The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to Appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.


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Putting Pen to Paper 52 Times (A Letter Challenge)

Here at The Appreciation Factor I frequently extol the need for sharing your gratitude and showing appreciation, but I also talk a great deal about sending handwritten (thank you) notes over an electronic one.  (Check out my Thank You Note Category if you want to read more.)  There’s something about a handwritten note that immediately says to me, “They care a little more” or “Look at the attention to detail!” Candidly the fact that I mail 90% of my correspondence and hand-write my thank you notes is something I think sets me apart in a good way.  Think about it.  When was the last time you wrote or received a handwritten note? How did it make you feel?

 

You might want to consider writing one today, especially since it’s National Handwriting Day. (More on that in a minute.)

 

Many think it’s too much trouble to get everything together to send a handwritten note.  Or they may think it’s too time-consuming to send “snail mail” when it comes to the job search. (I don’t fully agree with this).  Or they’re stymied by poor handwriting or simply by a lack of what to say.  True, some people actually have horrific handwriting, but to me it’s worth putting pen to paper, no matter what your penmanship looks to show you care. In terms of content, if you write from the heart, are authentic, and/or show gratitude, you can’t go wrong.

 

Considerations

The topic of handwriting goes deeper for me at the moment. Since the start of the new year, I’ve been thinking about writing more and sending more letters via the mail.  While I always write a handwritten thank you note after a job interview, I’ve wanted to take this idea further.  I’ve been thinking about taking on a letter-writing challenge.  The seed may have been planted/inspired by my interview with Of Note Stationers or perhaps it was last year’s 30 day letter writing challenge by Devoted Diarist  or maybe, it was the time this fall when Steph  from Postcards to Mom sent me a postcard from Portland, ME all because I said, yes when she asked who wanted one.   I’m not sure, but I do know that I want to set a goal of incorporating more appreciation and gratitude in my life this year as I know that the more I show and share it with the world, the more the universe will send it back to me. Who doesn’t want more of that?

What’s stopped me from kicking this off so far has been: how many letters to write, when I should start (e.g., Can I say I started January 1st and just catch up), and whom should I write to?  These questions were making me feel a little overwhelmed and as I’m leaning in a great book The 5 Second Rule the second after you think of a great idea, the mind conspires to stop you from completing it.  Yes it does!  However today when I saw a post on Twitter promoting National Handwriting Day it was a sign for me to take action.

History of National Handwriting Day

National Handwriting Day was established by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association in 1977,
as a way to reintroduce one’s self to a pen and a piece of paper. They thought it was “a chance to re-explore
the purity and power of handwriting.” – WOW that’s deep!
It’s also the same day as John Hancock’s birthday – the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.

So you’re hearing it here first….

One of my goals for 2018 is that I am going to send 52 handwritten letters/notes in 2018.

Guidelines:

  • Letters, note cards and postcards count. (Job interview thank you notes do not, nor does typed correspondence – unless I’m being kitschy and using a typewriter. Ha Ha.)
  • In each piece of correspondence,  I will try to instill or focus on my gratitude and appreciation. Is there something that I can genuinely express in my note? Wonderful, if it feels forced, I won’t bother.
  • Write the letter/note as soon as it comes to me.  For each moment that passes between the idea and putting pen to paper means the less likely I’ll be to write it.
  • Aim for surprise and delight.  I also hope to surprise some of my recipients.   I think surprise mail – those pieces which are unexpected and/or out of the blue, but which really seem to make someone’s day, is the best kind of letter to receive.  Sometimes it’s just noticing the other person is alive is what means so much.
  • Write more than just thank you notes.  Just because I’ll be including my gratitude and appreciation will not mean that every letter is thank you based. A Just Because card is great too!
  • Don’t expect  to hear/receive a card/note back. The goal is not to collect letters, nor does everyone want or like to write letters. That’s OK. This #52Letters goal is for me.
  • Write 1 love letter. I want to include at least one of these and I always love an extra challenge.
  • Be Creative. While I’ll never be Devoted Diarist (see below) with her stylized envelopes which I covet, I will write neatly (hey undertaking  the challenge will improve my penmanship) and I’ll be creative where I can and perhaps with the chosen recipients.

