I don’t know about you but it seems to me that self-proclaimed experts from around the world churn out rehashed advice on the same old saturated topics each and every New Year’s. More often than not these spin doctors attempt to provide us with strategies on how to lose weight, eat healthier, love and laugh more, and a host of other predictable topics. The truth is that most New Year’s resolutions are conjured up because we as individuals realize that we are lacking in one area of life or another. We use New Year’s Day as a way of half-heartedly addressing negative aspects of our personal lives with the goal of fixing ourselves–and hopefully living happier, more fulfilled lives by doing so. Unfortunately statistics indicate that the majority of us fail to follow through on our New Year’s resolutions. In fact it seems that within the first three months of every year most of us have already blown our New Year’s resolution. It seems we are in love with making New Year’s resolutions but most of us are not truly committed to ensuring lasting, tangible results from those well-intentioned resolutions occur.
In reality, if you think about it the entire failed New Years resolution process can really be quite negative for many of us. It’s like we intentionally set ourselves up to fail before the year has even begun! So why don’t we try a different approach this New Years? How about we attempt to celebrate the good things that happen in our lives – every day little things that make life amazingly awesome and create positive energy in us that helps us live our lives in a more thankful state than we have in the past.
Well… hang on folks… because a new approach to the New Year’s holiday is what I am offering to you as 2014 approaches! A while back my wife Kathy passed along a neat idea to me. It was one that she had read about and thought might be of interest. She knows I am into inspiring others to live positive and productive lives so kudos to her for sending this idea my way! As I considered the idea I quickly realized it was a gem! It’s a game changer if you want it to be. So I share it with you in the hope it improves your perspective on life, and on yourself, moving forward. I believe this is something we can easily incorporate into our lives and surely benefit from.
“Hurry up Tom!” you say, “What’s the idea?” Well it’s a Memory Jar. Now you might ask “Tom what the heck is a Memory Jar?” Well people it’s simple. Find yourself a jar, any jar. It can be something stylish or it can be as plain as a pickle jar. It doesn’t really matter, whatever you choose is fine as long as it get’s the job done! Then, find yourself a small notepad and a pen or pencil to keep beside the jar so it’s handy for you. As the days and weeks and months of the year go by take moments at the end of each day or week to jot down the details of the good moments that happened in your life. Then fold those notes in half and put them in your Memory Jar and watch that jar fill up as the year progresses. I think what’s going to happen for all of us as we undertake the Memory Jar journey is that we will start focusing on the positives in our lives instead of the negatives. We will focus on the things we did do, not the things we didn’t do. The good things others did for us, not the things someone didn’t do for us. You see most of us are so blessed. Yet we often see our lives as half empty rather than half full! Even in difficult times blessings come our way. By taking a few minutes out of your life to jot down those individual blessings you will be able to watch your jar fill up with positive memories, ones we too often forget but never should.
So you say “Tom that’s great but what do I do with this jar full of memories at the end of the year?” Well… what if you started a scrapbook at the end of 2014 and spent some time alone reminding yourself of all of the great moments those memory notes had captured. Maybe you’d read them quietly to yourself. Or even better, maybe you’d read them out loud with your family and remind one another of the good things that had happened, the good things others had done for you to make your life better. Or maybe you’d use those notes to begin a journal for yourself – one that would capture the great moments of your life. No matter what you choose to do at the end of the year with the notes you’ve compiled the Memory Jar will encourage you and those around you to remember and celebrate the good that occurred and hopefully, inspire you to move into the coming year in a positive frame of mind.
Too often we remember the bad, we remember our failures, we remember the missed resolutions… far more than we remember our blessings and successes in life. I believe that for most of us, if we simply took the time to really consider our moments – give thanks for our days, we would find the good in them, we would realize just how blessed we are. Remember, even when times do get difficult many blessings still come our way. So give the Memory Jar a try this coming year and see if it doesn’t help you to remember the good best of your year. Operation Memory Jar is a gem! Give it a try.
Smiling through 2015’s the goal!
Founder of Your Better Life