Dear Diary - Undated

The undated version of the Dear Diary is here! It's your day-per-page agenda for 16 weeks with a focus on staying organised every day, goal setting, habit tracking, reflecting, and as usual we've included lots of inspiration and little positive challenges.

Our purpose for creating this diary is to inspire you to believe in yourself, take charge of your life, feel determined and be your own inspiration. It is designed to serve as a tool that helps you master your day and feel determined to take action daily.

undated-planner

Here is what we truly believe in - when you want something, whether it is achieving your lifelong dream or becoming the person you've always aspired to be, it takes discipline, consistent action and commitment. It takes hours, days, weeks and months of planning and doing your best every single day.

VISION + PLANNING + TRACKING PROGRESS + REFLECTION + INSPIRATION

“Anyone can revolutionize their lives once they revolutionize the direction in which they are moving. But if you don't even know where you are going, how will you ever know when you get there?”

daily-planner
undated-diary

Start with planning your upcoming months by creating your own inspirational moodboard, setting your goals and writing down daily habits that will help you achieve them.

This diary offers you space for detailed to-do lists, schedule, and notes, as well as reminds you to start your day on a positive and inspiring note with daily affirmations and to look back on the great things that happened that day.

At the end of every week reflect on your accomplishments and note down lessons learnt.

We've also included little positive suggestions that focus on gratitude, growth, self-discovery, inspiration and mindful living.

inspirational-planner

The diary starts with a quote:

“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.”

That's our wish to you. Enjoy this adventurous ride. Trust your own journey. Embrace all the lessons, challenges and growth. It's the beauty of becoming.

If you want make each day fulfilling, live intentionally and you feel responsible for your own reality - this diary is for you!

We hope you like it :) 
Thank you so much for being here <3

With Love,
xx
Dear Diary team

 

Meet Our Inspiration | N ad i a M e l i

We are so excited to start "Meet Our Inspiration" series on our blog. There are so many people out there that inspire us to do our best every day. To be the best we can be, to provide value and spread kindness. These are people whose work speaks louder than words, whose creativity we admire and who have a heart of a gold. In these series, we want to share their stories with you - how they came to be who they are today, what their beliefs are and their take on life, work and relationships. 

As our first guest, we are so excited to introduce N A D I A   M E L I - wedding photographer (keep reading and you'll see that it doesn't just stop at photography). 

Why is Nadia our inspiration? She plays by her own rules. She is kind, gentle and strong all at the same time. She seeks beauty and she speaks when she sees it (oh, and she writes so beautifully!). Nadia is a wedding photographer who specialises in intimate weddings and elopements. She's a creator of The Signature Style System, which is a course that helps creatives find their true voice, build a business and stay inspired. She generously shares everything she has learnt so far with others. Nadia puts her heart and soul into everything she creates. Whether it's a photoshoot, a website or an Instagram caption - we truly admire her for all the beauty she shares. Nadia Meli, you are a true inspiration! :) 

We could go on and on, but we'll let you get to know her through her own words. Her personality shines through this interview and we are sure you'll love her just as much as we do So here it is - Nadia on life, work, beauty, growth and more. 

Why photography and specifically wedding photography? How did this adventure begin and how it also lead to coaching?

That is a loooooong story. Basically, I was always an artist at heart. But growing up I never thought I could make a living of it. And I had no idea what I would do exactly, anyway. I just knew I had this need to express my creativity, my world and I needed beauty around me. When I moved to London at the age of 19 for a gap year I started getting into photography and from there I never stopped (with a few detours like studying theology and moving back to Germany). 

Ultimately, I knew photography was it for me. Especially people photography and weddings. It combined all I loved and valued. I could never do fashion photography, it would miss the element of real life emotions for me. 

Photography helps me entertain my passion: people. I am so curious about people’s lives. Their story, what they’ve learned, what they have to say. With photography I have an excuse to get close to them.

And then that ‘getting close to people’ led to getting close to their heart. That ended up in coaching. It’s something that developed naturally, also because I share so much of myself that people feel they can tell me stuff and ask me for advice. I love both parts of my business deeply.

www.nadiameli.com

www.nadiameli.com

The best decision you've made for your business so far?

I don’t know if it can be called a conscious ‘decision’ - but it was the step of detaching myself from the standards that my industry dictates. What a (wedding) photographer should say, write, how they should shoot - I started using my own words, hosting my own kind of workshops, sticking to what I believed and valued, in shooting as well as running the business.

Another one was specializing in Intimate weddings & Elopements. These two things gave me so much peace of mind and so much more happiness!

www.nadiameli.com

www.nadiameli.com

What are you most proud of in your career?

That I’m doing what I never thought was possible: making a living from what I love. So that a lot of times it doesn’t even feel like I am working to earn money - I’m just genuinely doing something I enjoy and something I would do anyway.

And I am very proud of the people around me. The community I have build. It makes me smile every day, honestly. 

It's a Monday morning, what will your day look like?

Get up early because I love mornings! Having a cup of green tea with my journal. I usually write down what I’m thankful for, affirmations on my life and prayers.

Then I’ll make a To-Do list for the week and for the day. I need to get all the little loose ends out of my head and in another place: paper. I really need that. I cannot function otherwise.

Then I’ll either work from home or go to my co-working office (which I love) - doing emails, Social Media, editing pictures, attending to my own Facebook groups, work on new ideas for videos, blogposts or products, writing - and more emails :)

If I have a shoot that will usually happen in the afternoon or evening, when the light is soft, so a normal day for me is mostly glued to the desk with a few breaks in between to either go for a walk by the beach or make some lunch. Very boring actually.

What's your favourite social media tool to use and why? Also, what advice would you give to a fellow entrepreneur on making the most of social media?

My favourites are Instagram, my Blog and my newsletter (do those count?) - I also love Twitter because it makes me laugh, there are some amazing people on there. I don’t think I am good at it and I wish I was a witty twitter person, but it’s fun to follow!

But Instagram is probably my number 1 right now - because it is the most powerful tool for businesses at the moment (iMO) and because it is great for meeting  like-minded people. The ones that love what you love believe what you believe.

To make the most out of social media I would say find the platform that works best for you and then share like it’s your job . No pun intended.

Be honest, show your personality. Don’t write what others are writing. Say what you want to say. If you want a big following really fast, be strictly business - if you want to build a loyal community with an emotional attachment to you, be personal and say the truth about your business and your life.

How does work & personal life balance look like in your life?

I am not sure if that really exists when you own a business. And I have to say, I don’t really mind that the lines are blurred. But I try to implement little rules like not answering client emails or phone calls and texts really late at night.

I try and take a cooking break every day between work, it slows me down, plus I have something yummy to eat after.I keep a weekend or two open every month.

I also text or call my family and at least one friend every day to stay in touch - and if I’m lucky I also meet them in person a few times a month.
I just try to step out of my business bubble and participate in ‘normal’ life, in the little things as much as I can - that really helps.  

NADIA-273.jpg
NADIA-240.jpg

What resources do you use to stay inspired both personally and in business?

The best resource for inspiration to me is doing what I love. Spending time to nurture my soul. That is where I find inspiration. When I sit down in a coffeeshop and watch people. When I read poetry or watch movies I love. When someone shares their story with me. When I look at the sky. When I listen to music. That’s when a thought will strike me, or a new feeling will come up - that’s when something new takes shape inside of me, that’s when I feel inspiration and when new ideas are born.

What's your “recharge/reflection” ritual?

Not a ritual in itself but just being alone. Doing whatever. But completely alone. At home or outside in an empty space. But when I’m alone I have the best recharging and reflecting times!

What does beauty mean to you?

Everything. Beauty is infinite. It is EVERYWHERE. And I need it like breathing. Beauty to me is not what you see in Vogue, beauty to me is everything. The way the sun hits the wall in the morning. How a flower grows through concrete. How strangers smile at each other. In the little details, when you see someone put effort and love into something. Beauty is everywhere.

What makes you tick, what's your purpose? Any advice on finding it?

It is a journey really and it’s different for everyone.

I would say to not stress out but always be curious and follow your curiosity. Follow the questions you have. Or ask questions in general, because some people never do. I found my purpose by finding myself.

Meaning: when I got to the roots of what defined me and why, I understood my purpose. And that involved a lot of soul-searching, painful reflections of my past, my childhood, the relationship to my parents and other people. When I understood what had shaped me to the woman I am, I was able to let go of things, to work on myself (still happening) and start living the life I wanted.

When I understood why I was always looking for love, for beauty and for a home and how those things were connected with my own story, I understood that my purpose in life was to create all of these not only for me but in the lives of others.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

Don’t be scared. Things will work out. All the good and the bad stuff will work out together to create your beautiful future.  You will find your purpose. You will find people that get you. You will find home. Be brave. The stuff that didn’t work out and that you’re upset about right now - it’s necessary for you to end up in just the right place. Don’t be scared, it’s going to be a brilliant ride.

Workspace essentials: 1 big bottle of water, My diary ( i would be lost without it), Laptop obviously

Top 3 books (the ones you would like to gift someone): Start with Why - Simon Sinek, Big Magic - Liz Gilbert, The Artisan Soul - Erwin McManus

Happy place: London. London. London.

Guilty pleasure: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Fun fact about you: I have a moustache (italian genes).

If you could go for a coffee/tea and a long chat with someone (living or dead), who would it be and why?:  Geeez. So many people popping into my head right now. Let’s go with Peter Lindbergh. I would love to get a deeper look into his soul. And I would love to see how he would photograph me.

P.S. A couple of our personal faves of Nadia's written pieces are her blog posts - The Woman I Want To Be and My Purpose. Both are sure to inspire you to write something similar for yourself. 

