Every year on January 1st, I wake up feeling bright with anticipation, thanks in large part to a tradition started by a treasured member of the Tatcha family. Before dawn on the first morning of the new year, my friend and leadership sensei, Tanaka-san, climbs the mountains near his home in Japan. Upon reaching the summit, he spends time reflecting on the past year and the one ahead, then says a prayer wishing goodness for people in his life and around the world. As the morning sun rises to greet him, Tanaka-san snaps a photo and sends it to the rest of the Tatcha team, ensuring that we all awaken to a gorgeous sunrise and joyful wishes for the start of each year.
This special tradition has also impacted my family’s approach to New Year’s resolutions. Instead of focusing on commitments that feel negative, like all the things we won’t do this year, my daughter and I choose to brighten each day through tiny habits. Inspired by the way Tanaka-san uses sunrises to slow down and reflect, Alea and I never miss a sunset together; when we’re far apart, we describe the colors of the sky to one another on the phone, sharing daily moments of calm reflection even across vast distances.
These sunsets aren’t our only small habits for brighter days. A few notable routines that I try to share with my daughter are:
- Start every morning by stating the positive affirmation: “Today is going to be a great day.”
- Never let a day go by without at least one act of gratitude toward somebody else. Whether it’s writing a heartfelt card or giving a big thank-you hug, it’s important not to let the sun set without thankfulness and reflection.
- Care for our bodies alongside our spirits. This means that while we focus on these important habits for the heart and mind, we also fuel ourselves with wholesome foods, prioritize good sleep every night, participate in a regular skincare ritual, and stay physically active.
What are some tiny habits you’ve established to brighten your every day, year, and life? In my eyes, these small moments of brightness are far more important than any lofty New Year’s resolution.
I’m indescribably grateful for and inspired by you, Tatcha’s client friends, and I deeply hope that 2019 provides many small moments of joy and peace for you.
Wishing you brightness in this new year,