recently inspired by Leonie’s list of books she read in 2016 and thought I’d create my own. I have a mini (or not so mini) library right at my fingertips just begging to be read. I want a challenge, some public accountability, I want to actually read these gorgeous books I buy.

Most of all, I want the growth, insight and inspiration that comes from reading these sorts of books.

Besides, I have hours of free time sitting around each day – either while feeding my little man or while he naps – and I don’t want to just spend it watching TV shows (my latest guilty pleasure – watching old episodes of Mad About You!).

So, the 17 Books in 2017 Challenge was born.

I know 17 books in a year isn’t a lot – some people read multiple books a week. And I can read fiction really quickly – it’s easy to get really involved in the story and it doesn’t tend to require a lot of mental energy. But non-fiction books that require me to think about my life and my beliefs are entirely different. I’m not a particularly fast reader – I like to stop and think, make notes, underline key points and journal about the book. It must be the teacher in me.

lifes best work

Plus, one year I set a goal of reading 52 books in a year and gave up after like 3 weeks. There was too much pressure and it took the joy right out of it.

This challenge is do-able to me, but will require a bit of effort. The perfect balance, I think. Plus we are already well into February – so that means I need to read a book roughly once every 2-3 weeks.

Here’s my plan:

  • Read the book over the 2-3 week period (or sooner, if I’m inspired to do so).
  • Share quotes and other insights that inspire me on social media using the hashtag #reading17in2017
  • Take notes in my journal
  • Write a blog post that loosely reviews the book, shares some of my favourite insights and some journal prompts based on the lessons and inspiration from the book
  • Choose the next one!

I invite you to join me – either with some or all of the books below, or with your own reading list.

My reading list:

I should preface this by saying these are not going to be the latest, newest reads. Some of these have been around for ages, but I’m only just getting around to reading them myself. There is no underlining theme or logic (although most of these books are about creativity or motherhood, or both) – these are simply books I’ve had on my radar for a while but haven’t made time to read.

I should also say that I think life is too short to read a book I’m not enjoying. If I give a book an honest go and can’t make headway, I’ll leave it and move onto the next.

In no particular order:

  1. The Rainbow Way – Cultivating creativity in the midst of motherhood – Lucy H. Pearce
  2. Spilt Milk Yoga – A guided self-inquiry to finding your own wisdom, joy and purpose through motherhood – Cathryn Monro
  3. Write to the Center – Navigating life with gluestick and words – Helen Lehndorf
  4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing – Marie Kondo
  5. Burning Woman – Lucy H. Pearce
  6. Liberating Motherhood – Birthing the purplestockings movement – Vanessa Olorenshaw
  7. The Well-Crafted Mom – Kathleen Ann Harper
  8. Soul Vows – Gathering the presence of the divine in you, through you, and as you – Janet Conner
  9. Still Writing – The perils and pleasures of a creative life – Dani Shapiro
  10. Wild Women, Wild Voices – Writing from your authentic wildness – Judy Reeves
  11. Rise Sister Rise – Rebecca Campbell
  12. The Soul of Creativity – Insights into the creative process – Edited by Tona Pearce Myers
  13. Brave – 50 everyday acts of courage to thrive in work, love and live  – Margie Warrell
  14. Women Who Run with the Wolves – Contacting the power of the wild woman – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  15. Moods of Motherhood – The inner journey of mothering – Lucy H. Pearce

So far that’s all I have. I’ll likely find many new books I want to read this year, and I’m open to suggestions!

I hope you’ll consider doing your own reading challenge. I’d love to hear your current reads, recommendations and favourites in the comments!

Creativity, Self Empowerment

Be your own Valentine: The Self Love Kit

In the past when Valentine’s Day rolled around, I would panic. Either I hadn’t had a date lined up, or if I did, it wasn’t as movie-magical as I had hoped.

I felt this way for years. But for the past couple of years, I have spent Valentine’s Day focused on me – on deepening my relationship with myself.

I have a wonderful fiance who treats me very well, but up until a few years ago things in the self love department left a lot to be desired. I spent a lot of time with him, doing things he loved and not really spending much time with just me.

When I started a regular journaling practice Over two years ago, all that changed. I met the real me: the creative, optimistic, courageous, daring and passionate me. The me that had been hiding underneath hours of time focused outward instead of inward.

self love kit cover page

I’m not at all suggesting we shouldn’t spend time with our loved ones. But I think it’s important to strike a balance between time alone, being introspective, and time with others, focused outward.

