Like many, I am looking forward to an amazing 2022. 2021 wasn’t bad (certainly better than 2020 for many, including myself), but it wasn’t the “return to normal” a lot of people expected.
As we get ready to ring in the New Year, many of us have made New Year’s resolutions. Often these are things we want to do differently than in the Old Year, and for good reasons!
But we shouldn’t let another “year of COVID” or reflecting on the things we should have done better stop us from reflecting on the good things that happened in the Old Year.
I argue that for each New Year’s resolution we make, we should make an Old Year’s gratitude.
No joke, in thinking about something to write this month, I came up with this concept on the spot. I’ve done “Old Years gratitudes” myself, and I suspect many others have as well, but never given them a name. So, here you go, world!
Even if you think 2021 was a crummy year, you can still be grateful for it. What good things happened to you this year? You’re still alive, aren’t you? Were any of the “bad” things possibly blessings in disguise?
Here are a few of my Old Year’s gratitudes:
- Leaving a job that was eating away at me on the inside
- Going all-in on my business
- Eliminating my debt (a car payment)
- Taking some amazing trips with family and friends
- Surviving the Texas Snowmageddon in February
- Growing my network with some amazing people
- Carving out time to spend developing myself and my skills
- Cutting out most gluten (and feeling so much better as a result)
- Being able to spend lots of time with my nuclear family
- Deepening relationships with my closest friends
- Being able to see my grandmother before she passed away (in a memory care facility locked down due to COVID)
- Being there for those who needed a listening ear and encouragement
- Memorizing more Bible verses
- Learning the basics of Biblical Hebrew
- Serving 20 clients
- Reading 22 books
- Waking up 365 days
- Eating hundreds of delicious, nutritious meals
- Traveling over a thousand miles
- Doing several thousand push-ups
Even the things that seem small and insignificant can have the biggest impacts on our lives and others’. It’s not always about the big accomplishments and the big events. Often, it’s the little, everyday things that we look back and are grateful for.
Before we embrace “out with the old, in with the new”, let’s pause to reflect on the Old Year. Let’s appreciate it for what it is. Let’s be grateful for the good things that it brought.
After all, we rang in the Old Year with the same enthusiasm as we’re ringing in this New Year. And chances are, one year down the road, we’ll be ready to forget all about 2022 and embrace 2023. The cycle repeats.
Don’t just throw out the Old Year. Spend some time with it and learn some wisdom from it.
May we all reflect so we can live a wiser, more prosperous, and more fulfilling New Year.