If you’ve been an Everyday Gratituder this year, you’ll know there’s a space at the back to look back over 2016. It’s time to flip through those pages and pick out some gems!

But it’s been a bit of a strange year, hasn’t it? Lots of ups and downs on the world stage, so many celebrity deaths, lots of doom and gloom. People are crying, “I can’t wait for 2016 to be over!” or “Please, no more, 2016!” or “Just got to hang in there a few more days…” whenever another bit of bad news is announced.

But what will happen on January 1 2017? Will the world suddenly be healed? Will people stop dying? Will we all start from scratch again and do it right this time? Well…no. We all know deep down that life will continue on the way it always does. We have very little control over all those big things happening Out There that affect us so deeply.

But we do have control over one thing: what kind of lens we look at the world through. And I choose the lens of gratitude.

What will you remember about 2016? Flip through your diary again and see some of the things that gave you joy. You might have diligently filled out every page, or you may have more sporadic entries throughout the year. But if you’ve used your diary at all, rather than the disasters of 2016, you’ll re-encounter the things you were grateful for this year.

Maybe you’ll stumble across something wonderful that happened that you completely forgot about, and it’ll make you smile all over again. There may have been big upheavals in your life, but did you find any glimmers of gold amidst the struggle? It can be quite a calming process to carve out some time, to reflect and to gather up all those lovely moments on one page, especially if it’s been a whirlwind end to a turbulent year.

If you’d like to share your year of gratitude, I’d love to see! Take a pic and upload it on the Everyday Gratitude Facebook page. I’ll be putting mine up there soon.

So what will you choose to focus on in 2017? Will it be the bad stuff? Or will you choose to look for the flashes of colour and the little pockets of joy that can be found all around you?