Being truly grateful for things in our life can have a very positive impact on our relationships, career, marriage, emotional health, and more. And practicing gratitude is known to increase confidence, since it is impossible to experience a negative emotion while you’re being grateful for something.
A big goal for me in 2015 (all year long, not just around the holidays) is to make it a daily habit to be grateful for the things I have. This means big and small, obvious and subtle.
Here are three unique strategies to help jumpstart your new habit of attitude each and every day:
- Each day, identify and be thankful for five of the seemingly smallest things that make a huge impact in your life. This could be things like being able to hop on a plane and fly to a different state in just hours. Or having stocked grocery stores only minutes from home and a car that can get you there quickly. Smart phones allow me to communicate with family and friends immediately, at anytime, anywhere in the world. Indoor plumbing, hugs from a son or daughter before leaving for work, hot water, traffic lights that maintain sanity in our streets…are all small things to appreciate that are often overlooked.
- Each day, appreciate one opportunity that you have to grow or make progress. Opportunities are everywhere and present themselves daily. It is up to us to be open to seeing them. For example, email acts as a huge burden for many, until we learn new ways to better organize and manage the never-ending inbox. I appreciate the freedom to read a book, learn a new skill, and be able to apply it to my work or personal life. Learning how to be a better spouse, parent, friend, leader, contributor, or team player provides never-ending opportunities to make progress.
- Each day, appreciate one teacher in your life and learn a new lesson. Most reading this probably are not in school, but the reality is we have teachers around us our whole life and are learning new lessons forever. Teachers might be the author of a book you read, a friend with a skillset or a quality you would like to have, a speaker at a seminar you’ve attended, or a spouse who knows you better than anyone.
While there are hundreds of ways to practice gratitude, these three stand out to me. They require a bit more thinking and they have empowered me to pay much closer attention to the small things each day or week that I should be grateful for.
To put these into action in your life:
- Rate how you are doing in each of these, or any others you may determine on your own, on a scale of 1-5. (1 meaning rarely and 5 meaning always).
- Next, write down any specific actions you can take to make this a daily habit in your life.
Please share in the comment section your thoughts or ways you will be practicing gratitude going forward!