“No amount of regret can change the past. No amount of anxiety can change the future. Any amount of gratitude will change the present.”

As mentioned before, its that time of year when we look back on the year we just lived and forward to the year we are about to tackle. So many of us (me included) look back on mistakes made this year, choices we wish had been different or something along those lines. We may feel regret, guilt or even shame. I can say that I feeling guilt for not being more present with people and I feel regret that I didn’t take time out for myself. I spent my year chaotically working and doing everything I could to keep busy and not think. I focused on staying distracted and now the year is over and I know there are countless thing I missed. Then there are moments that we are looking forward to the coming year in a panicked frenzy because we want the next year to be different or better. Maybe we cycle between these throughout the year too, constantly regretting moments and fearing others. So where is the present moment in that and how can we safeguard it from these two extremes?


Whoever spoke this quote had the secret sauce to life. It’s not easy, being grateful, especially when the dirt hits the fan. BUT if we create a practice, routine, pattern in life of spending even the smallest moments in gratitude we can defend our minds from the ghosts of both past and future. As part of the small changes we are making in the coming year, lets try gratitude. You can make it as simple or as extravagant as you want. Write 3 things each morning you are grateful for in your life.

Food. Family. Air.

Or add a little spice to gratitude and find others to commit to daily check ins. Have a group text where all you do is list something you are grateful for each day. Accountability is so important in life and so forgotten. Who knows, maybe this simple practice will create a ripple effect of peace, joy and hope. Gratitude may be the spice of life we are all missing.

Be grateful and share it.

Sarah Deats

Sarah Deats is the Hope Inc. Stories Inspiration Engineer. Her goals are to make a connection with everyone that she can while building community, spreading hope, and sparking change. She believes that while life may not be easy, it is never lived alone.