I heard from a LOT of you that you are loving the questions I posed to you in my last blog post where I talked about 25 questions to reflect on as part of an “annual review” looking back over 2015 before planning for your 2016. As a result, I wanted to share another one of my favorite tricks to start this time of year which revolves around the practice of gratitude.
I know many people love keeping a gratitude journal, and while I definitely see the benefits (and I still do this on occasion), for me I wanted something more. Journaling is an incredibly successful technique that I frequently use with clients, but for me personally, I wanted a gratitude practice that was a bit more fun, and more visual where I could actually see the reminder of what I was grateful for without having to read back over all of the entries in my journal whenever I needed a boost of positivity.
Hence, the idea for what I call my “Celebration Jar” was born! At the advent of each new year, I get a big Mason jar and decorate the lid to designate what year it is. Then whenever I have something to celebrate, I jot down a couple words or a phrase on a sticky note, fold it up, and throw it into the jar. I write down everything from big wins (landed a new speaking gig!) to small wins (made it to yoga class today!), happy news from clients, kind words or compliments from friends, and I also jot down notes for anything that I’m grateful for or happy about. That could be spending time with family over the holidays, or for having an awesome meal at the neighborhood Mexican restaurant – whatever person, place, thing, or event brings joy.
What I love about the concept of a Celebration Jar is that because it’s so visual – it sits on my desk where I see it multiple times every day – it’s a great reminder to me on a rough day of how many things have gone really well in my life, and is a cue for me to focus on the positive rather than dwelling on what’s not going well.
The visual element is also a great way for me to constantly keep the concepts of gratitude and celebration on the forefront of my mind. Whenever my eyes glance at the jar throughout the day, it’s a reminder for me to either write down something that has happened so far that day, or if I truly can’t think of anything that’s worthy of being written down yet, that tells me that I need to actively find a way to take matters into my own hands and to CREATE a win for myself that day rather than waiting for one to fall into my lap. As a result, I end up working smart, more efficiently, and with a greater sense of gratitude!
I’ve gotten many of my clients hooked on this idea, and we’ve found that it can also be expanded to be a family celebration jar or even a celebration jar at the office, where coworkers can all add their wins to the same jar. There are so many ways of having fun with this, too! Perhaps as a family you could have each member of the family write their wins on a separate color of sticky note to encourage a healthy competition between kids to incentivize them to get in the habit of celebrating the little and big moments in their lives, or at the workplace you could have the boss pull a sticky note out of the jar each week to win a fun prize. Regardless of how you choose to use your celebration jar, I can promise you that it will add to your happiness this year!