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The end of another year. This is often the time when we begin thinking of the New Year and we begin the arduous task of creating “New Year’s resolutions. Asking ourselves what we want to have different moving forward can be an exercise in good mental health. However, beating ourselves up for what we did not accomplish in the past can keep us stuck.

I think December 31st should be a time of reflection and gratitude. Identify those things that have occurred for which you are truly thankful. Sit with that thought and acknowledge your successes. Closing the current year from a position of gratitude can be the springboard for accomplishing goals for the next. I am a firm believer that if we adopt an attitude of gratitude it is truly difficult to possess any negative emotions. Being full of gratitude fills our internal vessel and leaves no room for emotions that can stunt our progress. Dwelling on past hurts, real or imagined, can be crippling. Instead, we can challenge ourselves to find something for which to be grateful.

A few years ago I was a contributing author to a book entitled 365 Days of Gratitude. In there, I wrote how grateful I was for family and friends (although for those I hold close, there is no distinction). Today, as I reflect on my own gratitude, I gravitate to the same: family, some who share a blood line and many who do not. I find that I am also grateful for my work family – those who share my belief in helping others help themselves and the many support staff at Owens & Associates that make the work possible.

As we close 2016, won’t you take a few moments to sit in gratitude?