This is the time of year when we focus on our blessings and begin to consider how we want to start the New Year. Whether we set long-term goals or New Year resolutions, gratitude is one of the most important elements to achieving what we desire.
Being a more grateful person actually helps us achieve our goals.
Studies show that gratitude promotes well-being and energizes us to work towards our goals. In the last decade, this idea was picked up and promoted by The New York Times, The Harvard Crimson, and other significant institutions. Gratitude enables us to become a better version of ourselves, whether a parent, a partner, a child, or a friend.
How gratitude helps.
The intentional practice of gratitude requires us to acknowledge what we have in our lives rather than worrying about what is lacking. It invites us to recognize the qualities we admire in ourselves and others and feel grateful for how these qualities have led to our successes and happiness. The simple act of highlighting what is good and maintaining an attitude of gratitude sets us up for success in a number of ways.
1. We feel better.
Gratitude promotes feelings of personal happiness, which in turn, supports us in feeling more energized and motivated. We are better able to cope with the inevitable stresses of life and work towards our goals. With a positive attitude, we begin to see obstacles and challenges as opportunities and steps towards achieving our goals.
2. We become more receptive and connected.
Gratitude helps us recognize the importance of our connections to others and allows us to receive their support. Other people can offer accountability, perspective, and cheerleading – three helpful aspects for turning our goals into reality.
3. We lay a strong foundation.
Gratitude encourages us to appreciate how far we have come and to be optimistic about what we can achieve. When setting goals for the future, it is helpful to recognize how we have overcome obstacles of the past. This can guide us to tap into our strength and capability, which in turn, positively influences our motivation. Gratitude leads us to connect with where we have been, be happy with where we are, and build on our strengths and wisdom to move forward.
So, as you set your New Year Resolutions and goals for 2021, remember to come from a place of gratitude!