As we enter a new decade, many of us are making new year’s resolutions as we do every year, but we are also sitting back to think about what we want in the next decade. The previous decade for me was from the age of 30 to 40. Similar to many people in this age bracket, it was all about “the nexts”. I had my first children when I turned 30, yes “children”. I was blessed with surprise identical twin girls and three years later, we had our third child. My husband and I were focused on building our careers during this time as well. We changed jobs and received promotions, moved into a new neighborhood and sent our kids off to elementary school. There was always a “next” that I spent much of the last decade focused on, but as a result, I was not living in the now. I didn’t take the time to sit back and focus on everything I had and be present – a good career, 3 beautiful children, a nice house, great friends and family, and my health. As a result, in spite of everything I had, I was not very happy.

As we approach the next decade, a great resolution is to focus on the present. Most researchers have claimed that both gratitude and living in the present, rather than the past or the future, are some of the key elements to happiness. As we all sit back and approach this next decade, it is a good time to take inventory of where you are at. Write down a list of all the things you have in your life to be grateful for and keep that list with you to refer to when you are feeling down. Start to live life in the present moment. Each day when you go to work, think about how grateful you are to have that job, even though there are frustrations and disappointments at every job. Learn everything you can and do the very best at what you are doing. If you are focused on doing your very best, the job satisfaction and promotions will come. Take time to be present with the people you work with. Ask them questions about their personal life and pay attention when they respond. Most of us want to work with people that we enjoy as we oftentimes spend more time at work than we do at home. Throughout my career in the corporate world, I continuously saw the people that moved up the ladder and received the promotions, were not just the people that were good at their jobs and worked hard, but the ones that were likable.

You will see the same impact in your personal life as you focus on the present moment and being grateful. Your relationships will flourish because you will be attentive to every conversation rather than letting it pass you by. I was so “busy” in my 30’s that there were many times where my children would ask me to play a game with them or go for a bike ride and I would say I was too busy. Put down your work and your to-do list, play that game or go for that bike ride. At the end of the day, relationships with our family and friends are a driver to happiness much more so than accomplishing the forever ending to-do lists.

Here is to a decade of focused on the “now” rather than the “nexts”. Happy 2020!