At the end of every week, we sat down together with two separate sticky notes and each wrote one good thing that happened. It might've been more than one thing—sometimes I would write five or six from that week! Then, we'd fold them and put them in a box. I always made sure to write "Week 1," "Week 2," et cetera, so we could easily distinguish the timeline.
At the end of the year, we were able to go back and read (at least) 104 great things that happened in 2017!
Here are some of my favorites.
Week 16: "It was a perfect, warm weekend celebrating Dad's birthday."
Week 20: "Had our annual camping trip in the Leelanau Peninsula and WE GOT ENGAGED!!!"
Week 25: "Had an amazing girls weekend with mom and grandma in Suttons Bay."
Week 35: "Had an amazing Labor Day weekend with family in Kentucky. Game of Thrones, wine tasting and hiking"
Week 38: "SALSA WEEKEND! Made 38 gallons at Gma Pats with friends!
So much happens in 365 days. We tend to forget all the little—and sometimes big—things that happen to us.
My fiancé and I would often think about the week and say, "What even happened this week? I can't even remember what we did!" If we couldn't remember a seven-day time span, we're in real trouble if we try to remember an entire year.
Taking five minutes out of our Sunday evening to reflect on the good things that happened really changed our overall mindset. It made us way more appreciative of the year we had and how great it really was. Don't get me wrong: There were some weeks that were horrible. (I mean HORRIBLE.) But this forced us to sit back and say, "OK. This terrible situation happened, but we have to find some good that came out of it."
Not only does the practice force you to think about all the good instead of the bad, it's also fun to go back and read all of them! If you're doing this with a significant other or multiple family members, it's so cool to hear the great things that happened to them—things you may not have realized positively affected them.
We all know the days and years seem to fly by. This tool really does help you recognize the great year you lived—a year you may have thought was super boring and uneventful. Whether you won big bucks at the casino or had a consistent week of healthy eating, they're all great things that should be recognized. No matter how big or small, they all add up to an overwhelmingly great year!
Written by Megan Ross, audience development and accounting coordinator for Serendipity Media and West Michigan Woman magazine.