The time for gratitude is now

Being grateful for the present and focusing on what you have versus what you don’t have is the key to mindfulness.

  • Wednesday, January 1, 2020 8:30am
  • Life

By Allison Apfelbaum

Special to the Reporter

There is no better time than the new year to start fresh with your goals. The chaotic holiday season is now over and you can reset, relax, and get some rest. What have you been putting off this year and meaning to accomplish for yourself? We always spend plenty of time living for the future and reflecting on the past, but there is no better time to start your goals than right now.

Being truly grateful for the present moment and focusing on what you have versus what you don’t have is the key to mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you appreciate your life instead of complaining. It can also help you engage with yourself so you stop procrastinating. Forget all of the excuses as to why you cannot achieve your goals right now. If you have wanted to lose weight, start your healthy diet now. If you have been meaning to write a book or take up a new hobby, start now. Forget any excuse as to why you can’t start, just do it.

The key to staying happy and joyful is to connect with yourself in the present moment. Think of something you are truly grateful for in your life, now say to yourself how thankful you are to have that person or thing. Being truly grateful creates and attracts more joy to you. Think of a situation in which you are frustrated. Now try to think about something you can be grateful for that involves that situation. Being mindful and engaged in your life can truly change the perspective completely.

Another helpful way to stay engaged in the present moment is to avoid electronics. Screen time from phones, computers and TV suck away your precious time. Think about this, Beyoncé has the same hours in a day as you, she just uses her time more efficiently. If you want to be productive, use your time intentionally. Pencil in your meal prepping once a week. Plan to workout three days a week, schedule the time at the beginning of the week. When you plan for success, it is easier to keep the commitment.

When using time efficiently, this applies to spending time around loved ones. Family and friends are your support system, make sure you engage with them. This means staying present, listen when they talk, have compassion and make a connection. Making connections with others can lessen loneliness and increase joy. Think about how you can give back to others, not just about what you aren’t getting for yourself. When you give back to others you will receive back double. Try to stay grateful for those social connections, you never know when they may end.

Make the new year an engaged, connected and joyous one. Stay present, engaged, and have gratitude for every moment even the ordinary ones.

Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic doctor at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealth medicine.com or call 425-408-0040 to schedule an appointment.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

UW students create Spira app to gather COVID-19 data

The app was created to screen for respiratory diseases but the teen creators shifted their focus once the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Showing their appreciation for EvergreenHealth workers

First responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville stopped by the Kirkland medical center to show their support for their colleagues.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

From left, Evan Shouse, Lauren Shouse and Ellienn Tatar stand outside their Kirkland residence. Courtesy photo
Making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic

LWTech Foundation COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund lends a helping hand.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.

Photo courtesy of Meenakshi Sinha 
                                From left, Kirkland residents Nick Davis and Silvia Bajardi play their instruments at a neighborhood music event March 15.
‘We’re still in this together’: Inspired by Italian residents, Kirkland resident organizes singing event

Meenakshi Sinha wanted to connect Kirkland neighborhoods amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shamrock Run participants from a previous year smile for the camera. Photo courtesy of Orca Running
Shamrock Run returning to Kirkland March 14

The annual event is put on by Orca Running with presenting sponsor Lake Washington Physical Therapy.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology. File photo
LWTech students place fourth in national Codebreaker Challenge

CSNT program recently placed fourth at the NSA Codebreaker Challenge online competition.