FIND NADIA: 

All photos by www.katsfilms.com

All photos by www.katsfilms.com

Thank you so much for reading and a big thank you to Nadia for sharing her story with us! 

With Much Love, 

xx

Dear Diary team

Reflecting on Your Goals + GIVEAWAY

More than one third of the 2017 is already gone. This happened way too quickly! Do you still remember sitting down and setting your goals/resolutions for 2017, feeling determined that this year will be the best one yet? At the end of 2016 everyone was talking about it - new habits, new resolutions, new you. So… what's the reality now and how is it going? Do you keep your goals written down somewhere you can look at them often or have you already forgotten what you put on your list?

If you are actively working on your goals and have already managed to tick some of them off - we're cheering you on. Keep up the amazing work! If, however, you're not exactly where you want to be, this blog post is written for you and the good news is that you have enough time to turn it all around and make things happen.

Reflecting

A couple of weeks ago I was looking over the goals I set for myself and came to a few realisations. The goals I set are unrealistically big, considering my daily schedule. Some of them were not thought through, as they weren't really important to me. I need to leave space for new goals that can be added as the year goes, because situations and priorities change and it's important to keep an open mind and adjust accordingly.


And that's fine. You grow through reflection and it allows you to understand yourself better. To appreciate your strengths, learn from setbacks, acknowledge victories and understand your “why”. I'm just happy that this realisation came while I still have 7 months of 2017 left to make the change and make the most of my time.

Step-By-Step Process

In case you are feeling the same as I did, my suggestion is to reflect on where you are currently in your life. Goal reflection is such a powerful exercise that can help you be more mindful and intentional about moving forward. Look back at the last few months as a map that helps you see what you've accomplished, what still needs to be worked on, come to a conclusion on why things might not be working out as you planned. But most importantly, ask yourself if the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year are still just as important to you?

Here are some questions I asked myself when reflecting on my progress. Make a cup of tea/coffee, free an hour of your time (or whatever time you can spare for this), get cozy and write down answers to these questions to better understand where you are right now and what you need to focus on going forward.

CELEBRATE WINS

What did I achieve in the last 5 months that I can be proud of?

YOUR GOALS

What goals am I currently working on and what's the progress?

What goals did I attempt, but didn't succeed at completing? Are these goals still important to me? If so, what can I do to make time for activities that will get me closer to achieving them?

YOUR HABITS

What habits did I focus on and what's the progress?

What habits am I finding hard to implement? Is it still important for me to introduce these habits in my life? If so, how can I help myself and make it easier for myself to stick to these habits?

MOTIVATE YOURSELF

Why is it important for me to achieve the goals I have set for myself and what positive change will it bring to my life?

I really hope you find this short yet so valuable goal & habit reflection just as helpful as I did.

Giveaway time

Here at the Dear Diary team one of our biggest goals for 2017 is to create an even better version of the Dear Diary for the next year. This is why we would very much appreciate if you shared your thoughts on what your ideal yearly planner would look like. To say thank you, we'll be giving away 2 of our Inspired notebooks - one for you and one for a friend. Simply complete these 2 steps in order to enter the giveaway: 

1)  Complete the short survey here (make sure to leave your Insta handle at the last question, so that we can get in touch with you);

2) Tag your friend in our Insta pic regarding the giveaway here.

Good luck! :) 

*Giveaway open worldwide. The winner will be announced on Sunday, 4th of June on our Insta. 

notebook

Thank you so much for reading! 

With Love, 

xx

Zane & the Dear Diary team













 

February Favourites + Giveaway

Yes, I know. It's mid March and I'm talking about February. I was also thinking that it's too late to chat about the things we enjoyed & discovered in the previous month, but hey, the date is not what matters. Some inspiration and sharing is what's important to us. Plus, we have a little fun giveaway to go with this blog post :) So here they are - a few, but meaningful ones:

BOOK

I ordered Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard a while ago and it was sitting on the book shelf for some time, as I didn't have time to read it. Luckily, I took it with me on a flight last month and I couldn't stop highlighting all the ideas & thoughts in this book. (P.S. you can get it for free on his website, just pay for the shipping).

Just like the title says, this book is about motivation. If you're open to it, it suggests identifying your fears and doubts about who you are and what you do. By doing so, you can then deal with these struggles by applying more positive, proactive mindset.

I do believe that this book is about a good timing and for me, I picked it up exactly when I needed. It did inspire me to look at myself from a different perspective. At the time, I needed to read this passionate and powerful encouragement to find my own personal freedom, be aware of the decisions I make and what's the thought process behind my choices.

Throughout the book Burchard asks important questions and the answers you give to these questions help identify your struggles and be aware of your own actions and thoughts. There is definitely enough advice to take some positive action, if that's what you decide to do for yourself.

reading-book

Here are just a few of my favourite sentences from the book:

“Let us awaken now and realise there is greater vibrancy, joy, and freedom available to each of us. There is more feeling. There is more power. There is more love and abundance. But gaining access rests on our shoulders, for only two things can change our lives: either something new comes into our lives, or something new comes from within”

'’We procrastinate on an important assignment or exciting new venture because we cannot overcome our uncertainty. We fool ourselves into thinking that things must be perfect before we release our art into the world when the clear reality is we're just too undisciplined to get things done. We lie to ourselves, break our own resolutions, allow our dreams to slide away without grasping at them”

“Aware of these things, we must have responsibility and courage to think for ourselves, to ask, Are my ambitions, attentions, affirmations, and actions truly of my own choosing? Am I being my genuine self in the world and pursuing things that deeply matter to me? Am I opening myself to change and challenges so that I can stretch and grow into my full potential?”

“Isn't it true that with enough time, effort and dedication we can learn most of what what we need to succeed? Isn't it true that most great accomplishments were achieved by people who at first had no idea what they were doing, who had to first endure years of struggle to bring their dream to fruition?”

“Did we spend today being ourselves, expressing our true voice and sincere feelings and innate power? Did we spend the vast majority of the day doing meaningful activities rather than being slave to distraction or useless endeavour?”

LITTLE HELPER WITH THE WATER INTAKE

You have to stay hydrated throughout the day, as it has countless health benefits. That's nothing new. However, even being fully aware of this, sometimes your long to-do list can suck you in and at 6pm you realise you haven't had even a glass of water. I've been there many times.

Just like we believe that pretty and carefully designed stationery can help you feel more inspired and encourages to plan better, we believe that a beautifully designed water bottle will be a good reminder to drink more water. Simple :)

That was the case with this water bottle from 24Bottles. As it sits there on my desk (also serving as a beautiful addition to my workspace), it reminds me to have a sip of water. I really like this brand, as not only the bottles they create are visually very appealing, the company cares about sustainability and the bottles are made in one of my favourite countries - Italy.

flatlay-workspace

RELAXING

A few weeks ago my friends gifted me this beautiful The White Company Lime & Bay candle. Since I got it, I've been using it pretty much every evening, as I really love the calming effects of candlelight. It's become like a little ritual, after I'm done with the day's work, it helps to set the mood in the house for a relaxing and calm evening. It now holds the meaning for switching off my mind and just enjoying stillness. It increases self-awareness and can easily drift you into a meditative state.

candlelight

PLANNING

A couple of weeks ago we launched our A5 size Daily Notepads. They come in two designs and you can read all about them in our previous blog post.

The last few weeks have been pretty intense. I'm sure it's no secret that running a small business is a real challenge and you have to become the master of all trades. Which is very exciting, however, challenging at times. Because it feels like there is not enough hours in a day to complete all the to-do's, work on your skills and take care of your baby (a.k.a. your small business).

That's where the notepads come in. They have been our little helpers while doing our best to plan and organise our days. Since they come in two designs with slightly different sections, we use them both in a week, depending what kind of tasks we need to accomplish. If it's a busy day with quite a few bigger and also smaller tasks as well as errands to run, we'll go for the “Now Is The New Later” notepad, as it has more space dedicated for work related to-do's.

“Oh Hello Today” notepad is always the first choice when we know we need to focus on just a few important tasks that might take longer and also need to remind ourselves to focus on wellbeing and include tasks/activities that focuses on the health of mind, body and spirit. :)

Plus, we are 100% sure that a nice set up on your desk increases chances of feeling productive and inspired, so this little piece of stationery in our workspace is a big bonus :)

to-do-notepad

GIVEAWAY TIME

As promised above, here comes the most exciting part of the blog - GIVEAWAY! Since our most favourite of all favourites this month are the notepads (of course!), we want to share the love and gift a set to you.

We'll be giving away one notepad of each design as well as a copy of Motivation Manifesto to one lucky winner. Keep one notepad for yourself and gift the other one to your to-do list lover friend. Please complete all of the tasks below to enter the giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment below about what activity/routine helps you get into your “inspired/most productive mode” and make the most of your day? Make sure to leave your Insta name in the comment as well (so that we can find you on Instagram :)).
  2. Follow our Instagram and Facebook accounts.
  3. Tag your friend in our latest Insta pic (here).

* One entry per person. Open worldwide. The giveaway ends on March 19th. Winner will be contacted directly on Insta DM.

 

We're so excited to hear from you! 

With Love, 

xx

Zane & Dear Diary team 

Daily To-Do Notepads Are Here

Working from home gives you that freedom to organise your day the way you want. That's amazing. But… We've also found that it can be very challenging. All those hours in the day and you are in charge to make the most of this time. Because the to-do list only gets bigger and stuff needs to get done. The solution - be smart about how you organise your day in a way that's motivating rather than overwhelming.

That's why we designed our daily to-do notepads (first new addition to the Dear Diary family after our 2017 diaries, YAY!).

daily-notepad

These daily notepads are not designed just to look cute on your desk. They are also (well, mainly) designed to help you make the most of every day. Keep it on your desk or tear off the daily page if you're on the go. Focus on what matters most and track your progress throughout the day.

