This New Year’s Eve I won’t be getting dressed up to party with strangers. I know what tradition says I’m supposed to be doing the last night of the year, but I’m a fan of creating my own traditions. The champagne will still be on deck, but this NYE I’ll be spending some quiet time reflecting on 2015 and reading all the notes I’ve collected in my gratitude jar this year.
You’ve probably heard about people keeping gratitude journals; maybe you even keep one yourself. Oprah – Mama O as I affectionately prefer to call her – swears by her practice of keeping a gratitude journal and writing down five things she’s grateful for each day. Journaling has been a powerful and transformative practice for me since I first started back in ’98, but sometimes you have to switch things up.
Introducing The Gratitude Jar.
I was inspired at the top of the year to start my own jar by one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert (the same chick that inspired folks to do more eating, praying and loving). She called hers a Happiness Jar. Now sure, the concept in itself is simple enough: get a jar and add notes to it daily of the things you’re grateful for. Any jar and regular paper will do, making this a super inexpensive ritual.
But, I know me and I knew that the only way I could be consistent in adding to the jar would be to make it FUN. So, what I’m going to share with you is how you can be more intentional about making your gratitude jar and make it something you actually look forward to filling each day.
Use the tips below to start your jar on January 1 and enjoy your journey down memory lane on December 31, 2016.
1. Get a “Big A– Jar”.
Not to be crass, but yes, that’s exactly what I call it – a big a– jar, or BAJ for short. My homegirl and I went on a quest searching for the perfect BAJs and found this awesome jar at The Container Store. I figured, if my intention is to have a year filled with blessings, I need a jar big enough to hold them all.
2. Personalize your BAJ.
Your jar should look like your jar. Give it some personality! Mine has stickers of cupcakes, butterflies, travel stamps, and quotes and shiny things. You may not know me, but trust me, it’s so me. Get as creative as your budget allows. Use markers, maybe add photos. If nothing else, write your name on. Own these blessings, on blessings, on blessings!
3. Remember ‘POET’ for your notes.
There are probably no less than 100 tiny miracles and blessings we encounter every single day, but sometimes it seems like it’s hard to come up with even one. The beautiful thing about keeping a gratitude jar is that as you make a habit of writing down things you’re grateful for, you’ll be more mindful of seeing reasons to be grateful. Those reasons typically fall into four categories: people, opportunities, experiences and things (POET). This concept from writer Tim Sanders makes it easy for me to write down at least three things I’m grateful for. Oh, and the different color Post-It notes can give you some extra flavor.
They say what you focus on expands, so why not start the new year with a mind and heart set on gratefulness? Get your BAJ and make it happen!
Did you make a #GratitudeJar? Tag me on Instagram @sandriawrites. I’d love to see it!