This time last year I committed to two things. To my surprise, both turned out to be far more sustainable options than my usual last minute random NYE resolutions.

The first of these commitments was to choose the word active to be my compass for 2017, to help me to focus on completing projects, starting new ones, trying new things and making the most of opportunities.

The second was to start a happiness jar. I hoped this would encourage me to be more present in my life and to pay attention even when things got busy or difficult.

I aimed to think of one thing each week that had made me smile, write it down on a post-it note and then pop it in the jar. All year.

 When I opened my jar of happies on New Years Eve I found 54 post-its – clearly a longer than average year!

Friends and I took turns to read them aloud as midnight approached. Each note reminded us of what sorts of things make me smile, many of them to do with my garden, the dogs and the people I love. They brought the year back into focus, although it was rather reminiscent of listening to a story I know, but have half forgotten. So many  ‘ah yes’ moments, laughter and even a little sadness.

2017 was certainly a busy, sometimes overly active year and, whilst blogging (and writing in general) took a bit of a hit as a result, many things were achieved personally, professionally and creatively.

Selecting a word for the year and gradually filling my little jar of happiness made me feel positive about the year as it unfolded, and I’ll be taking both ideas forward into the years ahead.

My jar has been emptied and awaits its first post-it for the year.

For a multitude of reasons, I’ll be focusing on resilience as my word for 2018.

I could have chosen fortitude or exercise or creativity or fun – they all popped into my head as possibilities last night. But resilience carries with it the notion of strength that could provide me with the framework for everything else this year. It encapsulates a level of both mental and physical robustness, the ability to bounce back, to cope with change, plan for the future and enjoy the present.

And that’s what I need this year: more bounce, more plans, and a whole lot of enjoyment!

How about you?

Whatever you choose, I wish you the very best of years.

5 thoughts on “A little jar of happies

  1. I love the idea of a Happiness Jar! It sounds like a gentle, non-demanding way to practice gratitude (and remember those small, amazing things that get us through the year). My word this year is ‘Balance’. It’s still percolating around in my brain but I feel a deep connection to it 🙂

    • nikmacd on January 1, 2018 at 11:33 pm said:

      Absolutely, Eva – and I found that each time I added a happy thing to the jar it made me smile: a little affirmation of things that matter to me each week. Best of luck with your word for 2018 – feeling that connection to it will make all the difference.

  2. I’d really like to know how you focused on your word ‘active’. Did you remind yourself every morning or when you had a task ahead? Or neither, of course. I guess my word last year was ‘paint’. This year it needs to be ‘write’. But somehow your words seem more encompassing. I think I could benefit from learning from you K

    • nikmacd on January 1, 2018 at 11:37 pm said:

      It really just lurked there in the back of my mind, Karen – particularly when I was inactive! A key aspect was that I chose a word with flexible outcomes, always a help in terms of outcomes 🙂

  3. Hmmmm…. I see…. Perhaps the word I need is ‘measured’ – not in the how long is a piece of string, but ‘carefully considered and restrained’. Or perhaps ‘mindful’. Thanks Nik 🙂

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