Reviewing What Works For Incorporating Gratitude

On this 30th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to review what I did this month.

30 Days of Thanks Living Table of Contents is below. As I put this list together, I noticed that I am missing some posts. Oops. I forgot to put them on here. Once I figure out how to backdate a post, I will put those in the Table of Contents and on my blog.

REVIEW. Here are three things I learned from doing this series.

ONE. Everyday Consistency. No matter how much I talk about gratitude, I am never done with it. I always need the reminder through my calendar, FitBit or Gratitude App. Being grateful (for me) is not a natural state of being especially during the extra busy or hurting times.

·       Read Track Gratitude On The Calendar. This tells how your calendar can be useful gratitude tracker.

·       Read Making Gratitude Permanent. This tells how I use my FitBit to remind myself to express gratitude.

·       Read Apps Make it Easy to Document Gratitude. This post tells you the app I like and still use on a daily basis.

TWO. Fun & Creative. Gratitude reminders and practices don’t have to be dreary and boring. Instead they can add beauty and play to our lives. In fact, these type of activities will most likely be the ones that last.

·       Read about two games I came up with: Gratitude BINGO Game Conversation Starter and Searching is A Good Way To Review Gratitude.

·       Read these two posts that talk about fun ways to bring gratitude into our lives: Sing Your Way Into Gratitude And Gratitude Movies Give us Ideas.

·       Read Use Christmas Cards To Send Gratitude. We can express gratitude in a multitude of natural ways.

THREE. New ideas. The internet and books offer a myriad of ideas. This is especially helpful for me as I can get bored with routine. Learning these new practices enrich my gratitude thinking and actions.

·       Read Smell Your Way To Gratitude. This was a novel idea and I’m still enjoying it a lot.

·       Read Slow Down To Ramp Up Gratitude. Sometimes the best way to find gratitude is by doing nothing.

·       Read Professional Gratitude Journal Encourages. While I haven’t started this one yet, I know it will make a difference.

Your Turn . . .

·       Which post impacted you the most?

·       What have you learned by having an ongoing gratitude practice?

·       What will you put into your daily life this week?

Related Posts . . .

8 Different Ways to Express Gratitude

Gratitude Letter Writing Project

Personal Gratitude Prevents Burnout

Table of Contents

 1. Making Gratitude Permanent

2. Using Photos to Document Gratitude

3. Books Help Grow Gratitude

4. Walk and Be Grateful for Everything

5.  Questions, Prompts, & Colouring Pages Help Gratitude Flow

6. ABC’s Form A Gratitude List

7. Volunteering Boosts Gratitude

9.  Be Around People That Model Gratitude

11. Set Up Your Environment To Encourage Gratitude

12. Track Gratitude On The Calendar

14. Smell Your Way To Gratitude

15. Quote Notebook Helps Broaden Gratitude Definition

16. Gratitude BINGO Game Conversation Starter

17. Searching is A Good Way To Review Gratitude

19. Celebrating Others Increases Our Gratitude

20. Slow Down To Ramp Up Gratitude

21. Regular Recitations Help Gratitude Echo

22. Apps Make it Easy to Document Gratitude

23. Sing Your Way Into Gratitude

24. Gratitude Movies Give us Ideas

25. Go Around The Table & Express Gratitude

26. Writing Gratitude Facts With Pen and Paper

27. TED Talk Podcast Teaches a LOT About Gratitude

28. Use Christmas Cards To Send Gratitude

29. Professional Gratitude Journal Encourages

30. Reviewing What Works For Incorporating Gratitude

 

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Professional Gratitude Journal Encourages

On this 29th Day of Thanks Living I chooce to try a professional gratitude journal.

Many of us are still working from home. And while there are benefits to this, there are also drawbacks. There is the following lack: motivation …… social engagement …… work/home life balance …… and people to immediately brainstorm with. Sometimes it is hard to be enthusiastic about starting the day.

Work Gratitude Journal. I’m reading/doing projects from a book titled Crafting Gratitude: Creating and Celebrating Our Business With Hands and Heart by Maggie Shannon. She began implementing a professional gratitude journal once self-employed. Shannon noticed she felt the lacks I mentioned above. Already familiar with journaling gratitude, this idea was a natural progression. She “needed to focus on what was working well.”

Shannon explains her intentions. “I vowed that I would make a point of listing every good thing that occurred with my business each day: a lead, an encouraging phone call, an idea that excited me, even a trip to an office-supply store that yielded the perfect filing container!”

Be picky. To get started, Shannon suggests that we pick a journal that represents our job/business. Think about the colour (of the business or logo), the feel of the cover, and how you’ll personalize it. You’ll want your work journal to feel like “an ongoing invitation to pick it up and list all the things” for which you are grateful for in your work life.

Resolution. Since this is the 29th day of the month and I just read about this tip; I won’t try it in November. Nor will I try it in December as that month (for most of us) is super busy. So I want to do this for one month in 2022. I choose February since I will be on vacation through the first week in January and I want to try this for a full month.

