How much thanks have you given yourself this year? Have you taken the time to share some gratitude with yourself over 2020?
On Wednesday night, I attended ThankYou Live, an event focused on looking back on your year with gratitude before planning out your goals for the next. Ashley and I took an evening to look back at our year. Yep – we were brave enough to delve deep, look back, and reflect upon 2020, not for what it was perceived to be, but rather for what it actually was. We took some time to search through those perceptions and find the good, not the bad.
It was scary at first to think about the events of 2020 because I went through one of the most challenging times of my life back in April. I know so many of us have had our most challenging year in 2020, but once I began to shift my focus from the negative to the positive, I was blown away by what I discovered…
I opened my calendar and photos, took out a piece of paper and wrote down each month. We started to go through the year, month-by-month and review what had really happened. The list began to grow, filled with all these happy memories, photos, events – I was truly surprised by the joy we were able to find as we reflected. Without even thinking – no word of a lie – I started looking for the shit. Did you know our brains naturally have a negativity bias? It’s a survival mechanism – we will always look for the shit when we can because being aware of the bad stuff has kept us safe in our evolutionary past. So yes, I did notice the rough times I went through in 2020: Heart & Hustle shutting down; losing half our membership; my grandfather passing away, and a cancer scare with our son. These are just a few examples of the shit, the negative, the things that all those 2020 memes are made of. Certainly, those things came up as we reviewed the year, but our list became overwhelmed with love as I continued writing.
Amongst all the garbage, I found so many treasures. We started to realize there was more good than bad: my eldest brother’s wedding; a family trip we took that included so many photos of us laughing together; summertime cottaging; and just those little moments you capture every day like the kids being silly, a beautiful sunset, a great workout, or a delicious meal. We all want to look for the shit – it’s helped us survive…but we don’t need to do that anymore. Now, in 2020 and forever, we need to focus on the love.
Taking a moment to show some gratitude and having the opportunity to focus on all the good that happened completely changed my outlook on this year and made me incredibly happy. And it’s not that hard, I promise. Here’s how you can start today:
- Write out all the months on a piece of paper.
- Pull out your phone and open your pictures. We usually only take pictures of the good, which is great for this exercise! That’s the point – to look for gratitude and find the wins, because they do exits, even amongst the chaos. Go to your January pictures and start scrolling.
- Open your calendar too (if you live by it, like most of us do), and start to review the events of each month.
- In point form, write done the good, great, and the other.
- Reflect on how you were feeling. What was your mental state?
When your list is done, I bet you’ll see all the treasures, and much less shit than you think.
That’s it – it’s this simple, and I can really change your perspective. You now have the tools to start to opening your heart and shed a little love on 2020, as you prepare for a new beginning full of unknown adventures and undiscovered treasures in 2021.