Last week I wrote about how learning to appreciate the little things in life is one of the best ways to avoid feeling like a failure most of the time (can’t take credit for the idea  – I got it from Chris Hadfield). I talked about the power of changing your attitude (I method I had to apply shortly thereafter) and loss aversion and all that good stuff. But at the heart of it was the art of appreciating the small stuff.

These past couple of weeks I’ve been trying hard to make a point of celebrating all of the little things that make me happy. I heard about the “happiness jar” idea a couple of years ago but only just decided to give it a go this year. To me it seems like a good way to focus in on those small happy moments and should make for some heart-warming reading when the year is over.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a happiness jar, the idea is simple: Throughout the year write down the good things that happen. Big things, small things; it doesn’t matter. Write them down and keep them all in a jar or container. Then at the end of the year you take them all out, read them, and remember what an awesome year you had! Even if your year didn’t turn out as great as you planned, at least you’ll be focusing on the happy memories instead of the bad, right?

Sara Hamil, They Call it Gumption, happiness jar, positive thinking, projects, 2014, new years resolutions
The best part about my “jar” is that it’s actually an old hot chocolate container, which means my memories will smell DELICIOUS.

I’ve been keeping my jar for the last couple of weeks. I decided to leave it right out on the counter where I’ll always see it. This way whenever my eyes land on it it naturally gets me to reflect on my day. Had anything good happened? What were the highlights? Anything that makes me smile gets jotted down and tossed in. It’s amazing what a difference even spending a few moments a day focusing on the positive things – no matter how small – can make on your mood.

Need something to add to your jar today? Here, I hope this makes you smile:

What about you? Are you keeping a Happiness Jar (or whatever you want to call it) in 2014? Have you done it before? What other this do you do to take stock of the little happy moments? Tell me about it in the comments!