New Year’s Resolutions and the Gratitude Box

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gratitude box

It’s that time of year… New Year’s Resolutions. Have you made any yet? Or have you resolved not to because that’s the only one you’re likely to keep?

I’ve noticed several articles online about why people’s New Year’s resolutions so often abort, and one of the reasons is that the resolutions are too general.

As with all goal-setting, small and measurable helps. Setting an amorphous target sets one up for failure. ‘To get fit’, ‘to eat healthily’, and ‘be more grateful’ are noble ideals, but what exactly do they mean? How will you know you’ve progressed, or reached your goal?

But if you resolve ‘to eat a piece of fresh fruit with breakfast’ or ‘to walk for half an hour three times a week’ you’ll be rewarded often and easily each time you accomplish your task.

One of my resolutions this year is to instil regular gratitude practices to enhance my well-being and my relationships. Even small gratitude exercises, routines or habits have been shown to have a positive effect on mood, and they’re so easy to do.

Here’s one of them – it’s been making the rounds on Facebook as a jar, but I’ve used a box. It’s a lovely idea for a shared gratitude practice.

The idea is to post gratitude notes into the container at random throughout the year, and on New Year’s Eve open the box and read them. What a delightful way of gathering and sharing memories. It’s a practice the whole family can do to increase awareness of the good things in life.

My gratitude box took shape late yesterday evening. I found an old but pretty cardboard box and cut a slot in the top with a craft knife. I stuck on a label and an invitation to others to post their own gratitude notes. It will be fun to read notes from visitors as well as our own!

I taped a cute notepad on top of the box, and tied on a silly pen so there is note-making material right there at any moment!

This one will be fun to do, and New Year’s Eve 2013 will take on a whole new retrospective as we open our box and scatter the notes across the table for sharing and remembering.


Carole Fogarty

Carole Fogarty runs retreats and you can read her blog at:

2 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions and the Gratitude Box

  • January 4, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I am grateful too for the gratitude box also. A great idea

  • January 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks Merridy for another inspiring article – beautifully written and a pleasure to read as always. I am at this moment scouring my abode for a suitable box. Yours looks lovely and I’ll copy its design with unmitigated glee.


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