Monday, January 3, 2011

A Single Resolution for the New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! Hellooooo, 2011!

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.

What are you grateful for as we start 2011? What things in your life remind you of how much you have? And ... anyone interested in joining me in making "being grateful" a resolution for this year?


  1. What a great post and resolution! I have many resolutions, but mostly they add up to just keep growing and becoming an all around better person, mother and writer.:) I think being greatful is important at every step of every process so great food for thought here and Happy New Year!

  2. I don't really make resolutions, but yours is one I could do! Really great way to start a new year :)

  3. I need to be more grateful too. I love writing and it's enriched my life. I don't say thank you enough to the weird events that conspired me to write more!

  4. Thanks to Justine Dell I'm a new follower and already adore your blog!!!

    I'm grateful at the opportunities that were given to me in 2010. I'm also grateful for the opportunities I know are headed my way in 2011.

    I feel truly blessed.

  5. hi miss sarah! for me i dont gotta resolve to be grateful cause for every day of my life im grateful for sooo much neat stuff even the most smallest little stuff. mostly im grateful for god letting me be alive for just one more day. the only resolving im doing is just do the most best i can every day and do or say something nice every day. i got here from miss justines blog. wow! shes soooo cool!
    ...hugs from lenny

  6. Amen!

    I blogged along a similar vein this New Year's. It's easy to get obsessed with all the things we want to be or accomplish. It's easy to get caught up a cycle of resolution -> failure.

    To just be silent and happy for the people and things we love... well, why is that so hard?

  7. I'm booking marking this post. You know why ... don't you? ;-)


  8. I'm grateful from my understanding family who understands my passion to write. :D

  9. Thank you for this lovely post. I'm grateful for the family I have and the education I'm receiving, neither of which I should ever take for granted.

  10. Can I make you list my list? It's great!

  11. Thanks for all the comments, everyone! Now we have to hold each other to this gratitude! Sarah was right when she observed that it's hard to do, and easy to forget. It helps to be reminded of all we have. I'm grateful for all of you!

    And Jen and Lenny--welcome! JD is so awesome in her support of me. I am particularly grateful for HER.

  12. I'm in too. I don't make resolutions, normally, but this sounds like a particularly good one.

    And one thing I'm grateful for to start with, is my critique partner pointing out your blog. Most of my WIPs deal with mental health in one way or another, and your posts are incredibly helpful! <3

  13. Yes, I like this resolution. It's easy to focus on the things we want and goals we have, without fully appreciating what we already have.

    I'm grateful for your post reminding me to be more grateful. :D

  14. What a most excellent thing to resolve to be! I need to take a page from your book. :)

  15. Wonderful post!

    I'm resolving to be grateful for the time I have to write. Not everybody is able to write every day, and I can, and I need to remember to be grateful for that rather than whining about how much I don't feel like writing today.

    Thanks for the reminder! :)