[Editor’s Note: this is a partial re-post from Week #68 — because celebrating is never a bad idea!]
Week #120 – Did you “Love Your Life” in 2016?
If you answered no…you aren’t alone.
For many people…2016 was the single most challenging year yet. Health issues, death, divorce, job changes, financial problems, a stressful election cycle…the list goes on and on.
Believe me…I know how it feels to want to kick an entire year to the curb.
The end of the calendar year seems to be a natural time to look back and reflect on the highs, the lows, what happened, what went wrong, and how we can fix it in the new year ahead.
This is exactly why on January 1st of this past year, I challenged you to start keeping track of the good stuff.
Because it’s hard to love your life when it’s so easy to look back and come up with all the bad things that happened. We have to, as Rob’s friend Rob Nicholson said in a Facebook post at the end of 2014:
“Keep moving forward and celebrate and revel in what we have!”
So I challenged you at the beginning of this year to look ahead…WAY ahead. To December 31st of 2016.
By the way…that’s tomorrow!
And I asked you — What will it take to say on that day, “I love my life?”
Do you remember your answer? If not, don’t feel bad. Because I said at that time that I knew one thing for sure — It would take REMINDERS.
If you were one of the ones that kept track of your achievements, high points, and happy moments — please remember to SHARE and CELEBRATE them with the ones you love!
If you didn’t keep track, don’t worry. Go back through your calendar, your emails, your phone — whatever it takes to come up with enough reminders of all you accomplished and did right this year! Because I promise you…you did!
Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: CELEBRATE the completion of another year, another trip around the sun! SHARE your successes with others — and ENCOURAGE others to do the same! There will be plenty of time to look ahead and set new goals, focus on new targets, and dream new dreams for the year ahead. For today and tomorrow — look back, and find things to LOVE about 2016!
Bonus Challenge: Don’t count on yourself to remember everything about the new year ahead! Make a plan to curate the wins just as much as the losses so that you have a complete inventory come December 31st of 2017. Come up with a system for recording your achievements, successes, highlights, and otherwise happy times THROUGHOUT the year! The most obvious way is to keep a dated list — in a journal, on your computer, via email, or on your phone — where you take time each day to review your activities and take note of anything special or significant. I keep a running list by date and habitually recount the day’s activities. To be honest, most days it’s pretty mundane — but the habit assures that when something notable happens I’m going to capture and remember it. Here are some other ideas from last year’s post:
- I’ve seen a Gratitude Tree — write what you’re grateful for on little shapes and fill an inside tree or wall mural up throughout the year (works in classrooms, too!).
- I heard of photo-journaling — use cell-phone photos in a specific file or on Instagram to keep track of accomplishments. Or print them out to create a physical album you can flip through.
- But my favorite has been the Joy Jar or Happiness Jar! The idea is simple: you start on January 1st (okay, 2nd) with an empty jar in a prominent location in your home — and you start dropping notes in it throughout the year about things that went well, things that make you happy, things you’re grateful for, achieved, or accomplished. At the end of the year you have a personal collection of happy memories to review — or immediate access throughout the year when you need a lift to face a challenge! One woman even collaged them on a monthly basis as a type of word-cloud to record as a journal.
The possibilities are endless — but the idea is always the same: make it a point to collect the good stuff! Because we need more of that. More focus on the wins. More focus on what’s right. More focus on loving our lives — so that we can live our lives more fully.
Spread Happyness — love your life, THIS year AND next! Start today!
12/29/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church