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Start the new year by writing a gratitude list

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions anymore. I guess I’m at the age where I see each day as an opportunity to flex my resolve. But I do find the beginning of the year a great time to reflect back on all I achieved in the preceding year and set new goals for the next one. I do this in all areas of my life and in different phases. Phase I of my New Year’s plan is to start a gratitude list.

For ten to twenty minutes, I write a list (in a sparkly new journal) of things I’m grateful for. The beginning of my list looks something like this:

I’m grateful for:

1. My family who not only loves and encourages me but also helps others in the world;

2. My writing partner, Carly, for pushing me to stretch my comfort zone and believe in myself;

3. My friend J.M. for making me use my brain and heart in ways I never knew I could;

4. The ability to feel green grass beneath my feet and see blue sky above my head;

5. Sunlight on skin;

6. My new electric guitar that totally rocks;

7. My three cats who provide constant love and entertainment and warm snuggies to curl up with on cold, winter days;

8. Those moments when my writing just flows and comes out right;

9. My mom–for everything;

10. Walking on ocean sand in San Diego

You get the idea. Once I have a few things down, I keep my journal on my writing room desk, and once a day, glance over my list and add at least one thing to it. By doing this, I’m focusing on the positives in life. Believe it or not, this also helps build a basis for my writing life–for those times when my writing isn’t flowing like the River Sphinx. By laying this foundation of gratitude, I can overcome any temporary setbacks. I may even learn to be grateful for them. But more on this subject in my next post.

Another bonus to starting a gratitude list is that someday it may just turn into a poem like author Cary Tennis’s gratitude list here.

Oh, I just thought of another addition to my list: I’m grateful for the writers and other artists who read our blog! Thank you!

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