Gratitude and focus for the new year

Simple ways to be grateful year-round

Each New Year’s Eve, I tell myself I am going be more grateful for the everyday life I lead. I also promise to be more focused on my goals and to be sure I am anticipating a positive event each day.

And like most everyone, I forget these promises within a few weeks. It’s never intentional. It’s just a busy life getting in the way of higher thinking. Only this year, I gave myself a break and started the practice once again … in November.

While reading a motivational book by Brendan Burchard, I came across three questions to ask myself each day. I dutifully wrote down the questions and stuck them to my dresser mirror. I swore I would look in the mirror each morning and recite the questions. As I started missing days and spending too long pondering, I realized I needed an accountability partner.

Here is where my 14-year-old daughter becomes involved. I decided that, as she tackles the challenges of high school, these questions would be as beneficial for her as they are for me. Within a week, she began happily anticipating our morning drive and answering the questions.

The three questions are simple:

  1. What am I grateful for today?
  2. What do I hope to accomplish?
  3. What am I looking forward to?

One busy morning at work, I received a text message from my daughter that we had forgotten to ask our questions. She promptly sent her answers and I responded with mine. That day, I was grateful for having a daughter like her.

Since starting our tradition I have discovered my teenage daughter’s thoughts and attitudes that I never knew before. I have also learned not to let little things bother me and to focus on my goals and be grateful.

So each morning, instead of listening to the radio, I connect with my daughter and we both center our day by being grateful for one another and the wonderful life we live.


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