Do you want 2017 to be your best year yet? Read on.
How to make 2017 your best year yet…
Stop focusing on everything that’s wrong.
Why is she so annoying??
Ugh, he put the dishes away wrong again!
Why can’t they just do things my way?
We have a tendency to naturally focus on the things that drive us crazy. Stop focusing on those things, and focus on things that are right and good.
Commit to shifting your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. Instead of getting irritated that someone didn’t do a job right, be thankful that they did the job in the first place. Choose to express gratitude instead of frustration.
We can easily find things going wrong around us if we just look. But we can also easily find things going right if we try. Try to stop complaining about “First World Problems:”
Find joy in your circumstances even if they are difficult.
When things aren’t going your way this year (which will happen), commit to finding something joyful to hold onto. Whether your challenge is a serious illness, a troubled child, or even just a flat tire, take a few moments to stop, breathe, and look around to find joy in something.
Joy is something entirely different than happiness. Joy is not an emotion. Happiness is an emotion and is temporary; joy is an attitude of the heart. To have joy in trials is not to deny pain, it is to recognize the fact that they can exist together. An expectant mom can go through the pain of childbirth and still have joy in thinking about what is to come. She has joy because she has the right focus as she considers the blessing that is coming. We have to trust that in the midst of incredible pain, there is joy to come in the future.
Try to see the good in people.
This past year has exposed the very worst in many of us. Some of us were playing defense, trying to justify the decisions we made. Some were playing offense, backing others into corners. Some were silent, landing somewhere in between. Regardless of where you were in relation to others, you probably saw a lot of not-so-good stuff in other people.
Try to remember what life was like before the dawn of social media. Remember how people used to engage in conversation around the dinner table instead of behind a screen. Do you know what it feels like to call someone bigoted or hateful to their face? Or are you only comfortable doing that from the comfort of your own home, where you don’t have to actually interact with people?
Remember that most people are, in fact, good. Most people do care about others. Most people have the same deep soul-longing: to be in relationship with others.
If you want 2017 to be filled with bitterness, anger, resentment and irritability, keep talking about how awful things are. Focus on how much you hate our president. Any time something goes wrong, mention that it’s because of Trump. Or because of your neighbor who voted for him. Or because our world has gone to hell in a hand basket.
But if you want 2017 to be your best year yet, make it happen. It’s all in your hands. It’s just in how you look at it.