Ticking off boxes just adds that satisfaction about the job well done and completed so, of course, adding these were a must. There is nothing more motivating than noticing your own progress as you tick off your to-do's. The get-stuff-done list doesn't seem so bad and overwhelming anymore :)

 

Whether you're a student, self-employed, a busy mum or working in an office, this neat system will help you do your best every day. This daily notepad will become the best friend for anyone who is serious about their to-do's and enjoys a cute piece of stationery.

Without further ado, here is a closer look at both notepads and their differences in design and structure:

Now Is The New Later A5 Daily Notepad

  • Today's date: dates are not printed, so you can start using the notepad anytime and just as many times per week/month as you wish. Just note the date to the space allocated and start planning your day.
  • Today is all about: write down the biggest tasks that you'll accomplish, your daily focus or something that motivates you to do your best today.
  • Today's top 3: most important tasks of the day that you will complete. You can. And you will. We believe in you! :)
  • Other to-do's: a little less important on the priority scale, but also things that need to be completed.
  • Quick 10 minute tasks: small tasks that will take less than 10 minutes. A little goes a long way!
  • Brainstorming & ideas: make sure to note down that brilliant idea that came to you on this day, sketch, make notes, write down a good thought or quote that motivates you.
  • Water intake: just a friendly reminder here to stay hydrated. Track how many glasses of water you drink throughout the day.
     
daily-notepad

Oh Hello Today A5 Daily Notepad

  • Today's date: dates are not printed, so you can start using the notepad anytime and just as many times per week/month as you wish. Just note the date to the space allocated and start planning your day.
  • Today's happy thought: anything you are grateful/excited for today
  • Today's top 3: most important tasks of the day that you will complete. You can. And you will. We believe in you! :)
  • Other to-do's: a little less important on the priority scale, but also things that need to be completed.
  • To-do for wellbeing: remember to include activities that help you take care of your mind/body/spirit.
  • To remember: a quick note of the things you have to remind yourself about today.
  • Water intake: just a friendly reminder here to stay hydrated. Track how many glasses of water you drink throughout the day.
  • Brainstorming & ideas: make sure to note down that brilliant idea that came to you on this day, sketch, make notes, write down a good thought or quote that motivates you.
daily-notepad

Both notepads are proudly printed in England on 100% recycled paper with vegetable based ink and the design includes metallic golden ink (to make it a little more special and sparkly).

Our goal is to inspire you to believe in yourself, take consistent action and chase your dreams by incorporating neat, carefully designed systems, positive reminders, inspiration and overall beautiful aesthetics in every piece of stationery we create. We want for every Dear Diary product to serve you as a personal cheerleader that motivates you to take little steps day by day towards the life you imagine for yourself.

On that note, there's more stationery goodies coming out soon. Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know about new product launches, discounts & special offers.

Prioritise. Focus. Take those baby steps towards achieving your goals <3

With Love,

xx

Dear Diary team

 

January Favourites

Our first monthly favourites. YAY! We are constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves, for resources to learn, ways to better understand ourselves and others and for all things that improve our overall wellbeing - mind, body and spirit. We thought we would share all the things that we've found helpful or interesting this month and hopefully some of this is helpful or inspiring to you. We'll keep it short & sweet, so without further ado, let's get into it :)


MINDFULNESS

New year means new habits and new resolutions. For all of us, incorporating regular meditation practice in our lives is on top of the list. It's well known that meditation relaxes your body, trains your mind and promotes deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. When you listen to high-performing people talking about what makes them successful, meditation is sure to be one of habits mentioned. It only takes 10 minutes (or longer if you prefer), yet has such a positive impact on your wellbeing. And to be honest, if you don't have 10 minutes in the morning (or evening), do you even have the time to live a fulfilled life? I heard this somewhere and since then every time resistance hits and that voice in my head tries to convince me that I don't have time for it, I ask this question to myself.

habit-tracking-diary

We like to try out different ways and experiment with meditation methods that help us stick with this routine and slowly notice the progress. This month we've been enjoying Meditations by Jody Shield. On her website, you can find meditations section that offers guided audio meditation for different purposes, such as “meditation for heart opening”, “meditiation for staying zen”, “meditation for deeper sleep” and others.

I like to mix up my mediations and sometimes I just put on relaxing background music and focus on my breath, however, most of the time I (as a beginner) prefer to use guided meditation as it's simply the easiest way to mediate and this way I truly feel the progress. Listening to Jody's guidance has helped me achieve a deep state of relaxation and right away I feel better emotionally and mentally.

Jody also hosts different events and workshops in London that are designed to work on your mind, body and spirit. In you are in the area, you can check them out here.
 

BOOK

Now, the book I'm about to mention came to me at a perfect time. A couple of weeks into January, when all the goals are set and you actually need to start taking action, I experienced mixed feelings. Procrastination, resistance and the feeling of being overwhelmed. I knew I had to get out of this vicious circle and, usually, a great help is a good and inspiring book. So I picked up “Mindset” by dr Carol Dweck and pretty much finished it in 2 days.

It describes the power of our mindset and separates two - growth and fixed mindset. The main idea is that it's not just our talent that brings us success, but the way we approach our goals. Is it with a fixed or growth mindset? The right mindset helps us achieve our goals professionally and personally as well as gain confidence and keep going even when the things don't turn out the way we want them to.

Here is a great example that compares both mindsets:

In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail - or if you’re not the best - it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they are doing regardless of the outcome. They are tackling the problems, charting new courses working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.
— C. Dweck

This book has really helped me look back at my own past experiences and identify what approach/mindset I've used to deal with it. Then, learn from these experiences and notice what I could have done better or shifted my mindset for a more positive outcome. This book suggests incorporating a healthier and more positive perspective when making decisions and dealing with difficult situations in your life. Really recommend reading it, even if it is just to understand yourself better.

mindset

PEACE

Now on to relaxation. Only in the last few months of 2016 (when we were putting together the Dear Diary) I started looking into essential oils and tried out a few myself. And oh my gosh - they do work!

One of my favourites is lavender oil. I usually use it after an intense/stressful day and it truly helps me reduce stress and unwind. You can either add a few drops of oil to bath water or mix it with your body lotion. If I use it just before bed, I'm sure to sleep like a baby.

Another oil I've been enjoying is grapefruit oil and this is great for uplifting and refreshing. Grapefruit oil can be used the same way as lavender oil or I also like to keep it next to my workspace. When I'm starting to feel a bit low on energy, I dilute a few drops of oil in my hand cream, rub on my wrists and breathe in the scent.

essential-oils

WEBSITE

Very often we talk ourselves out (or perhaps it's just me?) of developing/learning a new skill or expressing ourselves creatively, because we think we lack talent. If we hadn't started playing piano, drawing or dancing at an early age, it means it's now too late for the twenty-something self to start. Or, we tried it once, we failed, so it means we don't have a talent in that particular field. I was often guilty of thinking this about myself and (again) listened to that unhealthy voice in my head that said - there are so many other people that do it better than you, why even start and waste your time? Ugh, hate that voice… With time I've started to resist it and do quite the opposite. If I want to try something new - I go for it. Without feeling like I have to win an award for my new skill that I'm trying to develop. I'm just doing it for my own pleasure. Then it turns out to be an extremely enjoyable activity that even serves as type of meditation.

I've always admired beautifully written quotes/words in brush lettering and finally this year I set this for myself as a goal. First action steps are done - buy good pens and find a resources online that could educate me on the basics. This brings me to the second favorite of the month - Skillshare website. It's a learning platform with online classes taught by practitioners from all over the world. You can search categories like business, technology, writing, design, photography and more.

With the help of these classes, I've started practicing my brush lettering (it's so much harder than it looks, btw) and I've been really enjoying it. I've already saved many other classes that I want to take in writing, business and lifestyle and can't wait to explore. I mean, how lucky are we to live in this incredible time when we have so much information around us. Still blows my mind.

brush-lettering

TREAT

Working from home can be challenging in a few ways. For me, one of them is the want to snack. Constantly. Every time I have a cup of tea, I need something to go with it. This has been a good challenge though, as it's made me pay attention to healthy snacks available on the market and discover that there are quite a lot of yummy options out there.

This month we've been really enjoying Whitworths Cacao Maca-roons. The ingredients include almonds, coconut flakes, agave nectar, sunflower seeds, cacao powder, coconut oil, golden flax seeds, vanilla extract and maca powder. All the good stuff. No sugary, unhealthy stuff needed. We made similar choco balls a few months ago and they also turned out delicious. These are just quicker and still a very tasty option when you don't have time to prepare your healthy snack.

healthy-treat

What are your monthly favourites? We would love to hear from you :) 

Thank you so much for reading!

With Love, 

Zane & The Dear Diary team 

HOW TO: Write a Personal Mission Statement + worksheets

We're already two weeks into the New Year. We've set our goals, have big dreams and we're excited for all the adventures that 2017 will bring our way (well, I bet most of us are). Pretty much every single day in the first week of January I heard people talking about their resolutions and goals. The level of motivation and determination was high. It got me thinking - how can we make this feeling/excitement last now that everyone's back into their daily routines?

We believe that keeping your goals and future vision in front of you where you can see it daily can be the biggest source of motivation. Dreams don't work unless you do, right? :) This is the main reason why we included goal setting and moodboard in the first pages of our Dear Diary. I, personally, don't want to let myself down, so looking over my goals reminds me to take a little action daily that will bring me closer to achieving my goal. And don't ever underestimate the smallest steps :)

moodboard

Recently, while watching Tony Robbins “I'm not your guru” on Netflix, I heard a phrase “personal mission statement”. It caught my attention and after watching the documentary, I got carried away doing more research on the topic. After reading more about it, I had to create one for myself. I found that a uniquely created statement that represents your values, dreams and mission, is like a promise to yourself to live with a certain mindset. It's a reminder to keep going and not let yourself down.

