Acknowledge the good things

El Capitan

With the turn of the New Year, you may have made some resolutions. It’s hard to avoid really. Without consciously doing it, I have resolved to –

  • be consistent with my training,
  • take my lunch to work
  • have a clear out at home
  • be proactive about getting things done

If you’re reading this, you are probably pretty lucky. An internet connection or a smartphone probably means you have shelter, clean water and some mod cons. If you’re able to make a conscious decision to focus on your health or even just have your health – that’s a good thing that you’re lucky to have.

Even with these things, it’s easy to get down about your life. About what we don’t have and about what we don’t do. In the age of social media, it’s so easy to see what everyone else is up to and then compare ourselves. The thing is; you probably do lots of epic stuff. Maybe not epic, epic; (we can’t all be climbing El Capitan. Or maybe we can!) but whatever your epic is. We just miss it by not paying attention or moving quickly to the next thing.

So what I’m consciously going to do this year is acknowledge the good things.

Sometimes it can be the small things, we completely miss –

  • Coffee on a Saturday morning
  • Escaping the rain and finding a pub with a roaring fire
  • Finding some money you did not realise you had
  • A walk in the park
  • That smell just before or just after it rains
  • Catching a sunset (even a sunrise)
  • A dog with its head out of the car window
  • Laughing uncontrollably like you may never stop
  • Finding desert in the back of the fridge
  • Bumping into a friend on the street
  • An afternoon nap
  • Fresh bed sheets
  • Those cold clear days when the air catches your breath
  • A smile from a stranger
  • Leaving work early (and its light)
  • Dinner with friends
  • Spontaneously watching one of your favourite films
  • Having time to think
  • A powder day on your snowboard
  • A powder day on your snowboard with friends
  • That awesome workout where you’re shattered but also invigorated
  • When your dog is excited to see you
  • When Tesco has frozen avocados
  • Calling your mum
  • An impromptu date

You possibly have a list of these yourself if you think about it. Just writing that list (which I highly recommend) made me feel great and particularly positive. But these things don’t get acknowledged. We think of them as little throwaway things that aren’t important and that really as adults we shouldn’t concern ourselves with frivolous things.

Why do you think so many people ride bikes? It’s because it was their favourite thing to do as a child. Cycling became popular and it’s now acceptable to dress up and go for a ride with your pals. It was all I ever did as a child for some summers. Now I get still get to do and can also legally get an alcoholic drink at the end (not that I illegally used to purchase or drink underage). You know what – it’s wicked, and we should recognise it.

I’m a fairly calm and steady person. Not many ups, not many downs. In writing this post, it’s made me think about times when I should have been more enthusiastic.

What I Love

For many years, I’ve gone snowboarding with friends. We are all pretty proficient and can really shift. There have been times when we have finished an epic run (be it long, fast, powder, groomed or just quiet) and my friend (who f*ckin’ loves snowboarding) has wholeheartedly expressed how much he enjoyed it, how epic it was and how much it meant to be riding it with friends. For some reason, thinking back now, I will have just responded: “Yeah, it was cool”. I should have expressed what I’m thinking about it right now. That it was amazing and this is quite possibly my favourite thing to do ever, whilst giving him a high five.

Good times

When you see or do something that makes you happy or smile, however big or small, make a note of it, out loud or just mentally. Remind your friend of that thing you did together and how important it was to you. When you come across that photo from a few years ago of that night or day out, ping it out on a group message to friends.

Although I can make plenty of New Year resolutions, stating times and methods. What I intend to do this year is to be in the moment and acknowledge the good things in my life.  The stress and other stuff can be put on hold for a while.

It doesn’t need to be January 1st to make a change. Yes, it’s a good time to do it, but you can make a start or a change on the other 364 days as well.

What small things make you smile? Let me know in the comments below.

Here a little video about appreciation, observation and some good times –

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