    Source: Devoted Diarist
    Iris Apfel (in glasses) Card by @tay.ham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The handwritten note is powerful.  It becomes a literal piece of history and in many cases a cherished piece of correspondence or love letter.  The simple task of writing a note will also help slow me down and be deliberate in my actions.  I’m looking forward to sharing more love and gratitude in the world as simply sharing it also makes me feel good.  I’ll provide updates or tweets on my progress so you can see how it’s going.

 

PS:  This is my 100th post and on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart.  Thank you for being along for the ride, these almost 6 years. (1/31 is my 6th anniversary.)  I’m so grateful for your support, encouragement, patience, ideas, and appreciation of my little piece of the blogosphere.    If I could send you all a handwritten thank you note, I would.
Thank you,
K

 

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The Power of the Written Word – Featuring Of Note Stationers

I may have met my match when it comes to appreciation and letter writing in Kate Kellman (KK) and Isabel Bonenfant (IB) of Of Note Stationers.  These two lovely ladies started a company that was specifically meant to bring back the slower process of letter writing and to help bring a better balance to their fast paced lives.  The Appreciation Factor was fortunate enough to score an interview with these two.

 

Who is Of Note Stationers:

Of Note Stationers is a unique card/stationery company out of Amherst, MA that is focused on encouraging people to slow down and be mindful of the world around them through letter writing/sending correspondence. While they primarily produce cards they also create:

  • Letter Writing Sets
  • Gift Tags
  • Art Prints
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Mini Notes
  • Custom Business Cards and more

ONS cards tap into our generosity of spirit and include messages that emphasize the things that you may often think, but you don’t often say.   Here are two great examples:

                       You can and You Will”
“I think of you often and want you to know” 

 

I think Kate and Isabel put it best when they say,

“We believe that letter writing is a mindful act.
It’s one that allows you to slow down, appreciate the little things in life,
|and share that appreciation with others.

We strive to keep people connected and deepen relationships through the written word.”

 

You can see why I/The Appreciation Factor fell in love with the company and these two women immediately!

Here are some highlights from my interview:

How it All Began

After meeting in the summer of 2012, Kate, at the time a Special Ed teacher, realized that she was living at a pace that was unsustainable.  She wasn’t sure what direction she wanted to go in next, but knew something had to change. Isabel was also making a change, as she was moving from a position in industrial design to one in graphic design.

The two had become friends after living together for several months and learning that they both had a love of letter writing in common.  “Letter writing was something that took deliberation took time and effort to complete,” Kate told me.  “Our lives were becoming so digital, what with everyone primarily conversing via emails, social media and texts.  Isabel and I both loved, and wanted to bring back the slow process of letter writing.”

The idea of possibly creating a business around this process was further sparked when Isabel and her fiancé were designing their wedding invitations. A friend of theirs from Mass Art printed the invitations on a letterpress and they fell in love with the [creative] process.”

KK:  “We thought that starting a stationery/correspondence company would be a way to force us to slow down.  Neither of us had a background in business, but we knew that if we went ahead with this kind of company that we didn’t want to be like everyone else; we wanted to make an impact.”

Kate and Isabel also knew they needed to do their homework before launching a business.  She continues, “We spent a year doing market research on the card industry, visiting different specialty and retail card stores, attending trade shows, and researching the internet and social media.  We found a huge community of letter writers who were so wonderful and supportive.

When considering what type of company we wanted to create, we decided that we wanted to narrow our focus.  We were especially drawn towards the “just because” message.  Both Isabel and I always enjoyed receiving and sending cards that conveyed a “because I’m thinking of you message.”  We felt this niche supported friendship in a thoughtful, slow way.

We also knew that people often think [positive] things about their friends and family but that they don’t often say out them loud and/or share them.  We wanted to encourage and provide a way for people to share these kind words.”

