How do you do that? Here’s a fun and easy technique that I’ve been using that will increase your happiness and help start the year off right.
This January my wife and I spent a full 60 minutes talking about all that we were grateful for in 2016. We talked about our health. We talked about our money. We talked about the fun adventures and time outside with our son that we had so enjoyed. As we talked about our highlights from the year we realized a cool thing: We were doing a lot of things right!
So often at New Year’s, people focus only on where they want to be. They set resolutions to be better in the ways that they’re feeling not quite good enough.
I’m not against goal-setting practices (I do it myself all the time), but I DO think it’s just as important to recognize and appreciate how far we’ve already come. Start your new year from a place of gratitude, success, and joy – it’s a game-changer!
Even if you can’t find a full hour, make the effort to carve out 20 minutes of quiet time to think and reflect of your successes and blessings of 2016. I like doing this activity with someone else – it’s fun to share the great memories and positive feelings, but it’s also fine to do it by yourself if you prefer. Either way, commit to feel grateful for the full time.
A funny thing happens when we recognize all that we are thankful for and happy about: We feel empowered! We see how much we’ve accomplished and we get the feeling we can do even better. Best of all, the prospect of continuing on this path doesn’t feel daunting - like a task that has to be checked off a list. When we take time to notice what we’re already doing well thanks to the successful habits we’ve already built, it’s easier to commit to keep those going. Best of all, it doesn’t even take a formal “resolution” to do it, because we’re just following the habits that bring us joy.