The Happy Jar: Focus on the Positive


This simple activity can set the tone for our entire year. We have the power to rewire our brain to view the world in a more positive light but it needs practice. The happy jar can help.


The concept is simple. Starting January 1st (or any date that signifies the start of a new year) start filling the jar with good memories, achievements, and memento's that make you smile. It can be as simple as a note jotted down on scrap paper, your new business card, or a drawing from a grandchild. Put it all in the jar to be opened on New Years Eve (or a date of your choosing).

We have been doing this as a family for a few years and every year I am amazed at how much we have forgotten. That funny dance my toddler did that made us all laugh till we cried, floating in our kayaks watching sea life or my sons being thrilled at a simple snowball fight on our way to grandma's house. We forget those simple memories that bring so much joy. Instead we have a tendency to focus on our trials and tribulations. They can leave a deeper imprint and need to be nudged aside to see how much joy there is in our life. The simple act of remembering the positive can skip that negative needle to a new groove and rewire our brain to sing a new song.


Take a moment this year to shift gears to something more positive. Part of our new years traditions now involve dumping the contents of this jar and reading through our happy memories. We laugh and our hearts bond over a year shared in love and light. We enter the new year filled with positivity.


January 1st we start the process all over again.


Where to start?


Get a decent sized jar

Dig through your recycling or repurpose something in your home. 2 litre size works perfect for my family.


Decorate it

Taking the time to decorate gives the jar importance. You can paint it, collage on it, put an image inside the jar facing outwards as a sleeve. The jar pictured is modge podged with tissue paper and pen.(good tutorial here)


Hint: It took us a year to decorate our jar. Don't let lack of time stop you from starting.


Keep it Visible

Make sure you can see the jar in your daily life. We keep ours on our kitchen counter where we spend most of our time as a family. Seeing the jar reminds us to keep putting those memories inside -my kids are great at reminding us! Make the jar a part of your life. This is another reason to decorate it and make it your own.


Make it fit your life

Do what works for you and keep it simple. Be kind to yourself when you forget. You will forget! We tend to add to the jar monthly when we remember...sometimes it's months. That is ok. We make a game of trying to remember when we forget.


I hope you try this activity as it creates such a beautiful ritual to the start and end of your year.

Be well everyone!




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