Follow your gut is a hard resolution to keep

Gold star changeI love listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast Happier which she hosts with her sister Elizabeth Craft. In each episode they give a happiness gold star, to themselves or someone else. I like this idea, it’s a fun way of evaluating changes you’re make in your life/recognising things others do. I’m going to write a weekly change catch up where I’ll evaluate changes I’ve made each week, and award a gold star change.This week the main lesson I’ve learned is I need to make more concrete resolutions, especially when it comes to trying to schedule follow your gut time.

Evaluating changes I made this week

Tick. Evaluating changes.

At the start of this week I wrote about how I want to manage my time better by simplifying and decluttering my to- do list. I’m making a start on a new way of life, as a freelancer, and have a lot of things fighting for my time. I want to figure out how to schedule my time so that it works best for me.

I gave myself 5 changes I wanted to make to get started on this. These were:

  1. Daily meditation.
  2. Writing my top 3 priorities for the next day the night before.
  3. Schedule deep-thinking time into each day.
  4. Schedule daily ‘follow your gut’ time. Time when I choose what to do based on how I feel in that moment.
  5. Factor learning time into every day.

I’ve been doing meditation everyday and am really proud of this. I’ve been meditating first thing after my morning yoga. The max time has been 10 minutes, so I’m no Buddhist monk but it’s a start.

I have been writing my to-do list the night before, often just before bed when I remember to do it. This has had the added benefit of helping sleep come easier as I’m not thinking about what I need to do the next day. I already have my priorities lined up and can get some rest knowing they’re ready for me.

How do I make ‘follow your gut’ time?

How do I schedule 'follow your gut' time?

Deep-thinking, ‘follow your gut’ and learning time haven’t come so easily. I actually haven’t put these into my days at all. Reflecting on them now I think these goals might be a little vague. In The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin writes how you should make a resolution concrete. The example she gives is “be a more loving parent” is harder to keep than “Get up 15 minutes early so I’m dressed before the kids get up”.

With this in mind I am taking suggestions on how I can schedule deep-thinking time, ‘follow your gut’ time and learning time into my day. I will be thinking about it this week, but please let me know any suggestions you have in the comments below.

Gold star change this week

Alongside ‘follow your gut’ time this week I also thought about walking and realised I could vastly increase the amount I walk each day. Yesterday and today I took myself on two morning walks, and listened to podcasts along the way. This has been really enjoyable and I’ve noticed it benefitting my mood a lot. So this is my gold star change for the week.

Blue sky through the trees on this morning's walk.
Beautiful blue sky on this morning’s walk.

I also want to give a big gold start to my friend Molly who has just completed the Yoga With Adriene 30 days of yoga. As someone who dabbled in yoga Molly really went for it, committed to doing it everyday and totally recognised it changing her day. Big thumbs up to Molly!

Your turn

Let me know what changes you’ve made this week that you’re proud of, or anything you need a little help on. And share ideas for how I can schedule my deep-thinking, ‘follow your gut’ and learning time into my days.



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  • Thank you for the gold star, Ellen!! I believe one of the first things we bonded over was Yoga with Adriene :0) I have indeed been in and out of yoga-phases for years and never thought I could commit to doing it every day for a month (mostly to do with time, money and…my priorities). In the midst of a particularly stressful patch of grad school/life, I decided I wanted and needed to integrate more self-love into my day!! This started with not being too hard on myself if I missed a day or needed to divide a video in half (morning and evening). Surprisingly, I only missed 3 days (I obviously wouldn’t actually skip a video) and I’m pretty sure if i was more strict, I would have ended up giving up altogether!!!!

    I’m really enjoying your blog so far, Ellen! Keep it up!!

    • Thanks for your comment Molly, glad you liked the gold star! I think what you said about integrating more self-love into your day is so perfect – it’s exactly the way to think about it and what so many of us need to do more. Good stuff on not being too hard on yourself if you miss a video, it can be so easy to fall into the trap of being negative towards ourselves. The best thing to do is acknowledge where we’re at on a certain day. If we don’t have time for a full practice, that’s fine. Maybe we just do some neck circles, or shoulder rolls, or take a deep breath.

      Hope you’re still finding time for self-love in your days!