It’s a new year and if you’re like me, you may be looking for ways to start the year off on the right foot so that we can all make this year one for the history books. I’ve found one of the easiest ways to do this is to change the lens through which we see the world. Let’s talk about gratitude and how creating a habit of gratitude can change our perspectives and also our lives.

It’s easy to get bogged down with day to day annoyances as we move through our world. However, the more we focus on the things that annoy us, the more they take over our consciousness. We begin to expect traffic to be bad and so it is, we expect long lines at the grocery store, or to not be able to find what we are looking for. We expect our work days to be long and are not surprised when we go home exhausted. For some reason, our society has trained us that it is OK to focus on the trivial annoyances of our lives, but then we feel silly feeling a sense of gratitude for the things that go well and right in our lives. We begin to neglect focusing on the little things, or even the big aspects of our lives that bring us joy. What if we re-trained our brains and we shifted our focus to one of gratitude? What would happen if we spent time each day being grateful?

Our brains are trained to find evidence that supports our beliefs. If our daily focus is on the mundane, the tiresome, the negative, our brains will seek evidence of the existence of these things. If we change the lens through which we look at the world to one of gratitude, our brains will find evidence of more things to be grateful for. When you are walking through life thinking that it is an uphill slog, it is. By taking some time each day to feel a sense of gratitude, we will find more joy because our brains will be on the lookout for it. Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, we can be waiting for the next joyful thing because that is what we have trained our brains to expect.  

Take a few minutes and think about some things that you are grateful for.  Write them down. Make a physical list that includes both big things and little things that bring you joy. Everything counts: that sweet parking spot, running into an old friend, the perfect cup of coffee…

Don’t you feel better already? What if you made a habit of doing this everyday? How would this change the way you walk through the world? What if you looked at sitting in traffic as an opportunity to listen to that new album, audiobook, or call that friend that you have been wanting to catch up with? Find opportunities to find more joy. Focus on what you are grateful for and not what you are lacking. When you focus on lack, you will get more lack. When you focus on being grateful for what you have, you will welcome more abundance and more of what you want into your life.

Here’s to your abundance in 2019!