Turkey Day is nearing and over the past couple months I have been working on being more grateful in my life. It’s always something that I think about, but I don’t always practice it or say it out loud.
Usually I’m writing down my grateful’s when the struggle is strong, not when everything is amazing.
In reality, we should be tracking what we are grateful for daily – regardless of the good and bad in our lives.
Darren Hardy issues an annual THANKS-giving challenge to his followers and when August 28th, 2017 rolled around – with 90 days left in the year – I challenged myself to play along, to daily write down something I was grateful for.
On November 1st, 2017, the company I work for handed out lists and challenged us to write one work item and one personal item each day in the month of November that we are grateful for. It’s in the moments when you feel beat up and broke down, that it’s okay to be grateful just for a listening ear, the delete key in Gmail, a roof over your head, and a hot cup of tea. In moments of great happiness, the list is longer and we see so many things to be thankful for.
When I look back over my list, I’m reminded of all the good times and not the frustrating ones. The bad disappeared and was forgotten. It was replaced with only good memories. I couldn’t remember what it was on a specific day that made me grateful for the simple act of holding hands (was it a disagreement?) or for a check in the mail for a freelance project (over credit card debt).
Each year, I usually create a list of things to challenge myself with in the coming year – my bucket list, my new years resolutions, whatever you want to call them. In addition, I try to think of my ONE WORD to represent the coming year.
It’s too early for me to decide on a theme for the next year, but being grateful is high on the list. Not just being grateful for other people, but for myself and the things I have accomplished and will accomplish.
For now, focus on some actionable items to embrace gratitude in the remaining days of the year and beyond:
- Set a calendar reminder on your phone to write your grateful list each day
- Find a good gratitude app to track – Gratitude Journal 365 allows you to upload a photo with your daily list and export it
- Have a gratitude buddy to hold you accountable
- Keep your list handy (in your phone, notebook in your purse, day planner, etc.)
- Share grateful’s with your family – at breakfast, driving to work/school, or at dinner
- On Thanksgiving, hand write 5, 10, or more thank you notes to unsuspecting recipients thanking them for something they did for you during the year.
- Have a small white board at your desk you update each morning with your grateful list
It may be small, it may be big, it may be insignificant, it may be life changing. Whatever you are grateful for today, write it down. Whoever you are grateful for today, tell them.
I know following Darren Hardy’s simple challenge has changed my mentality, changed my perspective, and changed how the past few months have evolved. I find the good, the positive, in every situation. When I’m down, I’m not there long.
Gratitude is not just for Thanksgiving. It’s not just for the people around you. It’s for you, too.