There are those who believe that when you focus on something, you bring more of it into your life. For the most part, I believe it too. When I get in a rut with questionable habits, I don’t feel at my best until I start making better choices. On the other hand, when I am focusing on the things I desire in my life, it’s easier to move through each day with a sunnier disposition, which is where I like to spend the majority of my time.
Taking my one word for 2021 into consideration, I searched for a simple way to feel good this year. When I came across an idea that was an instant YES for me, I knew I wanted to share it with all of you. Not only is it simple, but I happen to think it’s quite brilliant.
Grab a vessel of some sort—something beautiful that makes you happy. The vase that held the flowers you were given by a loved one. That cool jar you found at the flea market a couple of years ago. Whatever it is, place it somewhere not quite of the way, maybe on top of a bookcase or your mantel, where it’s just prominent enough that you can admire it every day.
Next, you’ll need scraps of paper. If your vessel is clear, you may as well get your scraps from paper that’s beautiful or fun. They can be from the stack of brightly colored construction paper your kids haven’t used in years or from those odd-shaped swaths of wrapping paper that pile up over the holidays. Make sure your scraps are large enough to write on but small enough to fold up and put in your vessel. (You can store the paper in a drawer or box, but keep it at the ready.) Oh, and don’t forget some lovely pens you enjoy writing with. I’m also a believer that not all pens are created equal. 😉
At the end of each week, write down one good thing that happened on your scrap. Fold up that piece of paper and store it in your beloved container—henceforth known as the Good Feelings Jar. (I also suggest writing down the date or week of the year on your paper. You’ll know why in a moment.)
The grand finale happens when you sit down with your Good Feelings Jar on New Year’s Eve. As you pull out each little scrap of paper and read it aloud or to yourself, you’ll be overwhelmed with good feelings. You won’t remember that thing that happened the third week of February, but you’ll go right back to the joy you experienced on December 31st. Whoosh, good feelings magnified.
Here’s what I predict will happen when you get started with this simple ritual: your family members will start asking questions and eventually want to join in. Suddenly, your one good thing each week will turn into multiple good things. The idea of our Good Feelings Jar filling up that much quicker almost makes me giddy!
Hopefully this goes without saying, but in case you’re a rule follower by nature I’ll say it anyway—these are loose guidelines. If something exciting happens on a Tuesday but you don’t normally put anything in the jar until Saturday, make an exception! Encourage family members to grab a scrap of paper, write their own good thing down, and get it in that jar ASAP. If you’re struggling in the middle of June, reach deep into the jar and bring back some good feelings from earlier in the year. It won’t make them less impactful when you read them again in December.
Of course, there are lots of ways to feel good, especially if you make it a priority. We’ve shared lots of them with you over the years here at SRP:
- Concentrate on gratitude. This can be a real life-changer. If the Good Feelings Jar is a bit too public for you, a private gratitude journal is just as beneficial. Even if it feels like you’re forcing it at first, accentuating the positive things in your life only changes your world for the better, both psychologically and physiologically. Gratitude helps you feel good more easily and more often.
- Laugh as often as possible. Maria Atwood really nailed it with her post “Laugh More: A Winning New Year’s Resolution.” Maria not only shares the health benefits of laughter, but she also offers resources on how to become a funnier person yourself.
- Focus on nutrition. Nutrient dense foods play a bigger role in our outlook on life than most of us realize.
- Reduce stress. We should all know by now that managing our stress levels can make each day more enjoyable.
Let’s all resolve to find simple ways to feel good this year. While some moments will seem tougher than others, shining a spotlight on even the smallest win can encourage a shift in the right direction.