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Sharing a Grateful Heart: Celebrating a Grateful New Year

We all love a fresh new year. New Year's Day always seems so different. It's a time of letting go of the past year, past mistakes, and more and moving on to a fresh new slate. Our hopes are high with new goals and beginnings. We are focused on making new things work in the new year. Some people make new year's resolutions and promise to commit to them without fail.

We are full-on excited about the new days ahead, and then we fall off the wall of resolution and back to our old ways. We tell ourselves we will try again in six months, which turns into the next new year. We ride this cycle every year and only get it half done yearly.

“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.” Tecumseh

I encourage you to keep reading because this may be the year you stop the cycle, get off the merry-go-round, and thrive with success. I invite you to look at 2023 with a different set of eyes or a different heart.

This new tone of the heart is a heart of gratitude.

Gratitude is a solid principle to add to your life. So, instead of starting a new year resolution that you might fail, why not start something I call the "gratitude attitude"? Don't let the year be about the goals you set or resolutions but about the attitude of the heart you develop in your daily life. There is power in being grateful. But how does that look in your everyday life?

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." -1 Thessalonians 5:18

In case you are unsure what gratitude means, here is the definition: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.

So, if you are ready to go on a new journey this coming year, let me give you a few suggestions for implementing the definition above. First, I want to show you how to keep track of your new attitude. Second, I want to share with you a few ways to be grateful.

You will need a journal/notebook/paper and a pen.

In your journal, put the month of January at the top of a blank page. As the month goes on, list all the things or people you are grateful for. You will begin to create a list of things that people did for you, good things that happened during the month, or things God has done for you.

You will do this each month until the end of the year.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" -Psalm 107:1

Let's look at some suggestions of what you could have gratitude for and be on the lookout for in your daily life. These suggestions and the list is endless and will grow your heart in your new gratitude attitude. Look at them as jumping-off points to a new year and a new way of looking at life. Here you go!

  • Look for ways to pay it forward.

  • See the good in people.

  • Incorporate more gratitude in your prayer time.

  • Make a habit of saying "thank you" to people.

  • Express appreciation for the blessings in your life.

  • Learn to be more still and listen to the voice of God

  • Be grateful for another new year.

  • The love of family.

  • The love of a pet.

  • The ability to sleep and rest.

  • The friendships you have.

  • The home you have.

  • The ability to forgive someone.

  • The kindness of a stranger.

  • The blessings of in-laws.

  • Your children.

  • Surprise gifts.

  • Sunrise & Sunset.

  • Try a 100-letter challenge, where you write 100 letters during the year to people to thank them for what they have done for you.

These are just a few things you can look for in your life to be grateful for in the new year. Gratitude takes practice. Don't be discouraged. Every day presents you with something new. Gratitude will make you aware of what God does in your life every day, big or small.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” -Robert Brault

We are not very grateful people by nature. It is a decision you will have to make every day to be more grateful and one that will reap many, many rewards in your life.

Welcome to the New Year!



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