 

A Field Apart

Of Note Stationers products aren’t quite like everyone else’s out there. For instance their “tagline” says, “Specializing in meaningful correspondence.”  Beyond noticing that almost EVERY CARD sparked a “YES! I’ve wanted to say that!” moment in me, I noticed that Of Note Stationers doesn’t include many images on their products. Most cards and other products only contain words.

 

TAF: I noticed that your cards, prints and stationery primarily only feature words. Is there a reason for this?

KK:  “This was deliberate.  There are two reasons for this.

    1. We wanted to honor the power of words we feature so that their true meaning is felt and heard. We felt that images would take away the focus on the words themselves. 

      Card: Magnificent. (Mag . nif. i. cent)      adj. exceptionally fine. Today was magnificent.

We often look at words and think we know the meaning. Isabel and I found that when we looked up several words that we were considering for cards, the definitions went so much deeper
than we thought.  We began to see the true meaning and saw that many would have a greater impact than we thought they would.  For instance, our Magnificent card, it reads “exceptionally fine. Today was magnificent.” Think about how much that definition could resonate and mean to the person who receives it.

 

 

 

 

 

2.  The second reason is that it allows the words inside, [your message/note] to have a greater impact. Your recipient can truly enjoy the sentiment and words that you are sharing.”

 

Kate added, “We are adding some illustrations to cards, but it’s done with intention.  The images are minimal and we feel they add to the sentiments vs. distract from them.”

 

 

TAF: What do you like most about your business?

IB: “There are honestly quite a few things that I love about our business, but I will start by saying that having the freedom to make decisions that suit our vision, our lifestyle, and our goals is one of the privileges that makes this journey of owning our business well worth it. Since we started this venture, we’ve each worn many hats as we’ve learned the ins and outs of operating a business. From designing, to marketing, to figuring out production and packaging, to planning events, it’s quite exciting although sometimes overwhelming to be constantly learning. While some decisions have led us to success and others have been more of a learning experience, we have been truly lucky to have found a community of small business owners that have been both supportive and inspiring in our journey.”

 

KK “Everything… I like going to work every day.  We’re learning as we go, and there’s a constant variety to what I do. Isabel and I also love meeting people like you [The Appreciation Factor], who appreciate what we’re doing, the cards/messages we’re creating, and that they share our passion for letter writing. There has also been a good enough response so far for us to keep going. I don’t see a reason for us to stop. Overall it’s made us happier in life.”

 


TAF: What tips would you give my followers about sending correspondence?

IB: “To get a letter, write a letter. Sometimes, it takes writing a couple to receive one in return, but there is nothing more rewarding than coming home to a handwritten note in the mailbox. Whether it comes from a friend, a family member, or a pen pal, there is something really magical about sharing your thoughts in writing. One of my pen pals is actually a really good friend of mine from college. She currently lives in Brooklyn and although we exchange text messages and phone calls occasionally, I feel like I have gotten to know her more deeply through her letters.  I have found that we’re able to connect in a different way. Perhaps it’s because of the state of mind we find ourselves while writing, but I know that there is extreme value in strengthening a friendship through the handwritten word.”

 

KK:  “I know that stepping out of our normal [using texts, emails, and social media to communicate] can be daunting, but I’d like to encourage you to let go of the pressure of doing something different. The fact that you took time out of your day to buy a card, sit down, and write, is a gift in of itself. Don’t worry about saying something profound. It’s okay to keep it simple and just let someone know that you are thinking of them. I bet you’ll surprise yourself. It’s your thoughtfulness, the hand-written message, and your presence through the card that will further connect you with those people.”

 

I simply love that Kate also sees the card as a gift in and of its self.  Truly, as I often say here, it’s the little things in life that can have the greatest impact.  I can’t recommended checking out Of Note Stationers highly enough. They offer seasonal cards and likely will have that card that will have you too saying – “YES! That’s exactly what I’ve always wanted to say.”  I also found these two lovely woman down to earth and just as kind as the sentiments that grace their products, especially after they so graciously agreed to an interview!  I suspect we’ll see these two in the stationery and correspondence industry for years to come.

