Birthday celebrations are just DAYS away in this household!! We have 4 birthdays within two days in May. I love how that all worked out.
And on the eve of my birthday I always indulge in this yearly ritual: journaling.
I journal on two specific things:
Each year as I embark on a new year of living, I love to make a goals list that:
- challenges me and
- gives me a feeling of satisfaction once I achieve it.
The ritual isn’t about making a list, its about picturing myself accomplishing those goals that make them real, tangible and imprinted in my brain.
Studies have even shown that goals have no real meaning if there is no real connection to WHY you want to achieve them and what they will do for you AFTER you accomplish them.
My gratitude list is a newer list. I started this on the eve of my 30th birthday. I was 39 weeks pregnant and was due the next day. I was scared and feeling overwhelmed by my new life vastly approaching. I also was hitting a giant milestone birthday and wanted to take stock in what I had accomplished in 30 years of living.
While I wrote the gratitude list my feelings of fear and overwhelm subsided. I felt happier, accomplished, and even proud of the things I was so blessed to have in my life.
As it turns out gratitude is the number one characteristic that predicts well being according to Scott Barry Kaufman in his Scientific American article on Character Strengths and Well Being.
When there is a focus on gratitude you can increase your optimism which increases your relationships, career, emotions, and even your sleep.
Gratitude will even increase your energy levels and connect you with the goals you want to achieve.
Since understanding the impact of gratitude, I always start with that list. It then connects me so much more to what I can do, what I want to do and what impact I want to have.
If you are feeling up to the challenge this weekend and want to join me in my yearly ritual, write out your lists for the rest of 2017:
- What are you grateful for over this past year?
- What are goals that excite you and that you can actually picture accomplishing in this next year?