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.

More in Life

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.

(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.

Award-winning play ‘The Good Adoptee’ coming to Mercer Island

The autobiographical drama was penned by acclaimed playwright Suzanne Bachner.

Embrace the struggle for a complete picture | Health column

A monthly column about mindfulness and general wellbeing.

20 recycling resolutions for 2020

A monthly column from Waste Management.

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.

KCLS continuing to build connections in 2020

A monthly column about library happenings.

The Snoqualmie Lunar New Year Celebration will be held at the YMCA Community Center on Jan. 25. File photo
Snoqualmie Lunar New Year Celebration set for Jan. 25

The celebration will be held at the Snoqualmie YMCA Community Center.

From left: students Riley Retinger, Abby Smith, Mimmi Hubbard and Sadie Rabinowitz. Photo by Calah Webb
‘It’s one of my favorite places to be’: School of Rock Issaquah gears up for January shows

In January, students will be paying homage to the Beatles, Black Sabbath, Chris Cornell and others.

Seahawks legend Alonzo Mitz signs Herb Altmann’s 12’s flag at Sno-Valley Senior Center on Dec. 13. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Seattle Seahawks Legends visit Sno-Valley Senior Center

The 12 Days of Goodness made a stop in Carnation on Dec. 13.