Happiness Jar
January 5, 2017

Happy New Year! On Tuesday morning, as teachers were wondering how the break flew by so quickly, parents were hardly slowing down in the carpool circle before handing off their children with a kiss and a wave. I jest, of course – but the sentiment was there. Over two weeks of “at home” time was quite enough, thank you.

Each blog that I have posted for the New Year has focused on New Year’s Resolutions - mostly, on how to make achievable goals (hint: make them small). This year, in our family, we did not make resolutions. Instead of repeatedly setting ourselves up for some success, but mostly failure, our family is following advice I recently stumbled across online. We are implementing a “Happiness Jar.” If you google this, you will find many variations and suggestions. The idea is to add one happy thought, moment, etc. per day and at the end of the year, you will have 365 happy memories to read through and cherish. Okay, hold up. EVERY DAY? I have a hard time getting my children to brush their teeth every morning, let alone write down something that made them happy every day. We are making the goal more attainable for our family – we will add one happy moment per week. In December, each of us will have over 50 happy moments to remember. An indirect result of this exercise will also be to open our eyes to the positive moments, the silver lining, if you will – rather than focusing on the negative. Perhaps in late spring, I’ll post an update on how our weekly jar entries are going! Let’s hope I have something to update!

As you and your family make resolutions, I just want to remind you to keep them small and reachable. A more successful variation of “I will keep my bedroom clean” could be, “I will keep all my stuffed animals in my bed (rather than the floor)”. Just like for adults, a resolution of, “I will keep the house clean” is much less realistic than, “I will never leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight” or something to that effect. Good luck with your resolutions, and here’s to a wonderful year!

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