As we roll into the New Year I can’t help but reflect on everything that happened this year. Although there were moments of extreme stress, it’s the happy moments that stand out in my mind. The smiling faces in my home, the family vacations, lazy summer days spent swimming, the amazing gains made by the kids, and the quiet evenings with my husband. Overall, this was a great year.
Although watching my kids grow is bittersweet at times, I am looking forward to another year of new possibilities.
I’m a goal-setter by nature, so in the past I have used this time between Christmas and New Year’s Day to set specific goals for the upcoming year. While it’s difficult for me to completely walk away from goal setting (I would to drink more water, rekindle my relationship with my elliptical, and maybe, just maybe, find a literary agent), I’m trying a new tactic this year.
Instead of focusing on what I can do to better myself, I am committed to focusing on happiness. The goals will always lurk somewhere in the back of my mind, and some days they will even push their way to the front, but this year I want to stop wanting and continue enjoying.
Instead of tacking a goal list or a picture of the perfect beach body (whatever that is) on my fridge this year, I intend to list the things that make me happy.
When I wake up in the morning, I want the first thing that I see to be something that puts a smile on my face and brightens my mood. A reminder to work out will only cause me to stress out about whether or not I can fit it in before preschool drop-off or during quiet time or at all. But a list of happy things? That seems like a great way to start the day.
The best part is that I can add to it every single day.
The Happy List
My daughter & son
Playing at the park
Walking on the beach
Sunny days spent outside
Rainy days spent snuggled up with the kids
A fire on a chilly night
Quiet dinners at home
Watching the kids play with their cousins
Walking to our favorite coffee shop to share fruit salad as a family
New episodes of House
Good music, a glass of wine, and cooking side by side with my husband
Vacations on the Connecticut Shore
Obsessive texting with a blogging buddy who quickly became a very good friend
A really good cup of coffee
Picnics in the backyard
Picnics on the living room floor when it rains
Sherpa lined hoodies from JCrew (I just can’t get enough)
Visits with Mom
Dark chocolate M&M’s
The list goes on…
Won’t you join me in making a Happy List of your own?
Katie is a Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist/Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She has a five year old daughter, three year old son, and a rock and roll husband who makes her life complete. Katie has a parenting advice blog, Practical Parenting, and can also be found on Twitter.