In this blog post, I'll share why I think it's valuable to create your own personal mission statement, how I create it and how I use it. Plus, we've created a little gift for you so that you can start right away :)
 

WHY PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT?

Author Stephen Covey talks a lot about this topic and he says that ”a personal mission statement becomes the DNA for every other decision to make.

Similar to creating your vision board (if you haven't checked it out already, we also have a blog post on how to create a vision board with purpose here), writing a personal mission statement is an amazing mindfulness exercise that helps you clear your thoughts and also get to know yourself better. 

Once you've created your very own unique personal mission statement, it works as a reminder of who you are and what beliefs you stand for. It's a personal “motivator” that you've created yourself and it speaks to you personally. It will be the reminder to live according to your values, dreams and purpose. Sometimes it's all we need in order to stop procrastinating and get on with the things we need to accomplish.

HOW TO CREATE IT?

After trying out a few ideas and techniques, I created my own system and questions that helped me create a few sentences that combine and represent my purpose and most important values. These are the 3 steps I follow in order to create my personal mission statement:

1. Discover yourself.

Before writing your personal mission statement, it's important to fully understand yourself. What are your main values? This is essential because it helps creating a statement that's true to you.

Also, think about what you enjoy doing most? What are you passionate about? Whether it's your hobby, spending time with your friends or providing value to others in some way. Take time to think about what truly excites, makes you happy, motivates and empowers you, then write those actions down.

What are your top 3 life goals? This is not something you will achieve in the next year, but rather something you want to achieve in your lifetime. Accomplishing these goals would make you really happy and fulfilled.

2. Future self.

Imagine the person you want to become. Think about the qualities and attitudes you want to have. What do you want others to say about you? This can include your accomplishments and your character. Also, think about the different roles you play (a daughter, a friend, an employee, a father, etc). How would you want to be described in these roles?

3. Positive influence.

We are so lucky to live in a time and place where we're surrounded by so much inspiration, incredibly valuable information and wise teachers that share their experiences through books, videos, podcasts, etc.

All this information can help us understand ourselves better - who do we want to be, what we can relate to, what inspires us, how can we grow. 

In this last step, think of a person that inspires you. It can be a family member, a friend, a public figure, a legend, or anyone else you admire. Describe their top qualities, mindset, beliefs and what you think makes them successful/admirable. Write down these qualities and then think how you can bring these attitudes in your life.

Now, here are a few things to keep in mind before writing your personal mission statement:

  • Make it short, powerful and encouraging (narrow it down, so that it can become your own personal mantra or moto that you repeat to yourself daily).
  • Use confident, not wishful thinking (use “I am…”).
  • Include emotions and outcomes of living according to your personal mission statement, make it unique to you.
  • It should briefly describe the person you want to be and things you want to focus on/that are valuable to you. 

HOW TO USE IT?

It took me a few days to create my personal mission statement. In order to make it unique and powerful, you have to make sure that all the things you include truly represent the way you want to be and what life you want to live. Finalise your personal mission statement when you feel really comfortable about all the answers to the questions above. Most importantly, be true to yourself.

As quoted above, “a personal mission statement becomes the DNA of every other decision to make”. I believe this is why we create personal mission statements. It guides us to live the life we imagine for ourselves, it reminds us of who we want to become and it motivates us to keep going. 

You can create this statement as a paragraph (just write down your thoughts and get into as much detail as you wish) or write separate encouraging statements in regards to different areas of your life.

My main advice is to keep it in front of you. Print it out, frame it and put it on your desk. Write it in your diary. Put it on your vision board. Use it as wallpaper on your phone or laptop. Place it whenever you feel it can be most effective.

Remember to practice this mission daily. Whenever you need to make a decision and be aware of the attitudes that come into your mind. Make sure to ask yourself - does this align with my personal mission?

vision-board

A LITTLE GIFT TO YOU

My personal mission statement helps me focus on the things that matter the most and I believe it will do the same for you.

We've created free printables that include all the sections mentioned in this blog post, so that you can start working on your personal mission statement right away. Remember that you don't necessarily need to fill in all of the fields. See what works best for you, what questions give you a good idea of who you want to be and the things you stand for. Download your printables here

personal-mission-statement

 

Thank you so much for reading! Please let us know in the comments if you have ever created a personal mission statement and what are your tips for staying inspired and motivated throughout the year. We love hearing from you :)

With Much Love,

xx

Zane & the Dear Diary team 

Guide: Meaningful Gifts + GIVEAWAY

Last year my family and I decided not to exchange Christmas gifts. It did feel good to escape the over-the-top shopping frenzy. Later, however, I realised that there is nothing wrong with giving gifts. What's wrong is how we choose to approach it.

How about switching from mindless shopping to mindful giving? A meaningful gift that can actually be beneficial to someone. The most magical time of the year could actually be turned into a joyful time with shared experiences.

WHAT'S THE INTENTION? 

Finding the perfect gift involves doing some serious brainstorming and getting into your creative mindset. I suggest asking yourself the following questions:

 - What does this person truly enjoy?

 - Have they shared any challenges or struggles they are dealing with? How can your gift help?

 - Are you purchasing this gift because “you have to get something” or the gift will actually be valuable and beneficial for the receiver? Will it bring happiness, be useful, be the source of self-improvement?

 - What's the intention behind the gift that you want to give?

Here are some ideas for the gifts that we believe provide value and can bring lots of smiles.

EXPERIENCE

Why not gift an experience that will create a lasting beautiful memory for your friend or your loved one? This is something we can cherish forever, so I believe that experience-related gifts are the best things you can give to your loved ones.

Think about the receiver. Are they into sports? Always trying out new things? Or perhaps they like relaxing experiences? It's something you know they would enjoy, but perhaps they don't put aside time or finances to do it themselves. So, organise it for them. Here are a few ideas:

 - Theatre or a musical (a couple of years ago I gifted my boyfriend a ticket to “The Lion King” musical. It was amazing and I'm so happy we shared this experience).

 - Cooking class (this can be a super fun evening together filled with laughter and meeting new people).

 - Meditation experience (this is for someone who needs to slow down and check in with themselves).

 - Yoga classes (you can gift a certificate to local classes. Help the receiver start a healthy habit).

 - Spa experience (a spa experience or just a one-off massage can seem like a luxury to get for ourselves, so I'm sure that your massage-loving friend will appreciate you organising it for them).

 - Concert ticket (from big names to just a small gig locally - music helps us switch off and allows us to step outside the noise inside our heads).

A LETTER FROM THE HEART

I believe that your time and undivided attention is the best gift you can give to someone. The next gift on our list doesn't cost anything, but is the most priceless.

Write a letter from the heart. To say thank you, to say how they make you feel, how grateful you are to have them in your life, how proud you are of how far they've come, how meaningful the memories are you've shared together. 

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QUALITY TIME

This might seem very simple, but the thought behind is much bigger than any sweater or candles you can give to someone. We are often so caught up in our daily agendas and being busy that we forget to spend some quality time with our close friends and loved ones. Booking a table for lunch at a cute and intimate restaurant, where you and your friend can talk for a few hours (no mobile phones, no distractions) could be the best gift for that person and yourself. The purpose of this gift is to be truly present and listen to each other, engage in a meaningful conversation. Or, why not go on a fun one-day road trip, explore new places and play tourists all day long?

You can present this as a gift card. Write down the date and time and ask them to save the date. 

PERSONALISED JEWELLERY

Personally, I will take a new piece of jewellery any day :) I also love gifting jewellery, because it's something that can stay with the person for years. Now, don't just get any jewellery piece (or something that suits your taste), think about the person you are gifting it to - do they like wearing dainty or statement-y jewellery? Bold or subtle?

Etsy and NotOnTheHighStreet have lots of wonderful options for this and you can also get it personalised. This adds even more value, as you can add a special message or a date that's significant to the receiver. And another bonus - you'll support a small business and this gift will bring much joy not only to the person you're gifting it to, but also the person who is making it.

INSPIRING QUOTES AND PHOTO PRINTS

Who doesn't love a good quote? This is a lovely and thoughtful gift for your inspiration-seeking friends. Look for something that has a beautiful design and would also serve as a unique piece of decor for their office or home. Do your research and find a quote that can be a daily source of inspiration/motivation and remind the receiver to follow their wildest dreams.

Or, choose the most special photos that represent meaningful memories from your friend's life. Print them out and create a collage or put them in a journal and write down comments. Include wonderful memories you have shared together so far or remind them of how proud you are of everything they have done/achieved.

PAPER GOODIES

To me, a stationery lover, paper goodies is always on top of the list. I truly believe that writing is healing, it's a form of self-reflection that can lead to mindfulness and peace.

Find a beautifully designed blank journal (for those who enjoy putting their thoughts and emotions on paper) or short entry journal (for those who are not so much into writing).

You can find beautiful hand-made journals on Etsy to make it more unique and special (so that they can't help but want to write in it :)).
 

INSPIRATIONAL BOOKS

Don't just gift any book that's marked at the store as a bestseller. Think about what the receiver actually likes? Do they like novels? Self-help books? Autobiographies? Fiction? Inspirational read? Most importantly, do they even like reading? I personally love receiving a good book as a present and I do enjoy the process of holding a physical copy in my hands, but there might be people who prefer audio versions. If so, why not gift a subscription to Audible?

Again, the purpose here is to gift a book that potentially could make a positive change in the receiver's life. For example, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It's about clearing the clutter in your house. And mind :)

A cookbook with delicious recipes is always a great idea. Is your friend trying to reduce an intake of sugar? Perhaps switching to healthy eating? Get a cookbook that will inspire them to stick to the new healthy habits and try out new recipes.


