“Happy New Year!” that was the cry last year in my apartment in Antibes when I had an impromptu party because we were not impressed by the bar that was open near us……this year as we move into 2021, there will be no parties or even bars open in the south of France as they are all closed until at least 20th January. And who knows which ones will still be able to function and survive the most turbulent year in trading history.
So how do we make 2021 the best ever? Gratitude….. pure and simple.
The word “gratitude” is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness and that kind of sums it up.
Back in 2019, I had had a turbulent year and was really struggling... Rolled my car, roof leaking in 5 places and my mum had just had a stroke. And a very kind friend recommended the book Magic to me by Rhonnda Byrne.
Now I have often been called Pollyanna for my can do attitude, sun will come out tomorrow but I really was at a low ebb. And this book really transformed my life especially as I went through trials and tribulations of 2020. Every day for 28 days, the book provides a framework for coming up with dozens of things to be grateful for. At first you have no idea how you are going to fill the empty page but by about day 14, I couldn’t wait to read the next chapter and find out which subject I was going to cover today. And it worked! I stopped feeling sorry for myself and worrying about how to pay the man to fix the roof, I just became grateful that I had a bucket to put under it and someone who knew HOW to fix it.
And you know what they say, it takes 28 days to form a habit and so that is what I did – create the gratitude habit. And then I began to learn to say thank you as well so I could demonstrate my gratitude to the clients, waitresses and friends and family around me.
Studies have shown (Sara Algoe, University of North Carolina) that saying "thank you" and expressing gratitude makes both the giver and receiver happier and more likely to build positive and lasting relationships!! They also found that how you express gratitude will depend on context and also culture. For some situations, it may be appropriate to be demonstrative rather than verbal—giving a hug, for example (although maybe only with someone in your bubble and with a mask on!!), or bringing a gift of flowers. In another context, a simple thank you—especially if it’s sincere and not manipulative— could be the solution.
So here’s three top suggestions to get done now whilst you are resting over the holidays.
- Write a thank-you note. OMG this was the bane of my life when I was younger – writing thank you notes to relatives for presents I didn’t even like. But we had the discipline in my family and got it done. Who could you write one for today? A real one – not an email or social media post. A card or piece of paper with writing on!!
Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. And maybe even write yourself one!
- Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank that person.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you've received each day. And before you go to bed, count your blessing reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for.
Once you do this for 28 days you too will have created the gratitude habit!
And will find that gratitude contributes to happier, better you…and therefore the year will be the best EVER…whatever happens!
There is still time to join my FREE 7 day challenge to Make 2021 the Best ever!