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New Year, New You! Lessons from a Gratitude Journal

gratitude-journalWith a new year comes new expectations you put on yourself. You want to lose weight. You want to find a better job. You want to save more money. You want to travel more. You want to write a novel. You want to make more time for your social life. You want to learn to cook. You want to volunteer more. And you want to do all of this the first week of January or you feel like you’re a procrastinator and a failure at 2016 already.

Instead of all of these goals you would like to achieve, why not make 2016 the year of something simple. Gratitude. Be thankful for everything around you. Be thankful for your health. Be thankful for love in your life. Be thankful that you’ve made it this far in your life’s journey. Be thankful that there are things outside of your control. Be thankful for surprises.

Recently, I listened to a podcast about a woman who tried to keep a gratitude journal when she was a teenager and she recently found it and read it and realized that as a teenager, she had no idea what gratitude was. As adults, we know what it is, but we don’t always recognize it, or spend time thinking about it like we should. We take things we are grateful for, for granted. Let’s change that together. I would love if you would share below in the comments section things you are grateful for to help inspire other readers to recognize the good, and to pay more attention to it.

Together, let’s also start 2016 leaving things in 2015 that we won’t need with us. Recently, a blog posted by Rania Naim on the Thought Catalog blog detailed 16 things you should say goodbye to in the New Year. They are as follows:

  1. Say goodbye to the voices in your head that tell you that you are incapable of doing something or being someone. They lie a lot, and you should know that by now.
  2. Say goodbye to the need for validation. We all need validation from time to time, but you also don’t have to constantly pursue it. As long as you see your utmost potential or how far you’ve come, you don’t need to see anyone to affirm that for you.
  3. Say goodbye to all the moments you were not so proud of; forget them and remember that you are a human being who is still learning how to live.
  4. Say goodbye to the promises you didn’t keep, know that timing is everything, and good things take time.
  5. Say goodbye to the self-doubt and the negativity last year brought. It might not be the happy ending you wanted, but it could possibly be the happy beginning you didn’t see coming.
  6. Say goodbye to the times you cried and the times you were in so much pain, and give yourself a pat on the back for getting through yet another obstacle. Sooner or later, you will get to the finish line.
  7. Say goodbye to the people who don’t want anything to do with you; they are not meant to be in your life for one reason or another. Focus on the ones who do and the ones who care.
  8. Say goodbye to the memory you keep replaying in your head, whether good or bad, the one that is keeping you up at night wondering where it went and whether or not it will happen again. You rewinded them and paused them way too many times; now it is time to find something else to watch.
  9. Say goodbye to the addiction you had for your phone, or your laptop, or social media, or anything you were voraciously obsessed with. Spend more time with nature, and teach yourself that too much of anything will eventually suffocate you.
  10. Say goodbye to the expectations you had for yourself that by now you should have done this or done that. Life can be messy, and the last thing you need is getting attached to its chaos.
  11. Say goodbye to all the words people told you about yourself, the ones that made you love yourself a little less. Think of how little these people know about you and your story or why you are the way you are. Think of how some people like to belittle others to feel good about themselves, and while you are at it, say goodbye to these people.
  12. Say goodbye to the times you were immature, or out of line, or had no common sense. Remember that these are the moments that remind you that you are not perfect and that you are a work in progress. Take it as a humbling experience as move on.
  13. Say goodbye to the times you missed someone who didn’t miss you back. Eventually you will not miss them anymore, and you will learn that other people miss you more than you know.
  14. Say goodbye to the trip you didn’t take, or the city you never went to, or the wedding you missed, or the opportunities that passed you by. Not everything will go as planned and you don’t have to carry the guilt with you everywhere you go. Let that be a reminder that no matter how hard we try, we will not always be in control.
  15. Say goodbye to all the flaws you keep pointing out in the mirror and the times you really didn’t like who you were looking at. Buy a new mirror if you have to, but more importantly, start liking who you see and change the way you look at yourself.
  16. Finally, say goodbye to the thought that next year will be the same and that nothing will ever change, and start saying hello to all the wonderful possibilities, dreams, and opportunities that are waiting to manifest themselves to you.

Easier said than done, yes, but not impossible. You do spring cleaning in your home, why not do new year cleaning in your mind? You’d be amazed how much a new, positive outlook can have on those goals in the back of your mind.

I have been working with a patient for about two and a half years. Over the course of her treatment, it was sad news for her left and right. She needed surgery. She needed an egg donor. She needed another surgery. She needed a sperm donor. She had multiple negative pregnancy tests. This patient, however, remained positive. She knew at the end of this journey she would be pregnant and that was what kept her going through all of this. Her gratitude to our physicians and their knowledge and experience fueled her optimism. Our staff showed her endless support and this story has a happy ending. This patient is currently pregnant and we are all over the moon excited with her. Congratulations to this very special patient! It’s just a wonderful example of how a positive outlook, a “never give up” attitude, and a good support system really can affect the outcome of challenges in your life.

Cheers to 2016!

To make a plan for addressing fertility issues with a qualified specialist, make an appointment at one of InVia's four convenient Chicago-area fertility clinics.best-time-to-get-pregnant-guide

Vicki Meagher

Vicki Meagher

Vicki Meagher has worked with InVia Fertility Specialists since 2006. She is our Third Party Coordinator, so she works with our patients that need an egg donor, sperm donor, gestational surrogate, or any combination of the above. She recruits and screens the egg donors for our in-house donor program as well. She loves working with intended parents and is passionate about third party reproduction and the important role it plays in helping patients achieve their dream of starting or extending their family. She is a member of SEEDS - the Society for Ethics for Egg Donation and Surrogacy.


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