Year of Gratitude

With the beginning of a new year, comes a sense of reflection and, for many in our society, resolutions.  When you define resolution, several words stand out: goals, commitment, determination, responsibility, and improvement.  Lifestyle change is a key component to New Year’s Resolutions.

Many New Year’s Resolutions are derived from what is missing in life.  Popular goals may include resolutions to land a new job, take a trip, or buy a new home.  Instead, why not turn that idea around and perceive this year’s beginning as a notion of gratitude and being thankful for what you have.  In our society, we rarely look at what we have, what we have achieved, and what is going well.

Nature is an excellent tool to remind you of all the positives in life.  Taking a walk in a nearby park always brings awareness into the beauty of mother earth.  Being thankful for some of life’s simplest pleasures, such as sunshine, can open your heart up to love and appreciation.

Wake each day by spending a few minutes writing a list of positive aspects in your life and notice how you feel in doing so.  What do you appreciate the most?  What is good in your life?  Make your list as simple or complex as you like, taking time to highlight what is good about your health, relationships, work, family, home, and friends.  This time of acknowledgment creates space for positive thinking.

Creative expression is another way to bring appreciation into your life.  Cooking a new recipe or planting herbs brings fairly instant gratification.  If you are more of a bystander in creation, art shows or music events can put you in an awe-inspiring mood.

When you are compassionate with yourself and others, you may find this supportive approach yields a life filled with abundance, adventure, and good times.  Next time when your friends are gloating their resolutions of more this or that, you can sit back content and  full of appreciation.  Looking for what is missing can cause you to miss the next big thing — your happiness!

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