It’s June 1st (who can believe it already?! Didn’t we just celebrate New Years, St. Patty’s and Easter? Now school is out?!) and the year is halfway over. It’s that time of year where I look at where I was in the beginning of the year, reflect on what progress (or lack of progress) I’ve made, look at contributing factors and re-evaluate the goals I’d set out for this year. I’m not gonna ask you how your resolutions are going (I do goals vs. resolutions, but yeah, I’m right there with ya…), but I have a different question to ask you. When you hear the word gratitude, what do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear? Is it seeing someone humbling themselves? Is it someone giving a gift or a card thanking them? Is it a big hug or maybe even some tears? Do you hear the words: “Thank you” and “I appreciate you”?
As busy as we get these days, it’s VERY easy to take life and people for granted. And we certainly don’t mean to! We all want to feel appreciated and responsibilities and plans of action and running out of time seems to rob us of those opportunities to give and receive thanks.
My challenge to you: Make the time.
While you might not have time to always write out 20 thank you cards, take 2 minutes and send out a quick email or e-greeting card. While you might not have have 2 hours to talk on the phone, catch up and say thank you, take 2 minutes to send out a text “Hey, I was thinking of you! I also wanted to say I am appreciative of [enter here.]” It will most likely be a surprise and also very appreciated.
But how do I get into the habit of gratitude?
Small things = better than nothing.
Start off with small and easy things, like the email or text, there’s no need to go big or go home here. It’ll get too overwhelming and maybe even boring for you. Don’t give up! It’s super easy to fall into that trap. If you got more time or a a few hours on a weekend, write out some notes. It’ll do your soul just as good and get you reflective on why you’re thankful and how to be thankful, now and in the future. Next time you see a family member or friend, tell them how much you appreciate them and/or AT LEAST one thing you’re grateful for about them.
Wanna step it up? Start a Gratitude Journal.
Set a timer, set the atmosphere, pick a good time for less distractions. I picked the end of the day for me to write it down, either right before or after dinner. Even if I have a craptastic day, I made myself write down AT LEAST ONE thing, if not 3. There were some days with “I survived work.” “I had a Dr. Pepper” “My pen [non-work provided and that I bought with my own money cuz they write so well] wasn’t out of ink after all.” It’s the little things that count.
I recently came across a 90 Day Gratitude Journal by In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, a leading Christian Pastor. I was able to get these thin journals free during the holidays and was able to order one for my mom, aunt and cousin (who have loved it too). I started day one in January, then work got super duper crazy and I got away from it. 22 days into it and Welcome to Distraction Ville. After awhile, I ended up in Slacker Town and by middle of February, when seeing how far I’d gotten, I’d managed to settle down in the City of Giving Up. Upon reflection, I can tell a difference when I was writing in it everyday vs now.
I’m finding myself struggling daily too. It’s almost too easy to focus on what went wrong, how bad that came out, what never happened, why did that happen and the usual “Life isn’t fair.” Granted, no it’s not, but just like mind over matter, good gratitude leads to a better attitude. I had a cute mid-sized journal laying around just begging for me to write in in. I found some of my colored pens and I have this awesome rainbow pencil and I wrote out Gratitude to hang up on my wall to remind myself. I’ve decided that now that it’s June 1st and half the year is over, what’s a better time to [re-]start living a life of gratitude?
So, when I found Wendy over at The Gratefulist (http://www.thegratefulist.com/ ) and saw her Grateful30 daily email course, hello win! Small chunks, good prompts for reflection and easing [back] into it. This is something I kept in my email folders, copied over to a Microsoft Word Document and printed it out, its that good! She covers many topics, some I wouldn’t even have thought of, like the Weather! Head on over and sign up! It’s free! It’s good! Your soul will thank you for it (no pun intended). Her mission is to: “Helping soul-connected yet stressed-out creatives embrace their perfectly imperfect selves.”
While you’re there, sign up for her other awesome stuff. She recently re-branded (and it looks fantastic) and her resource library is rocking! She’s great for her 8 ways to turn gratitude into habit as well as her #perfectionistproblems series (totally speaks to me!) about how we let a negative definition we set for ourselves and what life sets for us and how to break free and make your life authentic, creative, meaningful and relatable. She lives by her core values of Growth, Gratitude, Imperfection, Inner Voice, Worthiness, Courage and Vulnerability. Who wouldn’t want some more of that? Join the Soul-Connected Squad to join her on an awesome journey.
How have you decided to live a life of appreciation and get a gratitude attitude?
Email me your thoughts, your victories, your struggles!
Tweet a declaration that you will get a gratitude attitude.
Post a challenge everyone to jot down on a piece or paper, a napkin, a journal, on your blog, on your Facebook or wherever else DAILY reasons why and what your grateful for.
Head over to The Gratefulist and leave Wendy some love!