Here is a wonderful reflective writing exercise for you to try. It’s called 99 Things I love.
I find this exercise really helps to lighten the mood and crank open my brain to welcome in positivity AND creativity.
So how does it work?
Easy peasy! All you need to do is to write down a list of 99 things you love!
99 things? That’s a lot!
Yeah, I guess it is. It can especially be overwhelming if you are feeling down, suffering from writer’s block, or are in the midst of depression. I probably thought that the first time I sat down to write my first list in 2013, but believe me it’s a whole lot easier than you would expect! In fact, this will be the 3rd time I’ve done it – that’s how much I love this exercise!
But it sounds seriously hard?
I know it does, but it’s as hard as you make it really. The key to success is to think small, or to just not think at all! Let your pen … or fingers … do the walking (writing, typing, you get the picture) and just go with the flow by writing down the first things that come to mind (the pros call that streams of consciousness). And if you can’t finish it in one sitting, then write your list over a number of hours, days or even weeks (I wrote this one over 2 days)!
To show you how easy it is, here’s my third 99 things I love list. I swear, it gets easier and quicker each time I do this – and I think that shows how great the exercise is, both as a way to help you think positive AND as a tool to help you open up your mind to write (especially if you are suffering from the dreaded writers block ugh).
Here we go!
- D – my new husband. We got married in January after 10 years together, and it was an amazing day and experience.
- My fur-child, Kahlua. She is the light in my life, the sunshine in my cloudy days.Our home.
- My 2 wonderful, loving step-kiddies.
- Receiving my subscription of Empire magazine in the post each month – for this film buff, this is my one luxury item I allow myself, even with tight purse strings.
- A good coffee – flat white, not too strong, just creamy enough.
- Curry cooked by D. Here’s an easy peasy curry recipe you can try courtesy of the man in my life.
- Being able to wear sneakers to work. Goodbye aching calves and cramped toes caused by squeezing my feet into uncomfortable but gorgeous heels. Hello carefree, comfy, spongy sneakers. My knees and hips are forever grateful for the change.
- Blogging. I’ve done it for 6 years now and it really has changed my life.
- My immediate family, you know who you are. We’ve been through and survived a lot. As Mum says, we have a special bond.
- My special friends, confidants, best buds. Through thick and thin we are still together, and I love you.
- A night out dancing. They are few and far between these days, but I still love it! My most recent memories are of hitting the dance floor with my family and friends for our wedding in January, as well as cracking out the moves with my brother and Mum at my sister’s wedding in February. I think it took us a few months to recover from those, to be honest!
- Memories of our wedding. Wow. I had so much fun. It was so much more than I had ever expected. It really was the best day of my life.
- I’ve discovered a love for red wine most recently…
- A good, juicy burger. The beef patty needs to be flavoursome, and preferably handmade by my hubby. He recently made some injected with coriander and chilli and they were sublime! Beats the store-bought shit filled with preservatives hands down!
- Heaters in winter.
- And warm, cozy snuggle-worthy blankets.
- A binge-worthy TV series… Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Grimm, Penny Dreadful… there are so many.
- Revisiting binge-worthy TV series. I’ve recently binge watched 8 seasons of How I Met Your Mother and I love the cack-fest that resulted (in non-Aussie lingo that’s laughter-fest). I am left with 1 series… so I am dragging it out in a non-binge-worthy way.
- A good movie watched on the big screen with warm, salty, buttery popcorn and a coke.
- Laughter. It really is the best medicine and one of the keys to happiness.
- Music. I especially love listening to music from the 90’s. I can’t help it, I’m a Gen-x’er – the memories!
- Modern Family. It makes me piss myself laughing. I see D and myself in a few of the characters… which makes me laugh and cringe even moreso.
- Homemade lasagne… drool.
- A good book you can’t put down even though you need sleep and have to work tomorrow. If it involves vampires, even better. And if it’s a series HELLO!
- A long hot shower. It’s the cure to most bad days.
- Sleeping in and waking up naturally without a sleep hangover.
- Cuddles. Snuggles. Bear hugs.
- Having energy. It’s rare, but when I have it it is glorious!
- Looking back over old photos. I love revisiting the memories, bad hairdo’s and fashion.
- Looking back over our wedding photos. Okay I may be slightly obsessed…
- The colour blue. Sapphire to be exact.
- The colour red – most shades.
- I especially love a sexy red dress and red shoes. Hopefully I will find the right ones someday!
- Getting back to nature. Walking under blue skies, gazing up at it through the trees as the birds chirp, the breeze whips the leaves around, and the sun shines.
- Burning incense and scented candles.
- Massages, all over aside from my feet. Do not touch my feet!
- Travel. My god I’m so in need of a holiday (a honeymoon would be nice!).
- Making people smile. It’s become the highlight of my day in my new job at the cafe.
- I’ve recently rediscovered a love for hot chocolate (in my attempts NOT to drink so much coffee in my job at the cafe).
- Hitting the open road with the windows down and the music up loud on a road trip down south (south-west of Western Australia).
