Happy New Year! The year has turned again and here you are at the start of 2016.

Are you feeling the calling to turn a new leaf? To make resolutions? To stop doing this; to change that; to be more this; to do less of the other?

It’s natural to feel this at the start of a year.

However, most New Year’s resolutions tend to be based on a feeling that we’re not good enough, that we need to stop making bad choices and that if only we could be thinner, or drink less, or break the social media addiction then our life would be perfect and we would be happy.

Forget resolutions, instead make this pledge

Phew, that’s a  lot of pressure to put on ourselves. Which is probably why  so many New Year’s Resolutions don’t outlast the stash of Christmas chocolate 😉

When resolutions focus on what we’re lacking and what we think we’re doing wrong, they keep us in a state of negativity. And we forget about or overlook the good in our lives and in ourselves.

Instead, I invite you to make one single commitment this year. No complicated lists. No long “thou shalt nots…”

Just make one promise. One pledge, to transform your year, and your life:

To be grateful.

Focus on what’s good

You can help yourself to break this cycle of feeling deficient by actively deciding to focus on what’s good about your life and yourself and being grateful for it.

What are you grateful for? From little to large things – actively focus on the good in your life.

For me that’s: I am grateful for my health; I am grateful for my home; I am grateful for my husband who 100% supports me in all that I do; I am grateful for my yoga & meditation practice; I am grateful for the ability to teach yoga.

What do you take for granted? Be grateful for those things too.

I am grateful for my breath which enables me to come home to now and to calm my body and mind. I am grateful for my sensitive nervous system which enables me to pick up on the subtleties in my environment.

Ask also yourself, what brings you joy?  What lights you up? And do more of these things.

So for me, I love to meditate; I love to sit and stare at the clouds; I love to go for a walk followed by a cuppa and a nice piece of cake. I love sunrises and sunsets; I love a glass of red wine; I love to write; I love to take photographs.

And also look at your thoughts. Gratefully and joyfully choose to follow the thoughts which serve you – which help you to feel clear, light and joyful and release the thoughts which don’t serve you.

I choose to remind myself “My body is calm. My mind is calm. I am peaceful. I choose joy”.

What simple things uplift your heart and soul? Focus on these, each and every day. Invite them, or appreciation of them into your life.  Flowers, sunsets, old trees light me up!

Remove the blinkers which cloud your judgement when you worry about what you think you lack, and instead connect to the well-spring of joy which resides within each of us.

Make January a month of joy! Hint: do this and it will spread joy throughout your whole year as joy and gratitude become your habit 🙂

Your heart knows the answer

Joy is already there within your. Your heart is naturally full of joy, compassion and love.

Sit quietly, close your eyes and place your hands over the centre of your chest to connect with your heart centre.

Ask, with a genuine sense of open enquiry, what is good in my life?

Listen to what your heart tells you.

Write it down

If writing things down appeals to you, start a January Joy Gratitude Journal – doesn’t have to be complicated. Get a notebook or just a sheet of paper and every write at least one thing you’re grateful for.

Do it when you get up in the morning to start your day in a positive frame of mind.

Or do it at the end of the day to ensure you go to sleep with a sense of positivity rather than ruminating on the difficulties of the day.

Join in a joyful January and focus each week on a something different:

January Joy Gratitude Journal: Today I am grateful for…

Week 1 – things in your life you’re grateful for

Week 2 – things in your environment and the world you’re grateful for

Week 3 – things about other people in your life you’re grateful for

Week 4 – things about yourself you’re grateful for

Your state of mind comes down to a choice you can make.

You can focus on what you think is negative or you can consciously decide to recognize the good in ourselves, yourself and the environment in which you live.

Be grateful, and choose joy.  Count your blessings, not your woes.

I’ll be doing this! Each day during January I will post on my Facebook page what I’m grateful for – come on over and post pics or words which show what you’re grateful for each day.

Have a joyful January!

Choose gratitude and joy this January
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