Just about a year and a half ago, I started #projectgoodness, a community dedicated to noticing and adding to the goodness that surrounds us always. I wanted to invite everyone to engage in a practice that changed my life, the practice of actively taking note of the goodness in myself, those around me, and my environment. The idea behind #projectgoodness is that its about your attention and where you put it. Sure there are all kinds of things happening in and around us, things we sometimes can’t control, but our attention is ours and we can point it (like an arrow!) towards what lifts us up. Towards goodness. So far hundreds of goodness packs, and thousands of stickers, have been sent out. It is through your support, words of encouragement, and passion for noticing and adding to the goodness that surrounds us always, that I continue to be inspired, and continue to look forward to sharing in all that is to come with you.
Sometimes the easiest way is the best way
This is something I've lived through creating a website and designing the #projectgoodness stickers. At the start, I thought making my own website would be too hard, being that I had no idea where to even begin! I then found Weebly, which was easy to use and super user friendly. It was and continues to be a work in progress, and for me having it exist (in real life, and not just in my mind) is the BEST! As for the stickers, I prolonged making them for a some time due to my nonexistent Illustrator skills. After some time of them being an idea I, impulsively, opened pages and played around with some fonts and shapes. I sent in my design to a stickermule, and bam! The first generation of goodness stickers were born. Sure the sticker could of been made through taking "harder" approach, but for me, having them exist, like withgoodness.com, was the BEST!
It was and continues to be a work in progress, and for me having it exist (in real life, and not just in my mind) is the BEST!
Doubt has no place in trying to make "it" happen:
That was something I kept reminding myself. Doubt cannot be invited to the meetings/brainstorming sessions. Sure there are ways the doubt can support the main idea, and help in pinpoitning possible problems and solutions, but for me, I found that with doubt came discouraging thoughts, that didn’t serve me or the project. In the words of my dad, “you have to think a little unrealistically, in order to make it happen.”
In the words of my dad, “you have to think a little unrealistically, in order to make it happen.”
A little encouragement goes a long way
On days where I needed it most, I found encouragement left by others (in my inbox, on a street corner, as a comment or post on instagram) as being the thing that lifted me up, and pushed me forward. I try to be an encourager, because over the past few years that I've been paying attention to it (goodness), I've found that the encouragement of others, effected me and my days in such a positive way. By practicing encouraging others, you never know whose day you might make! And the ripple effect that it might have!
On days where I needed it most, I found encouragement left by others (on a street corner, in my inbox, as a comment or post on instagram) as being the thing that lifteded me up, and pushed me forward.
Since starting to document the goodness that surrounds us always, I have come to notice more goodness in me and those around me. It has totally changed the way I go about my day, and increased the gratitude and overall positive regard towards all things.
Its about your attention and where you put it
Becoming aware of the goodness in yourself, those you care about, and in your surroundings with help train your brain to focus, and see, goodness in most people/situations/environments. Focusing on that goodness will make life’s ups more enjoyable and life’s downs more bearable.
Having the dream is the first step
I used to think that the dream didn’t count, and that one I acted on it, then I was on my way. I now see having the dream, as being on the way to making it come true.
Growing up, I worried about everything under the sun.
Thankfully somewhere along the way I realized that it wasn’t working. Which left me pondering, could it be that our natural inclination to worry, may not actually improve any situation?
What I’ve learned is that it is important to notice when we are worrying, and then to make a choice, to continue “rocking” or to get off (clearly the harder choice) and come up with ideas that could possibly improve the worrying situation. It redirects our “caring” energy away from worry and towards something more productive.
I’ve had times where I had to say to myself: I know I shouldn’t worry, but I’m worried, and right now I just need to be worried for a few minutes. But still it was a choice, which took me away from being a slave to my worry.
If the person we are worried about is someone else, when we stop worrying
we open up to the possibility of, being totally there for them, in that very moment. When the subject is ourselves, it’s the same. We can be there for ourselves, support ourselves, and practice self love.
One thing I just wanted to add: The words "Don't Worry" can be very annoying/upsetting to the person they are told to. It's usually the last thing anyone wants to hear. So instead, try this: "I see your worried, why don't you _______?" Which gives them/yourself an action to direct their care and concentration towards.
Here are a few tips I have found very helpful for implementing healthy habits
(Or how to eat more kale, drink more tea, stress less, exercise more, help others, and more).
1. Start Small
Start with some ‘mini goals’ that make it super easy for you to succeed. Take upon yourself something you want to add to your life, and set aside a specific time or place to accomplish it.
For example: If you want to eat more veggies, instead of adding them to every meal which can be a drastic change, add them to one meal, for some time, succeed, and move on to your next ‘mini goal’!
2. Celebrate the Little Successes
Be proud of yourself for accomplishing your ‘mini goal.’ This part should be really fun! Pat yourself on the back and then treat yourself to a bath, a nap, or any other type of self-care.
3. Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself
If you saw your friend trying to do what you were doing, would you say “What’s wrong with you why can’t you do this?” Or would you cheer them on, and be extra kind? When we are thinking about ways to improve, we tend to be very hard on ourselves. So please, don’t be too hard on yourself. Rather, BE EXTRA NICE TO YOURSELF, forgive yourself if you slip up, and cheer yourself onwards.
4. Create A ‘Cheer Squad’
Studies have shown that it is much easier to implement healthy habits in the company of others. You can get together with friends or family and decide that you are all going to work on “X.” You would then act as cheerleaders and coaches for each other, encouraging each other, and celebrating each other’s progress.
5. Keep At It (Practice, Practice, Practice)
In the words of Maimonides, “Positive behavior characteristics are not acquired by doing great (positive) acts but rather by repeating positive acts. For example, giving $1,000 to one charity will not accustom a person to being generous, whereas giving $1 to 1000 different charities rehearses the trait of generosity in that individual. That repeated action of giving regulates that person to continue giving. By repeating an act many times, an established behavior or emotional pattern is formed. In contrast, one great act does do some level of good, but the motivation may disappear shortly thereafter.”
When instating new healthy habits like of being more grateful, kind, optimistic
judging less, being more present, being a good friend and family member, stressing less… It’s important to realize that they need to be practiced over and over and over again. It takes a lot of repetition (and patience and love) to create a new habit.
So, here's to healthy habits, AND HERE'S TO YOU!