July 27


What Did You Accomplish Today?

By Sue Ingebretson

July 27, 2011

Accomplishments, change of focus, Gratitude Journal, sleep


If you’ve attended any of my workshops either online or in person, you’re familiar with my insistence on keeping a Gratitude Journal. It’s absolutely vital!

Making note of things for which we’re grateful brings to mind the positive aspects of life. It allows us to consider our day in a positive light, looking for the bright spots. Writing in your Gratitude Journal at bedtime provides you with a win/win experience. In addition to changing your focus, it helps to shift your thoughts from the stresses of your day toward calming thoughts that prepare you for better sleep.

Today, I’d like to suggest a simple addition to that practice. As you’re writing in your Gratitude Journal tonight, answer this question:

What did I accomplish today?

At the end of the day, many of us focus only on what didn’t get done. We feel we failed in so many ways and at bedtime, we ruminate over those perceived failures. Our focus then moves toward how we should hit the ground running the following morning to get a better handle on getting things done.

But, what about the pat on the back for what you did get done? Did you get the bills paid? The dishwasher unloaded? Finish up a report for work? Keep thinking about every detail of your day and give yourself credit for the accomplishments you made.

Pat yourself on the back as often as necessary for the things you DO get done. Changing your focus helps to frame things in a positive direction.

Remember, it’s all about focus.

Where do you choose to focus your thoughts? Moving toward a more positive frame of mind is a choice. The more often you choose to re-direct your thoughts, the more likely it will become a habit. And, a powerfully healing one, at that!

Let me know how this addition to your bedtime routine works for you!

  1. Thank you for this article. As someone who lives with multiple chronic illnesses and is homebound, I often feel I don’t accomplish anything at all. I’m going to start asking myself this question at the end of the day because I think it will encourage me and keep me from getting depressed and down on myself.

    1. Thanks for the note and you’re so right! Encouragements can have powerfully healing effects and we can begin the encouragements at home. Bedtime is a great time!

  2. Great advice! I started a journal three months after the death of my father. I was struggling with the loss so my pastor suggested I keep a journal of what I was thinking and feeling to help me release my grief. I found it to be really helpful and then I came across another journal, a joy journal, written with humorous quotes from one of my favorite authors. The purpose was to write down fond memories as well as new things that happened. I found myself getting over the loss of my father as I started to record all the fond and funny moments we had shared. I continue to add new memories to it as well as store cards and notes I’ve received from people over time that have been a source of joy or encouragement to me. Whenever I feel down, I pick up the journal and start reading it. The next thing I know I’m laughing or smiling as all those fond memories come flooding back. I also keep a regular journal in which I write out my frustrations along with the things I am grateful for. I do believe I will start recording them at night now so that I can fall asleep to good things and not bad.

    1. What a wonderful comment, Bernadine. Great advice! I worked through my grief last summer also and found journaling to be very essential in helping me to move forward. Good for you!

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