Many thanks to Kate and Isabel for their time, kindness when I was a bit of a fan girl when I met them for the first time, and for their patience while I got this post written.  It’s true, this community of those who appreciate the handwritten letter and correspondence is strong and supportive. I feel so fortunate to be able to consider myself part of this “tribe.”

You can see more of Of Note Stationers line of products and can follow them at the addresses below! I really hope you’ll check them out!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ofnotestationers/

Twitter: @ofnotestationer   (note No “s” at the end)

Web: www.ofnotestationers.com

 

Do you have a go to card, stationery or company that thinks about appreciation that we do, which you’d like to see featured on The Appreciation Factor? Please let me know.

I’m always on the look out for people and companies who see value in showing gratitude and taking the time to write a handwritten note!


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November is National Gratitude Month

There seems to be a great partnership with #NationalGratitudeMonth and well the month that has Thanksgiving… but as I always say, why share gratitude and appreciation only one day of the year? You should share it every day.

Showing gratitude or appreciation really only takes a moment but the effects can be life changing or at least resonate well beyond the moment you share it.  However words can lose meaning if they’re just words. Be sure when you express your gratitude you do it sincerely, or show it through heartfelt actions.

In honor of National Gratitude Month and celebrating what The Appreciation Factor is all about…

Here are 30 ideas to show your gratitude this month (1 for each day):

