Skip the late December ritual of studying lists of how to be more effective, more calm, more kind or more anything. Instead, devote the time to identifying all that you appreciate from 2019. 

Appreciation is a positive emotion, and research shows that positive emotions allow us to increase our satisfaction with life and incline us toward confidence. Appreciation is somewhat broader than gratitude. Don’t get me wrong—I think of gratitude as a super power. Appreciation is less focused on a benefit coming from someone or something. Appreciation celebrates that which is good.

Here are some of the things I appreciate from 2019:

* Connecting with an old friend after being out of touch

* Discovering the joy of walking on the beach with my dog

* Hearing the London Symphony Orchestra at the Santa Barbara Bowl

* Visiting Antelope Canyon with my son

* Receiving glowing blurbs on my upcoming book

That last one seems a little commercial and, in truth, it is. But I have been astounded by the generosity of other authors—folks I’ve never met—who spent time reading my book and penning testimonials. And, yes, the word gratitude would apply to that experience in addition to appreciation.

What events from 2019 did you especially appreciate?