I learned a bit about gratitude this summer. Kenny and I went to Glacier National Park for a 10-day hiking trip. Unfortunately, weather prevented us from hiking all but 3 of the days we were there. This led to quite a bit of unexpected down time in White Fish, Montana.
On our many walks around the town, I browsed in bookstores to find a new gratitude journal. My vision was a journal with prompts for different ways to explore gratitude with lots of room for doodling. I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
In the week we had in our little hotel room with a view of the parking lot, I started writing the journal I wanted – Intentional Gratitude. I finished it over the summer with input from friends, a survey, and by looking at formats and art I liked. I asked my cousin for some great photos, bought some doodle artwork from Etsy and got it done! Through the process, I researched and thought a lot about what living a life of gratitude looks like. Here are 10 ways:
1. Start a Gratitude Journal.
Using a gratitude journal on a daily basis is a game changer. You can use Intentional Gratitude (my journal with prompts), any journal or a blank notebook. It will set the tone for your day by focusing on what’s going right with your life.
2. Look at your day differently.
Look for the silver lining in everyday circumstances. For instance, when your child returns home late, but safe. Or when you get to the top of the mountain and it’s raining, but hey – you made it to the top!
3. Think positively about your life.
It’s easy to think about what’s not going well with your life. Instead, try focusing on what you are grateful for. Tell people, every day, what you appreciate about them – it can be something very simple, like “I love your smile; Thank you for making my day.”
4. Carry a token of gratitude.
Put something special to you somewhere you will see it as a reminder to be thankful for your many blessings. I have a “gratitude rock” that a friend gave me. It hangs from my car’s rear view mirror and reminds me to be grateful and embrace what’s going right in my world instead of the guy who cut me off.
5. Do something you love every single day.
What do you love to do? Take time out from the busyness of your life every day to do at least one thing you love. Smell the flowers, talk to a family member, go for a hike, take a bath, enjoy a hobby, or make fun memories with someone.
6. Take charge of your own personal and professional development.
You are in charge of your own life, and any positive change is up to you – not someone or something else. Rather than blame your circumstances for any unhappiness, learn how to take steps to change them – or your response to them. Take a class, learn from experts, or get the coaching you need to move forward to grow personally and professionally.
7. Pause and reflect.
Take time to enjoy the world you live in. Breathe. Look up and spend some quiet time, take a walk, watch a sunset, and simply notice your surroundings. A simple way to start this is to PUT THE DARN PHONE DOWN! Just sayin’.
8. Future shift your thinking.
Most of us focus on the here and now. But, it’s just as important to think of what you want your future to look like. Take steps to make that happen. Set a goal and a plan for reaching it. Make one small step today.
9. Pay it forward.
Pay attention to those who need a little help – the person in front of you in line who’s 93 cents short, the lady who needs help juggling her “stuff”, your neighbors who may need help. It will have a huge impact on them, and on you as well.
10. Don’t forget to appreciate yourself.
The most important gratitude to practice of all may be to appreciate yourself. Talk nice to yourself and tell the nay-Sayers in your head to simply shut up.
Try a few of these and start living a life filled with gratitude and positive energy.
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She coaches small business managers on HR issues and provides training on workplace communication to organizational groups. She is the author of 2 books on communication skills, a family cookbook and a gratitude journal. All are available on Amazon.com.
In addition, she hosts a twice-annual Women’s Summit that brings women together to learn how to become more confident communicators.
Join my private FB group for women: Want to connect with other women learning how to communicate with confidence? Join my free group here.
To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings please visit our website.
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