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The Enchanted Outlook

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enchantment

5 Morning Routine Tips: Work Charms Series

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Hello all. If I’ve been a bit quiet as of late, it’s because I just completed an intensive training for a new job. I’m currently working for a children’s literacy nonprofit, which as you might imagine is a dream come true for me.

All this time navigating a new work environment has had me thinking a lot about how I can apply an Enchanted Outlook to the workplace. Now, I’m not a workplace guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d like to share a thing or two I’ve been thinking about in a new series called Work Charms. And no, this is not about impressing your coworkers with your charming charisma, but rather little tweaks or “charms” we can make in our day to make for a happier work life.

So, let’s start with morning. Here are a few things I have been working on doing before I even step foot in the car.

1. Don’t press snooze. I have, historically, been the worst about this, even after a full night’s sleep. I am not the kind of person to want to hop out of bed. In fact, I tend to hit the snooze button until the last possible minute. Science does say, though, that hitting snooze isn’t great for us. Lately, I have decided that if I’m not jumping up to start my day, I can at least be upright. I will grab a blanket and the mug of water on my bedside table and sit on my yoga mat for five to ten minutes, until I have woken up more. (A chair works too; I just don’t have room for one in my bedroom.) This quiet time allows me to transition from sleep to wakefulness without being too grumpy.

2. Practice gratitude. This time I am slowly waking up is a good time to practice gratitude. Truth be told, I had some genetic testing done last year for a potentially life-threatening condition and was fortunate that the results were negative. Ever since that time, I have practiced gratitude for every day that I am alive. I have realized that every day is not something that is owed to me, but rather a gift I can be grateful to have. Along those lines, I reflect on how to make the most out of my day.

3. Capsule wardrobe. I know, they’re everywhere lately. Mine isn’t a true “capsule” with strict rules, but rather I try to stick primarily to neutral solids (black, brown, camel, navy, cream) for the majority of my clothes, and add a pop of pattern or color here and there. I set out my clothes the night before, but if I ever forget, it’s not too hard to pull something together quickly.

4. Rule of 3. I usually don’t do more than three makeup items (like foundation, eye liner, mascara) and usually don’t do more than three accessories (like glasses, belt, necklace). That’s just a personal preference, but I like to keep it simple.

5. Simple nutrition. I’m passionate about wellness, but lazy about breakfast. Since I know that about myself, I did some research into the healthiest breakfast bars. My favorite are Lara Bars, but I also like Kind bars and Kashi bars. It’s probably healthier and cheaper to make overnight oats or have a banana with peanut butter or something, but “Morning Stacey” seems to just want to grab a breakfast bar and go. So, I at least try to make sure it’s a somewhat healthy one.

There you have it. If it isn’t obvious, I’m NOT a morning person. Kudos to those who go about their mornings with flair. For the rest of us, I hope one of these tips was helpful.

Is there something you have added to your morning routine that is particularly helpful?

 

Four New Things

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I have lately been trying to do four things every single day. These are things that I want to prioritize in my life. They can be big or small; sometimes each thing takes less than five minutes, while other times one item can take a large chunk of my day.

Something to invest in my future: This is something that will allow me to live a better life later. It could be career research, putting money into savings, or learning something new that will be helpful to me down the road. It could be as simple as sending someone an email to ask a career question or as complicated as redoing my entire home filing system.

Something that is laundry: By “laundry,” I mean something that needs to be done in the now and that I will likely have to do again later. This could be something like cleaning out my car, activating that card that’s been sitting on my desk for forever, or, well, laundry. It’s the stuff that tends to pile up of we ignore it to long.

Something to look forward to: I’ve been trying to make every day memorable. Even if it is something simple, like a nice bubble bath, my favorite cookie, or a show on Netflix, I have been trying to be very intentional about making every day count.

