How to stay positive throughout 2017 – inspiration from Ups and Downs: A Journal for Good and Not-So-Good Days

Ups & Downs Journal

2016 was a tough year and 2017 is set to be full of it’s own challenges: with New Years Resolutions feeling like a distant memory, we are all in need of a little guidance for how to stay positive. The Ups and Downs Journal is the perfect place to let go of the bad and focus on the good.

Ups and Downs Journal

Give it a go today; jot down your answers to the following questions and feel your worries ebb out onto the page.

First the downs:

This rained on my parade: _______________________________________________

I view this as a problem/challenge, because…__________________________

The Future looks: _________________________________________________________

Would I rather be elsewhere right now? yes/no

If yes, where and why? __________________________________________________

The most annoying person I talked to: ________________________________

The biggest disappointment of the day: _______________________________

Ups and Downs Journal
Now the Ups:

This was quite good: ____________________________________________________

This unfortunately less so:_______________________________________________ , but it doesn’t matter.

Did I reward myself? yes/no

If yes, how and for what?_______________________________________________

If no, why not? __________________________________________________________

This made me laugh: __________________________________________________

I enjoyed this: __________________________________________________________

This day was my friend because ______________________________________

My resolution for tomorrow: _________________________________________

Ups and Downs Journal

With space to record the day’s low points followed by the day’s highlights, this journal encourages you to acknowledge the bad, let it go and embrace the good!

99 Things That Bring Me Joy.

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This month Abrams brought us this beautiful journal to collect some of our favourite things in.

*Breaks out into My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music*

And of course, we couldn’t wait to give it ago ourselves! Full of excitement we opened the beautiful foil embellished cover. squealed about the TWO ribbon markers, and got to work on our list of Favourite Books (predictable, we know).

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But with prompts like The Most Useful Thing You Own, Someone Who Makes You Laugh and A Piece of Wisdom Someone Gave You this little journal has us reflecting on the subtle little things that bring us joy. When completed this journal will be a physical reminder of life’s distinct little pleasures.

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Grab your copy now! And let us know your favourite prompt using #99Joys. 

 

Wake Up Your Creativity with Art Before Breakfast.

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Do you wish you could carve out a little creativity in your day, but are convinced there are not enough hours in the day?

We know the feeling.

But despair no longer! Artist Danny Gregory, creativity guru to thousands across the globe, is here to help with this unique guide. Serving up a hearty helping of inspiration, Gregory offers 5 to 10 minute exercises for every skill level that fit into any schedule – whether on a plane, in a meeting, or at the breakfast table – along with practical instruction on techniques and materials, plus strategies for making work that’s exciting, unintimidating and fulfilling.

So why should you make art part of your everyday? We will let Danny take the lead here…

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But not only that, art can fulfill so much more…

BE-HERE-NOW Art stops time. When you draw or paint what’s around you, you see it for what it is. Instead of living in a virtual world, as we do most of the time these days, you will be present in the real one. Instead of focusing on all the things whirring in your head, you will be able to stop, clear your mind, take a deep breath, and just be. You don’t need a mantra or a guru. Or an app. Just a pen.

TELL-YOUR-STORYLife is just a long succession of small epiphanies. You need to stop and seize them. By making art, you will be recording what you are living through and what you are learning about it. A drawing and a sentence or two in a sketchbook turns those everyday moments into something significant. Your art will set a frame around it and give you perspective on what really matters. Over time you will build up a book of memories—a true record of what’s important in your life.

WELCOME-TO-THE-WORLD It’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful. And the most beautiful things have character and walnutsexperience built into them. There’s a lot to learn and appreciate in a chipped mug, a half-eaten apple, the tiny lines in the leather of your dashboard. Making art will show you how much you already have. Your real treasures. A brand-new Maserati is a lot less beautiful to draw than a rusty old pickup.

SUDOKU You will never be bored or waste time again. Every day is full of those moments between activities. Waiting in the doctor’s office, watching mindless TV. Instead of reading tweets on your phone, you’ll make a piece of art. Every minute of your day counts. Make it worthwhile.

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We all live in chaos. It’s the natural state of things. Physicists call it entropy—everything is always changing and unraveling and ultimately turning into cosmic mush. That’s why your desk gets cluttered and your calendar gets filled. It’s physics.

Creativity is the act of shaping the mush of the world around us into something—of creating your own order. I’m not talking about going crazy and compulsive with a label maker and color-coded files. I’m talking about having a vision of what you want things to be like and moving toward it.

I assume that, deep down, you want to have more creativity in your life—that’s why you have this book in your hands. But you just don’t know how to fit it into the chaos of your day. There are always too many things to do, too many obligations and chores that take precedence over you. Maybe you think to yourself, “Sure, I’d love to make art, but I don’t have the time to indulge myself right now. Maybe on the weekend, on vacation, when I retire, etc.”

But creativity isn’t a luxury. It’s the essence of life. It’s what distinguishes us from the mush. And it’s why our ancestors survived while other less adaptive critters perished. They responded to change by being creative in some way, by inventing a new answer to the chaos.

And that’s what you need to do to make the most of your life, every day of it. To be inventive, open, flexible, in touch. To have perspective on what matters to you. To deal with change without being overwhelmed. And that’s what creativity offers you.

Creativity can become a habit that fits into your life, like Pilates or flossing, only a lot more fulfilling. You just need to shift your perspective on what it is to be creative. It doesn’t mean you have to be a full-time artist. It doesn’t mean you need lots of training or supplies. Or time. It doesn’t mean you need to be a so-called expert.

You just have to be you—and express what that means.

ART-BEFORE

Art Before Breakfast is out now,find out more about here.

Want to find out more about Danny Gregory? You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and on his Blog