PMA In A Jar

The week between Christmas and New Year’s has often been pretty shaky for me. It’s full of remembering all the resolutions I failed to keep and focusing on all the missed opportunities. It’s always easier to remember the bad times. The mistakes. The what-ifs.

So I started a jar.

Several years I’ve attempted this and more often than not, I’ve run out of steam by March. Sometimes it’s hard to look for the positives and when you go several days without finding any, motivation just kind of goes out the window.

Here’s how it works: you get a jar. You get little bits of paper. You write down little moments of positivity on them. You put them in the jar.

That’s it.


This is the first year I’ve managed to finish it. It gets easier to look for the positives the more you do it, as it turns out. I also changed my approach in what kind of things I added. Before, I’d be more focused on big things: trips I took, work successes, that kind of thing. It can end up being more detrimental than uplifting since these things are often so few and far between, if they’re even there at all.

No, instead, this year, I threw in practically anything that made me feel good. No matter how fleeting. Sometimes the more fleeting, the better. The things that will be forgotten once you go to sleep but in that moment meant something to you. Things like being approached by a dog. A funny video you saw on social media. Receiving a genuine compliment.

It doesn’t just have to be things that happen to you but perhaps things that you have put back out into the world. I often fall into a mindset of considering myself selfish and self-absorbed, despite people telling me the contrary. This jar is a good way of reminding myself of the times I have made a difference, either in a big or small way. A charitable donation, a Twitch gift sub, an unexpected gift for a friend, a kind word. Pride is considered a sin, I guess, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with assuring yourself time to time that you make a difference. And I can guarantee that everyone does.

Going through this jar on New Year’s Eve has been a revelation. Reliving moments of hanging out with online friends IRL, being reminded of stupid jokes, remembering evenings laughing with people on Twitch…

Turns out it’s been a pretty good year. 386 positives in total.


I’ll be starting a new jar for the new year. Making sure to look for the positives in every day. If there aren’t any, that’s fine. Tomorrow’s a new day. I can’t recommend it enough. Write down the big and the small. Live every day as if everyone you meet has their own jar. Live your life so that you may end up being a scribble on a piece of paper that someone will remember fondly on their New Year’s Eve. Offer a compliment, let someone go ahead of you in a queue, pay for the person’s coffee behind you. It all adds up.

Happy New Year’s everyone! Here’s to a brand new decade. We’ve got this.


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