When you let go you create space for better things to enter your life.
Whether 2016 was your best year yet, or if it seemed like a nightmare in which the entire world came crumbling down around you... Either way, 2016 is over, and we have an opportunity right now, in the first week of January, to decide what kind of a year we will make 2017.
I say MAKE because it really is up to us. We can't control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we respond. To quote Abraham Lincoln, "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice that thorn bushes have roses."
I've decided that my focus word for this year will be GRATITUDE.
Last year started out for me about as rough as you can imagine, but through perseverance and with lots of help and support, I managed to turn it around into one of my best years yet. One thing I learned along the way was that all my perfectionism and self-inflicted stress was keeping me from being either healthy or happy. I had to learn to let go of what I thought was best. That doesn't mean to stop working hard, it just means to stay focused on the work and not spend too much time worrying about the result. After a few months, I started to realize that this actually works! And the best part is that I learned to stop worrying so much about myself and start thinking more about others.
I've met so many wonderful people this year, in "real life" and through my online business. You are all wonderful, and honestly, I couldn't be where I am now without each and every one of you! All the encouragement and support has been overwhelming. As someone who doesn't like asking for help, I've had to get past that. Starting a business is not something you can do in a vacuum!
So this year I want to focus on Gratitude for every blessing, every lesson learned, every new person met, and every friendship deepened. Even my 2017 planner from The Joyful Entrepreneur has a Positive Attitude! I truly believe that if I can start each day with feelings of gratitude, that mindset will affect how the rest of each day plays out.
For the month of January I'll actually be keeping a simple Gratitude journal, finding one thing to be thankful for each day. In case you'd like to join me, I'll list the questions for you right here. I've also added a few photos to show you what I know will be some of my answers...
30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE:
1. What smell are you grateful for today?
2. What technology are you grateful for?
3. What color?
4. What food?
5. What sound?
6. What in nature?
7. What memory?
8. What book?
9. What place?
10. What taste?
11. What holiday?
12. What texture?
13. What abilities?
14. What sight?
15. What season?
16. What about your body?
17. What knowledge?
18. What piece of Art?
19. What touch?
20. Who in your life?
21. What song?
22. What story?
23. What tradition?
24. What challenge?
25. What moment this week?
26. What form of expression?
27. What small thing that you use daily?
28. What small thing that happened today?
29. What friends/family members?
30. What talent or skill that you have?
I found these questions on textmyjournal.com.
Now I know some of them seem simple, and some are a little meta, but I think sometimes its best to start at the 101 and work from there. If you'd like to try this with me this month, feel free to post any of your answers below and follow me on Instagram @lulamaydesign as I'll be sharing some of my personal insights there.
And most importantly, I hope each of you has a creative and fulfilling year, and that you learn something new every day!