THE DEAR DIARY

We are also including our own Dear Diary, because for us, something to do with a writing experience has always been of a high value (as already mentioned above). It is designed for inspiration, mindfulness and focus on the things that matter most. It's something your loved one or a friend can use for 12 months - a tool to track and reflect on their journey in 2017. 
 

IT'S A GIVEAWAY TIME, YAY!

So this is a pretty big deal - our first giveaway :) Mainly, just to say thank you so much for all your support, love, encouraging comments and kind words. We are beyond thankful!

We'll be giving away 2 diaries to one lucky winner - one for yourself and the other one as a gift to your friend. Here's what you have to do to enter the giveaway:

  1. Leave us a comment below about what's the most memorable and meaningful gift you've ever received.
  2. Follow our Instagram and Facebook accounts.
  3. Tag the person you will gift the diary to in our latest Insta photo pic (here).

* One entry per person. Open worldwide. The giveaway ends on December 7th. Winner will be announced on our Insta on December 8th. 

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. May this magical season be filled with love and warm memories! <3 

With Much Love,

xx

Zane & Dear Diary team


 

Do You Play the Glad Game?

When putting together the Dear Diary, one of the things we wanted achieve was to inspire others (and ourselves) to be more aware, mindful, to invite happy thoughts, positive attitude and kindness into their lives. This is why we included “pick-me-up's” - little challenges and positive reminders throughout the diary. One of the “challenges” is to note down the book that has made a difference in your life in some way and write the names of three people you would like to gift it to,

I was recently flipping through the Dear Diary and stopped at this challenge myself and it made me think which book has had the most impact on me. I've read a lot and liked a lot, but it made me think - out of all of them, which one has really made a difference or it's idea has stuck to me even after years of reading it. And funny enough, a book that I read when I was 10 years old, came into my mind. It was Pollyanna. I didn't remember the full story in details, just the main idea, so it made me think - why this children’s book?

POLYANNA'S GLAD GAME

I went on Amazon and ordered it straight away. I had to re-read it with my twenty something eyes. I then remembered that to me even as a kid the story seemed refreshing. If you haven't read the book, I'll give you a very brief summary:

Pollyanna is an orphan who is sent to live with her strict aunt after her parents have passed away.  Pollyanna's approach to life centers on The Glad Game - a positive attitude finding something to be glad about in any life situation, no matter how unpleasant or disappointing the situation might be. Her optimism surprises, brings much happiness and eventually encourages the ones around her to play the game too.

Pollyanna's simple idea of looking for things you can be glad about in any situation is a technique for finding happiness. Now there are hundreds of bestsellers on this topic and it's pretty cool that I unknowingly learnt about this when I was 10 years old.
 

AM I POLLYANNA-ISH?

Pollyanna's character is often referred to someone whose optimism is excessive to the point of being naive or refusing to accept an unpleasant or unfortunate experience/situation.

I'm not getting into whether it's naive, wrong or right. I simply like the basic idea of this book - to avoid complaining and focus on the positive. As cliché as it might sound, it works wonders. It always has, and it always will. And it's not as hard to do as we think. It takes a little willpower mixed with some action.

Now, I don't think of myself as a super optimistic person. I have my days of doubts and worries and simply feeling down. I am lucky to have the people around me and the willpower within myself that doesn't allow me to stay in a negative state for a long time.

I've understood that in general, when feeling down, the best thing to do is to change your perspective. For me, that's pretty much the most effective way to snap out of a bad mood or stop feeling worried or anxious about something. The thing is - you either can or can't do something about a bad day, unsuccessful experience or an unpleasant conversation etc. If you can do something about it - do it. If you can't - change the way you look at the situation and try to see the good in it.

You don't have to be the world's biggest optimist naturally. It's a skill that takes practice. Use it as a technique for finding happiness within or simply to improve a situation.

I have never believed that we ought to deny discomfort and pain and evil; I have merely thought that it is far better to greet the unknown with a cheer
— Eleanor Porter, the author of “Pollyanna”

SO HOW DO I PLAY IT?

Situation

When you might find yourself in an unpleasant situation. Perhaps you've had a bad day at work, had a fight with someone, a project you were working on didn't work out the way you expected, and so on. Any situation that's unpleasant/unsuccessful/disappointing etc.

Action

Don't ignore this negative feeling/thoughts. I believe that writing is healing and putting things on paper makes everything better and is much more effective than just thinking it.  Grab a notebook and write down what you're feeling/experiencing. Then, ask yourself: “Can I do something about it?” This is where you either find a solution or just move on. If you understand that there is nothing you can do about it, write down the things you can be glad about even in this difficult situation. Switch your focus from the negative to the positive. Shift the unpleasant feeling into gratitude and positive attitude. 

The idea

The purpose of this practice is to help you change your perspective and clarify your thoughts. Most of the time, things might not even be as bad as they seemed.
 

THE LITTLE THINGS IN EVERY DAY

Start practising by noticing the good around you, even the smallest things - rays of sun peeking into your room, a happy dog walking down the street, a great conversation with your family. Don't take the small things for granted. And when you feel happy, share that with the rest of the world. If you see something beautiful, speak it. If you are grateful for your loved one, say it out loud.

And if you are struggling to find something to be glad about... Well, we can all be glad to wake up every morning to experience all the ups and downs, wins and challenges. We can feel. We can dream. We can express. We can learn. That's a huge thing to be glad about and I don't know about you, but this always makes me think and helps to look at the bigger picture.

Today is a very busy day, the to-do list is getting longer and I am feeling a lot of pressure and not everything is going smoothly. Still, I am not complaining about it, I am playing the glad game. I am glad that I can be busy, I am glad that I am learning, I am glad that I have an opportunity to do what I love and I am glad I can do it with people that are near and dear to me. :)

Thank you so much for reading!

Let us know in the comments below how you play the “glad game” :)

With Much Love,

Zane & the Dear Diary team 

 

The Dear Diary is Here

I’ve always been a stationery lover. The most exciting thing about starting a new school year was stationery shopping. It was important to have the cutest notebooks, diaries, pencil cases and pens. It just felt that it would help me do better. Years later, not much has changed. I still buy pretty stationery, as it makes me feel more organised, inspires me, allows me to stay on top of things and helps to get in the work mode. A brand new diary at the beginning of the year always feels like a fresh start, like you have the control to create the year ahead on your own terms, hehe - can you relate? :) 

diary2017

It feels unreal to say that we (the Dear Diary team) have finally created something of our own. We’re lucky to share the passion for hard work, providing value and finding ways to better ourselves. 

At the beginning of the year, we were all pretty much at the same stage in our lives - stuck in the daily agenda, repetition, feeling overwhelmed and not sure of the things we wanted to achieve. But we couldn’t really define what the problem was. 

We took time to explore well-being and the science behind self-development and happiness. After months of research, making notes and testing what works, we learnt the importance of having a structure, setting goals for yourself, tracking habits and reflecting on the process and the outcomes.

We combined all of these things in the diary in a way that feels structured rather than overwhelming. You can create a system of tracking and focusing on the things that matter to you. 

diary2017

With the help of Dear Diary we want to encourage you to have balance between your professional and personal life and make time for self-care and reflection, so that you can lead the life you imagine for yourself. We've also included quotes and visuals that we love, and hope that these will keep you feeling inspired throughout the year.

diary2017

The entire journey to get to this day has been like a roller coster. It’s been months of planning, discussing, making changes, adjusting, making important decisions, dealing with uncertainties and worries. A strong belief we all had in the final product kept us going. Very often we repeated to ourselves “feel the fear and do it anyways”.

We have already learnt so much and we’re so grateful for the journey so far. It has taught us about team work, commitment, dedication and the power of passion & belief. We also learnt that if you want to get something just right, you can't take the easiest way. One of our main goals was to be completely involved in the production process and meet the people who turned our idea into a beautiful, tangible product. This is the reason we chose to be different and print our diaries in Europe.  

Dear Diary was created with all our love, attention, and nothing but happy thoughts. We hope that in 2017 it will become your friend and inspire you to chase your dreams. 

Thank you so much for reading and being here! 

With much love, 

xx

The Dear Diary team 

5 Step Process of Goal Setting

#goals. This powerful word seems to be everywhere today. #couplegoals #squadgoals #lifegoals #bodygoals and the list goes on. It's easy to get lost in the definition of the perfect life, mindset and body that we see on different platforms every day.

Don't get me wrong, I love social media. I think we are very lucky to live in a time where we are surrounded by so much inspiration, information, opportunities and that we're able to express ourselves creatively. That's if you look at it that way. Just try not to get too attached to the “perfect” image that the society tends to dictate and don't lose track of your own reality, your own true desires and life goals.

A few months ago I did find myself lost. Not necessarily talking about the pressure of the “perfect life” that we tend to see on the social media. I was doubting if the things I said I wanted to have, experience or be - were they my own dreams? Or perhaps I was trying to create an image of myself that would appeal to others?

I'm grateful that this realisation came soon. It meant snapping out of it sooner and getting back on track of the things that I really, truly, from the bottom of my heart want to achieve and the person I want to be.

In this blog post I will share my thoughts on why I think everyone (who wants to be happy and fulfilled) should set goals, as well as my take on how to manage the process of goal-setting. I hope this short blog post inspires you to check in with yourself, clarify your true #lifegoals and take action on achieving them. :)
 

WHY SET GOALS?