- Champagne. Sparkling wine. Bubbles. It’s just a shame my body seems to be developing an intolerance to it. Damn!
- Superhero movies. Marvel superhero movies to be precise.
- A good pillow.
- Coffee. Not too strong. Not too hot. Just right.
- Jumping out of a shower into a nice fluffy towel fresh from the dryer.
- Lemon curd. Lemon meringue. Lemon cheesecake. Lemon tarts.
- Not working in an office. I do not miss THAT at all.
- Removing Facebook from my phone, which has helped to decrease my anxiety triggered by technology and helped open up my awareness to the amount of people who seem to rely on Facebook on their phones to fill every spare minute of their idle time. I’m happy to have weaned myself down to checking Facebook 2 times a day on my laptop.
- Watching D create art, be it a new drawing, painting, or something else. He looks so at peace and in his element. It’s a beautiful thing watching someone do something they love AND creating a masterpiece.
- My Nan. I miss her so much – still.
- Skin care products and makeup that doesn’t irritate my skin. I’ve searched for years and FINALLY may have found the right products. So as not to jinx myself, I’ll give it another month of usage before sharing the product names.
- UK TV. I may as well move back to England the amount of UK TV I watch. Honestly there is some great TV coming out of the UK these days, especially in the crime drama niche. Also, I never expected to be loving Eastenders but boy it’s lured me in hook, line and sinker!
- Singapore. Even though I’ve been there over 10 times already I will never tire of the place.
- Hot chips and potato crisps. They are my weakness.
- The smell of freshly washed clothes.
- Silence. Sometimes it really is golden.
- Summer. The warmth, the sun, the light and shade, the beach, balmy,starry, summer nights…
- A summer storm on a balmy night.
- The sound of rain on a tin roof.
- Crunching fallen leaves underfoot.
- The smell of orange zest, freshly zested.
- Thai food, especially a well-cooked Thai Green Chicken Curry with just the right amount of chilli-kick.
- My beautiful nieces, Charlotte and Emily. They deserve their own listing as they are the most beautiful little girls in the world who are growing up way too fast!
- Finding the perfect spot of sun on a winter’s day to sit and bask in whilst reading a book or just sitting in silence.
- One of the few things I love about the cooler months is being able to wear boots. I love a good pair of boots you can dress up or dress down, and which are compatible with pants and skirts.
- A nice long walk in the countryside.
- Unplugging and not feeling the urgent need to check my phone for emails or messages for fear of missing out (the dreaded FOMO). I’m loving that feeling at the moment. It’s so liberating!
- Snuggling down at night into a freshly made bed.
- Cartoons with adult subtext. All the Pixar animations… yep, all of them.
- Seeing my favourite bands LIVE and in the flesh.
- Getting paid money regularly and on time. Having money coming in that I can depend on and use to pay off the bills as well as to help us get back on our feet – it feels good.
- Bacon. Need I say more?
- Pinterest. Yes, I may have a slight problem…
- Date nights, which reminds me, we really need to start having date nights again! Just because we’re married doesn’t mean they should stop!
- Star gazing, watching for shooting stars, satellites, and constellations.
- Bird watching. I love watching birds as they fly freely, soar, play, forage, paddle, perch and sleep.
- Animals. Orangutans, elephants, lions, wolves, frogs, lizards, whales. The world is so rich with life and beauty, however endangered it is. I choose to end that thought there.
- Skipping stones across pools of water.
- Freshly washed and dried hair, preferably washed by someone else and accompanied by a head massage!
- Colouring my white hairs. It helps me feel younger – regenerated!
- Catching up with old friends I haven’t seen in what feels like forever and hitting it off as if we had seen each other yesterday.
- Getting my eyelashes tinted. It makes my eyes pop. I really need to do it more often!
- Finally having the confidence to speak my mind, do what I want, and say NO.
- A home cooked roast dinner. Beef, lamb, pork or chicken. Roast potatoes a must. Oh and lots of gravy.
- Donuts! If I had my way I would have had a donut cake for our wedding cake.
- Naps. I’d be a mess without them.
- Sinking my feet into the soft, cool sand of the beach. It’s like a gentle, cooling massage.
- The smell of freshly baked bread.
- Lather that freshly baked bread (still warm) with butter and eat. Or accompany with a thick, hearty soup.
- A cup of English Breakfast tea. I’m part English. A hot cuppa is also the cure to almost everything.
- Me-time. Another thing I’d be a mess without.
- A good fitting yet comfortable pair of jeans, a must for any wardrobe.
- Christmas with my family, especially when we are all together.
- Snuggling with my dog, Kahlua, listening to her grunts, groans, belly growls and snorts as she sleeps and dreams. It is the cutest thing.
Now it’s over to you.
Can You List 99 Things You Love?
And if you are up to it, why not share your list with me. I’d love to read it!
Oh, and do you know the best thing about this exercise?
Once completed, you will have your very own list of 99 writing prompts, perfect for journalling, blogging and more!
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