In fact, I noticed a huge improvement in the quality of my relationship with my partner when I spent more time alone, focusing on me. I know it seems paradoxical, but it’s true: I grew to know myself better, to nurture and care for myself more, and to love myself. This is something I have struggled with for years.

i am lovable squareWhile being romantic on Valentine’s Day is nice, and certainly can add to the quality of a relationship, I encourage you to take some time this Valentine’s Day to show yourself some love. You could take yourself on a self love date or take some time out to journal. Buy yourself flowers, and do something special just for you.

The Journal Wild Self Love Kit is designed to get you feeling lovey-dovey – about yourself. I hope you will download the kit and spend some time focusing on the person who should bring you the most joy: you.

Get your free copy of the Self Love Kit:

Journal Wild Self Love Kit 2015

Motherhood, What Inspires Me

An update and a little inspiration for you…

I’m six weeks into my new role as a mama and honestly, this is such a strange time.

So far, I am just keeping my head above the water. Each time I look at my little boy I feel overcome with joy and gratitude for the amazing wee thing that he is – except when it’s 3am and he won’t sleep, or when he’s been cluster feeding for five hours straight. Then I just try to keep breathing.

I know I’m so lucky to have a healthy, gorgeous little bubba – but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments I’ve sobbed uncontrollably because I’m just so overwhelmed by the fact that this little guy relies on me 24/7 and it never lets up.

I’ve been so lucky to have my own mum on hand to babysit while I nap, and my fiance to do some of the night feeds so I can rest. It’s tough work being someone’s entire world, but each cuddle, each time he looks at me, each new thing he does makes it all worth it. This post perfectly describes my experience.

File_000

So, while I’m stuck at home feeding around the clock, I’ve been watching endless films (seriously, I’m running out of new films now!) and also browsing online for hours. Here are a few of the things that have kept me going recently…

Did you choose a guiding word for 2017? Perhaps this powerful post will inspire you.

Despite not often having a free hand, I’m considering attempting the 30 Day Journal Project hosted by Lisa Sonora. The theme this time around is ‘Journey’, which I adore.

Speaking of Lisa Sonora, have you checked out her new video series? My faves so far are this video and post about keeping a studio journal, and this one where she shows us what art supplies are in her travel bag.

Is journaling – more specifically free writing – better than meditation?

Read this when you wonder if your story matters, or you’re feeling as though no one is listening when you write.

And for any new mamas our there feeling like me, read this hilarious article offering timeless practical advice for parents struggling to get their babies to sleep. Hopefully it will help to remind you that none of us know what we are doing.

More from me soon x

 

Creativity

Journal prompts: Goodbye 2016

I love this time of year. There is something so cleansing about moving out of an old year and into a new one – and these journal prompts can help with just that.

Many of the courses and workbooks released at this time of year contain both a section to reflect on the previous year and a section to set goals and get excited for the new year. I didn’t create a section for the past year in the Magical 2017 Yearbook course because I wanted the course to focus purely on bringing in the wonderful things for the new year. I want the yearbook to be a guide for you through 2017 and I thought having notes about 2016 in there wasn’t necessary – and may even be counterproductive for some.

But I do think it’s important to make peace with the past, celebrate what you’ve achieved, and be honest about the things that didn’t work out. I don’t feel right going straight into the new year without some kind of ritual releasing the year that’s been.

dont look sideways

Why? For me, it’s the feeling of awareness and a sense of closure. Awareness of what has happened this year, but more importantly, awareness about my feelings towards these things. For example, we still haven’t finished our tiny house build (but we are really close!) and that makes me a little disappointed. I don’t want to avoid this feeling, but rather make peace with it and use it to help me figure out how to make next year better.

So, with that in mind, I’ve created some journal prompts to get you thinking about the year that’s been. There are loads of great prompts online, I’ve just selected some of the ones I love and added a few of my own.

I hope these can guide you through a sort of closing ceremony for 2016, so you can welcome the new year with open arms.

