I like the idea of having rituals that I do every day, but I'm not very good at sticking to them. But there are all kinds of iPhone apps that help me do it, and I did pretty well in September.
I've tried to the "photo-a-day" thing before, but I always kind of fizzle out. In September I did it every day. Part of it was having fun with a bunch of iPhone photography apps, and having a new iPhone with the space to install a bunch of them.
Aside: When the new iPhone 6 came out, the price on the previous models dropped dramatically. I had a 16GB iPhone 4, and the home button was starting to be unreliable. I was able to get the 32GB 5S for $149. Then the battery on Bob's cell phone stopped holding a charge. We were both out of contract, and he could have gotten a 5C for free, but he decided he would be happy with my old 3G, so he swapped out the SIM card from his old phone, I added a data plan, and he's back in business with a new (to him) iPhone for just a few dollars more a month. He's really enjoying it.
My current favorite photo apps:
Instagram, of course. It might be my favorite app of all.
Little Moments. This is the app built for the Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day project. It has a bunch of nice filters and doodles. This is the photo-a-day project that I did in September and will probably continue with.
CCDays. I don't use this one so much for the photo-a-day challenge aspect as for the calendar view that automatically pulls in your Instagram photos and displays them.
Afterlight. A photo filter app with lots of nice, soft filters.
MagicHour. I love this one! It has tons of user-created filters, and new ones are added all the time. My favorite is the default "Magic Hour" filter.
Some more good ones:
DistressedFX. Lots of really nice distressed-looking filters, and you can add birds to your photos as well.
Aura. A nice group of good filters.
Instaplace. Adds overlays to your photos with location and other info.
Day of the Dead Me. Decorate your photos for the Day of the Dead!
I kind of got carried away with the iPhone photo apps, but there are a couple of other rituals that I am doing lately. One of them involves another iPhone app, this time, Gratitude Journal. I have it set to send me a reminder at 10:00 every night, and I open up the app and add at least 5 things that I'm grateful for. It's usually small things like getting a compliment, having something good for lunch, sleeping with the windows open, etc. And sometimes it's a stretch to think of five things, but it's a good exercise to go through every day, and I think it helps mood-wise.
I'm also doing affirmations first thing in the morning. I am going through a Daily Om course for the second (or maybe third) time, called "Make Yourself a Money Magnet." It's all about changing your mindset about money, and I have to admit mine is pretty bad. It's really hard for me to change my thought patterns, but I'm trying. It always seems to work to a certain degree, i.e., when I'm going through it I always start getting a bunch of little things, like finding coins in the street or getting my annual $1.87 dividend check from a former employer.
It's a form of magical thinking, of course, but I do think that if you can change your thought processes, you can sometimes make changes in your world. You just have to believe that change is possible.
Here's another photo app: Simplique - For making cool iPhone wallpaper from your photos.