Before you think about making another New Year’s resolution…stop. Before moving forward with your goals and business plans, take a moment to look back. What did your life look like one year ago; your relationships, family, finances, career? Take stock of how far you’ve come, what you’ve learned, who you are becoming, and what you accomplished in 2016. Practice gratitude. Count your blessings. Your health and happiness depend on it.
According to the Harvard Health Publication Mental Health Newsletter, people who practice gratitude, are healthier and happier. Participants who expressed their gratitude for things that went well, over a period of 10 weeks, felt happier, more optimistic, and had fewer trips to the doctor. In another research project, participants wrote letters expressing gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked. The results immediately impacted their happiness scores, with results lasting up to one month.
Not Easy? You’re not alone!
But for most of us gratitude doesn’t come easily. Axiogenics, the leaders in Linking Thinking to Performance reports, based on over 5000 clients, 90% of people are wired to notice what is wrong, not what is right. Our thinking often leads us to believe that our success is all or nothing. We tend to think that if we don’t accomplish our big goal, we’ve failed. We often measure ourselves against impossible standards. It’s much easier to dwell on what did not go as expected, what we did not accomplish, or areas in which we fell short of our expectations. In fact, however, there are likely many more things that did go well. Because our thinking is skewed, we often fail to recognize the things that go right every day. The small things matter. The daily wins, the baby steps of consistency add up to a year of growth and success.
Reflect with Gratitude
Before 2016 draws to a close, take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments large and small. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Smile, feel good in the glow and congratulate yourself on being a step closer to wherever you want to go. A friend shared with me this idea: “a year will go by anyway – small steps make a difference!”. If you’re not where you want to be right now, know that the small steps to get there, add up! So, before you leave 2016 behind, take a moment to count your blessings, reflect with gratitude and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Kristin Clark is a certified Axiogenics Coach, guiding individuals and organizations in leadership development by learning to make better value-based decisions, Linking their Thinking to Create Performance Improvement in their personal and professional lives. Learn more at: www.YourInsightCoach.com.