At this time of year most of us have set resolutions and created goals we wish to achieve in the next 12 months. We write them down and create vision boards around what reaching them will look and feel like, but how much focus do we give to our day to day happiness and emotional wellbeing?

Did you know that your success & happiness (not to mention the quality of your sleep!) can be directly impacted by what you do first thing in the morning and last thing at night? The simple practice of setting intentions for your day when you first wake up, and giving thanks before you go to sleep are so powerful they can quite literally change the way you experience your life.

So why are these simple exercises so effective?

Both the act of setting daily intentions and practising gratitude serve to keep us centred in the “now” rather than allowing our mind to obsess about the past or worry about the future. While goals are necessary, they’re by definition future focused on what we don’t have (yet). Intentions and gratitude are all about creating and appreciating the life we have right now. And this, according to every expert in the field, is the number one key to ongoing happiness.

All you need to implement these two habits is 5 minutes at the beginning and end of your day, and a journal or notebook that lives beside your bed for easy access.

1. Setting your daily intentions

As soon as you wake up (or as soon afterwards as possible) put aside 5 minutes to reflect on the day ahead. Rather than worry about the things you need to achieve — there’s plenty of time for that later — focus on how you want to FEEL today.

Maybe you’ve been feeling lonely or unsupported so your intention might be something like “today I will feel nurtured by and connected to my loved ones”. Perhaps you’ve been letting issues with a colleague effect your emotional state so your intention may be “today I will remember that I control my emotional reactions. I choose peace and tolerance over conflict”.

The only rules to setting intentions are based on how our minds interpret our words. As Louise Hay mentioned in her book You Can Heal Your Life “our subconscious mind has no sense of humour”, meaning it will take our words and thoughts absolutely literally. For this reason it is important to frame your intentions in words that are 100% positive and in the present tense. “I don’t want to feel stressed”… therefore becomes “today I will feel calm and grounded as I easily move through the tasks at hand “

Write down your intentions for the day in your journal. If you have a favourite crystal, you can use this to help stay connected to your intentions during the day (learn more about using crystals for intention setting here)

2. Practicing Gratitude

One of the most effective ways to end your day on a high and create a sense of calm and happiness before sleep is to make a habit of reflecting on the things in your life you are grateful for, and the positive things that happened that day.

Shawn Achor, in his groundbreaking Ted Talk “the happy secret to better work”, says the key is writing down THREE things you are grateful for and then describing in detail ONE positive experience you had that day. It sounds to good to be true, but the simple act of focussing on the positive aspects of our lives can completely change our level of happiness and contentment.

From a sleep perspective, this is also a fantastic way to switch your thinking from the ever present (and anxiety inducing) “to-do list” to a more calming, mindful state before bed.

Once you start a regular gratitude practice you will start to realise that even on your “worst” days, there is always something you are grateful for….friends, family, great food, a glorious full moon, freshly washed sheets….the list is always endless.

These 2 simple daily habits truly have the ability to change the way you experience your day to day life and will go along way to helping you achieve you longer term goals and dreams.

The only thing you need to start implementing this practice right now, is a bedside journal or notebook that will make you want to write in it!! We’re totally in love with the new Life Essentials Collection by Kikki K. Their 365 Journal (picture above) is the perfect place to record your daily intentions and gratitudes.

The most important thing to remember in all this is to enjoy the process. Have fun with your Intention Setting and Gratitude practice so that it’s 10 minutes of “me time” you look forward to every day.

Originally published at

Originally published at


  • Shea Morrison


    The Goodnight Co.

    Shea Morrison has worked in health & wellness for a while now. After a career in Media, Radio & Marketing in Brisbane, Shea became a Mum and her focus changed as she realised the importance of meaningful rest and connection. In 2014, Shea joined forces with friend, Mum and now business partner, Danielle Knight to create The Goodnight Co., a meaningful platform to help people fall back in love with sleep and prioritise meaningful rest. At the time, Shea & Danielle were sleep deprived Mums after just having had their youngest children. Launching with Silk Pillowcases & Silk Sleep Masks, the pair then spent the next five years researching and surveying hundreds of people about their sleep problems, gradually developing many more lines of products to help our customers build sleep rituals to solve these problems. Fast forward five years, millions of research papers and thousands of podcasts, Shea's passion continues to lie in sharing how better sleep can help everyone improve their day-to-day lives.
    With sleep problems still on the rise, Shea & Danielle were constantly being asked for more information on how to help people re-discover quality sleep. As a result, The Goodnight Co.'s first Sleep Retreats and Sleep Workshops launched in 2019. The Retreat & Workshops allow personalised help for those struggling with disrupted sleep patterns and provide a mixture of education and relaxation, science and deep sleep, meditation and mindfulness.
    For our Retreats, Shea & Danielle found the perfect location at Springfield Farm in the Southern Highlands of Bowral; a beautiful location with lots of space to connect with nature, fresh air, nourishing food and a space to support our guests, who could walk away feeling equiped with the tools to re-build their sleep rituals. For our business focused Workshops, Shea & Danielle have been able to connect with workplace professionals and provide tailored industry specific advice on how sleep can be impacting employees and what management and staff can do to improve this area of their health, and productivity.
    Along with The Goodnight Co., Shea is also a Mum to Max & Molly, wife, Director of boutique advertising agency, Collaborative Media, marriage celebrant, entrepreneur, and avid podcast subscriber.