New Year, New Things – March 2017

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude and in the midst of some major life challenges I thought it would be a great idea to focus on what I am grateful for in March. As I wrote about earlier this year, I’m aspiring to try one new thing every month in 2017. I will admit, only three months in and I was already having trouble deciding what to dive into for March. I’m an avid podcast listener and I’ve heard several people mention keeping record of things they are grateful for each day. So I thought, what better way to focus on gratitude than to write down what I’m grateful for?

This “new thing” was a small new habit, but definitely made a positive impact on my days. It was as easy as grabbing a fresh notebook and jotting down the three things I’m grateful for before bed each night. At first, I was planning to try this out for one week but it’s so simple that I’ve continued with it into April as well. The best part is, there are no rules! I started this on a whim and I didn’t want to restrict myself to thinking of completely unique things each day or limiting it to one word for each item. It’s just a free for all! It doesn’t take more than a minute to take note of your three things, and is a great reminder of everything that makes you smile.

You may know that I’m a bit of a data nerd, so I find it really interesting to analyze the types of things I’m grateful for and look for themes. One of the things I’ve noted multiple times is slow mornings or slow evenings. I absolutely love waking up naturally, making a full breakfast, and sitting on the couch enjoying my coffee. I also appreciate evenings where I have no errands to run and I can enjoy dinner and catching up on TV, or blog writing. This theme may paint me as lazy, but oddly enough I also have noted being grateful for productive or “comfortably busy” days. No one likes being completely overwhelmed at work, but that sweet spot of a full day in which so much got accomplished is a great feeling. Of course I write down generic comments like family, health or sunshine too, but I try to dig a little deeper and jot down what’s really relevant to that day.

Keeping these lists highlights the best parts of each day and reminds me to be grateful for all of life’s little moments. In a world that sometimes feels like it’s falling apart, everyone can use these simple reminders. Aside from going to bed with a grateful heart, I also find myself thinking about what I’m grateful for throughout the day. Recognizing what’s important to me has even led to small changes in behavior. This may seem trivial, but one Monday I noted that I was grateful for grocery shopping on Sunday that week. More often than not, I leave my weekly grocery shopping until Monday evening after work, but this time I actually went on Sunday afternoon. The fact that this made my top three that day definitely didn’t go unnoticed and the following Sunday when I debated putting off my grocery run, I remembered how grateful I was to have a slow Monday evening the week prior. This is not groundbreaking stuff, but it was a small change in routine that made my week a little happier.

Today, I am grateful for all of you! To all who are reading this, I appreciate you supporting me and my hobbies and goals. If you need a little uplifting, I encourage you to start your own gratitude list. Remember – there are no rules! Your list can be filled out weekly, you can write it in the morning, or add items to a list on your phone throughout the day. The important thing is that you’re recognizing the joys in your life, big or small, and appreciating all of the reasons you have to be grateful!

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