Gratitude Journal… yes I’m actually doing it.

This weekend’s reading in Simple Abundance suggests that I start a “gratitude journal.” At first I nearly skimmed over this day’s reading as this is not normally something I would consider doing. However, I continued reading and within 10 minutes I had found a blank notebook that a friend of mine had given me and began writing down things I was grateful for that day.

I know my previous post touched on this a little, but I never thought I’d actually take the time each day to write down a few things I was thankful for. It wasn’t until after reading this that I realized how many little things go unnoticed – that truly are important to me. For example yesterday I just jotted down how thankful I was to have my ‘other, better half of me,’ my best friend visit me in Chicago this weekend, and another new friendship that was in the making and the fact that my car finally sold this weekend after trying to sell it for the past 6 months. So as you can see it’s not the big things in life that matter the most, sometimes it’s the smallest things, things you are almost unaware of until you sit down and take time to reflect on the happenings around you.

The author states ‘the more you have and the more you are grateful for, the more you will be given. Two months from now you will be a different person after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life.’ – I couldn’t agree more. How this simple book, with just a few paragraphs of reading each morning is giving me so much inspiration, I have no idea – but so far I am loving it! If your inspired by this post, I recommend finding an unused notebook lying around in your house and accept the same challenge I’m taking on. Take just 5 minutes before you go to bed each night and jot down some of the things you are most grateful for from that day.

My notebook of choice 🙂

Friday the 13th

In my most recent post I mentioned that I had just started reading a “daily” book called Simple Abundance. I decided to write this post based off of last Friday the 13th’s reading because the message paralleled my current place in life so well, a perfect fit. It was titled “Gratitude: Awakening the Heart.”

In summary, the author reveals her constant desire and want for items that she could never afford, a sense of greed. The more she focused on these things the more depressed she became. It got to the point where she was physically and emotionally exhausted from concentrating on them. As soon as she came to the realization that she was torturing herself with these desires and unnecessary needs, she “surrendered her desire for security and sought serenity instead” and decided to give thanks to areas in her life where she was completely satisfied.

This is when I started relating it all to my life. The past few months have been a huge adjustment for any normal person my age – recent graduate, the move to a big city, searching for that ‘big girl’ job, leaving my best friends and family back home AND then to top it all off I hit the most stressful part 4 months after settling in Chicago – financial insecurity <– worst feeling in the world, might I add!! I struggled with the same issue the author spoke of; I focused all my attention on the negative things going on rather than being grateful and aware of all the positive things in my life.

My health, a wonderful loving mother and family, my amazing supportive friends, a great apartment in a thriving and beautiful city, cherishable and unique memories of my dad, my skills and talents and all the opportunities I’ve been given.. the list goes on with things that I am more than thankful for. It doesn’t matter how awareness comes about. All that matters is that you’re aware – and from there the author experienced an overwhelming amount of gratefulness. You begin to notice and appreciate the smallest gifts in life.

And she leaves off with a few things for you to think about: Be open to exchanging your need for emotional and financial security for your serenity. Open “the eyes of your eyes.” Are your basic needs met? Do you have a home, food, clothes, a paycheck, good health? Can you walk, talk and see the beautiful world around you? The list goes on… so with that I feel I have passed along her message as best as I could, hopefully it has the same positive impact on yourself as it did for me. What are you grateful for today?

“Destiny is made known silently.” – Agnes de Mille

Take Time to Get Inspired

In the frenzy of our everyday lives – it seems we never let 10 minutes go by without checking our phone or computers. Waiting for texts, emails, missed calls, Instagram and Word With Friends updates and countless hours browsing sites like Pinterest (my new obsession), all seem to have forced us to be so wrapped up in our work and social world that it’s really difficult to find time for yourself. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m half tempted to delete my Words With Friends just so I can enjoy the last 20 minutes of my day before I fall asleep collecting my thoughts. Instead, I’m making moves on the 10 games I’m currently playing with my friends, it’s pathetic.

