Have an Attitude of Gratitude In The New Year!
Are you one of the nearly 50% of people who made New Year’s Resolutions?
If so, you probably vowed to change, achieve or quit something in the new year. My list is super short as I’m resolving to be very thankful. Thanksgiving tends to be the only time that most people reflect with gratitude on their loved ones, traditions, lifestyle and most cherished possessions. But adopting an attitude of gratitude is really a mindset that can change your life. Especially if you’ve had an event that’s made you realize just how lucky you are.
A few months ago, I was in a bad car accident. The kind of accident that comes out of nowhere and could end everything in a second. As the officer was pulling me from what used to be a car, my thoughts immediately went to my kids and hubby. I could go on about the emotional and physical aspects of that accident, but after the initial shock wore off, my focus turned to gratitude. While we all have loved ones, who have been sick or injured, until it happens to you and you walk (well actually limp) away, it stays with you. People have said these feelings change with time but I want to remain thankful and appreciate each day as the gift it is. So, consider adopting an attitude of gratitude as your new year’s mantra. Here a couple of thoughts that have helped me:
1. Take Time to Reflect Every Day. Whether you write them down in a journal, thank God or meditate, taking a few minutes to reflect on everything you’re thankful for can truly bring joy. Truly. Before bed, I think about all the positives of the day. I find it helps me to go right to sleep. And, I wake up feeling more refreshed.
2. Be Present When It Matters. I’m a busy entrepreneur also managing major home renovations. I may be short on time but want to spend as much of it as I can with my kids. This means I always have something fun planned every week. When it’s time to play, I’m present 100% so I can completely enjoy the good times. My phone stays in my purse so there are no distractions and I can live in the moment.
3. Say Thank you. Take your gratitude and pay it forward. Say “Thank you” and “Please” and “How are you today?” everywhere you go and truly mean it. Thanking people, smiling, holding doors open and doing small acts of kindness can make a big difference to others and can brighten your day as well. Look for simple ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude all around you.
4. Reject Negativity. We all have those people in our lives who are constantly complaining and always seem to focus on what’s going wrong in their life or all the bad in the world. Try to steer these conversations to the positive side and if that doesn’t work, consider limiting contact. If that seems extreme, then have a frank conversation with that person. Maybe you can help bring that person to a happier place.
5. Focus on Your Accomplishments. At the end of the day there are still 20 more things on your to-do list which can be completely overwhelming. Concentrate on the wins, no matter how small. And if the day feels like a total waste of time go back to the big picture. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that there is so much to appreciate in life.
6. Make Lemonade from Life’s Lemons. Months later, I still have physical therapy, but I know I’m making progress so I use this time to concentrate on my health. I schedule doctor appointments first thing in the morning followed by a trip to the store for fresh fruits and veggies and ending with a long walk. Yes, these days are not very productive, or are they? View your individual challenges from a glass half-full perspective. And remember there are many others who are worse off. What can you do to make the most of your situation?
Embracing an attitude of gratitude can create an emotional well-being that produces happiness and brings out the best parts of your personality. This positive energy will radiate outward and help you become a better person. In addition, I have found that thankfulness reduces stress and anxiety, makes you less materialistic, gives you more strength to face challenges and results in a much more optimistic outlook for the future. I hope you adopt an attitude of gratitude today and wish you happiness, joy and laughter in the New Year!
Diana is a content marketing strategist and virtual marketing director specialized in financial services. She has 20 years of marketing expertise, including campaigns for top brands such as Johnson’s Baby and Band-Aid.