Gratitude. We’re usually thankful that the old year is over, and we have somehow survived. It’s now a new year. New Years Day always brings with it a sense of renewal, of changes we want to make in our lives, right? We hear everyone talking about their resolutions for the year, and how excited it is to think about the end results. All the commercials are geared up to feed into the most popular resolutions. Exercise more! Lose Weight! Buy that new car! Enroll in classes to get your degree in one month!
It is so easy to get caught up in the frenzy and the expectation that we all have to start a new year improving our lives. But how often do we really accomplish these lofty resolutions? More often than not, we have forgotten them by the end of January. We also forgot that we were so thankful to be starting fresh. But who says that the beginning of a year is the only time to feel excited about change?
We can change our lives whenever we want to! Really!
It is important to have goals, and to work toward their achievement. but you will realistically pursue only goals that you feel passionate about. Not the Shoulds, Supposed To’s, or Other People’s Goals… But the things we genuinely want for ourselves.
So, take some quiet time and sit down with a fresh pad of paper and a writing implement. Write out how you would like to see your life unfold this year. What would you like to accomplish? What do you see yourself having passion about achieving? It could be as simple as saving enough money for a down payment on a house. Or losing that extra weight. But only the things YOU want and feel strongly about.
Then, read each of these ideals and ask yourself two questions about each one.
- How important (how passionate am I about this?) is this to me, on a scale of 1-10?
- Do I feel that I really deserve to have this?
If you answer less than a 7 or 8 on the first question, or a No on the second one, then you know you will probably not do what is necessary to complete this. Not unless you feel more passionate, and believe you can have it.
Sounds easy? Or very hard? Either way, to ensure your success, there are some things you can do to increase your belief in having these results, this year. One of them is to live with an Attitude of Gratitude.
You may have guessed by the title of the article that gratitude has something to do with your success, but how? Well, when we are grateful for something, or someone, it sends a signal that this is something we like to have. And when we act grateful, those positive feelings bring more of what we are grateful for to us. So start by showing gratitude for all the things and the people you have in your life. This could be a simple as saying thank you.
By contrast, when we point out our lack, and complain about how bad some things (and people) are, what do we get? More of the same. It’s a vicious cycle. But it doesn’t have to be. Just be thankful for whatever you have felt lacking. Seems weird, uncomfortable at first, but keep at it, even if only in your head. Before you know it, it will be easier. And a great benefit is that you will start to feel better about your life, and then your life IS better. A much better cycle, don’t you think?
When others show kindness and gratitude to us, it makes us feel appreciated, special, happy even. Wouldn’t it be great if more people took that moment to say Thank You- for holding a door, or for cashiering us, or for waiting on us, or for smiling at us? Yes it would. Well, you and I can start showing more gratitude for all the little things that happen every day. And it will start to have a snowball effect on how people treat us.
And when we start to feel better, more deserving of good things, we will be more willing to work on the steps it will take to achieve the goals we have for our lives. And then as 2011 draws to a close, we can look back and say, “Wow, what a great year. I did everything I wanted to. And I am so grateful.”
Start by practicing an attitude of gratitude. You may be surprised at what it brings you.