Gratitude increases the feeling of happiness both in the short run and with a long time perspective. In fact, research* shows that the general level of happiness increases with time if we constantly practise gratitude. So a person who continuously focuses on being grateful will, after going through hard times, return to a higher level of happiness then before. As if there was a reference point of the general level of happiness in us all.
A new year can mean starting a good habit, ie of this named gratification training. A good example to do so can be to fill a jar with something good of every day in a year. On New Year's eve 2017 you can open all the 365 gratitude notifications and see how much you actually have in your life. It can be the smallest of things and especially those things you take for granted ie; happiness to live in a nice home, to have food on the table, to be able to say what you want because you live in a democratic country. Or it could be goals you've achieved, an LOL moment, a quote, daily blessings and memories to be saved.
I did this for about half the days of the year in the past year, 2016 and it so was worth it! What a joy to realise there is something small in every day, even the most simple of things that in the end make up what is called our lives. It is rather beautiful!
Fill a jar with gratification notes for a full year! Even the smallest things have actually big meaning if we take in the quote above.
*Robert Emmons, Berkeley University