As we close out the year, I wanted to take some time to reflect on all that’s happened in 2017 and seal it with a moment of gratitude. A regular gratitude practice is the single most expert-recommended trick for short and long-term happiness, and it just so happens to be one of the easiest.
Knowing this, I try to end each night playing the game, “Three Good Things.” In it, I mentally list three things I’m thankful for that day. It’s really simple, but so powerful. I usually fall asleep as I’m naming my third thing and drift off with a smile on my face. So not a bad deal.
There are some days that I need more of a pick-me-up, so I’ll pull out my journal and physically list the things that bring me joy or that I'm feeling grateful for in that moment. I wanted to do this digitally to help give some insight into my regular practice and also help answer the question of, "How do I meaningfully reflect on 2017 in a way that brings me joy?" I've divided my life into six different facets to help narrow the focus a bit more:
In 2017, I was thankful for...
- Best friends from college whom I feel so comfortable and at home with
- A family who texts, calls, and leaves voicemails
- The chance to be there for my friends when they were going through tough times (i.e. the chance to put the needs of others' before my own)
- Regular game nights that allow me to connect with friends without the pressure of drinking
- The chance to revive my passion for writing & creativity with this platform
- Being recognized and nurtured in my job
- All the challenges I faced at work this year that lead to personal growth. I learned so much about starting a new role, negotiating for my worth, interviewing, and make decisions about change.
- The chance to start the year with a clean slate and a new job!
- All the romance of a new relationship :) Little things like an Easter basket filled with my favorite candy, a surprise visit on Valentine's Day, a romantic drive up the 1, a getaway weekend to Costanoa Lodge, all the bouquets of flowers "just because" ...I'll spare everyone, but the list goes on.
- Falling in love with a truly good person who cares for me in a way that I have always wanted
- Moments that humble me, like times I've failed and times I needed to be called out on my attitude
- Books that make me feel understand and less alone
- Disconnecting from tech and dropping into stillness
- Days that I got to spend all on my own, doing exactly what makes me happy
- Discovering Rumi's poetry (one of my favorite poems here)
- Simply, that I have hope for the future
- A steady job that allowed me to live in my favorite city in my beautiful apartment
- The ability to put a good chunk of money into retirement
- Seeing some of my first investments in the stock market pay off
- The opportunity to travel to Chicago, Bali, New York, Spain, and Portugal
- A hometown I love to visit
- All the sweet puppy dogs who make me smile when I meet them
- The many nights I got 8 hours of blissful, restful sleep
- Other creators who help me stay fit/sane without a gym membership by producing amazing free content. Some of my recent favorites:
60 Minute Beginner Yoga Flow
60 Minute Intermediate Yoga Flow
I've struggled just a little to get this post out, because 2017 was not without its challenges for me. In fact, a lot of them seemed to culminate in the last few months. But when I lay out my life like this - with everything that I have to be thankful for - I realize it would be more inauthentic to not share. Hopefully by giving a peek into my regular practice, you’ll be inspired to start your own and experience an increased sense of joy and contentment with your already incredible life.
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