  1. Keep a gratitude journal or jot down 1-3 things your grateful for each day  Remember, gratitude starts with you. If you’re not appreciating yourself or the things around, it’s harder to be grateful for other things and/or other people. I love the Happiness Planner there’s a space to provide things you are grateful for each day and/or each week.
  2. Write at least 1 thank you note per week this month
    • Ideas: Colleagues, a provider (e.g., think your exercise coach, Barre3 instructor, personal trainer or even the mailman who always puts your packages under the bench to keep them hidden), your local librarian, a friend who always just seems to be there, and/or family members are just a few who I know would appreciate a heart-felt note.
  3. Create 10 www.kindnessrocks.org rocks and place them around your neighborhood  While the movement started on the beach, I recently found one in my neighborhood (not at all near the beach) and the message was so important for me to read at that time.  That rock now sits prominently on my window sill.
  4. Create a holiday card list  Compile a list of everyone whom may have helped you this year; it can even include your boss.  Getting ready now means you can beat the holiday rush and mail these out either around Thanksgiving or at the very beginning of December to cut through the clutter and make an impact.
  5.  Volunteer  Find and organization that is meaningful to you and see if you can lend a hand. Many groups have annual events that you can help staff. You can also help them with a mailing or make deliveries. How and where you help is really up to you.  *I do recommend that you find an organization that you can stick with – at least for a year or two. The longer you volunteer, the more responsibilities you may be given.
    • Not sure who’s looking for volunteers? Try www.volunteermatch.org which matches you with local organizations based upon your ZIP code and across multiple categories.
  6. Clean up We’ve all come across trash/debris during our day.  Keep a garbage bag in your trunk or backpack and pick up the litter when you see in on your walk or commute. You’re saying thanks to your town/environment by keeping it a little cleaner and greener.
  7. Donate a book(s) to a Little Free Library We’ve all been there. We’re cleaning up our home/apartment and come across books we’ve read and just don’t have the room for anymore. Consider a neighborhood Little Free Library for these gems. The concept is that anyone can take a book and/or leave a book.  Check out the link above for locations that are near you, or ask to create one in your neighborhood or town.
  8. Donate food to a food pantry  Be grateful for your ability to buy or have food on the table by sharing food with those who may need that extra help each month.
  9. “Buy” Make Lunch/Dinner  Keeping food allergies and preferences in mind, make or buy lunch/dinner for a friend. This is even better when it’s a surprise.  It’s different way to say rather than simply sending a note or sharing it verbally.
  10. Donate your clothing/household items   You can select the charity you prefer, but why not give life to your gently used items by donating them. (Just a FYI: Goodwill accepts all kinds of fabric scraps — from the one sock, to ripped T’s they make things from these miscellaneous items and ship them around the world.)
  11. Create a “Honey it’s what you Do” list  Most have heard of a “Honey Do” list where you list chores and tasks you want our significant other to help you with. Instead, create a list of all of the things that make him/her special to you. 
  12. Social shout out In a world that’s become fixated on social media, share your gratitude,  recommendation and/or shout out on social for friends and colleagues to see. Everyone likes to be recognized!
  13. Send a small meaningful gift  Keeping meaningful in mind, find a small token to show your appreciation for a friend, family member, colleague or provider. Pick something that they’ve had their eye one, one that will make them smile and/or something that they like to do. e.g., I have a friend who is addicted to iTunes.  I bought a $5 card for her to buy a couple of songs to add to her collection.
  14. Reach out and touch someone – via the phone So often we text our conversations.  Instead, pick up the phone and make it more personal with a call.
  15. Say thank you  Some things that people do for us may seem like their job or expected. However, saying thank you to the checkout girl, sales associate, or your boss will be noticed and appreciated.
  16. Provide a Recommendation/Referral Provide an unsolicited, positive recommendation on LinkedIn, or offer to be a reference for a new job. Don’t wait to be asked, make the offer instead.
  17. Call out great service to a manager Whether it be in the retail store or at the office, making a point to call out – and be specific as possible – how someone has helped you to their manager is huge. So often managers only hear the complaints. When you are praising their employees, in a small way, you’re also praising their management. It’s a two-fer!
  18. Write a thank you note to a service member Being in combat or in the field can be a lonely, challenging and scary place. They may love making a difference but they miss those here at home.  A note from a stranger thanking them for their contributions can brighten what may at times feel like a bleak situation.  Operation Gratitude is just one organization that can help you can share your thanks with the troops.
  19. Pick/Buy Flowers  Pick a bouquet (if out of your own yard of course!) or buy a small bunch at a florist or Trader Joe’s. Nothing perks up a day like a thank you via flowers!
  20. Help a family member or friend do something they need (even if it’s not something you enjoy) There are always those tasks that no one likes to do, but as their friend or family member, lighten the load and let them know you care by helping them out.  (e.g., raking leaves, cleaning the house (you could clean 1 room) etc.)
  21. Say you’re sorry  Being grateful also means that you care enough to say sorry when you’re in the wrong/have hurt someone.
  22. Make a gift The most appreciated gifts can be those that are homemade. Again, identify something that would be meaningful to the recipient. Do they like the beach? Make a shell collage from their favorite location.
  23. Visit  Like our penchant for texts vs. calling, actual in-person visits are going by the way side. Find time to spend with a family member or friend and truly be in the moment with him/her. *Note this means putting down your phone while you do!
  24. Do the dishes or make dinner without being asked Instead of a trade-off (I cook, you clean), simply take over the clean-up or cooking.
  25. Lighten the load  Offer to take on a colleague’s project if appropriate.  You know you would appreciate the help if it were offered.
  26. Write yourself a “love” letter As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to appreciate yourself. Take 20 minutes to really call out what makes you special and unique from everyone else. (It’s OK to brag here.) It’s a great way to give yourself a boost if you’re feeling less than spectacular – today or in the future.
  27. Tell someone that they make the world a better place What a powerful statement to hear!
  28. Provide a Loan If you’re able, loan someone some money that s/he may need without the expectation of having it paid back. Or loan a tool/book or other object, again without expecting him/her to return it.
  29. Bake something Bake a sweet or savory treat for someone to show how much you care.
  30. Celebrate a tradition or holiday that you may not already celebrate but someone you care about does.  Diversity is important, and respecting and supporting traditions and holidays that are important to those you care about shows your respect and gratitude for having them in your life.

WOW 30 ideas!  Are you inspired?  Don’t fret if you’ve come across this post after November 1st or even months from now.  You don’t need a special day or month to share gratitude and appreciation.  If you read this in mid-November, many of these ideas are easy to do and you can accomplish more than one in one day if your goal is to complete 30.  However, I strongly recommend that you pick those ideas above (or create your own) that are most meaningful to you or things that you’d like to do (or things you don’t really like to do #19,) which show you care.

