doing five things well

I hope you had a great weekend! I took some time to catch up with friends and prepare for the super busy week ahead of me. Tomorrow I head to New York for a press preview for Jess LC – I’ll explain more about that in tomorrow’s post. After the trip, I will be catching up with a friend visiting from Denver for Halloween weekend.

Though I’m not sure what our plans will be, I do know that I will be dressed in the simplest costume I would love to recommend to anyone else who hates keeping costumes around the house all year long. I’m going as a cougar: black sequin cocktail dress, silver sprayed roots in my hair, and costume jewelry. So easy, witty, and best of all, “costume clutter free.”

Doing Five Things Well

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice about writing five things you are thankful for in a gratitude journal. Research has shown that by recording what you are grateful for helps increase the overall joy you feel.

When I heard this years ago, I quickly took to the activity and faithfully documented my gratitude for several years. But over time, the activity became more of a part of the motions, just a part of my day like putting socks on or brushing my teeth. Don’t get me wrong, my gratitude for everything in my life is still super high, but the act of writing down the things I’m thankful for has lost it’s luster.

When I went to bed at night, I’d think of my five “thankful things” and then the perfectionist in me would creep in in a tiny voice and say,

“…. but I wish I had done X, Y, and Z better today.”

“…. but I didn’t get as much done as I wanted on the business.”

“… but I was just a little bit short with so and so.”

“… but I didn’t hit my goal for _____.”

I’d be thankful for a moment and then my ego would chime in with a few let-downs. Though things had happened to me that I was grateful for, I had personally dropped the ball in a few ways as well.

And then one night I decided to silence my mind’s negativity by thinking of five things that I personally had done well that day. Five actions I took that led to positive outcomes. And that’s when it clicked for me. Though I still recount daily the things I’m thankful for, I no longer put a number on those items and instead focus in the evening on my own personal positive actions. This isn’t to brag to myself, but it is to help me realize that though not everything that day went flawlessly, I still did five good things. And that was the perfect response to my mind’s criticism of anything that I didn’t do perfectly.

I highly suggest trying this tonight if you find it’s a bit easier to recognize the good that happens to you more than the good that happens because of you.

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  1. Alina

    I love this idea! Particularly since it reinforces an internal locus of control … I have definitely been guilty of attributing good things to external events and bad things to my own mistakes. I think if someone is prone to this, it’s a brilliant idea to go in the other direction for a while.

  2. cailen

    this is a great idea. far too often we have such negative inner dialogue – this is a great way to make a shift to more positive self talk. great suggestion!

  3. Thaís

    good idea! i’ll try to do it tonight!

  4. Maddie

    Jess, I just heard about your beautiful jewelry and was fortunate enough to stumble upon your blog, too—so wonderful. Looking forward to seeing and reading more! 🙂

  5. Jenny

    I love this idea, I too stopped keeping a gratitude journal for the same reasons, just felt like I was going through the motions. I need to try this for sure!

  6. Brandi

    I can’t tell you how much this post resonated with me. I started a gratitude journal this past September and decided to write three things down each night, but some nights, I felt like I was forcing myself and couldn’t come up with anything I hadn’t already said repeatedly. And I’m always thinking that I need to do more and I need to do everything I already do better. I’m going to try what you suggest — I think it could be a big help.

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