Stress often squishes us in December. We put off goal setting and dreaming of what could be in the new year, because what is feels overwhelming. We tell ourselves we’ll get to that after Christmas or after New Years. We’ll work on what we want to achieve later, when things slow down.
What if our response to the demands of the season could be different this year? What if you don’t have to wait to start?
There’s an author I love who challenges readers to change their attitudes to change the world. His passion for relationship, connection, and hope inspires me to live differently.
Bob Goff writes,
“Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget. Their dreams become one of those “we’ll go there next time” deferrals. The sad thing is, for many there is no “next time” because passing on the chance to cross over is an overall attitude toward life rather than a single decision.”
– Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
Goff’s words encourage us to plan and more importantly to act. We don’t have to wait until January 1st to start to change our attitudes or tackle our dreams.
Here are three areas you don’t have to wait to start.
Start Focusing on Gratitude
Jot down five things you are thankful for in this moment. This practice grounds us in the present and changes your outlook. When we focus on what we have been given it empowers us to approach where we want to go with an open heart.
Start Measuring Your Micro-successes
Many of us have goals requiring time and attention. Rather than focus on the big finish, chart out small victories to note that you are on your way. Celebrate each time you act on your intention. Whatever your goal (goal=dream with a timeline), spend time breaking down the big accomplishments into measurable, smaller steps. Repeat as often as you can to make note of progress you are making.
As Greg Reid says, “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
Start Giving Back to Others
Giving your time, talents, and resources to others helps us live more fully. Gestures don’t have to be grand to make a big impact. Find a cause to donate to or shovel your neighbors walk. Investing in things you care about helps make the world a better place.
You don’t have to wait for January to appreciate the fullness life offers. You can start now. Let me know what you are going to start doing.
Make your list, check it twice and simply GET STARTED.
Wishing you joy and a Merry Christmas.
Here are three easy steps you can follow to cultivate a spirit of gratitude you can rely on any time of the year:
1. Commit To The Search
Choose to shift your perspective and commit to looking for the good things already around you. Acknowledging the multitude of things to be thankful for is a way to walk through the world. Great power exists when we choose to focus on the positive.
Write down your commitment and put these words in a special place.
“I choose an attitude of gratitude especially in this season. I believe the time is always right to be thankful for what I have been given.”
2. Start To Notice
As you move through your day, keep a list of things that delight you, bring you joy, or add comfort to a schedule full of demands. Type in your phone or put pen to paper and watch the list grow. You can start small. Maybe you’re thankful for the smell of clean clothes in your closet or a full tank of gas in your car. Consider adding a “why” you are thankful as well. Explore the emotions and ideas that come up when you notice the ordinary things enhancing your life.
3. Share Your List with Others!
Find time to revisit your list on a regular basis. Make note of the people, places, and items that bring you joy and take a moment to share your thanks with others. Ask others to share their lists or things they are thankful for with you. Inspire others to change their perspectives and smile when you notice your heart being filled.
This year, I am thankful for the opportunity to build relationships. Let me know how your search is going! I can’t wait to hear what’s on your list.
Share the JOY
Believe the GOOD