When you think of 2016, what emotions do the memories evoke?

It’s true, the lives of many brilliantly creative people were lost in 2016, wars were fought, there were protests, and just general sadness. On a more personal level, this year was one of my worst and when 2017 began, I was exhausted! I needed a change in perspective! To combat the emotional exhaustion, I set out to look back on 2016 more reflectively. Using the photos on my phone’s gallery and the Kodak Moments App, I printed my highlights of the last year. When I sought out the good, I realized that there were so many moments in the past year that I’m grateful for.

Change Your Perspective

  1. Visualize: It’s been said that we can remember images better than verbal or written information. By printing your pictures and posting them somewhere you’re helping your mind visualize and you can constantly replace the negative images in your mind with positive ones.
  2. Remember: You know that saying, “you only know you’ve been high, when you’re feeling low” that’s exactly what I found in looking back through my phone’s gallery at the highlights of 2016. I remembered that I went to beautiful places, made powerful self-discoveries, strengthened my relationships, and overcame adversity.
  3. Re-live: Have you ever looked at a photograph and been immediately transported to that moment in time? You can almost hear and smell a good photograph, and you can’t help but relive the moments that made you smile. By printing your photos you honor that the moments were worth more than the space they take up on your phone and you give yourself the opportunity to relive all those moments.
  4. Catharsis: You can’t delete the past, but you can choose what stays stored in your heart. The simple act of physically choosing which memories to focus on (and print) can send a signal to your brain that you’re choosing to be optimistic. This can be a powerfully cathartic “letting-go” experience.
  5. Gratitude: One research study[i] showed that there’s a correlation between reflecting with gratitude and general well-being and optimism. In fact, that same study even associated being more grateful with fewer physician visits. That study consisted of writing afew sentences each week. Imagine what the effects could be if you printed your photos and then wrote about all the memories you’re grateful for.

I’m still claiming 2016 to be one of the toughest years of my life. If you’d like to know why, I’ve written about it here and here. I know I am not alone because the general online consensus seems to be that many bad things happened in the world in ’16. But that doesn’t make me ungrateful. This small project (it took less than a Sunday afternoon and cost less than Sunday brunch!) has helped me start 2017 with optimism for all the places I will go, the things I will do, and the people I may meet. I’m uncharacteristically excited, and I even feel a little less anxiety because I know that even amidst the worst of times, I will have some amazing moments and make some great memories.

Create Your Own Chalkboard Gallery Wall

You’ll need:

  • Chalkboard Paint
  • Chalk
  • Kodak Moments App
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Photos

Five Easy Steps:

  1. Paint the wall with chalkboard paint and let it dry. (Once it’s dry, prep the wall by drawing with white chalk once, and then erasing it.)
  2. Meanwhile, while the paint dries, select your favorite photos from your phone on the Kodak Moments app to be printed in varying sizes.
  3. Pick up your photos
  4. Practice setting up the photos. When you know exactly where you want them, use painter’s tape to affix on the wall.
  5. Get creative with the chalk!

Disclosure: Although this post is sponsored by Kodak Alaris for the Kodak Moments App, all opinions come from the bottom of my blogging heart.

  1. [i]  According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter
  2. Header Image: via Unsplash


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