The time for gratitude is now

Being grateful for the present and focusing on what you have versus what you don’t have is the key to mindfulness.

  • Friday, January 10, 2020 9:30am
  • Life

By Allison Apfelbaum

Special to the Reporter

There is no better time than the new year to start fresh with your goals. The chaotic holiday season is now over and you can reset, relax, and get some rest. What have you been putting off this year and meaning to accomplish for yourself? We always spend plenty of time living for the future and reflecting on the past, but there is no better time to start your goals than right now.

Being truly grateful for the present moment and focusing on what you have versus what you don’t have is the key to mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you appreciate your life instead of complaining. It can also help you engage with yourself so you stop procrastinating. Forget all of the excuses as to why you cannot achieve your goals right now. If you have wanted to lose weight, start your healthy diet now. If you have been meaning to write a book or take up a new hobby, start now. Forget any excuse as to why you can’t start, just do it.

The key to staying happy and joyful is to connect with yourself in the present moment. Think of something you are truly grateful for in your life, now say to yourself how thankful you are to have that person or thing. Being truly grateful creates and attracts more joy to you. Think of a situation in which you are frustrated. Now try to think about something you can be grateful for that involves that situation. Being mindful and engaged in your life can truly change the perspective completely.

Another helpful way to stay engaged in the present moment is to avoid electronics. Screen time from phones, computers and TV suck away your precious time. Think about this, Beyoncé has the same hours in a day as you, she just uses her time more efficiently. If you want to be productive, use your time intentionally. Pencil in your meal prepping once a week. Plan to workout three days a week, schedule the time at the beginning of the week. When you plan for success, it is easier to keep the commitment.

When using time efficiently, this applies to spending time around loved ones. Family and friends are your support system, make sure you engage with them. This means staying present, listen when they talk, have compassion and make a connection. Making connections with others can lessen loneliness and increase joy. Think about how you can give back to others, not just about what you aren’t getting for yourself. When you give back to others you will receive back double. Try to stay grateful for those social connections, you never know when they may end.

Make the new year an engaged, connected and joyous one. Stay present, engaged, and have gratitude for every moment even the ordinary ones.

Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic doctor at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com or call 425-408-0040 to schedule an appointment.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.

From left, Kristen Zuray, Wendy Laxton and Tonya Guinn speak at Trail Youth’s 2019 birthday celebration fundraiser. This year their annual event is a banquet scheduled for April 4. Courtesy photo
Trail Youth celebrates a year of coffee, positivity

Trail Youth banquet fundraiser scheduled for April 4.

MSHS jazz band invited to Essentially Ellington for sixth time

MSHS is one of 18 finalists for the prestigious competition

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Ralphs family after their home along the Raging River was yellow-tagged. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Ralphs Family GoFundMe page
Family of four forced to leave home along Raging River in Preston

Erosion has deemed the house yellow-tagged by King County services.

Courtesy photo
                                The Snoqualmie Valley Evergreens 4-H club will host a rabbit show on Feb. 29 in North Bend.
4-H rabbit show on Feb. 29 in North Bend

The show is open to the public. There is no admission for spectators.

Courtesy photo
                                North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland (R) presents the 2019 Citizen of the Year award to North Bend resident Beth Burrows at the city’s Feb. 4, 2020 council meeting.
North Bend’s Citizen of the Year

Beth Burrows recognized for outstanding contributions to the community.

Making a human connection in a sea of social media

A monthly health column about natural medicine.

(Pixabay photo)
Master Gardeners workshop on Feb. 15

Topics include soil, food and climate change.

The archway at last year’s Relay For Life of Snoqualmie Valley event. Courtesy photo
Relay For Life of Snoqualmie Valley kickoff

Dessert auction event Feb. 1.