[Editor’s Note: this is a partial re-post from Week #16 — because celebrating is never a bad idea!]
Week #68 – One Surefire Way to “Love Your Life” in 2016!
New Year’s is a natural time to look back over the past year and reflect on the highs, the lows, what happened, what went wrong, and how we can fix it in the new year ahead.
But 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. At the end of 2014 — while looking back on all that transpired — I forgot about starting this website and blogging for the first time (something I had been wanting to do for years!). Those two wins got eclipsed (momentarily) by one very significant loss. It’s easy to get stuck on the losses…but we have to balance them with what we’ve gained. We have to, as our friend Rob Nicholson said in a Facebook post last year:
“Keep moving forward and celebrate and revel in what we have!”
So I challenged you last year to look ahead…WAY ahead. To December 31st of 2015. And I asked you — What will it take to say on that day, “I love my life?”
Do you remember? If not, don’t feel bad. I said at that time that I knew one thing for sure:
It will take REMINDERS!
Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Were you one of the ones that kept track of your achievements, high points, and happy moments? If not — 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! And either way — CELEBRATE the completion of another year, another trip around the sun! SHARE your successes with others — and ENCOURAGE others to live a life they LOVE in 2016!
Bonus Challenge: Don’t count on yourself to remember everything about the year ahead come December 31st next year. Make a plan to curate the wins just as much as the losses. Come up with a system for recording your achievements, successes, highlights, and otherwise happy times THROUGHOUT the year ahead! 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.
- 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 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 — share your thoughts or suggestions for tracking your accomplishments in the comments!
1/1/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church