It was undoubtedly a difficult year. From personal disappointments to global tragedies, 2016 bore its fare share of heartaches. We saw the worst in each other and in ourselves. It was rough. But, if I change my perspective slightly I can’t deny that this year held many blessings. Memes gave us a way to laugh through the madness, people from across the world rallied together to support each other and a passion for justice was renewed in many.

When I reflect on the year as a whole, my mind immediately goes to all of the negative things that happened. I forget the good and wallow in the bad. In 2016, I chose to allow difficult situations to defeat me, bad news to discourage me and challenging people to frustrate me. Although I have tried to re-brand my negativity as realism or healthy skepticism, I can no longer deny that for far too long I have chosen to see the glass as half empty. It hasn’t served me well. In fact it has created unnecessary challenges and built daunting obstacles in the path of my joy. But, I’m not carrying that attitude in to the next year. 2017 will be my year to cultivate joy.

I am committed to creating an environment that is suitable to the growth of abundant joy. I am trading in my negative thinking patterns and cynicism for truth-centered optimism. No, 2017 will not be perfect but joy doesn’t require perfect circumstances to grow, it’s all about perspective. I will choose to see difficult situations as a call for perseverance, bad news as motivation and challenging people as opportunities to demonstrate grace. Lord knows it won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

So let’s raise a glass to a joy filled 2017, with many adventures, opportunities, and of course…books!

This article was initially posted on my blog www.bornhooligan.wordpress.com. Check it out for book reviews, recommendations and other ramblings. Subscribe and keep up to date with my posts!