Journal Prompts:

  • What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.
  • Describe 2016 in one sentence:
  • This year I’m most grateful for…
  • My biggest achievement this year was…
  • This year I got really excited about…
  • This year I was most inspired by…
  • My greatest challenge this year was…
  • I need forgive myself for…
  • My biggest piece of unfinished business from this year is…
  • The greatest lesson I’ve learned this year is…
  • How have you grown as a person this past year? How are you different this year than last?
  • This year I wish I had done more…
  • I wish I had done less…
  • What was the best way you used your time this past year?
  • If you had more time to invest in this past year, what would you do with it?
  • If I could redo 2016, I would…
  • Write a letter to the you from the start of last year. What advice would you give yourself?
  • If 2016 was a book, what would the title be? Name some of the chapters.
  • Did you have a guiding word or guiding values for 2016? How did it serve you? How did it challenge you?
  • The biggest gifts of 2016 were…

Be gentle with yourself when going through this, it can be tough if the past year has been a difficult one. I always find a cup of tea, some nice music and a candle, incense or essential oils are comforting.

Happy new year!

Creativity, Meaningful Work

A free year of guided journaling: Journal Into You

Please note that Journal Into You is now available inside the Creative Journaling Toolkit.

I like to offer some kind of free guided journaling or prompts each year, and 2017 is no exception.

I thought long and hard about what would make this coming year one of growth, awareness and expansion. Finally I settled on this: Journal Into You.

Free 2017 themed journaling prompts: make this coming year one of growth, awareness and expansion.

What is Journal Into You?

A year of guided journaling and prompts, using monthly themes.

Each month we will explore a different theme that builds on the one from the month before. By the end of 2017 you will have learnt more about yourself and your life, connected with the core of who you really are and expanded your ideas of what you are capable of.

If you combine the growth from these prompts with the 2017 Magical Yearbook, you will end 2017 having achieved some awesome goals too!

There is one deep journaling prompt per week. I wanted to make it doable so that people didn’t feel overwhelmed with the amount of work involved. Also, the prompts ask you to explore in depth and may take some time to complete, so allowing a week per prompt means you can really get into the good stuff.

The themes are as follows:

  • January – Beginnings
  • February – Healing
  • March – Acceptance
  • April – Passion
  • May – Truth
  • June – Power
  • July – Success
  • August – Focus
  • September – Courage
  • October – Action
  • November – Faith
  • December – Fulfillment

Note – the themes may change or change order as we progress through the year, but this is a rough guide for now.

The prompts are designed to get you journaling in a variety of different ways – written, visual, even online if you feel like it. I’ve tried to keep them open enough that you can interpret them however feels right for you, while still being specific enough to guide you through a year of growth.

What you get

  • A beautiful, printable 2 page PDF each month
  • Weekly prompts centered around the monthly theme – that you can cut out and stick in your journal
  • Interesting quotes to guide your journaling
  • Tips and ideas for how to interpret the prompts and face the page
  • Inspiring notes and thoughts on our theme
  • Encouragement to keep you showing up to your journal and to help you grow
  • Access to a Facebook community to share ideas, journal pages, tips and get inspiration from others

How to get it

I’m offering this for free because I truly believe in the transformative power of a creative journaling practice. I know first hand how much impact a regular, in-depth journaling practice can have on your life, and I want that for you too.

You can access the prompts inside The Creative Journaling Toolkit.

If you want to share your journaling, questions, pages etc on social media, use the hashtag #2017journalintoyou

I hope you’ll join us for a year of journaling inspiration!

Self Empowerment

Join me for a simple, free, nourishing practice in December

I always get excited at this time of year. As the new year comes closer, I sense the chance for fresh beginnings, new dreams, growth.

Of course, there’s still a whole month of 2016 left to go! And by rushing to prepare for the new year, I’m shortchanging myself for this year.

A little while ago I shared an image from my journal on Instagram where I talked about how I had this bad habit of getting onto social media first thing in the morning, and how it made me feel crappy for the day ahead.

So many people commented and said they felt the same way. It got me thinking.

What if we set about to be a bit more deliberate with how we spend our time – whether morning, evening, or in between?

And then I thought, one of the most stressful times of year is coming up. If you’re working you might be rushing to get stuff done before the end of the year. If you’re a mum, wife or homemaker you might be stressing to get Christmas things organised – gifts, meals, decorations, whatever. You might be preparing to travel or have family come and stay. Or maybe you find the holidays a lonely and sad time, for whatever reason.

I think a lot of us are tempted to rush through December and get to the new year. But what if we slowed down and really savoured December? Rather than crashing into the new year and attempting to start fresh then, we can step gracefully into 2017 with a nourishing daily routine already in place. We don’t have to wait until January to start feeling good – let’s do it now.