I mention this book quite a lot, however, I will have to talk about Robin Sharma's “Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” again. There is a great chapter on the importance of goal-setting that truly makes you want to write down your goals right away. I love this thought:

People spend their whole lives dreaming of becoming happier; living with more vitality and having an abundance of passion. Yet they do not see the importance of taking even ten minutes a month to write out their goals and to think deeply about the meaning of their lives. Goal setting will make your life magnificent. Your world will become richer, more delightful and more magical

If I asked you right now “what are some of your main goals?”, would you know what to say right away? If you do, then that's great! I'm really happy for you! :) I do, however, have a feeling that most of us haven't (perhaps at all or recently) sat down, listened to what their hearts truly desire and set goals for the next, five or more years.

The great thing about clarifying your mind and writing down your goals is that they motivate you to be and do better. Because you don't want to let yourself down. Setting your goals is a powerful exercise as it will give you a clear direction and focus that's needed to take consistent action. It helps you organise your time and possibilities, so that you can make the most of it and accomplish the things you've set for yourself sooner.

HONEST BRAINSTORMING

Before you start setting your goals, allow yourself to dream. Think of the things that excite you. If there were no obstacles, what would you want to accomplish? This is where you create the “big picture” & visualise the person you will become. Read more about visualisation and creating a vision board in one of our previous blog posts

Answer the following questions to get to know yourself better. This will help you set goals that have value and meaning: 

  • What excites me and fills me with joy?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What do I want to experience?
  • What abilities and skills I want to develop?
  • What people do I want to have around me?
  • Where do I see myself living?
  • What characteristics do I want to have?
  • What does my perfect day look like?
  • What value do I want to provide?
  • What is one achievement that would make the biggest difference in my life?

Now you're ready for the important part - the process of goal setting. Choose or re-write these big dreams into realistic and achievable goals that can bring you closer to this “big picture”.
 

GOAL-SETTING

Writing down the goals you've set for yourself and planning the action steps to achieve these goals will create a positive pressure. Look at this as a way of challenging yourself. See how far you can get. Feel proud of the work, discipline and commitment. Here is a step-by-step plan on how to set meaningful goals:

1. Create different sections for goals relating to the different areas of your life (for example, self-development, fitness, health, spirituality, career, finances, relationships, etc.)

2. Write down max 3 goals for each section. Most importantly, set goals that have value and that matter to you. In order to do so, I suggest answering this question once you've written down your goal: “Why do I want this?” Anthony Robbins has a chapter in his book Awaken the Giant Within that encourages you to be honest with yourself and understand why you want these particular things. It all comes down to the fact that you want to achieve/be/do these things because it will help achieve certain emotions and feelings.

3. Plan & write down action steps that will help you achieve these things. You've probably heard the quote “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. This is exactly why I'm encouraging you to create logical order of the action steps you need to take in order to make your desires into achievable goals. Breaking down your big goals into smaller, measurable steps will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. This is a great system of making sure that you know where to start and to keep yourself accountable. Ticking off the things you've accomplished are sure to create a sense of achievement and motivation.

4. Attach a timeline to your goal. This will help direct your attention towards the most important goals. It's also important to stop, tap yourself on the shoulder and celebrate all the big and small wins.

5. Track the progress. Keep this piece of paper where you can see it every day and make sure to schedule the action steps in your agenda in order to meet the deadlines. It's time to review the action steps and ask yourself “What are the next steps I need to complete in order to achieve my goal?”. Review them weekly - feel the motivation and inspiration.

I have created a little worksheet, so that you can start the process of goal setting right away.  Fill in the form to download your printable: 

goal-setting-worksheet
Anyone can revolutionize their lives once they revolutionize the direction in which they are moving. But, if you don’t even know where you are going, how will you ever know when you get there?
— Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

I really hope this has inspired you to answer the magical question “what is it that I really want?”, or perhaps even create an actionable plan to achieve your goals.

On a side note, we are working on creating something super exciting! HINT: it's something to help you with achieving your goals and living a positive and inspired life. We're extremely excited to show this to you very, very soon! :) Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know!

Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts and take on goal-setting :) 

With Love, 

xx

Zane 

10 Ways to Improve Your Mood

Do you ever wake up grumpy, low on energy with no apparent reason? If so, how do you usually handle days like these? In order to avoid wasting my day feeling grumpy and unproductive, I acknowledge this feeling and have found things/activities that help me snap out of it and meet day's challenges on a lighter note, with more energy. Don't let bad mood ruin your day. After all, you'll never get to live this day over again :)

I thought I would share these 10 feel-good moves and simple tricks that help me invite more positive feelings and increase happiness level. Perhaps they come in handy on a day when you're not feeling your best. All you will need is a desire to feel happier and willingness to take a few mindful, feel-good activities towards it.

GO FOR A WALK

If there is only one thing you would do from this list, let it be this one. Going for a nice and relaxing walk is a proven way to get those much needed endorphins flowing and it's one of the best mindfulness activities. All you have to do is go for a steady pace walk and observe your surroundings and yourself. Notice people around you, animals, houses, flowers - something that you usually wouldn't pay attention to. Before you know it, you might already be out of your bad mood thanks to being present in the moment. Walking can help you find answers to your concerns as you have that monologue in your head.

If you are in a bad mood go for a walk.If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk
— Hippocrates

JOURNAL YOUR FEELINGS

Journaling works like a therapy for me. It's not easy to start when you're feeling low, however, once you take that notebook and put the first sentence on the paper, the words start to unravel your feelings. Most of the time, this also works as a way to find out what you're truly upset about or what's bothering you. It's like talking to a good friend - it takes a huge weight of your shoulders and you instantly feel much better. Or, you may realise that things are not so bad after all.

My suggestion is to get a cup of tea, get cozy on your sofa, grab your journal and write down exactly how you are feeling. Make sure to be honest when you describe your feelings, emotions, anything that is bringing you down - get to the root of the problem.

If the bad mood feeling is repetitive, I recommend focusing on analyzing your mood in your journal (or to keep a separate notebook for this). This can be a great way for you to notice patterns/triggers that cause the low emotions, what gets in the way of those positive feelings and then find the best solution for improvement.

DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE

Have you ever noticed that lovely and warm feeling after doing a good deed? Whether it's giving someone a gift, helping a tourist, solving friend's problem - doing something completely selfless for someone else? Feels priceless, doesn't it?

Instead of being overly focused on yourself, shift your attention to someone who could really benefit from it. Such activity can trick your mind to forgetting about your own troubles. These don't have to be huge gestures. Something as simple as sending a friend a small and uplifting gift or a nice note, listening to your friend's problems and helping come up with a solution, volunteer, or bring something to eat to a homeless person. It would be a wonderful surprise to a receiver and it would also boost your self-esteem and increase happiness levels.

MAKE SOMETHING DELICIOUS FOR YOURSELF

I have to admit I'm not great in the kitchen. Like, at all. :) However, I've found that cooking or baking something when I'm feeling down definitely makes it to my top 10 mood-booster list. I open PInterest and look for the most delicious looking recipe or open one of the (few) cookbooks I have at home. I write down the necessary ingredients (after I've decided whether the recipe is something I can manage, haha) and make the trip to the nearest grocery shop.

First, it would take the mind off disturbing and negative thoughts, as you're busy focusing on following the recipe. It's a great distraction! Second, managing to make something from scratch, a new recipe that you can now add to your list and also treat your loved ones can definitely help feeling good about yourself. Small, but it's still an accomplishment. Third, you now have a treat to enjoy. That itself is a winner! :)

GO TO A COFFEE SHOP

It can be anything - a coffee shop, a library, nearest park or a co-working space. Anywhere you feel comfortable and inspired. For me, cozy coffee shop that serves almond milk cappuccino is the place to go to. A lot of times the reason for a bad mood can be the feeling of being overwhelmed or disorganised. I usually take my laptop, diary, notebook, earphones and I'm off to do some work on a project or simply researching and writing down ideas and inspiration.

Even the process of getting ready is the beginning of inviting positive feelings into my day and making yourself busy. I believe everyone is different, but what works for me is being in a lively space, surrounded by other people that are out and about, enjoying themselves (even though earphones and good music helps to feel a bit more isolated, so that you can actually get some work done) - that's when I'm feeling most productive and motivated.

EXERCISE

Similar to going for a walk, any other kind of exercise helps release endorphins - trigger for a positive feeling in your body. I believe that exercise in general in a great way to start your day on a positive and energetic note (I talk about this in our first blog post. The exercise doesn't have to be high intensity or hard in any way. Choose something that you enjoy. I like to either do a yoga session, follow a fitness video on YouTube or simply do a 7 Minute Workout - just go get that blood flowing.

TIDY UP

Even a short tidy-up and decluttering can instantly make me feel much more organised, motivated to get stuff done and improve my mood. I truly believe that our outer environment mirrors the way we feel inside. The act of tidying up and putting everything back to where it belongs can be so liberating and make you feel as if you declutter your inner world and everything is now nice and organised. Get rid of that physical and emotional mess. The sense of accomplishment and also the moving around part is sure to help you feel better about yourself.

If you have more time on your hands, I definitely recommend doing a proper spring-clean. Reorganize and redecorate your space, donate the clothes you no longer wear and keep only the things that are important and bring you joy. That itself can make you feel like a completely new human being. A fresh start! :)

SELF-LOVE PRACTICE

I believe that before you can make someone else happy or bring any kind of value to others, you need to be happy with yourself and have a positive attitude. When feeling low, don't rely on others to increase your happiness levels and boost your confidence. It's all on you. It's important not to ignore the bad mood and make sure to take a good care of yourself. A little TLC.

