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my mom Santa places little practical items into our stockings. These goodies have ranged from hand warmers to chapstick, kitchen gadgets to socks, and in recent years even itty-bitty bottles of wine (Santa knows us well). This past Christmas, amongst a brussel sprout coring tool and my favorite scrub sponges, was a little notebook.
Entitled, ‘Favorite Moment a Day – Journal’, this book was meant to be a collection of daily highlights. A reminder that at the end of every day, we should take a quiet moment to reflect on whatever good might have occurred. Even more powerful, was what was inscribed on the first page:
“Start each day with a grateful heart.”
This really made me stop and think. Seven simple words, but ones that can have a profound effect. It’s easy to get caught up in the world, to want to compare yourself to others and to let others bring you down. I think this is especially true in our current day and age. Social media has added a new layer of accessibility. It’s easy to see a photo of someone on vacation or read about their successes and immediately forget about all of the great opportunities you have in your own life. I have found that instead of comparing or getting jealous, it’s much more effective to put your energy towards focusing on yourself and accomplishing your own goals.
With this mantra in mind, I’ve started to come up with 2 or 3 things that I’m truly grateful for each morning. Whether it’s the roof over my head, my supportive family, being in good health, or my awesome job; having these top of mind makes it much easier to start the day off right!
Obviously, you’re going to experience a bad day every now and again. That’s just part of life, and unfortunately, it’s generally out of our control. Living in New York, for example, I’m surrounded every day by strangers who in some cases, have a blatant disregard for those around them. Just this morning on my commute (which took much longer than anticipated due to train delays), I was bumped, stepped on, stepped in front of, screamed at and ignored trying to exit the train… all within a 40-minute window. I easily could have let these things ruin my whole day, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just not worth it. Don’t sweat the small things. As my mom always says, you can’t control other people, but you can control your reaction to them. Words my friends, to live by.
Not letting these negative moments overshadow the bright spots can certainly be difficult. It’s refreshing, however, to take the time to reflect back and focus on the positive. To make the conscious decision to not let others bring you down, and to own your own happiness. Now, each evening, with this notebook in tow, I enter at least 3 things big or small that brought a smile to my face. I ask Tim what his favorite moments were and it’s honestly such a lovely way to end the day.
Whether you do this each morning (I do tend to do this in the shower) or each evening before you fall asleep, I highly encourage you to take a few moments to reflect on what’s good in your world.