We’re already a month into the new year. Hard to believe how fast time flew by this month. Resolutions were made and broken within the first few weeks of the year. One poll suggested that 80% of the people who set a resolution failed by February. Yikes!
Don’t despair if the resolution didn’t work out for you. We always go for the brass ring and create lofty resolutions that are hard to achieve. It’s the consistent, daily efforts that turn into the big wins over time. The small practices benefit you more in the long run.
Gratitude is one of those practices that’s been part of my daily routine for years now. I’m not talking about daydreams with rainbows and unicorns, although I love both of those things. It’s the daily thought about what you are grateful for. And I get it that some days just really suck. I had a few of those days in January.
Our daughter was very sick with a bad cold which lasted a week and that turned into an ear infection. Each day we had to figure out who was going to miss work and if working remotely was a possibility. For some employers, working remote creates another set of challenges and stress. We made it through and each day I had something to be grateful for.
So if your resolutions already fell to the waist side and you felt the slump of the mid-January blues, start practicing daily gratitude. It takes about a minute to think of something you’re grateful for at the end of each day. Grab some paper and write it down. I include the date with each entry I add.
In 2018, I challenged myself to jot down something I was grateful for each day. Every night I added an entry to my small, yellow journal (pictured above). And to be honest, when I missed a day, I caught back up a few days later.
Practicing daily gratitude can have many benefits:
- Emotional – more resilient, more relaxed, less envious, happier memories
- Social – kinder, deeper relationships, healthier marriage, and friendships
- Personality – less materialistic, less self-centered, more optimistic
- Health – improved sleep, increased energy, more exercise, less sick
- Career – increased productivity, improved work relationships, improved decision making
It makes us happier. You can check out 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About to learn more.
I don’t think any of us go through life without ups and downs, sadness and happiness, challenges and setbacks. I found that practicing gratitude helps me get through the not-so-great times with more resilience and strength. I have negative moments and frustrations like the next person, but remind myself of how much I have to be grateful. I’m even grateful for my little blog because it’s a place to share my thoughts and hopefully it helps others.
For 2019, I started a blue gratitude journal. I have a month of gratitude and at the end of the year, will enjoy looking back in the 2019 journal at all of my reasons to be grateful. I hope you start one too.