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A pale blue hard bound book, with the words "gratitude journal" written on the front cover in a mixture of cursive and plain text rests on a timber tabletop.

There is always something different about the start of a new year. It is like a fresh start, a new beginning, and it holds hope for the future. Let’s not hide that 2021 was another rough year, yet, let’s give ourselves a chance to hope again, a refresh. Hope helps motivate us, and it can also help us when we have to wait.

 “I never met a bitter person who was thankful. Or a thankful person who was bitter.”  Nick Vujicic, PWD, Author and Motivational Speaker

 Nick Vujicic’s quote above highlights the importance of being thankful.

As we welcome the New Year, we can remember that there is always something to be thankful about. It could be in something that nourishes, something beautiful, something meaningful, a friend, a book, a song, an improvement. Focus on your day in a way that opens your mind to new possibilities. Gratitude can help heal emotional hurts. It can help track improvements. A daily gratitude exercise is a way to focus on the good and the positive.

There are many ways to record gratitude – a journal, photographs, a list, on your calendar, in the digital world. Each day, think about

  • What are you grateful for?
  • Why are you grateful for it?
  • Reflect on something good
  • Remember it can be simple, not always something “big” or even “important”. It is something you are thankful for.
  • It might be one thing or more.

How you record your gratitude is up to you. Make it fit for your personality. If you love photography, take photos, if you like to write, make a journal, use a printable, draw a picture, make it messy or neat - make it “you”. Millennials and tech-lovers might choose to use an app – there are plenty of gratitude apps to try. You can choose to keep it private or choose to share it. You can do it on your own, or take time each day with your family or friends. You can spend 1 minute or 10 minutes.

Did you know it takes about 21 days to make a habit? So, 21 days would be a goal to keep up your gratitude journal and make it a habit. Take notice of things you are thankful for each day. Practice gratitude.

If you would like some prompts or to follow a plan, you can use the internet to search for “gratitude challenges”. You can find prompts, templates, kids versions, versions for mothers, for men, and teens versions too.

Gratitude is a source of inspiration to tap into. The more you practice thankfulness, the more you notice the good in your life.

Don’t sacrifice the good to chase the perfect. Emily Ley, Author

 In other words, be content with the good, let good be good enough. Perfection isn't worth chasing.

This article was originally published in the January - February 2021 Newsletter of IDEAS.

IDEAS does information so you can do life.