Hello! It is so good to be with you in 2021. Just briefly, I want to thank you for partnering with me this past year. While some have every reason to say “good riddance” to 2020, I want you to know that it has been my humble honor and pleasure to journey with you into your life. You are truly special to me. I can’t wait to pick up where you and I left off.
According to the words of Paul to the Romans, Paul challenges every one of us to renew our mind. Also, Socrates tells us than an unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates is a little blunt, but the advice is clear…we must take stock of our lives and not just focus on “losing 20 pounds by summer” type of resolutions, but rather those changes that shift the course of our lives.
So, I’d like to encourage you to pause for a moment and consider asking yourself these three questions:
1) What have I received from?
2) What have I given to?
3) What troubles or difficulties have I caused?
The goal most of us have every new year is to change something about ourselves. Honestly, I not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions because the vast majority of people (including me) quit pursing their resolution by the end of February. That’s due, in part, to making unrealistic resolutions (come ‘on…some of you—including me—wanted to lose weight until the first dessert tray passed by).
In contrast, these three questions I encourage you to consider instead challenge you to cultivate a life-changing attitude of gratitude. What are you grateful to have received from someone? What did you do to show gratitude to others? And, how have you been troublesome or difficult to others? As important as losing weight might be as goal for you, cultivating an attitude of gratitude positively affects others even while changing you for the positive.
 Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection by Gregg Krech