So another habit I’m trying to make for myself – is to avoid engaging in some of these useless games and sites on my phone, in order to allow more “me time.” My mom bought me a few books for Christmas which after opening, were followed by the “oh sweet, thanks mom” thought process in my head – but I’m actually going to start devoting some time in the morning when I wake up and the last half hour before I go to sleep, reading them. I just recently finished reading Dave Ramsey’s: Entreleadership, a book that my mom and step dad gave to me. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed it and walked into work everyday excited to share something new I had read about with my colleagues. Highly recommended! As of January 1st, I just started reading Simple Abundance, which has a short reading for each morning – so far, so good I’ve allotted 5 minutes after I wake up to read each day’s message. Another thing I’m doing with each’s day’s reading is jotting down anything important that happened that day. At the start of every year I plan to re-read this book, going through each day and looking back at what I accomplished the year prior or what things were happening – kind of a like a diary 🙂

I find that when I’m not distracted by TV, my phone or my computer, I come up with great thoughts and ideas – I become INSPIRED. Although, a lot of my thought processes and inspiration leads to things I eventually want to write a blog post about –  in the end takes me right back to my computer. However, I find that I can easily justify this because in all actuality it’s helping me to create a brand for myself and potentially my future. Do you have a certain time each day where you allot it to yourself and not work? If so, what do you spend it doing?

Getting Back on Track

Thanks to a Twitter friend, I was fortunately informed about a great opportunity to take part in. I’ve decided to challenge myself to the Better Blogger Challenge in hopes of getting back on track with my blog. Two months and 36 required posts will hopefully be just the push I need in order to get back in the habit of blogging. I initially started this for a project in college, then it turned into a place where family and friends could keep track of me after I moved to Chicago and now my current direction is to transform it into a Social Media & Marketing based blog.

I’m hoping that my writing is informative  and interesting enough that it will eventually create it’s own niche of individuals who will continue to follow along and share what they’re reading. Blogging has always seemed to have a positive impact on me, allowing me to release thoughts, feelings and ideas that I normally wouldn’t take the time to write down. This past summer I spent a lot of time blogging about my adventures after I had just moved to the city of Chicago, but after I took my current job position I’ve unfortunately lost focus and never made the time to blog – the past 3 months have been brutal, almost embarrassing.

I’ve come up with a few personal goals for myself after accepting this Better Blogger Challenge, hoping they’ll encourage me to stay on track:

1. Curate enriching and beneficial content that will result in more subscribers.

2. Once the challenge is over, I’m hoping blogging will become part of an EVERYDAY lifestyle for me, a habit – even if it’s a 20 word post, inspiring image and/or quote – I want to be able to contribute consistently to my ‘brand.’

3.  Base a large majority of my posts around my experiences as a post grad and social media and marketing tips.

4. Overall, I want to revamp my blog, find a general focus and through this process eventually find a better fit of a title for it.

If you’re reading this… Thanks, and please feel free to leave feedback or comments – they’d be much appreciated as I’m taking on this little two month journey 🙂

So what are we waiting for? Let’s kick this thing off 🙂

What character do you play on Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn?

The Difference Between the Three 

(From my perspective…)

 

Facebook is for those you personally know, you’ve met at least once face to face (hopefully). You learn (or don’t really learn) and read about things you shouldn’t care about, things that benefit you in no way what so ever. Facebook is where you can still pretend like you’re “young” and in college.

Twitter is for those people you wish you personally knew and could meet face to face. You learn and read articles posted by them about some of the most important things – things that will actually benefit you in your life and career. Twitter is where you act a little more mature and interact with other professionals – it’s not a friend “hangout.”

LinkedIn is for connecting with people you one day would love to do business with – you learn and read about events and companies you could actually see yourself becoming involved with at some point in your career. LinkedIn is where you shouldn’t be able to tell one’s age (besides basing it off the picture and graduation year), you should be nothing but professional on here.

So with that, feel free to add me on Twitter and LinkedIn – preferably not Facebook, since there’s probably a good chance we haven’t met face to face 🙂

Kim Kardashian Ridiculousness (Part 1)

After watching just the first 5 minutes of Kim’s Fairytale Wedding, I immediately knew I had to blog about it. I was already starting to text my girl friends on how ridiculous it was, and figured it’d be a lot easier if I just jotted down everything that annoyed me… which was a lot. To be honest I haven’t even found the time to sit down and watch part 2 of the whole ordeal, for those of you who haven’t seen part 1, well you didn’t miss much – and you can get the main points if you just read below… 

It actually ended up being somewhat entertaining thanks to Khole’s smart ass (minus the fact EVERYTHING is ENTIRELY SCRIPTED!!)

Three minutes in and Kim is already complaining about Kris’ dogs, how she’s going to live with them. She can’t tolerate them in her bed. “Dog boogers are disgusting and unsanitary and these are just issues I can’t deal with. I have allergies now. Those things have to go in crates. I’m going to a hotel.” Seriously? enough is enough…

To start off… I’m not kidding when I say ¼ of the show was about Kris and her surgery she got done on her face, which happened to be a little too graphic anyways.