Your Turn . . .

  • What do you think about trying a professional gratitude journal?
  • Will you join me in February? Leave a comment below and I will remind you in mid-January so you have time to personalize a journal.
  • Here is a question from Shannon. “How might the tenor of my day change if I were to mindfully look for five things to be grateful for each day in the pursuit of my profession or passion?”

Related Posts . . .

Finding Laughter: Is Laughter Needed at Work?

5 Things I Can Do When I Don’t Want to Work

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Use Christmas Cards To Send Gratitude

Vehicles of gratitude. I usually prepare my Christmas cards the weekend after Thanksgiving. I love this ritual. And I love Christmas cards: selecting them … buying special postage stamps … and taking time to write a note of thanks.

On this 28th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to use my Christmas cards as a medium for thanks giving.

Gratitude grows. Even though the recipients are not with me, I feel close to them. I feel more grateful for them. This is because I’ve spent some time thinking about our shared memories. I also take a couple of minutes to pray God’s blessings over their life.

Some years I’ve written a detailed letter that includes my gratitude and the happenings of my family and me. Some years, it is simpler – just a handful of sentences about what I appreciate about them

This year is a simple year. But I know my cards will still have an impact.

Welcome feedback. Because I am part of a Christmas card swap, I already mailed out some cards. This afternoon, I received the following message: “Thank you so much for the encouragement in your card. Love you so much.”  

I don’t normally get a thank you for a card I’ve sent. But it is wonderful to have confirmation that my note hit the mark!

It’s a gift. Whether I am the sender or the receiver, I view cards as gifts; especially cards that express gratitude.

Your Turn . . .

  • What is your view on cards as gifts?
  • When was the last time you received a meaningful card? What made it that way?
  • Will you write a note of appreciation in your Christmas cards this year?

Related Posts . . .

Kindness is Writing a Letter

Sending Thanks to a “Behind the Scenes Person” –

Letter Writing Meme Take Two

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Ted Talk Podcast Teaches a LOT About Gratitude

On this 27th day of Thanks Living, I chose to listen to a podcast about gratitude.

I am new to listening to podcasts. But wow, there are all kinds of topics available. A “gratitude” search came up with the following . . .

Gratitude podcasts: Hear a collection of thankfulness podcasts that cover everything from the science of gratitude to mindfulness and more. Here is the link: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/139-gratitude-podcasts-74117674/

The first podcast, The Gratitude Chain, was a Ted Talk by A.J. Jacobs. He set about thanking everyone who had a hand in making his morning cup of coffee. Turns out that was over a 1,000 people. It didn’t take a village to make his coffee; it took the world. He writes about his experience in Thanks a Thousand.

Here is the podcast link: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/18/969032187/the-gratitude-chain-a-j-jacobs to this 51 minute talk.

My favourite quotes are

“The first step to gratitude is noticing.” ·     

 “Gratitude makes you want to pay it forward … It sparks action.”

My favourite ideas are …

  • “Gratitude compounds itself. It makes you brave enough to take action to help other people.” We need more of this kind of bravery.
  • “Every moment is a gift.” Live like that and see how your attitude and life change.
  •  “If you err, err on the side of over-thanking others.” Which do you do more of, over-thanking or under-thanking?

My favourite word from this podcast is zarf! When was the last time you used a zarf? I bet for some of you, it is daily. Here’s the definition of zarf: protective sleeve on a hot cup of coffee.

Your Turn  . . .

  • Do you already listen to podcasts? Are any of them about gratitude?
  • What is the most meaningful part of this post?
  • How has it changed your mind about gratitude?

Related Posts . . .

Slow Down To Ramp Up Gratitude

Kindness is Paying Someone’s Way Who Can’t Pay You Back or Pay it Forward

Pay It Forward – New Theme for the 12 Days of Christmas

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Writing Gratitude Facts With Pen and Paper

On this 26th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to journal with pen and paper.

Sometimes, I just need to grab a pen (a really inky one) and write a list of what I’m thankful for. There are days . . . .

·      I need more space that what a square on a calendar allows. Read Track Gratitude On The Calendar.

·      I need a more free flowing way to document than writing an ABC gratitude list. Read ABC’s Form A Gratitude List.

·      I need to use a real pen and paper and so a keyboard or voice-to-text program won’t do.

At times, I need to write with physical utensils. Sometimes the list is short: one or two items. But I give myself time to explain WHY I am grateful and HOW it impacts me. I delve into what I’m thinking and how I live.

Usually, when I do this, I choose five gratitude facts. After I’ve journaled, I’ll copy it into WORD and post it to a weekly meme called Friday’s Fave Five. The cool thing is that I get to read what others have written. This format helps me to really get to know them.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done this in a long, long time. It is easy for me to get out of doing good habits. This is true even though I enjoyed doing this every week for years.

I am going to get back into this good habit. I’ll write a weekly Friday’s Fave Five during December. I’ll be on vacation in December and I think doing this gratitude practice will be easy as I only need my phone (and password to my blog).

