Is it too late to have a word of the year? It’s not, right?

Having a word for the year is something I’ve seen my wife and my friends have. It’s not something I’ve honestly given a lot to. Seemed a little hokey to me to be honest. At least for a while.

I’ve softened on that quite a bit and now see the value in having a word for the year. Something to focus on. Almost like it’s the lens that you view all of the events of the year through.

My word? Gratitude.

Practically, what does this look like?

It means on my bad days, taking the time to look around and realize how much I do have to be thankful for. Not taking small little moments for granted.

For example, reading a book in silence for 30 straight minutes. I can do that again now that our new baby is on somewhat of a sleep routine. I love being able to have that quiet time away from the TV to just read. In silence. It’s a little thing but so so big for an introvert like myself.

In the midst of my child throwing a temper tantrum (and possibly throwing physical objects during said tantrum), being thankful to have that child in my life to begin with. And her surprise little brother.

It looks like not focusing on everything going wrong in the world. Focusing on what I’m excited about. What I’m looking forward to. The little things that I’m thankful for.

Things as little as Campbell saying “I love you daddy” to me totally unprompted. An email campaign at work that goes through without a single snag or technical hiccup. A quiet dinner with my wife at a nice restaurant just talking about life outside of kids.

Or even this moment I have now, listening to jazz and writing a blog.

Other Tools For Gratitude

I have started using a couple of tools to further reinforce this word of the year. My wife bought me a Panda Planner to use in 2019. Every day, before you write out your to-do list, you write out what you’re thankful for from the previous day and what you’re looking forward to that day. It starts your mind off with positivity before being potentially bogged down with your tasks.

I’ve also begun trying to use my journal for things to be excited about. In the past, it’s where I blew off steam and just vented in writing…and really not for much anything else. I think that’s still a healthy use for it but could also be a place to focus more on things to celebrate rather than just a place for lament.

I’m focused on gratitude in 2019. What about yourself. Do you have a word for the year?