Did you folks make resolutions? I've got all the standards tucked away--eat better, exercise more often, write a few novels, get a book deal ... you know, the usual.
But ... research shows it's hard to stick to resolutions. More than half of us give up within the first six months.
So this year, I'd like to have only one resolution, and I want to make it a good one.
I resolve to be grateful.
Research shows that gratitude is good for your health. And your happiness. It's powerful stuff. If you practice gratitude, then you're going to have a better life. I want some of that.
Here's what I want to do (thank you, Positive Psychology movement):
I will pay attention when good things happen.
I will notice when I avoid bad things.
I will be grateful for what I have.
I will be grateful for things I haven't lost.
I will give myself time--for me, being in the shower or commuting is think time--to think grateful thoughts.
As a writer, here are a few things I'm grateful for:
Words. They are such shiny, pretty, devastating things.
My mind. It might not be the smartest, but it's done right by me so far, and I won't take it for granted.
Other writers. Man, I never expected there to be so many wonderful, passionate, COMpassionate, talented, generous, shimmery, curious, interesting, fantastic people out there.
My agent. She is my favorite prehistoric reptile. She's also really kind while constantly pushing me to be better.
Opportunities. I can't believe I've been given so many. What I do with them is up to me, but I am grateful I ever got them at all.
Because I am a person of faith, I am thankful to God for these things, but that's not a requirement for gratitude.
Yeah, I know people usually do this at Thanksgiving, but as we start a new year, why not take a little more time? Why not think about it everyday, even if only for a few minutes? We all have bad things in our lives, but we also have good things, and people, and skills, and chances.