Though I decided to skip traditional New Year’s resolutions this year, I have committed to making my life richer in 2016, as I do every year since beginning this blog.

I will be writing a series of posts called Create a Richer Life in 2016 that will focus on ways we can all enrich and improve our lives. I am not putting a lot of structure around this series and will write posts when I feel inspired to share something of value with you rather than on a set schedule.

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For my first Create a Richer Life in 2016 post, I want tell you about something I have been doing each day for the last several weeks.

About a month ago a friend of mine, Jen Julius, who is also a life coach, gave me a deck of affirmation cards and suggested I choose a card to read and think about each day. These affirmation cards have become a part of my every morning, a habit I took to quickly.

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I was curious why I was able to form this daily habit so easily and quickly. I think it’s because the cards are tangible. I can see, hold, shuffle, pick and read the cards. And it doesn’t hurt that they are also beautiful.

There is the element of surprise too. I love the “what card will I get today!” feeling of anticipation. And it gives me a reason to set aside time for myself.

How I work with my cards:

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I always select cards in our living room. Save for the holidays or when we have guests over, our living room goes mostly unused so it’s a quiet spot, free of distractions like televisions and phones and reminders of chores and errands I need to do.

If I’m short for time, I sit down on the couch, do a quick shuffle of the Caroline Myss deck – because they’re my favorite – and pick a random card. I read the card and think about it for a few moments, making sure it will stay on my mind. This takes less than 5 minutes.

Optimally, I spend more time with the cards. After my husband and stepdaughter leave for the day, I carve out at least 20 minutes to focus on the cards. I light candles, take out my journal and my favorite pen and make some tea or pour a cup of coffee. I make sure the house is quiet and I pick my first deck.

I shuffle a deck then select a card without looking then read it. Sometimes it’s a simple thought, which I acknowledge, think about and return to the pile. And sometimes, it propels me into action and I want to write about it in my journal. I find the Carolyn Myss cards often prompt me to put pen to paper.

Why these cards make life richer:

No matter how much time and effort I spend on the cards – thinking about one card for a couple of minutes or journaling about four cards for half an hour – I get something out of the experience. They are a simple way to get me to think about things I may not think about on my own – like being grateful for the beauty, people and blessings in my life or examining a behavior or habit I would like to change or get rid of. And sometimes they prompt me to think about things I have never considered!

My decks:

Louise Hay’s Power Thought Cards are traditional affirmation cards. Concise and abundantly positive, they are great messages to get you out of a funk or simply start your day on a positive note. I don’t always agree with the cards’ messages and I believe that’s the point – to shift your thinking. From “life is hard and complicated” to “life is simple and easy” for example. Wouldn’t life be wonderful if we thought of it in terms of the latter?

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These two decks are by Cheryl Richardson.

Self-Care Cards have a single word on one side and a brief prompt on the other. I find them comforting and they sometimes motivate me to take action – talk a walk, call a friend, or even declutter some area of my home.

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My Daily Affirmation Cards are similar to Louise Hay’s in that they are traditional affirmation cards that help set your intentions. I love the gorgeous nature and animal photos featured on the cards.

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Caroline Myss’s Wisdom for Healing Cards are my favorite cards. They are filled with thought-provoking questions. They ask you to notice things about yourself you may not generally be paying attention to like those horrible negative thoughts that tend to plague us when we’re not feeling our best or we’re challenging ourselves.

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I find there is great value in spending time alone every day to check in with yourself, even if only for a few minutes, and these cards can help you do just that…and more!

Have you tried affirmation cards?

If so, do you work with them as part of your daily routine?

Have they made a difference in your life?

Make it a rich day!

XO,

Adrienne

 

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Happy New Year!

Like most of us, I feel motivated to make all sorts of changes this time of year. I usually make the typical New Year’s resolutions –  like being more fit, losing weight, saving money, being kinder and having more patience with others and cooking more healthy foods.

Year after year, I put these resolutions on my long list and year after year, they fade away before the spring season. When another year ends, I recall all those things I said I would change and didn’t. And I get down on myself, feeling like a failure.

So this year, I decided to skip the whole thing….all of it. I would not make one resolution. And I was okay with that decision but still, I felt a need to do something to acknowledge this new year. But what?

Then a post by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic, showed up on my Facebook feed which made me stop in my scrolling tracks. It read, in part:

“I have this sacred object in my life called a HAPPINESS JAR. Mine is a big old glass apothecary jar that I found at an antique store years ago, but the vessel itself doesn’t really matter. What matters is what’s inside of it.

Every day, at the end of the day, I write down the happiest moment of my day, and I put it in the jar. It’s that easy. It takes one minute — if that. I don’t use fancy paper or special pens; I usually just rip off the corner of a bill, and jot down the happy moment somewhere on a blank spot and throw it in the jar.”

She goes on to explain her Happiness Jar further, including what it’s done for her over the years. You can read her post in its entirety here.

I was immediately inspired and sprung into action. I grabbed a big jar I bought at a yard sale in Napa Valley a couple of years ago for $2, dumped out the candy inside and got a Wine Glass Writer. I chose the gold metallic pen and went to work on my jar.

I decided that in a effort to always try to live my richest life, I would call it “My Rich Life Jar” and I’d fill it every day with notes about what made my day rich. I adorned it with some stars and gold ribbon left over from the holidays. All of this happened in a matter of 15 minutes from the time I read the post to the time I set the jar on my dresser in my bedroom.

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I was so excited to begin this ritual. I immediately knew that taking a break from resolutions had been the right choice for me.

To help me stick with this practice, I created a little kit for myself. I took a small box and filled it with squares of paper (plain index cards cut in half). I added my very favorite ball-point pen, which happens to be gold and glittery, and I included some paperclips. Occasionally I will attach money – like a $5 or $10 bill – with a paperclip to my note as a way to save up for something special like a spring getaway next year or a Christmas gift for my husband.

I keep the box in the top drawer of my dresser and take it out to write a note to place in the jar at the end of each day.

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There is something that is both satisfying and comforting about having daily rituals. And a ritual so focused on positivity, gratitude, abundance, and mindfulness is destined to be a good – a rich – thing to do.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, do you find they work for you?

If not, how do you acknowledge a new year? Or do you?

Reminder! The first How I Wear My of 2016 is happening later this week. The theme this month is Gloves! The deadline for submission is Tuesday, January 5th (that’s tomorrow!). Send a photo of you in your gloves, along with a description of your look to [email protected].

The post will go live on January 7th. Visit the How I Wear My page for more information. Jill of Everything Just So and I can’t wait to see how you wear your gloves!

How I Wear My Badge

Happy New Year!

Make it a rich 2016!

XO,

Adrienne

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