We hear how gratitude is such an important part of leading a happy fulfilled life and manifesting what we want. Many of us practice this ritual regularly, including me.

Does it work?

Yes it does! It’s amazing how appreciation keeps us happy, looking at the good and maintaining an up state. The thing is it’s easy to find things to be grateful for when things are going okay and not so easy when the going gets tough.

My dear dad fell and broke his wrist this week. Yes, just before Christmas.

Just the other day he said to me in a happy voice “I’ve hardly been to hospital this year”, he was genuinely pleased about it, pretty much saying that it had been a good year.

This morning nursing his arm in plaster, he looked at me and said “I’ll be glad when this year has finished”, forgetting all the lovely experiences he has had this year.

Now this isn’t just my dad bless him, most of us do this, including me. When the going gets tough it can feel like nothing can go right and the world is against you.

I want you to know this is okay and we all go through this from time to time. What’s important here is to have awareness around this and to know how to pull yourself out, because if you stay in that space you can create even more challenges to deal with.

This morning I reminded my dad of the good in his year, his mood started to change and off he went on his scooter to start his day.

You see, energy flows where focus goes and when you are focusing on the not so great, you will create more of that. So its important to change your focus and this can be quite easy to do for someone else, but can be quite tricky to do for yourself.

My Christmas gift to you this year is to learn how to change your focus so you can appreciate what you have and what you have experienced and make way for the year ahead.

End of year and Christmastime is a wonderful time to reflect on your experiences of the year and look at those experiences in a positive way to help you start the year with a clean fresh sheet and put your best foot forward for 2018 and beyond.

Remind yourself of what you did well
You may have heard about the sandwich feedback model and many of us use this to give feedback to other people. Yet, how many people use this model to give feedback to themselves? In my experience as a coach, most people give themselves a beating up when they don’t do something well, yet forget to acknowledge what they did do well and then wonder why they sometimes find it difficult to feel motivated. Treat yourself as you would someone you love. Look for your achievements and the things you did well and the fact you just showed up and gave things a go. Acknowledge yourself for this. When you acknowledge yourself and reward yourself then you respond just as that person you love would, you feel accepted and this gives you the desire and motivation to do even more next year.

Look for the lessons and growth
This is a big one I have learned even more this year. When things don’t work out the way you want them to or you don’t achieve the outcome you want, move your focus from the outcome to focus on the lessons and growth instead and be grateful for that. The lessons are a huge part in you becoming who you need to be to have the outcomes you want. And when you look for the lessons and growth, it moves your focus from what you lost or what you couldn’t get to what you gained instead and the appreciation for that.

See the whole
The achievements, the mistakes, the lessons and the challenges are all parts of the greater whole. They are all part of you becoming the person you need to be to create the life you want or the outcomes you want. What I have learned even more this year and I want to share with you is, the greater your vision or the outcome you want then the greater the challenges you often can meet. If you are willing to take those challenges and look for the learning, then you can improve on the year gone by and achieve even greater things next year. Its all part of your journey and so be grateful for each part. Now look at your achievements and lessons learned and decide how you will use those experiences to be an even greater version of you next year.

If you know me well, you know I walk my talk and I will be going through this ritual myself over the next couple of weeks. I normally take a journal down to the beach and give myself the feedback I need to make my next chapter even more extraordinary. I invite you to do the same. Please share your experiences with me, I would love to hear them.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas with loved ones and the most extraordinary New Year!

With my love to you xx