Self-love practices are endless, so you have to find something that truly does the work for you. Such activities are about building new thought patterns and actions that reflect self-worth, therefore improve your mood. Here are are few ideas on self-love practices that you can incorporate in the day when you're not feeling your best:

15 minute meditation
Dress up
Doodle/draw                                                                                                                                     
Read a book from your “must-read” list                                                                                          
Treat yourself to a massage                                                                                                             
Have an early night                                                                                                                          
Take a long and relaxing bath                                                                                                            
Do positive self talk                                                                                                                            
Try a new fitness class                                                                                                                         
Go on a short shopping trip
Create a vision board (read a how-to blogpost here
 

Reading self love, light and positive affirmations out-loud can also help you put your mind at ease, feel better about yourself and simply cheer you up. I suggest finding some of your favorite affirmations that speak to you the most and write them down in your diary or phone - somewhere where they are easy to find/reach when needed.

TALK IT OUT

Bad days happen to the best of us. I know it can be hard to call your friend or a family member to talk about your struggles, let your walls down and let yourself be vulnerable. However, this act itself is already liberating. Talking to a good friend or a family member can instantly make you feel better, clarify your thoughts, especially if you're feeling worried about something. It's not always about hearing the “right thing” or getting a great advice. Sometimes, all you need is a good and understanding listener, because while talking it out, you might find and understand the answers yourself. Or, sometimes you just have to vent about a problem to release negative emotions instead of keeping them bottled up inside.

WATCH AN INSPIRING VIDEO

From funny cat videos to inspiring documentaries - any are sure to improve my mood and boost my energy levels. Find what does wonders for you. When I need to increase happiness level, motivation and a different perspective into my life, I hit up TED talks. They always seem to do the work :) Here is a great one by Elizabeth Gilbert:

Do you do any of these and what are your tips and tricks to beat the blues? Would absolutely love to hear you share your advice :) 

Thank you so much for reading! 

With Love, 

xx

Zané

 

Creating a Vision Board With a Purpose

Have you ever experienced the realisation that you've got to a place in your life you'd envisioned being? Perhaps you're working for the company/people that you wished you could be working for a while ago, but at that point it seemed unrealistic? Or you've travelled to the place that has been on your bucket list since you pinned it on Pinterest or you just moved into a house of your dreams?

I've experienced a very strong realisation like this a couple of times in my life. The feeling is surreal. You live your life day by day moving in the direction of your dreams/goals and then finally one day you realise that you're there and it's exactly how you wanted it to be. It's such a wonderful feeling and it makes you believe in the Law of Attraction, doesn't it? It definitely did with me, which is one of the reasons I'm a true believer in setting your goals and having a clear vision of where you want to be heading in your life.

This is the reason I love the idea of a vision board. It's a powerful tool to help you clarify and maintain focus on specific life goals. Not only is creating a vision board a fun activity to do, but it also serves as an opportunity to have a quality “you” time - be present and check-in with yourself. Most of us tend to be super busy in our everyday lives and we're dealing with lots of distractions daily. No matter how your day goes, your vision board is a constant reminder of whatever you want to do and have in your life.

1. PREPARATION

If created with intention and purpose, your vision board can work wonders towards making your desires a reality. It will make you focus on your goals, therefore you'll take control of your life heading in the right direction.  

I personally like to prepare before I start doing the actual creative work of putting the board together. This helps crafting a vision board that's created with purpose and intention, so that you can move towards your goals with a sense of clarity and motivation. There are a few things I keep in mind when planning the final look:

  1. Determine if it will be a vision board for the next six months, a year or perhaps 5 years or more. Attach a timeline to it and align your long or short term goals accordingly. I personally suggest creating it for the year ahead. I believe that this will help you narrow down your goals more specifically and have a clear focus of the action steps you need to take in order to make your desires a reality.
  2. Next, decide whether your vision board will represent your future life in general or it will focus on one area only (for example, self-growth, career, relationships, etc.). I created mine around a few areas in life - self-growth, career, well-being and relationships. Since I believe that in order to live a balanced life, all of these areas have to be taken care of, that's what I want to be focusing on over the next 12 months.
  3. Before you start searching, cutting out or printing photos and quotes, get a clear vision of things you want to accomplish and how you want to feel. Be specific with your goals and desires, as it will help you find the perfect images that truly represent your dream life.
  4. You should select images thoughtfully, after all this activity will activate the Law of Attraction - pretty important stuff! :) I wrote down how I want to feel, what values I will live by, my aspirations and big life goals. Then, when I had set myself in the right mood, I wrote down 3 top goals for each of the aspects of life I want to be focusing on: self-growth, career, well-being and relationships.

In order to make your planning and preparation process a bit easier and quicker, I've created a vision board prep printable that you can use to write down your dreams and desires and clarify your vision. Subscribe to our newsletter to get this freebie to your inbox. 

2. WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR VISION BOARD

Look at creating a vision board as your little creative project. You are the creative director and you have all the power to build it on your own terms. The purpose of your vision board is to bring your goals, desires and dreams into life.

As mentioned above, self-growth, career, well-being and relationships over the next 12 months is the focus of my vision board. However, to give even more “character” to my vision board, I also add a few more aspects:

  • How do I see myself. Find pictures that represent how you want to look & feel, what qualities you want to have. It could be a photo of someone you admire and for you it can symbolise the characteristics/style/personality you want to have.
  • Great things you already have in your life. To me, gratitude goes hand in hand with planning your future. Before you set your new goals and wonderful life plans for the future, let the universe know you're grateful for all the beautiful experiences so far :) Find photos on your phone/laptop that represent things you're proud of or thankful for. Things like your family, friends, your travel experiences, work or any successful projects so far. This will serve as a reminder that life is already great and there is so much to look forward to on this wonderful journey we call life. This can also be a note or letter that someone has written to you. Most importantly, choose photos/things that evoke emotions, represent the feeling of happiness, gratitude, accomplishment, etc.
  • Words to inspire. I mean, who doesn't love a beautiful & inspiring quote? :) I believe that a vision board should mainly focus on how you want to feel, in order to invite those feelings/emotions into your life. Be selective when finding quotes and make sure to add those that sum up your vision in a sentence or two. Quotes can represent your purpose, how you want to feel, what mindset you want to have or things that you believe in.
  • Big dreams & big ideas. Even though I created my vision board for the next 12 months, I also added images that represent “the big picture” - things I want to accomplish in my lifetime. Add a few photos of big dreams that don't require a timeline. These are things you want to experience at some point in your life and they don't have a deadline. This is where you can get really creative and extravagant with your thoughts. Don't put yourself “in a box” in this step.

3. THE PROCESS

Now it's time to make the magic happen and have fun during the process.

Look at your dreams, goals and vision and find photos that visually represent this. It doesn't have to be an exact image of a goal/experience/place. You can choose images that simply symbolise these feelings or experiences for you. Remember that a vision board is there to serve you, so it's all about how you see things. It doesn't have to make sense for others. Use your own photos, cutouts from older magazines or print out photos that you have found online - whatever aligns with your vision and speaks to you. Get creative, even abstract - you're the designer.

My suggestion is to keep your vision board neat, stylish and organised (I'm pretty sure these are also some of the things you would welcome in your life :) ).

Give yourself an hour or two with no distractions. Set the mood - organise the space around you, make a cup of tea and turn on nice background music. First, lay out all the photos on the floor/table before you place them on your vision board. This will help you get the idea of the placement and style of your board. After all, this is a visual representation of your future image, as well as a unique piece of a decor in your house or office.

 

4. HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Huh! The clarification of your goals and purpose? Check! The preparation? Check! Materials? Check! Created a vision board? Check! :)

Now it's time to make the vision board work for you and start attracting all the awesome things and experiences in your life. I suggest you place the vision board where you can see it every day. I personally keep it on the chest of drawers in my bedroom and it's the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I see when I go to bed. I talk about the importance of visualising and affirmations on our previous blog post on Morning Rituals. Make it work on your subconscious mind. 

You have to be intentional about the work and effort that needs to be put in for your dreams to come true. It's important that when you look at your vision board, you truly believe that the goals you've set for yourself will truly come to life. Feel the motivation and inspiration.

My main advice is to keep in mind that adding random pretty images and quotes won't do the job, which is the reason I suggest taking time and planning while preparing to craft your vision board. Remember, YOU are the one that can make the biggest difference in your life. I believe a vision board is a great tool to keep you focused, so that you can work your magic and make great things happen.

I had so much fun creating my vision board and I hope I've inspired you to make one for yourself. In case you have already crafted one, please share your tips and tricks on how you created yours. If, however, you didn't have one before, but you've decided to create one now, please share a photo of it on Instagram with #inspiredlifediaryvision I would be over the moon to see your boards :)

I BELIEVE IN YOU! :)

Thank you so much for reading!

With Love, 

Zané

10 Morning Rituals To Set Yourself For A Great Day

Every morning is a fresh start. It's a precious time that should be spent wisely. The foundation of your day. I know that now. For a very long time my morning routine consisted of hitting “snooze” until I was left with 15 minutes before I had to leave the house. This meant rushing to the bathroom to splash some water on my face and brush my teeth, then put on the first thing that I saw in my wardrobe, brush my hair and make sure that I take my makeup bag before leaving the house, so that I can then do my makeup on the train while commuting to work. This left a negative impact on how I felt later on that day - beating myself up for not waking up when my first alarm went off (again!), not being comfortable or happy with the way I look and just mentally not ready for the day. This was far from being mindful and calm during the day.

I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and it was a game-changer. He talks about how establishing a consistent morning routine helps you to tap into your full potential which then leads to success. In this book he suggests to change the approach to waking up in the morning. If you begin your day with resistance, not wanting to wake up, you're surrounding yourself with negative energy first thing in the morning. 