Great comment from Mr. Humphries when he told Khloe “your mom looks like an alien from MIB.” He continues to go on with saying “Khole’s just an inappropriate attention seeker” –  “She’s just so creepy to be around.” – how nice to say to your future sister in-law.

Laughed out loud when Scott mocked Kris H on his slowww dumb voice.…. “Sorrrry guysss I got losttt. Againnn….” – funny how I noticed this the first time this guy was introduced on the show.

Oh and another ¼ of the show is all shots of scenery in LA

How is it that after 5 weeks Kris finally makes her ‘entrance’… and shows off her new look after surgery… what, has she been in hiding out since then?

Sidenote: anyone notice Kim’s luuuumpy butt in her white pants the day she went wedding dress shopping (yikes, fashion faux pas).

Is it me or is it odd that Kim’s entire family questions Mr. Humphrie’s intentions and they’re all seriously worried about a prenup?

Casino wedding theme – Really Humphries, funny but definitely won’t fly with your girl.

5 Guys and Burgers… and a little truck… or stand? Haha I actually loved Humphrie’s reference to a State Fair for their wedding.

Kim’s mom apparently planned it out so that the entire Kardashian side of the family was scheduled to roll up in Rolls Royces and Kris H’s poor side of the family areeeeeee driving up in what?….

Rob let it be known that Khole doesn’t like Kris’ voice either (haha that makes a few of us…)

Booking the wedding location behind Humphrie’s back. Seriously? Who does that?

“Eating tacos is like the best experience.” – I might have to agree Rob haha

And another ¼ of the show is dedicated to Robs food addiction…

Why would you give people donuts at the wedding? In the shape of a heart… classy Kim… real classy haha

So that leaves 1/4 of the show left over (between Kris’ surgery, LA scenery and Rob’s addiction) – of that I’d still say there was only a total of 10 minutes that covered the actual wedding planning. Sweet. Still have yet to watch part 2… is it even worth my time to watch it?

Check out another post I actually took the time to write – ranting about more details from the wedding “America’s Royal Wedding…” seriously?

10 + 1 Social Media Definitions

My mom called me the other day and wanted me to give her a quick definition of social media. I told her I had to get back to her. At that point so many thoughts were racing through my head – where do I even start? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tmblr, WordPress, Tywlah, LinkedIn, Google+… I would love to sit down and go into detail about each one with her, but that would take hours – especially to get her to fully understand each site’s purpose. So instead I went straight to Google in search of the perfect definition. Here are some of the best ones I came across…

1. WIKI: social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue

2. Social media is a new marketing tool that allows you to get to know your customers and prospects in ways that were previously not possible. This information and knowledge must be paid for with output of respect, trustworthiness, and honesty. Social Media is not a fad, but I also think it’s just the beginning of the marketing revolution – not the end – Marjorie Clayman

3.  Social media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information – SocialMediaDefined.com

4. Social media is a type of online media that expedites conversation as opposed to traditional media, which delivers content but doesn’t allow readers/viewers/listeners to participate in the creation or development of the content – About.com

5. Social media essentially is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online – Ron Jones

6. There are three hallmarks of social media: Evolution, Revolution and Contribution. First, it is an evolution of how we communicate, replacing email in many cases.  It’s a revolution:  For the first time in history we have access to free, instantaneous, global communication. We’re living in an exciting time! Third, social media is distinguished by the ability of everybody to share and contribute as a publisher –  Mark W. Schaefer

7. Social media is  the act of sharing, engaging, interacting, building and growing with your customers and other stake holders in such a way that it adds value to their relationship with your brand/company and vice versa.

8. Social media is the media channel that relies on listening and conversation, as opposed to a monologue, to get your point across, make a connection and build a relationship – Rob Petersen

9. Social media is the tools, services, and communication facilitating connection between peers with common interests – Chris Garrett

10. Social media is an ever-growing and evolving collection of online tools and toys, platforms and applications that enable all of us to interact with and share information. Increasingly, it’s both the connective tissue and neural net of the Web – Ann Handley

My summarized definition of social media I ended up giving to my mom:

11. Social Media is a two way street in which communication, interaction and conversation – both positive and negative – take place between a brand and consumers, while using multiple web-based and mobile platforms.