This time of year often leads us to reflect on what has transpired over the past 12 months. We subsequently set goals for what we would like to materialize in the new year.
On December 1, 2015, I began my daily gratitude journal. Every night, I write three reasons for which I am grateful and answer the daily prompt. My practice was inspired by Janice Kaplan's Gratitude Diaries. This work of nonfiction opened my eyes to the power of acknowledging gratitude. Not only does being mindfully grateful compel you to recognize how fortunate you are, it encourages you to approach life with the glass half full. If something does not go exactly as planned, like you are stuck in horrific traffic on your way from Manhattan to Connecticut this evening, the eve of New Year’s Eve, at least you are able to travel to your country home and have time to spend with your family. This is life: not everything happens the way we expect, but we still have the opportunity to be here. As Gabrielle Bernstein iterates in her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back, “obstacles are detours in the right direction.” So when something seems to go awry, it is actually moving you toward where you are supposed to be.
With 2016 wrapping up, I encourage you to reflect on that for which you are grateful. Count the blessings in your life. The small simplicities and the ample abundances. This may inspire you to want to give back to those less fortunate, to be more kind to those in your life, and to change your perspective about doing what you may not want to do.
Here is today's page and subsequent entry:
Now that I am on my second year of journaling and can see what I wrote 365 days ago, I revere my genuine progress. I am not one who easily implements such an uninterrupted habit — I tried to write poetry every night before bed when I was 12 (it lasted five weeks) — but my continuity attests to what a powerful practice this is. When you are aware of your prosperity, you are motivated to be the best version of yourself and to love the life you live.