Happy New Year! We all want 2018 to be our best year yet. Many of us have made our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, statistics show that by the end of the year less than 10 percent have been fully realized. Just yesterday I read an insightful article in the New York Time by David Desteno, a professor at Northwestern University. His research showed that gratitude, compassion, and a sense of pride naturally cause people to be more patient and persevere.
This leads to more self-control which ultimately makes it easier for people to keep their resolutions. I agree with this concept and feel that cultivating these emotions is a much better path than willpower to help us fulfill our desires for 2018. Whether you want to eat healthier, exercise more, or add relaxation into your life, you can start with some simple steps to increase gratitude.
I have talked about gratitude in a past blog, but today I want to share some new ways to bring even more gratitude into your life.
1. Add details – Keeping a gratitude journal or list is a wonderful tool and has been shown to have many positive health benefits. You can even improve the outcome by being more specific. A study at the University of Southern California varied the amount of details people wrote in their gratitude journals. They had three groups of people. Group 1 wrote down five general things they were grateful for. Group 2 picked one thing they were grateful for and wrote five detailed sentences about why they were grateful for it. Group 3 listed ways they were better off than others. The people in Group 2 who got specific were found the be more alert, excited, elated and less tired, sad and lethargic than the other two groups. While keeping any kind of gratitude journal is fabulous, test out being more specific and see your results.
2. Be thankful and grateful throughout the day – When something good happens, stop and say thank you to the universe or whatever your higher source may be. I say thank you constantly throughout the day for all the good things that happen, regardless of how small they are. It is quite magical. I have found that the more I am grateful and appreciate – the better my life is in all aspects. Since this is such a powerful tool, you can even take appreciation breaks throughout the day. Stop and say I am grateful and thankful for _____.
3. Expand the gratitude feeling – Take a moment to experience what gratitude feels like in your body. When something good happens that you are grateful for, pause and savor it. Let that good feeling travel through your body.
As I am writing this, I am grateful and thankful for all of you who give me support, encouragement, and inspiration. I wish you a very Happy New Year. Welcome in as much gratitude as you can in 2018 and let this year be the one that you say YES to your resolutions.