Something Better Than a Resolution

Some New Year's Eves come along and I make a resolution. Sometimes I follow through, and other times I forget what I resolved to do by February. It's never been an important time of renewal for me. I find that September is that time for me; the new school year, Rosh Hashanah ( the Jewish new year) and Yom Kippur (the Jewish day of atonement) prompt me to look within and refocus my resolve to attain my goals or make changes in my life.  Actually, I try to do it on a regular basis.  My husband dared to call me a perfectionist the other day. I didn't take it as a compliment. I don't think I strive for perfection, I am just in a constant state of reevaluating how I do things so that I can be a better person; a better partner, a better mother, a better community leader. So, I guess I make resolutions all of the time and readjust them as I need to, which is why I didn't make any New Year's resolutions this year. Well, not really, but I did resolve to do one thing: Remember the good things that happens this year by using a Jar of Good Things.

If you troll Pinterest as I do (love that site), then this idea is not new to you. I have seen it in the past, or versions of it, but have never participated. But this year, I thought it would be fun to try.  So I went ahead and  created my Jar of Good Things.

The premise is to remember all of the good things you experienced by writing them down on a piece of paper and adding them to the jar.  Hopefully, at the end of the year, I will sit down with my family, open the jar, and reminisce!  "Good Things" could mean different "things" to different families, so there are no real guidelines as to what can be added to the jar.  If something happens at the dinner table that has you all belly laughing, write it down and add it to the jar.  If your youngest gets a great grade or performs beautifully at the chorus concert, write it down.  If friends come over for a game night, write it down.  There are so many small moments that we experience and quickly forget.  How nice would it be to remember the small moments that made us belly laugh, beam with pride, or just smile to ourselves quietly?  That's where the jar comes in!  And you don't have to limit it to hand-written notes, you can add in photos, ticket stubs, or anything else that will serve as a reminder that a good thing that happened you or a member of your family.

Now that I had the Jar of Good Things ready for my family to use, I thought I would share the idea with the friends with whom I'd be ringing in the New Year, so I made a Jar of Good Things for each of them.

To make the jar, I used Ball mason jars that I had left over from my summer pickle activity and created a label for the front and a label for the top.  Then, I took the liberty of adding the first "good thing" to each of their jars.  The note read, "Ringing in the New Year at the Segal's house!" I thought it would be a good start to the New Year and the Jar of Good Things.

When my teenage son saw the jar, he had his doubts.  He said, "Yeah, we'll do this for two weeks and then forget about it."  Really?  I hope not.  So I think I will keep it on my kitchen table and make it a part of our dinner conversation.  I usually ask my kids if something funny happened at school that day.  It tends to be a good conversation starter, even if nothing funny happened.  So in my effort to constantly reevaluate and better my parenting skills (which, in this case, also includes proving my doubting child wrong), I resolve to add "good things" to my Jar of Good Things throughout the entire year and not forget by February.  Oops, I think I just made a New Year's resolution.  Oh well!

Happy New Year everyone!

For more from Beth, head over to Goodness Gracious Living!

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Jaimie Cura January 03, 2014 at 11:47 AM
Hi Beth! Author Elizabeth Gilbert is always sharing pictures of her readers' happiness jars, as she calls them! I see more and more people making these! Blessings jars, happiness jars, good news jars - lots of different names with a common goal!
Beth Rosen January 03, 2014 at 11:50 AM
This is my first jar, but I have done the gratitude journals that Oprah used to talk about back in the day. However you do it, focusing on the good things can only bring you happiness. Thanks for the comment!
Jaimie Cura January 03, 2014 at 11:53 AM
It's a great idea to keep it in a prominent place! I haven't done a jar yet either, but I did type a gratitude post in my phone, lol. Virtual happiness jar? I'm going to find a real one! :)


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