Being grateful: 5 ways to make it a daily habit

by Betty Lochner on April 10, 2011

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.

~ Mother Teresa

Today marks the 5th anniversary of my mom’s passing. In this picture, my mom’s the one on the right, next to her childhood best friends. She was a great best friend.

One thing I learned from going through the experience of losing my mom was that appreciation shouldn’t be confined a moment or a day. It should be a part of your daily living. I am grateful everyday that she was such a significant part of my life.  I wished I would have made that connection years ago, and told her more often.  I often took her for granted. She was my mom after all.

I’ve learned that now, more than ever, we live in a culture that focuses more on what we don’t have, rather than appreciating what we have already received.  Changing that around and practicing daily gratitude can transform the way you view and respond to life in a very positive and transforming way.

Daily Gratitude Habits

Here are five easy ways to make appreciation and gratitude part of your daily routine.

1. Start your day with 5 minutes of gratitude.

Start each morning by writing down all you are thankful for in your life. It can be as simple as having hot water for a shower and food in your cupboard. This will help prepare yourself to be receptive and grateful for everything your day will bring.

2. Appreciate at least 3 people every day.

We often take the people in our lives for granted. Take a minute to go out of your way to say thank you, or send a note of appreciation. It will have a huge impact on them, and on you as well.

3. Be grateful in all circumstances.

Look for the silver lining in everyday circumstances. For example, when you get cut off on the freeway and arrive safely to work; when you child returns home late, but safe; when you get into a fender bender and no one was hurt.

4. Carry a token of gratitude
Put something in your pocket or somewhere you will see it that will remind you to take a moment to be thankful for your many blessings. It can be a stone, a verse, or something special to you.  I have a gratitude rock hanging from my car’s rear view mirror that works for me.

5. Don’t forget to appreciate yourself.
The most important appreciation you practice may be to appreciate yourself. Celebrate your successes, big and small.

It may not feel natural at first to focus on appreciating what you already have. But with practice you’ll make it a daily habit.

Thank you, mom.

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Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. And, it’s now available on Kindle! Check it out.

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