When you choose to do the right thing and follow through with your commitments - especially when you don’t feel like it - you are developing the extraordinary discipline necessary for creating extraordinary results in your life.
— The Miracle Morning

Creating and sticking to your morning routine truly makes a huge difference in setting tone for the day. I cannot stress that enough. How wonderful it is that we have the power to design our morning the way we want it, fill it with things, thoughts and actions that inspire and motivate us? That's a gift that we sometimes take for granted (well, I know that I was guilty of that). Adopting positive morning rituals makes you feel accomplished and energised even before the day has started. Most importantly, it's a precious opportunity to check in with yourself, be mindful and present. An opportunity for rejuvenation, which also helps the rest of the day feel more manageable, so that you can get excited about it!

One of my suggestions before you develop your morning routine is to get into the “right” mindset and ask yourself “What are my intentions? How will this help me be better or do better?”. You have to believe in it and it has to be important to you. It will make it easier to adopt these habits and feel motivated to stick to them. Also, it's important to be honest with yourself when you decide on how much time you are willing to devote to your morning rituals. Can you wake up an hour earlier or is it a few minutes? Instead of setting expectations that are too high and not really accomplishable, start with baby steps, observe your progress and challenge yourself to do even more the following week.

The morning rituals I talk about below have made a big difference in how I feel in the morning and help me make my day. You know, the well-known saying “Win the morning. Win the day” :)

1. PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE

Even though this is not an activity that you do in the morning, it has a huge impact on how your morning will go and how many things you'll have time to accomplish. Firstly, do a quick 10-15 minute tidy-up. Put all the clothes and other things laying around your room back to where they belong. I suggest setting up a timer, as it will make you focus on this task better and it will be fun to see how much you can do in this short period of time. Just a few minutes in the evening used for a tidy-up will help you begin your day in a clean space, where everything is nicely organised and ready for you.

Secondly, take time to pick and prepare the outfit you'll wear the next day. I believe that the way you look affects how you feel and how confident you are.  This will help you get excited about the next day and wake up quicker, because that pretty outfit is waiting for you to rock it.

The same goes for breakfast. Plan what your healthy meal will be in the morning. If necessary, make sure to cut up the ingredients or place them where it's more convenient.

 

2. WAKE UP EARLY TO YOUR PERFECT MORNING ANTHEM

Most of the time it feels like the days just fly by, however, if you set that alarm 30 minutes earlier (or perhaps an hour earlier, you daredevil you!) it can make a huge difference in helping you achieve more or just simply having a more relaxed and calm start. Plan enough time for your body and mind to get physically and mentally ready for the day. After all, it's a fresh start and should be taken very seriously. Robin Sharma talks about the Ritual of Early Awakening as one of the rituals for Radiant Living in his book Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (a very inspiring read, by the way).

Once you wake up, there are many things you can do. The fundamental principle to keep in mind is the importance of starting your day off well. The thoughts you think and the actions you take in the first 10 minutes after you wake up have a very marked effect on the rest of your day.
— Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

For me personally one of the hardest things is the actual waking up process. Every morning I'm so tempted to press “snooze” and quietly say to myself “it's okay, it's just 10 more minutes”. And every single morning that's a big fat lie to myself. An hour or two later I would wake up and feel angry at myself for wasting the day and not getting up with the alarm. Fredrik Eklund made me change my thinking towards this. In his book “The Sell” he suggests to think of waking up early as the way to change your life, to be more successful and to “leave others in dust, including the old unsuccessful you”. Another tip that he gives is to set up a wake-up call that motivates you. He wakes up with Abba's “Money, Money, Money” and it's a great way to start the day in “rich man's world”. It's brilliant! :)

Whether it's a nice and soothing melody or energising music, experiment with it. Find what lifts your mood and gets you out of the bed quicker. Another tip is to move your phone across the room, further away from your bed, so that you have to get out of the bed to switch it off. Remember, pressing “snooze” is not an option!

 

3. NO TECHNOLOGY UNTIL YOU'VE COMPLETED YOUR MORNING RITUALS

I know how tempting it is to pick up your phone as soon as you open your eyes, glue your face to your iPhone screen and just get lost in the busy world of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. I was guilty of that. Committing to avoid looking at my phone first thing in the morning has made such a positive difference - I now start the day the way I want, consume selected and inspiring information that will for sure get me motivated, ready to conquer the day. Don't disrupt your mood in the morning and be in control of your emotions. Most importantly - be present and remember that all of that content will still be there after an hour.

 

4. A FEW MINUTES OF GRATITUDE

One of my favorite quotes says “Start each day with a grateful heart”. The first few minutes after you wake up is the perfect time to reflect on all the things and people you are grateful for. This will increase happiness levels and help you get out of bed more joyful, energised and simply start your day on a “bright note”. How you express gratitude is totally up to you. Again, this is one of the things I suggest to experiment with and see what suits your personality better. You can either simply devote a couple of minutes to say a little thank you out loud, write them down in a plain notebook, use a gratitude journal or make an entry in your personal journal if you're keeping one. I personally love to use my Five Minute Journal. It's a guided journal that focuses your attention on the good in your life. I also keep a personal journal to reflect on my thoughts and experiences. In the mornings when I can spare some extra time for writing, I love to devote a separate paragraph in my journal simply focusing on the things I'm thankful for.

Read this article to learn about some of the amazing benefits of inviting more gratitude in your life.

 

5. MEDITATE

Meditation in an experience of relaxing the body, training your mind and promoting deeper understanding of yourself and those around you. If you don't already practice meditation, I suggest starting with a 5-10 minute meditation each day. Make sure you find a pose and space that feels comfortable, with no distractions, where you can allow yourself to be present and get to know yourself better. While meditating, remind yourself of your goals, get excited about all the great things that are coming your way. Visualise how you want your day to go - things you want to accomplish. Use whatever form of mediation works better for you. The main goal is to quiet your mind and start the day with calm thoughts. Do what feels true to you. Details don't matter, just practice and commitment.

I love using Headspace. It's a course of guided meditation that helps me stick to my meditation routine best. 

 

6. WORKOUT

The A.M. workout ritual gives me that much needed energy boost in the morning. It's what makes me feel energised, focused, organised and healthy. Plus, committing to a short workout every morning is the best way to make sure you stick to a regular workout schedule. Going to the gym, going for a run, a simple short workout at home, stretches or a sun salutation - add to your morning routine what's more convenient and most enjoyable to you. It doesn't have to be high intensity, just get the blood and oxygen running. The main goal is to take some time to move and stretch your body well in the morning.

Tip: After my workout I make sure to dance around to my current favourite upbeat tune. It does wonders to improving my mood, so that I can go and continue singing in the shower, hehe :)  

 

7. AFFIRMATIONS

Positive and motivating affirmations work wonders. It's another ritual that will help you set the right tone for the day and get yourself into a motivated and can-do mindset. Most importantly, they will help you believe in your own strength and potential. You can whisper them, say them out loud or think them, but I suggest you stand in front of the mirror and say inspiring things to yourself that will help you achieve your goals. This will give you lots of confidence, focus, happiness boost and feel in peace. Read this article and get some ideas for affirmations that you can add to your a.m. routine.

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
— Paulo Coelho

 

8. EAT A DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS BREAKFAST + SPEND TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES

I'm sure that you've heard “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” way too many times. I'm here to say it one more time - it's the fuel for the day. Not only does it give you energy to start the day, but also improves your performance during the day. It's also a perfect time to spend with your loved one, family or friends (depending on who you live with) before you all rush off to complete your daily agendas. Take this time to connect, share positivity, tell each other about your aspirations and what you're looking forward to on this day. Healthy & delicious breakfast in lovely company is definitely something to look forward to the night before.

 

9. SOMETHING FOR INSPIRATION AND CREATIVITY

I usually get most done and feel most creative when I'm feeling inspired and motivated. Sometimes I just wake up having this feeling and some mornings I need some help with this. In order to make sure that I get my daily dose of positivity and inspiration, I make sure to schedule it in my morning routine. Do this by making your inspiration intake a seamless habit. Read or watch something that inspires and motivates you. It could be a podcast, a video or a blog post. Plan it the night before, so you know exactly what you will be reading, watching or listening to, as it will save you time browsing in the morning.

Lately I've been listening to Brendon Burchard's podcast “The Charged Life”. #1 New York Times bestselling author shares his thoughts and insights on success, motivation and performance. I find it very easy to relate to almost every single one of his podcasts, as he covers topics, situations and feelings that most of us experience during their lifetime. I feel that listening to podcasts like this fills my brain with positive ideas and thoughts that help me understand myself and others better, makes me want to be a better human being or simply allows me to learn something new. Plus, you can listen to a podcast while you are putting on your makeup, therefore saving more time in the morning while still getting your daily dose of inspiration. Win, win! :)


 

10. MAP OUT YOUR DAY

Lastly, before I leave the house or simply get ready for doing some work at home, I sit down, open my notebook/agenda and create my to do list and plan how I will tackle all the tasks. Mapping out the day helps to achieve that feeling of being organised and ready to complete your to-do-list. Just remember to be realistic about the things that can be achieved in the day. Instead of making yourself feel overwhelmed, schedule your most important tasks and get excited about a productive day ahead. Use the morning to do big-picture thinking and prioritise your tasks. Now go out and make wonderful things happen!

You might not have time in the morning for all these activities, so I suggest you choose some that you find the most motivating/inspiring or convenient to fit your routine. These are habits that need to be practiced and with time it will be part of your day, where you won't even have to think about it and instead you will just do it automatically. But to start, whatever morning ritual you decide to do, make it a habit. Set up a routine and do your absolute best to stick with it every day. Eventually the routine that you tailor will become so effortless that you will just do all the positive and inspiring activities without thinking. Then it will become an essential part of your life.

It’s not about the end goal. It’s about who you become by consistently pushing to the edge of your limits.
— Robin Sharma

 

What are your morning rituals? Do share with us :) 

Thank you so much for reading! 

With Love,

Zané