jar of hearts

Christmas has come and gone. We’ve spent the last few months thinking about our families and friends, making sure that the perfect gift was selected for each and every one. But the Christmas trees are coming down, and the decorations are going away for another year. The last of this season’s holidays is on the horizon, and the time has come to make a new resolution: put yourself first.

1. Thank You… to Me

All you need for this mini-project is a bit of paper, a pen and a jar… and, of course, a little inspiration. Cut the paper into small rectangles, and on each one, write one thing that you’re proud of yourself for, like a thank you note to yourself for all of the things you accomplish all year long. Be honest! Place them all in the jar, and put it on your shelf. Throughout the year, whenever you need a little boost, pick one piece of paper from the jar and read it.

Step it up… by adding decoration to the jar in the form of paint, or to the inside by using different colored paper or by filling the bottom of the jar with colored glass beads.

2. Redeemable for…

Come up with five things you love but never find the time to do: a pedicure, a road trip, a date with your honey, a trip to the local museum… even just a long bath with the door locked and a pile of magazines! Write out a coupon for each of these five things, and keep them in your wallet. When you feel like you need a break, redeem one of them, guilt-free. And they expire at the end of the year, so use them up!

Step it up… by including your significant other. Write one or two coupons redeemable for things that the both of you like to do. And no one is allowed to complain about paying a babysitter or leaving cell phones at home!

3. A Jar of Good Thoughts

It’s the end of the year, and it may be hard to come up with the time to put one of these two other ideas in place, but that’s no reason not to do them! All you need for this last idea is a jar, which you can decorate or not. Place it in a place where you’ll see it, and resolve to put at least one good thought in it every day. It can be something good that happened that day, a memory, a book you loved or even just the lyrics of a song you liked. Pick a day — the end of 2013 or any other day you like — to go through them and see all the good thoughts you had all year long!

Step it up… by including the whole family! Everyone gets a jar, and anyone can slip a little note into anyone’s jar. At the end of the year, not only will you have notes from yourself, but notes from the ones you love!

Image: Abdul Rahman