On December 1st, count up how many tasks you completed.  How many did you cross off?  I bet your outlook on life and attitude in general has improved! I know I’ve attracted great things and am happier when I’ve taken more time to share and experience gratitude for things and people around me.

 

So how about it – who’s joining me in #30DaysofGratitude and celebrating #NationalGratitudeMonth?
Share your ideas and what you did for others in the comments below! I can’t wait to read them!


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The Appreciation Factor’s Turns 5!

5th-anniversary

Today is the The Appreciation Factor’s 5th Anniversary!  

Wow! Who knew when I started this blog in 2012 that I would still be here 5 years later. Well….I’d hoped I’d still be here, but you know best intentions and all of that. Here we are, 80+ posts later.

When I started out, I knew that I wanted to create a blog about a topic I was passionate about, so it started with talking about the importance of writing Thank you notes. However, I wasn’t sure that there would be enough content around just writing about thank you notes and I decided to expand it to “sharing appreciation,” but truly it became the overarching topic of appreciation.  I also knew that to some degree I couldn’t worry about whether others disagreed with me or not.  As I’ve stated in the “about me” page, I primarily write to share my passion about appreciation and gratitude, but I also want to offer a point of view that you may not have considered, or tips to help you share your appreciation.

I’ve been really happy to find ways to expand on my “how to write”/”why write thank you notes” posts to cover Things I Appreciate, like Día de los Muertosfall, beach etiquette, my fitness quest (still going strong by the way!), New Jersey and many more. You may have also seen two posts where I was fortunate to partner with others.  The first as a guest blogger on The Cutie Life, and more recently where I featured etiquette coach, Janet Parnes.  Both were extremely rewarding and I’m in talks with other bloggers and professionals to do more!

Two other additions to the blog that have become favorites of mine are Thankful Thursdays where I curate stories and/or videos that I feel exemplify appreciation, have moved me, or talk about people making a difference; and the second where I write about showing appreciation, especially in the form of Random Acts of Kindness (ROAKs) and promoting Giving Tuesday.  Both I are causes anyone can do, and both help make the world a better place.
The Future

I hope to continue to share some fresh posts on the topics above, and come up with new ones. Part of the challenge fun about having a blog is that you can come up with new features, approaches or even a new direction.  I hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride as I go into my 5th year, as well as share my posts with others, on your blogs or via Social Media, or not… as I’m content to have you simply read and enjoy them.  I’m appreciative of all of my followers, and really at the end of the day, if I’ve made you think about something in a new way, or supported a viewpoint you already have, then I’ve already done what I’d hoped to do.

 

Content/Compensation Free:

One additional thing that I wanted to clarify.  At times I will promote a brand, site, product etc.  At this time, The Appreciation Factor is not written for financial gain. I write it to support my passion for all things appreciation and writing.  I am not paid, nor do I receive any products to talk about. Candidly I have considered this option and I’m not against this approach as I’ve thought about a post/partnering with a paper company or another service that promoted appreciation, gratitude and thanks yous, but to date, I have not.  Should this ever change, I will absolutely let you know, and be very clear about it in the post.
What this means: Unless I state otherwise, all opinions are mine and I’m not compensated for any links or clicks you make on The Appreciation Factor.  Feel free click without worry and the ability to see that related content on a separate tab. (A pet peeve of mine are posts that take me away from the content I’m reading just to sell me something. Perhaps that’s how one is “supposed to do it”, but it’s just not for me.) I hope this encourages you to click, read, and share to your heart’s content.

 

Please, please, please don’t hesitate to also share your ideas. While I’m always searching the internet and news for stories and topics, I may miss something. Let me know if you see something you think I should share or a topic I should cover. I love hearing from my followers.

 

Best wishes, and many thanks to each of you. Here’s to 5 more years! (Hey I can dream can’t I?)

