Looking back at the past year with gratitude

Member feature: by Michelle Wilbraham of VA Connect


This is a time of year where as much as things speed up they also slow down. They let us take a pause and reflect on the past year. It’s a time where we can express our gratitude for all that we have. This is a great time of year to show your gratitude to your clients, your employees and your loved ones.

As I look back on this year I can say for certain that there is love, light, and joy in my life every single day. I am one lucky woman! Thank you for being a part of my life!

Expressing gratitude is essential because we often take for granted all that life offers us, without being grateful.

No matter what challenges we are facing in life or at work, there are many things for which we can and should express gratitude. Focusing on the good things pushes us in the right direction when we are moving forward through uphill battles.  It pays to feel and express gratitude for others and all the positive things that happen around us. Success requires expressing gratitude, and staying positive is a habit of the most successful people in the world.

Opening the door to new opportunities:

Positive reinforcement attracts more positive feedback, draws interest of those who come in contact with you and your team.

Elevating trust levels:

Sharing with the team how much you value their work and contribution helps increase trust and openness.

Providing mindful leadership:

A thankful attitude creates an internal peace mindset and extends to a peaceful team mindset. A lack of conflict frees up your team to focus on the important things in life.

Enabling realistic assessment:

Reviewing the positive things that happened over the past year, as well as assessing how you can change your perspective on the negative things that happened, creates a healthy balance and a realistic outlook on upcoming opportunities.

We’re often so busy and/or stressed that we fail to see how much beauty and goodness is surrounds us. From the smile on a loved one’s face to the sun streaming in through the window, there are countless moments of goodness on any given day, if only we open our eyes and minds to appreciate them.

Gratitude is about finding the good in your life, recognizing how fortune you are to have it, and sharing that goodness with those around you. Gratitude about realizing that everything even the bad times is worthwhile!

In the hustle of to-do lists and work deadlines, sometimes it’s easy to block out the details of the day, forgetting that each and every day holds precious gifts. From the air we breathe to the friendships we hold close, there is always something to be thankful for.


Being grateful is a vital aspect of creating a mindful, fulfilled life. When you’re grateful, it’s impossible to be negative, to dwell in the past, or to worry about the future. If you’re struggling to stay mindful, focusing on what you have to be grateful for can bring you back into the moment.

For more on Michelle and how VA Connect can assist you, please do visit our members page.