Make Gratitude a Year Round Tradition
It is that time of year when the season reminds us to pause and give thanks. Giving thanks all year long is really the ideal. Studies show that gratitude can have an impact on your health and well-being. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to remind us to stop and make sure our focus is on target!
I am on the worship team at our church. Often as I prepare to lead worship, I think about how to inspire thankfulness. I think most of us know how to be thankful, but it is so easy to get focused on the minutia of daily living and lose track of the big picture. How can we inspire ourselves to thankfulness?
1. Force it. Pick one or two things to be thankful for and say them out loud. Even if there is nobody in the room. It is contagious. If you get started, you can’t help but smile.
2. Think about the things you take for granted. I am thankful for food. I am thankful for a bed to sleep on. I am thankful that I don’t live in the devastation from the hurricane in the Philippines.
3. Help someone out. It feels good to help others. Put some real cash in that Salvation Army bucket, or some other organization that truly helps people. Find ways to reach out to those around you every day.
4. Spend some time with small children. Everyone has them in their lives somewhere. It might be a niece or a nephew, or your grandchildren, or those of a friend. Young children still have that wonder and excitement. They aren’t afraid to just be silly. You can’t help but smile!
5. Change your routine. We all get stuck doing the same things over and over. Be spontaneous. Go for a walk, surprise someone you haven’t seen in years, stay out late, get up early, whatever it is, do something completely out of the norm for you.
6. Give a compliment to someone. Making others feel good has great reward. Thank someone for just being them. Compliment someone on their work, appearance, integrity, family, or home. It is awesome to put a smile on someone’s face.
7. Read something inspiring. Take a break from business, leadership, finance, and read something about the triumph of others. Read something that focuses your attention away from yourself.
8. Crank up the music. Find that upbeat song that puts some spring in your step. Sing a silly kids song. Belt out “You Are My Sunshine”. Find your guitar, drums, violin, and or just pound out the rhythm on your steering wheel!
9. Make friends. Put your smartphone away, take an interest in people, and spend some time asking someone about themselves. We are wired to communicate with others, so find ways to transcend the daily clutter and get to the stuff that counts.
10. Celebrate. Don’t let those celebration points pass you by. It doesn’t have to be a big anniversary. Just decide to celebrate something for a whole day. I remember as a young parent going out to eat, and the waiter asking if we were celebrating something. Our friends that were out with us quickly said “Yes, they are celebrating that their first child is potty trained”! Yes, I’d say that is worth celebrating.
Bonus – Acknowledge God. There is a higher power. It is evident in the order of universe, the skies, and the beauty in our world.
I look over these ten items and wish I could remember to do half of them, just half of the time. It is hard to read them and not to smile! I am thankful for those of you reading this newsletter. Most of you are customers and friends, and if you are not, I would hope we get to meet over the next year.