Posted by: jude49 | January 17, 2014

Instead of New Year Resolutions, Try the Good Year Box

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I have been wanting to write a New Year’s post worthy of reading, but I couldn’t find the “right” thing..until I found what I consider a thoughtful suggestion in Rick Hanson’s book, Hardwiring Happiness, an inspiring and accessible read.

Hanson writes, “Before going to sleep, you could take in good feelings about at least one thing from the day.  One person told me about doing this for a whole year:”  On New Year’s Eve, I  started a Good Year box.  Each day I put a note inside about something good that happened.  I will read them all on New Year’s Eve.  Now when a little something good happens in my day, I feel it instead of busily glossing over it.”  (p. 95)

I have several reasons why I love this idea.

  1. The focus is on positivity, gratitude, thankfulness.
  2. The box is a constant reminder that, yes, good is present in the world along with the bad.
  3.  Focusing on the good helps us develop and sustain a positive attitude towards life.
  4. Focusing on the good helps us realize how much good we already have in our lives.
  5. Focusing on the good everyday creates a positive pattern.

I doubt that there is a person alive who desires to be miserable. Recent discoveries in neuroscience have proven that we can change the structure of the brain at any time, at any age.  It is what we choose to reinforce that will make much of the difference. When we consistently choose to privilege the good over the bad, the neurons start to fire in ways that lead to positive change and growth.  The negative patterns, once dominant, fade, and healthier patterns take hold.  Soon, “being” positive becomes an automatic way of life!

I encourage you to start your own Good Year Box and identify the positive changes you see in yourself.  I bet that others will see them, too!  Positivity has a wonderful ripple effect!

To your health,



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