Mind the Gratitude Gap

On arrival at the Christmas break we usually slump into a heap to relax and enjoy time off with family and friends, but before we come back in January we reflect on the year and begin looking forward.

It can be easy to focus on the negative and become disheartened in the long dark days of January, falling between the gap of expectations and actual achievements. So why not turbo charge your attitude and do some easy exercises to help you return with a positive attitude that will see you fly through the rest of the winter?

At the Wired Lab we keep a monthly log of achievements, personal as well as business. In fact, we break it down even further and at the Monday Morning Meeting each team member notes a positive for them from the week before.

It helps us all mark achievements and appreciate targets and goals that other members of the team have met. These aren’t always obvious when you’re working on different projects, so it’s morale building for the team when we can celebrate together.

Shortly ahead of the Christmas break Ash compiles a video of monthly achievements by individuals and the business collectively. It reminds us that we have always achieved so much more than we think and it’s an ideal time to unveil plans for the year ahead while everyone is feeling motivated.

The Bessant household sets an evening aside between Christmas and the new year to review our lists. When I first started doing this a few years ago it was met with resistance but it’s now an anticipated part of the festive break, with people going off with sheets of paper a few days in advance to prepare.

However much you can think of your own positives for the past year, that is doubled when discussed with the rest of your family and exciting plans are made, together, for the year ahead.

Some of us tend to measure by what we haven’t managed to complete and focus on setbacks and disappointments, but being grateful is better for our mental health — a daily gratitude count really helps us see that we are progressing and feel motivated.

If you struggle at this a basic free app is WinStreak, which allows you to record daily wins and plan for the next day. Happyfeed (only on iOS) and Gratitude both prompt you to make daily submissions and allow you to add photos.