So the idea for Deliberate December was born.

Deliberate December - a simple, nourishing practice to end the year feeling calm and content.

How it works

You don’t have to sign up for anything or pay for anything. Simply, all you have to do is commit to doing something deliberately every day (or most days) in December – in whatever way feels good for you. I’ll provide some simple journaling prompts below to get you thinking about what might feel good for you in December, and then you do it!

If you feel like it, you can share an image each day with the hashtag #mydeliberatedecember. Here’s how my Deliberate December is going to look:

Mornings: Each weekday, before 9am, I’m going to journal first thing and then do timed writing. I may or may not do these things on the weekend – I’m leaving that part open. The main thing is for me to not get straight onto social media, but to start my day deliberately.

Evenings: I also want to end my days with more intention, and I’ve been neglecting some essential pregnancy self-care rituals, so these will be done in the evenings. Before bed on weekdays, I’m going to do some gentle stretching and massage, meditation and reading before bed. Ideally this will take about 30 minutes, with the goal of getting to sleep by 11pm.

That’s it. Pretty straightforward.

Some things you might want to consider for your own Deliberate December practice:

– What time of day do you want to do it? I chose mornings because I’m off work now and am finding myself sort of drifting aimlessly into my days. This isn’t a good feeling. I added in evenings because I think if I go to bed with intention, I’m more likely to wake up with intention. Without the structure of work to guide me, I need to create my own structure.

– What do you want to include? I recommend really thinking about what will make you feel good, not what you think you should include. Some things you might like to consider are:

  • Meditation
  • Morning pages/journaling
  • Exercise – yoga, walking, swimming, etc
  • Reading
  • Prayer
  • Time outside
  • Painting
  • Self care such as taking a bath, applying some lovely body lotion, deep breathing, a lovely cup of tea, etc.

img_0436

Note: This practice is about the practice, not producing a product. The focus is on what you are doing and how it feels, not what you might be producing. It’s about being deliberate with your days, not producing a collection of paintings or reading a certain number of books. Being present in the process is what is most important.

Tools to help

I’m using a few tools to help me with my Deliberate December practice. These are things that can help keep me accountable and just make the whole process a bit easier. Here’s what I’m using:

  • The hashtag #mydeliberatedecember – sharing my progress with others will help to keep me accountable.
  • My journal itself is a way of keeping me accountable as I’m forced to confront myself each day – and why I may have chosen to not do my practice!
  • The Forest App – I have this as an app on my phone and a Chrome extension. It stops me from opening up other apps/tabs when I’m focused on doing something (like writing) and times my progress. Brilliant!
  • 750words.com – this is an online platform that tracks my daily timed writing to ensure I write a minimum of 750 words. This was originally based on the idea of Morning Pages, which are about 750 words long, so could be useful for that.
  • Guided meditation – I’m not sure which one I will do yet, but it will be short and easy (5-10 minutes). I’m thinking something from the Insight Timer App.

You could also use things like fitness trackers or timers if your practice includes fitness or exercise, updating Good Reads if your practice includes reading – or just simply share using the hashtag. Make it simple and fun!

What to do when you miss a day

Right now, acknowledge that you will likely miss a day, you will ‘mess up’. This practice is exactly that – a practice. It is not meant to be perfect. It’s meant to be gentle and nourishing. This is not another chance to beat yourself up.

If you miss a day of your Deliberate December, then simply get back to it the next day. No blame, no criticism, no guilt.

Remember, it’s about the process, the practice. Even if you were only practicing every second day you would still feel better than not at all. Be open to not doing it perfectly.

The other thing is that you can change the practice if it’s not working for you. Don’t panic about being locked into doing something. If you get a few days in, or halfway, and it’s not working anymore, then change it! Total freedom to do what works for you.

Prompts to get you thinking about your own Deliberate December Practice

  • What is most missing from your life right now?
  • What do you need more of?
  • What do you want less of?
  • How could you nourish and care for yourself more?
  • What feels manageable for you to do each day?
  • Do you want to focus more on how you start or end your day – or both? Or perhaps the middle?
  • Imagine it is the start of 2017 and you’ve spent December more deliberately. What things might have you been doing? How would you feel?
  • What tools could you use to help you stay on track?

Comment below and share your ideas for your own Deliberate December practice.