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Beyond Resolutions: Embracing Gratitude in 2024

New years are often a time of resolutions, changes, promises of new habits, and the envisioning of futures we want. We set goals. We make schedules and vision boards. We purchase gym memberships and meal-prep Tupperware. And we set out to create a new future, fueled by the fresh energy and gusto around us.

I’m not going to harp on the pitfalls of New Year’s resolutions, or the importance of tiny habits when it comes to sustainable change.

In fact, this year, I’m not going to talk about change at all.

At this new beginning, in this fertile season, what I most interested in is gratitude and presence with what is.

For me personally, 2023 brought a lot of soul-searching. Through it, I’ve come to see how much I live for status and accolades, to be liked, and to please. I’ve seen how often I attribute freedom and joy to things and accomplishments. Despite knowing these aren’t the makings of true happiness, if I’m honest, I often choose, plan, and act from a need to fix something.

Which usually does not make me - or anyone - very happy at all.

Which is why this year, rather than some vision of a better me I’d like to be on December 31, 2024, my guiding light is God. This year, I’m making the conscious choice to focus on gratitude and to rest in faith that what’s so in my life right now is what supposed to be.

That doesn’t mean I’m not making new promises. It means that those promises arise from celebration, fueled by a desire to taste more of the goodness that already surrounds me.

Waking up early so I can enjoy time in prayer and devotion - time that lifts my mood and my spirit for every moment of the day that follows.

Training for a 10K because, crazy at it sounds, I LOVE training for races.

Eating well because it feels good, and because I’m blessed with the time and resources to do so.

Tackling my budget and my household debt because I hear God calling me to lean into HIS provision.

In this new year, I’m moving with a sense of surrender, grounded in a deep gratitude for the life I have, and eager to align my actions and choices with that gratitude. Which is a far cry from what many of us set out to do at New Years - to fix, change, or improve ourselves.

I’m not sure I can recall a New Year that felt so celebratory and uplifting. Typically, while there’s excitement at new possibilities, there’s also tremendous pressure. This year, I’m experiencing a light heart and deep joy at the life I get to create day by day, and in that, I’m enjoying the fruit of my resolutions now.

If you, like me, have tended to use New Year’s to fix your habits or your lifestyle, to be a “better” person, or create a ”better” life, I invite you to take a new approach in 2024.

Looking at your life through the lens of awe and surrender, what could you do to honor and celebrate the blessings that surround you?

How could you deepen your awareness of the magic and perfection that is, right now?

How could you tune in this year, such that your choices and actions create a symphony of worship?

At the end of the day, joy and gratitude for what’s so will always sustain us longer and more deeply than striving for “more and better”.

So in 2024, try letting thanks and celebration be the soil in which you plant your intentions.



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