One habit I was hoping to develop in 2018 is practicing gratitude. I know that practicing gratitude daily is an important step in achieving happiness in our lives. And it seems really easy, right? Just take a moment to be grateful for the blessings in your life, every day. The thing is, it is not that easy. At least not after a while. Because it begins to feel repetitive, and it begins to feel inauthentic.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my life, my husband, my son, our home, my parents, my job, etc. And I do recognize this, every day. But when each day you are grateful for the same things, you can begin to feel stagnant.
A few weeks ago I saw this quote, and something clicked.
That was it. Sometimes it is easy to take our lives and our blessings for granted, because we already have them. So I began to think about the Amy of ten years ago. Twenty-seven-year-old Amy. What did she wish for? What did she pray for? What did she want to change about her life?
Twenty-seven-year-old Amy wanted to meet her soulmate. She wanted to start a family. She wanted to get out of the classroom. She wanted to work from home. She wanted stability.
And when I began to think about life in this way, my experience of practicing gratitude has shifted drastically.
Putting It Into Practice
So, when I am exhausted because my 2 ½ year old son still doesn’t sleep through the night, I think back to when my husband and I were trying so hard to get pregnant. When I feel overwhelmed by my job, I think back to those final days in the classroom, when I just wanted to work from home. And when I don’t feel like unloading the dishwasher, again, I think back to those days when my husband and I would visit the model houses, praying that we could have a house like this.
And now, as I still work toward new goals, and pray for new changes, I know that I will be able to look back one day, and think about these times, these hopes, and these goals.
Give it a try. Imagine yourself five or ten years ago. What did you hope and pray for? What have you since accomplished? It may be just what you need to create a more effective way to practice gratitude.