Sandy Cohen, R.N., & Roger Cormier, M.A.

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Have you had enough of the media stories recommending New Year resolutions? Or are you feeling remiss that you have not made or already have failed to keep such resolutions? In truth, we do not have to get on that band wagon.

  Not that there is anything wrong with following prescriptions for happiness or with resolving to lose weight, get in shape, eat healthy, increase income, get organized, meet new people, explore a hobby, or pray or meditate more regularly. But who is to say that it fits for us at this time to work even more at improving ourselves and our lives?

  Sure, if our lives are too fast-paced, we can find ways to slow down. If we are feeling bored, unproductive and lonely, we can make choices to engage and use our talents more. If we are tired of railing against what is wrong in our world, we can volunteer our time and make financial contributions to a cause we believe in.

Gratefulness for playfulness

 Consider making “un-resolutions.” If we find some quiet moments away from media hype and our own demanding inner voice, we can become aware of what is already enough in our lives, what we do not need to change, but rather what we can choose to enjoy, celebrate and give thanks for.

  For many of us, our own inner critic suggests to us that sure, this and that are pretty good, but what about those other things that are not good enough! The truth is that much in our lives merits more of our satisfaction and gratitude. We can slow down and relish the gifts and accomplishments in our lives.

  A good idea is to take time each day to bring to mind something we are grateful for. We can treasure the gifts in our mind, record them in a personal journal, verbalize them with or email them to someone close to us. Also, we will not be critical or intolerant if we forget our gratitude intervention on a busy day.

  We can experience this practice as satisfying and delightful, renewing and uplifting, even a balance and antidote to negative events and forces that can drag us down and otherwise cause us to lose sight of our gifts, big and small, outside ourselves and within. To gratefully remember is to relive and make special experiences ever present.

  Whether you recall the stranger who warmly smiled at you during a walk or a special lifetime friend; a thoughtful note someone sent you or some playful moments you indulged in; or some singularly delicious food or uplifting music, try daily gratitude interventions – You’ll like it. You can start right now.