One of my favourite books is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. With the New Year ahead and many of us focused on how we can continue to “up our game” by creating or changing our habits, it serves as a great read!
When most of us reflect on our habits, we tend to focus on our “bad” habits as opposed to the habits that are “good” or positive. I try to take a different approach by considering all the things that I do well, and incorporating those habits into my daily routine, including being grateful.
Two years ago I received the gift of a leather bound book. There were many use cases for the book, including note taking for work, collecting my favourite quotes, random sketches or jotting down ideas. I chose to use my book as a gratitude journal. At that time, a number of books about gratitude and the art of keeping a gratitude journal hit several bestseller lists. While I didn’t begin one then, I was keen on the new daily habit of documenting my gratitude.
As far as new habits go, this one was fairly easy to adopt:
- Find journal.
- Have journal in a convenient place.
- Pick a time of day to write in journal.
- Be grateful.
- Write it down.
My entries have covered everything from lessons I’ve learned, celebrating wins at work, special moments I’ve experienced, feelings I’ve felt, acknowledging good fortunes like health and wellness, etc. On days when I’m really pressed for time, I mindfully think about what I’m grateful for and log it in the next day. Sometimes the entries are short like a note about health, happiness, family, friends, a chocolate brownie, a great book, warm boots, etc.
This habit continues to help me remember and recognize the things that really matter to me. In times of stress or challenge my journal entries serve as a reminder that it’s important to take a few moments to find something to be grateful for. And while you don’t need a journal to be grateful, it’s wonderful to flip back and read what you were grateful for eight months ago, six weeks ago or even four days ago.
Today I’m grateful for the free speech that allows me to write this blog post, the winter tires on my car, the collective talents of the Pythian HR team, for the amazing 400+ colleagues in 36 countries who we get to work with every day and the opportunities that lay ahead for all of us in 2016.
What new habit(s) will you form in 2016?
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