K

 


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Heartfelt Wishes

Happy New Year

new-yearsPhoto Credit: Paperless PostThe Indigo Bunting/Erin Jang

 

I wanted to take a moment to Thank All of You… my Followers especially, but also the visitors, mentors, and fellow bloggers as well, that continue to visit and/or comment on my site, The Appreciation Factor.  I hope you’ve found the posts helpful, insightful, or that they’ve provided a new point of view. I’m so grateful for you all.

 

I know I didn’t post as often as I should have wanted to this year, but my passion for all things Appreciation has not wavered, but simply the act of completing the posts was challenging at times for me. This was especially true when I always wanted to ensure that my posts and topics are fresh/new content and paused when I wasn’t sure that it was.  Still for 2017, I hope to overcome these insecurities challenges and get more posts out in the new year.

Know that I’m forever grateful for your support, and for those that continue (or start) to follow this blog. You cheer me and humble me simultaneously.

 

May you have much success and happiness in 2017!
I hope you’ll come back for fresh content, tips on saying and writing thank yous (or just notes),
and for new things to appreciate.

I do have a few ideas up my sleeve and hope to start posting in early January. (Thanks for your patience!)

Sincerely,

k of taf


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600

Just an update for those who’ve been following my fitness quest

Today #

600-days                                                                                                                                                                      is in the books.

I know I should be doing the #happydance

 

giphy

and appreciate what I’ve accomplished but, candidly the last 100 days haven’t been as great as the first 500. My interest and drive has waned and waistline is starting to expand.  Still I’ve not stopped.

For me, I’ve found that once you start something/a goal, it’s hard to stop – or better said, difficult to justify stopping/not working out, simply because I want to watch something on TV or “just don’t feel like it.”  I also haven’t completed the goal started eating healthier, “as planned.”  While my weight loss has stalled and started to go in the other direction, despite working out, I can get down right discouraged.  But hey… the harder and longer workouts I was doing aren’t happening as frequently as they should, and are replaced by “easier” walks, so I really have no one to blame but myself.  (Yeah… I’m finding that I’m not as nice to myself about this.)  Still I can say to say that I have done something – like a 20-30+ walk or workout video every day since March 8, 2015. That’s something and I know I’d be in worse shape had I not been doing anything at all.  I just need to get psyched up and motivated again… perhaps that’s also why I’m blogging about it, to regain that excitement.

 

What’s Next

Next week I’m trying a new food plan – it’s a two-week boost process where I’ll eat healthier, through the omission of several favorite “food groups” – like whole wheat and dairy. It does allow for snacks of pickles, nuts, and certain veggies – Yea!! – but am not a fan of plans that deny things.  For me, it makes me want them more.    Still maybe this is what I need to do to get me back on track. My current goal is to make it another 112 days and complete to 2 years straight.  That’s not many days at all when you think about how many I’ve done so far. I want to do this, but I would love to do this with a little more gusto and enthusiasm.  Despite what many in my position could feel, I have not become excited to work out or necessarily look forward to working out. I wish I liked it more. Maybe it’s that I’ve gotten in a rut with the approaches I’ve been taking and I want to change that.

So if anyone has any tips to stay motivated, tapes/exercises that would make things fresh again, or just personal stories to share, please do. I could use the additional support and motivation.

And finally… I’m also hoping to get back in to blogging more often.  I know several of you have said that they’ve missed my posts.

Fall is usually my reset or renewal time period, but so far, it’s been more sluggish  than anything else.  I love writing about appreciation and am hoping to find fresh stories and topics to share, not all have inspired me in a way that I’d hope to inspire you. So here too, please send any suggestions my way – I’d be happy to credit you/your blog if you have a post to share, or follow-up on a topic you propose.

2 years… I’m gunning for you.


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In the Meantime…

Appreciation

 

I’m so appreciative and grateful for your patience while I’m resetting and developing new posts for The Appreciation Factor.  While you “wait” I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite posts like these:

Tips on Writing a Memorable Thank You Note

The Need for RSVPs

What if you’re not Thankful

Ode to a Swizzle Stick

A Feature on the Cutie Life

365 Days  (By the way I recently passed 400 days and still going strong)

Keep reading and sharing… I’ll be back soon.

– TAF