I’ve decided to forget about making a list of New Year Resolutions this year. Let’s face it they are usually broken before the ink is dry on the paper. No, this year I am making things easier for myself and I am making just one resolution; to be grateful.
I like to think I am already grateful for all I have. But, if I’m honest, when plans go array or a new worry crops up, it is tempting to feel that life is all about taking one step forward and three back. Before I know it I am feeling disillusioned and unhappy. On those days it is easy to forget about the simple blessings I should have gratitude for. So my resolution is not to just pay lip service to being grateful, but rather to be mindful and more active about it.
I used to have a gratitude journal which I would write in with a list of ten things I was grateful for. But, because I left it to last thing at night, I would forget to write in it. When I would remember, half asleep and tucked up in bed, I would resent the fact I had to get out of bed to do it. And if I didn’t, I would feel bad. Madness!! It slowly became just another task for me to add to the already long list of things I did. Completely the opposite of what I wanted a gratitude journal to achieve. It fell by the wayside like so many of my resolutions.
But recently I read about the idea of a gratitude jar. I don’t know who came up with it, but it is a brilliant idea. Simple and ingenious. And perfect for someone like me, who is big on ideas, but short on time.
Without going to any expense I washed out an old beetroot jar, (bigger than a jam jar and therefore I can cram in more things to be grateful for), and stuck a label on it with the word gratitude in bright red capital letters. I had help from my eleven year old daughter who decorated it, with bits and bobs, from the pound shop. She had fun doing it and it looks a lot funkier than a plain old beetroot jar.
I’ve sat it on top of a block of Post-It notes with a pen beside it. It’s positioned on the window sill in my kitchen (the place where I spend the most time), and when something I’m grateful for pops into my head, I jot it down on the Post-It note and put it into the jar.
As it sits within my line of vision, I’m more inclined to think of all the things I’m grateful for every day. It is also something the whole family can be part of. Even teenagers can find something to be grateful for in the midst of their angst ridden lives.
This one small resolution is already having a positive effect on my life. I feel in a better frame of mind and I am generally more positive and optimistic. I am more inclined to tackle tasks head on and get things done. I actually feel lucky. And I’m hoping, like any good self-fulfilling prophecy, the luckier I feel, the luckier I’ll be!
If I feel any negativity creeping in, then I can unscrew the lid and pick a Post-It out at random, to remind myself of all the things I am thankful for.
And at the end of the year, I’ll empty the jar, and remember how good I had it in 2017!