What are you doing to take care of yourself? According to mental health speaker and Amazon bestselling author Jeff Yalden, most of tend to get so busy “on the grind” – with work, family obligations and myriad other daily activities – that we forget about the value of self-care. There was a time in Jeff’s life when he thought self-care was selfish, but no more. A little “you time” is essential for achieving a healthy balance in your life. In episode 45 of The Boom Podcast – Jeff lays out Day Two of his 28-Day program about Living a Life of Gratitude. Are you ready? THE GRATITUDE JOURNAL “I want to encourage you to create a gratitude journal,” said Jeff. “You can do it in a physical journal. You can even do it on your smartphone. I use [an application] called Evernote, where I have all of these notebooks and notes and everything. I put everything in there. The process is simple, but it can be trickier than you might think. “Every single day, I want you to focus on one thing that you are grateful for toady – and no day can ever be a repeat of the day before. I challenge you to try it.” As Jeff recorded the video for what was to become this podcast episode, he thought about how grateful he was for anybody that was going to choose to listen to his message. “As I am sitting here right now, and as my heart is speaking to you and I am looking in the camera – I see the reflection of the water behind me and the beautiful clear skies. How beautiful is that!” He was sitting outside of his house, on a beautiful patio chair with his pool behind him. He was at liberty to light his Tiki torches if he wanted to – or fire up the barbecue. “This is my home. This is my four corners – my four walls,” he said. Jeff’s challenge is this: Every day, start looking for little things that you appreciate – and you will become aware of more and more of these as you go. “I don’t want you to go through life and take these things for granted,” he said. Remember: No day can be a repeat. You need to search yourself until you discover more things to be grateful for. Jeff does more than 200 presentations per year, and sometimes this grind is exhausting – and he is always forthcoming and transparent about living with mental illness – but he cited his friend, writer and speaker John Crudele, who once told him to “appreciate that you get to feel.” “I think another point of gratitude that I want to share with you is this: Give yourself permission to not have to be present in whatever moment it might be. I hope that makes sense to you.” Create a gratitude journal. It could be a physical journal, or it could be on your digital device. “If it’s on a smartphone, we’re kind of invested in typing it out. If it’s a physical journal, then when you write, you are actually slowing down how your brain processes this – and I think if you have a physical journal, you are able to take it more in and appreciate it more.” But sometimes creating a notebook on a smartphone is a lot easier. Whatever method you use – start tonight. List just one thing you are grateful for. “Tomorrow, I want you to set a reminder to come up with something else that you are grateful for – and I just want one thing. I want you to put down what you are grateful for – and the WHY you are grateful for it,” he said. Be specific. “I am grateful that I am sitting on my porch, and I am grateful I’ve got the reflection of the water in my pool – and the beautiful sky behind me. It’s 70-something degrees, and I am able to just sit out here in beautiful Myrtle Beach and just enjoy this. I am grateful for Janet, my fiancée. When you do your gratitude journal, Jeff wants you to get deep with the reasons you are grateful. “Every single day, set a reminder to come up with something. And I promise you that you are going to start to appreciate the beautifully cut grass. You will start to appreciate trees that you haven’t noticed before – the walkway leading up to your house or place of work. You might start appreciating little things about your neighbors. You might start appreciating that although the dogs can get on your nerves sometimes – you start to appreciate that unconditional love that you get from them.” Start your gratitude journal now. Find out why Jeff Yalden is North America’s Number One Youth Motivational Speaker. Go HERE. Check out Jeff’s new nonprofit, THE JEFF YALDEN FOUNDATION. Jeff’s speaking calendar fills up fast. To book him now for your event, organization or school now, call 800-948-9289. For a limited time, you can own Jeff’s new book, Your Life Matters, for only $0.99 on KINDLE. SUBSCRIBE to The BOOM Podcast. JOIN the BOOM Nation Facebook Group and share your BOOM moments with us!