In 2011, I will bask in gratitude. Gratitude... that's my word of 2011.
Flickr photo from Bahman Farzad.
Over Thanksgiving Break I was blessed by reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Happiness is my lifetime goal (and always has been!). And, her journey to find happiness was eye-opening for me. One of the most important ah-ha moments I had was in Chapter ??, when she focuses on gratitude as an alternative to negativity.
I consider myself a rather optimistic person; however, lately with the stress and constant presence of schoolwork, I have found myself slipping into the "glass-half-empty" mindset more often. And, I'm just not ok with that. Even if there is just one drop left in the glass, my goal for this year is to think, "I'm thankful that there's one more sip that I get to enjoy!"
Inspired by Gretchen's action plans and Christine Kane's "Do-Have-Be" model, I have brainstormed a few ideas to keep "gratitude" at the top of my mind.
- Think "gratitude." When I sad/angry/mad/frustrated/[fill-in-the-blank-negative], my goal is to think of something to be thankful for.
- Wear "gratitude." I will be designing a bracelet to wear everyday to remind to fall back on my word when I feel myself moving in the wrong direction.
- Share "gratitude." I will be sending notes or letters to two people every month to tell how they have inspired me.
- "Gratitude" marathon. The month of March--a difficult month in the life of a teacher-- (and maybe again in the fall) is designated as 31 days of gratitude. I'll photograph something everyday that makes me smile. [Inspired by this.]
Sure, there are plenty of other little things that I want to do this year... simplify, organize, learn to work the manual settings on the camera, make friends, re-find joy in my job, host a party, be creative, and more. But, I'll be content just to be grateful for what I have, and what I am able to do. In my book, gratitude leads to happiness.