With three weeks left until we ring in the new year, the countdown is on. This year was a trying one for many, but it isn’t too late to make the most of it. But there are two problems. One is that it’s hard to set goals and keep them when the only person watching you and your commitment is you.
But what if you started measuring your success differently? Instead of crunching numbers at the end of the year, what if you looked back at all of the cool things you did, all of the things that made you happy? These include the little things that you may have forgotten or simply don’t remember to notice every day, such as that delicious coffee you had last Tuesday, or that good book your best friend recommended. When was the last time you called your grandmother just to catch up?
The other problem is that the year always seems to go by so quickly. It does, but you could capture many magical moments with just a few minutes every day. (I promise this is better than your daily Facebook memories!)
You can make your own memory feed by making a gratitude jar.
Gratitude, or the “quality of being thankful,” has quite a few health benefits. These include increased happiness — in general, but also over time — better sleep, more time spent exercising, and relationship and career boosts. I know it sounds like hippie science, but the process is really simple. So, what do you have to lose?
Here is how you get started:
First, the fun part: Create your jar! You can do this any way you want. For most people, this means a jar, some glitter, some ribbon, and a favorite quote. Your gratitude jar can be whatever you want it to be, so make it fun! Pinterest is your best friend.
Every day, whenever you have 15 minutes (I do this at night), write down all of the things you were grateful for or that made you smile throughout the day. These can be big things like “I got the raise!” or small things like “got coffee with a friend” and “took a nice warm shower.” Put some thought into this, and consider adding an extra detail about why they made you happy. If it was something that improved your entire day or made you happy for a moment, include it. Be sure to date your note before you drop it into the jar. You can write down as many things as you want for the day, and if you’re not feeling it one day, no pressure, just skip it. Make this process entirely your own and embrace it however you wish.
Before the new year, or when you’re having a tough day, bust that bad boy open and remind yourself of all the cool things you’ve done during the year and will continue to do. You are awesome. Keep moving forward.
*Tip: To add an extra flair to your jar, use colored paper and pens.
If you need help getting started, or to get some practice before January, check out the 21-day Gratitude Challenge here. thnx4 will provide you with a community, prompts, and data.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.