Friday, January 4, 2013
If there was anything I was going to avoid this year while choosing my resolutions---it was journal writing. If there is one thing that is my achilles heel it would be that. I began pondering what I wanted new, in the new year, on New Years Day. Danny and I began the day with a new $ plan (I will blog about this later...we are really excited about it!) we have been hoping to do for our girls for a couple of years. Several months ago we decided 2013 was the year---and so we procrastinated to the last minute!
I was excited about the new plan for our girls and thought of several things that I could do that would compliment and support our new system. With out writing anything down yet, I had a few things in mind...hoping to keep it simple and something I would remember. (I had no idea what my 2012 resolutions were...and that isn't a very good sign that I was successful.)
The next couple of days I pondered. I read my friend Misty's blog post about her resolutions and I was impressed with her attempt at finding one word that sum up the changes she hoped for in 2013. What impressed me more was her decision to turn to prayer to determine what would be best for her. I hadn't considered that once. I decided I would try both of these things, so I held off my writing and continued pondering.
Yesterday as I was cleaning + cooking in my kitchen I decided to listen to a podcast. I was drawn to this speech (it's title really, I had never heard it before): A Grateful Heart by Ray L. Huntington. One of the first ideas he discussed was a gratitude journal. The study followed three groups that were randomly selected: those writing 5 things they were grateful for each week, those writing five hassels or problems they faced in the week, and the final group wasn't given any specifics either way.
The findings were, in his words, "impressive." The group that kept gratitude journals over the ten weeks reported feeling: "better about their lives and were more optimistic about the future than people in the other two groups. The gratitude group also reported fewer health concerns, like headaches, and spent significantly more time exercising than people in the other two groups. According to the scale Dr. Emmons used to calculate well-being, the people in the gratitude group were a full 25% happier than the participants in the hassles or neutral groups. In subsequent studies Dr. Emmons also reported that people who regularly kept a gratitude journal and were in the habit of recognizing and expressing gratitude for their blessings reported feeling closer and more connected to people, had better relationships, were more likely to help others, felt less lonely, felt less depressed, slept better, and were more pleasant to be around."
So, although my only sure thought, going into choosing my resolutions, was that I did NOT want to have anything to do with writing in a journal...that is exactly what my resolutions WILL center around...recognizing and writing down those things of which I am grateful. My resolutions for 2013 will center around gratitude and ways that I can support this change.
grateful for my resources: $, home, food, clothing, cars, technology, etc... In order to center on gratitude for my resources I will be a better steward over what has been give to us. I will be making purchases based on need vs. want. I will do that by eliminating impulse shopping (which means you will not see me browsing the isles of Target, studying the clearance racks at JCrew or entering into Anthropologie at all!) We currently only have debt on our home and our rental property...but how nice would it be not to have that! Memories doing activities and vacations are so much greater than filling all of the closets and bookshelves in our house! (Living in a paid off house would be pretty great too!) To accomplish this I will make purchases only after I have written them down and considered them as a need. This is BIG! I am excited to do this! (Danny will be even more excited when I tell him!) *much of the inspiration for this resolution came from the annual "new year's resolution phone conversation I had with my sister Annie*
grateful for my family: Growing up I remember Saturdays being a chore day. My mom often worked in the week so it was the best day she had to get things done! I have carried it on in our family---and it is time for a change. The girls have charts and responsibilities M-F and Saturday will be a day off. Saturday = family day. We will work on hobbies at home, go on outings outside, bike ride, explore, hike, visit museums and play at parks! We hope to eat breakfast, make our beds and then after getting dressed head out for the day! I AM SOOOOO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!
My gratitude as a wife and mother can improve greatly by watching my tone of voice (I read this here and thought it was something that would be great for me too), my choice of words and the expressions on my face. Sophie asked me today, "Why do you only smile when we are playing a game (an imagination role playing game)?" I am sure I do smile more than that...and I am generally very content and happy at home...BUT I am OBVIOUSLY a little too serious and need some lightening up! I want to be careful about the influence and mood I create for my family. I want them to know how much I LOVE and ADORE them and how grateful I am to be part of this little family of mine.
grateful for my mind: I have a goal to read every.single.solitary.day in 2013!
grateful for music: I will play/practice guitar or piano for myself each day (M-F) I do love the feeling I have as I play, as limited as my abilities are. My girls also sooo much better at their own practices when they have heard me playing my own instruments.
grateful for my body: I will do some kind of exercise every day. This could be yoga, walking, hiking, stretching, sit ups....SOMETHING!
To track my goal I have already began using Good Habits by Good To Hear that I initially found on 71 toes). It will be a way for me to keep my goal in my mind and focus every day instead of once a year! My past resolutions few year's resolutions are here: http://peoniesinmygarden.blogspot.com/search/label/resolutions
Mr. Huntington quoted President Thomas S. Monson, "Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings. Said one well-known author: 'Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend . . . when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.'”