A Personal Story: My Gratitude Jar

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Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year! As 2019 begins, it is not uncommon to come across the question “What New Year’s resolutions do you have?” I don’t normally have specific New Year’s resolutions but I do have ongoing goals that I strive for throughout the year.

For the first time in 2018, I started writing thankful notes and stored it in a “gratitude jar”. As you can see in the photo, I used my red telephone booth piggy bank that I brought back from London as my gratitude jar 🙂 . With 2019 just starting off, I figured that this is a great time to have a look at everything I stuffed into the jar the past year! One reason why I started this practice was because studies have shown that gratitude writing can improve well-being, mental health and reduce negative emotions (Wong et al., 2018). Living in a big city like Toronto and as a millennial with multiple aspirations, it can become quite stressful as well. Thus, I value finding new ways to improve my mental and emotional well-being.

After reading through my 2018 thankful notes, I can say that this process contributed to personal growth and a couple of New Year’s Resolutions! I made various personal reflections and decided to share 2 of them in this post because as some of you may know, a strong focus of my blog is sharing experiences, resources or strategies to improve mind-body wellness. The goal of this post is not to persuade you to start your own gratitude jar or to suggest that you should follow my personal reflections. Instead, it is to share how my gratitude writing helped me to learn more about myself, how this process may help me to endure future challenges and improve my emotional resilience to better manage similar situations. Here are the 2 reflections I would like to share with you:

1) Reflection: Finding a new perspective or reappraisal of a stressful or challenging situation (vs. ruminating thoughts over the negatives or factors that I cannot change) helped me to better manage my emotions, find motivation and find new meaning to face those situations.

2019 Goal: Trying to write thankful notes during the good and bad times (honestly sometimes I forgot about my gratitude jar and in hindsight it may have been a good idea to read some of my thankful notes during those times in 2018!)

2) Reflection: Spending more time doing things that are meaningful to me (outside of work) and spending quality time with people who love and care about me allowed me to better appreciate what I already have in this moment.

2019 Goal: It’s impossible for me to change my personality. I will always be thinking about “what’s next”. However, I would hope to develop a more flexible schedule and intentionally set more ME time and time to spend with people that I care about. There’s always going to be new goals and upcoming deadlines that I need to meet but as I pursue these components of my life, I don’t want to sacrifice the things and people that mean just as much to me. And most people would say, there’s always a way to make time for things that really matter to us, right?

Do you have any new year’s resolutions or personal reflections for 2019? Is there something or someone you are very grateful for and appreciate in your life? I want to let you know that I am very thankful that you stopped by to read this post today 🙂

All the best in 2019!

 

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