Something for someone else: For me, I am usually able to knock this one off the list at work or around the house so I don’t think about it much. However, I thought I would mention it because it is so rewarding to take a little time out of our day to do something for someone else. It can make our day so much more meaningful.

Well, there you have it. Those are my four things. Are there certain things that you aspire to do every day?

 

Contentment or Growth?

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Today’s post is more question than answer, but it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot this past week. I have sometimes been jokingly told in my life that I’m too content, complacent, even. This is usually related to sensory things like food and clothing, as I’m more of an ideas/imaginative thinker and don’t prioritize concrete, sensory things very much. It’s rare that I don’t appreciate a meal, for instance, so long as it hasn’t gone bad. It’s sustenance and I’m grateful for that. I’ve been grappling lately with when we should want to grow and change and when to practice gratitude and contentment.

Some choices are clear with this. I think that situations that involve harm to others or any kind of immorality require growth and change. In contrast, I think that, when it comes to living an overly-consumerist lifestyle and in situations where we are always looking outward for the “next fix”, we might do well to practice more contentment and be more grateful for what we already have.

So I guess my question is, if you could pick one way to live your life, would it be a life of growth and change, or a life of contentment and gratitude? Why? Or, do you have a way that combines both growth and contentment?

You Are Good Enough

Shared from Quotes ‘nd Notes 

Why I Don’t Depend on Concrete Goals

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There have been many times in my life when I wasn’t sure “how far” I wanted to take something. This has especially been the case with things that are a challenge. Blogging is a perfect example. I would love nothing more than to sit around blogging all day every day. The fact is I’m just not there yet. I don’t have the knowledge, the time, or the means to make that happen… yet.

Still, I get a lot of enjoyment from working on my blogging skills. I like honing the craft. I read blogs about blogging. I try new things. I enjoy thinking up new topics to write about. I take feedback seriously.

It can be very comforting to have a defined goal in life, to know exactly what we want to do and where we want to go. However, when that goal doesn’t work out, it’s tough. Sometimes, life just gets in the way of what we want. Personally, I prefer to look at every day as an opportunity for growth. I have been trying to be open to different options in life, because you just never know when something will come along that is the perfect opportunity.

This isn’t to say to not ever have goals, but rather to be flexible and to enjoy the journey. If we learned something new today or we got a little farther along in the direction we wanted to go than we were yesterday, well, isn’t that success? If we tried our hardest, failed, and decided to find another door that was open for us, well, isn’t that a success, too? To me, success is being able to stand back up and try again, or to move just a little bit farther, having faith that we are right where we need to be at that moment.

Was there ever a time when you had a failure that ultimately resulted in a success?

 

 

Fairy Tale Forest

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I shared this on Facebook but wanted to share it here as well. Be sure to check out these stunning photos of a “fairy tale forest” from National Geographic. They are enchanting and just so beautiful! The artist is Ellie Davies:

Inside a Real-Life Fairy Tale Forest

C.S. Lewis quote

The Power of Failure

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This week I am intending to fail at something. By this I don’t mean that I will purposefully try not to succeed. Rather, I mean that I will purposefully go out of my comfort zone. When we are afraid of failure, we tend to remain stagnant. By embracing failure as the occasional inevitability, we can push ourselves as human beings to the very edge of our capacity.

When we fail, and the world still turns, and our lives keep going, and our friends and family are still by our side, we realize a fundamental truth: nothing we strive for is as pressingly important in the big scheme of things as we try to make it seem. All we can really hope to do is strive to be the best that we can be.

Think of your favorite heroes in your favorite books, or in real life. What makes them human is not their successes, but their failures. We don’t admire our heroes because they kept succeeding. We admire them because they fell and got back up again. To me, there is nothing more brave than being willing to fail. This means facing our own inadequacies head on, embracing our own imperfections, embracing our very greatest fears and yet being willing to grow past them and fight for the life we want, even when it is difficult to do so.

Is there something you can do this week that you will fail at? What will this teach you?

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