We all start the new year with grand plans. We’re going to get in shape. We’re going to spend more time with the family. We’re going to finally quit <insert your personal vice here>. Some of us will even succeed!
But occasionally our best laid plans can bump into a harsh reality. We just don’t have the time, the ability or the will to meet our resolutions in spite of our very best intentions.
So I’m going to recommend you add a new resolution to the mix, one that’s easy to keep. It’s something you can do every single day and it can do you a world of good. Best of all, it only takes 60 or so seconds. It’s a simple prayer of thanks to the Divine and it starts like this:
“I give thanks for the abundance of good in my life.
I am thankful for….”
You take it from there. You can show gratitude for the beautiful sunlit morning. Or your beautiful family. You can be thankful for your wonderful friends. Your health. The roof over your head. Your dog or cat. Anyone and everyone you now love—or have ever loved.
You can partake in this satisfying pursuit just about anywhere. Do it while you’re still in bed as soon as the alarm clock goes off. Over your first cup of hot coffee or tea. Or during your morning commute or first minutes at work.
The benefits of giving daily thanks and praise are great.
It’s amazing how much good can come from such a small amount of effort. When you begin giving thanks each morning, you’ll see the benefits almost immediately. Not only do you feel better about yourself, you’re helping to enhance your personal spiritual growth. You find yourself becoming an active participant with a powerful force that is already active in your life.
You’ll also open up your world to additional blessings. As the great sage John Templeton once said “the more we are grateful for what we have, the more will be given to us.” Because, as with love, the best way to receive a blessing is to give it. And with this simple prayer, we invite all types of good things to happen to us. Again from the writings of Templeton:
Gratitude can be a powerful magnet that attracts increasing blessings to us—love, joy, opportunity, health, friends, material good…as we appreciate every blessing, life will open up to us in new and wondrous ways.
I wish you the best, and most wondrous, of new years.
This post previously appeared on Patheos, January 4, 2012.