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you find it makes a difference as to what kind of writing utensil you use? A keyboard? ……  Paper and pen? …… Voice-to-text?
  • How often do you write gratitude facts?
  • Will you try that this week?

Related Posts . . .

·      Friday’s Fave Five – November 15, 2019

·      Your Future Self Will Thank You for Today’s Action

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Go Around The Table & Express Gratitude

On this 25th Day of Thanks Living, (which is Thanksgiving Day), I will share with my table mates why I’m grateful.  

Many gatherings have this tradition at the Thanksgiving table. Each person says something for which they are grateful. This time of sharing makes us feel more connected. And research shows that when we hear (or read) what others are thankful for, we feel more thankful.

I will suggest we do this today after we eat. This year, I will share why I am grateful for each person at the table.  

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you done this before? How did you feel afterwards?
  • What would be on your list?

Related Posts . . .

Grateful 4 3 Reasons about Decluttering

What We Don’t Need For a Happy Holiday

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Gratitude Movies Give us Ideas

On this 24th Day of Gratitude, I choose to watch a movie and do something with my gratitude.

Movies entertain, pass the time, encourage, and can even spur us on to action. Movies that have a gratitude theme can remind us of what we have and help us do something with that remembrance. Below are two such movies.

It’s a Wonderful Life. George has a skewed idea of the state of his life. He tells Mary, “Everything’s wrong!” After George has an encounter with an angel, George figures out what’s right in his life: family, friends, and faith. Everything else (like a drafty old house) is insignificant.

Lesson: Really look at your life. Count your blessings: family, friends, faith, etc. Share them with someone. You’ll both be encouraged.

White Christmas. Sometimes a person impacts us in a majour way and then we forget about their impact. (Ex) Captain Bob Wallace and (ex) Private Phil Davis talk about the sacrifices their (ex) Major General Thomas Waverly made. “We ate and then he ate. We slept and then he slept.”

Sometimes we get a chance to show that appreciation on a grand scale. That is what Wallace and Davis did; they arranged it so that they and many of the soldiers in Waverly’s company could gather to show their appreciation.

Lesson: We all need appreciation. Those who are powerful and those who have a humbler position in life need reminders of the positive results of their actions. Whether it’s on a grand scale or a simple gesture/words, express gratitude to someone today.

Your Turn . . .

Read this post, Ten Movies That Teach Gratitude by Leanne Sowul.

Did you watch one of the above movies? What gratitude idea was impressed on you?

What movie would you add to the list?

Related Posts . . .

3 Reasons to Watch Christmas Movies (By FruitfulWords)

Grateful 43 – Movies (By FruitfulWords)

Making Gratitude Permanent (By FruitfulWords)

The Five Things I Learned from George Bailey (By The Pioneer Woman)

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Sing Your Way Into Gratitude

On this 23rd Day of Gratitude I will sing.

Singing brings many benefits. It oxygenates blood, helps express emotions, builds a sense of community, and it is fun. I like playing DJ for my daughter. Every couple of months we’ll sit in the living room and I will play various songs for her from my past.

I ask, “Who is singing this?” She usually replies, “The Beatles.” That is usually the wrong answer.

Time spent this way bonds us …… reminds me of events and people, so I share some stories …… and it leaves us feeling happy.

I also feel grateful. I am grateful for the time with my daughter, for the memories of my past, for the beauty of the music, and for feeling content.

DJ for God. Sometimes I will hunt on Youtube for songs that praise God. It’s like I am playing DJ for Him. Although I never ask, “Who is singing this?” This time spent singing brings me all the above benefits. Things like ……

  • Some songs remind me of ways God has interacted in my life
  • I feel closer to God after spending so much time thanking Him.
  • My trust, faith, and love for Him grow.
  • I am also reminded of the character of God and what He’s done for me.

My three favourite praise songs are In Christ Alone, Reckless, and Great is Thy Faithfulness. My favourite secular song is James Taylor’s You’ve Got A Friend.

All this truth makes me think differently. My thoughts become more centered.

Whether I am feeling down or upbeat, singing praise songs make me feel differently. Singing nudges (and at times PUSHES) my mood towards a more peaceful and joyful emotional state. And I am MORE GRATEFUL

Your Turn . . .

  • How does music impact you?
  • Have you ever DJed for God?
  • What songs help you thank God?
  • Or change your mood to a happier, peaceful, more grateful one?

Related Posts . . .

Grateful 43 – Songs

Songs Can Deliver Some Of The Best Sermons

Songs for the Soul – My Sunday Night Worship Time

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Apps Make it Easy to Document Gratitude

On this 22nd Day of Thanks Living, I choose to use my gratitude app.

There is an app for everything. I.e. Measuring health successes … Keeping on top of financial goals … Mastering language acquisition … Cementing habit formation.

Apps are a wonderful way to stay on track or helping new goals stick.

  • Some apps ding us when it’s time to check in.
  • They provide a convenient place to jot down our stats.
  • They provide motivation.
  • And some apps even have a communal aspect.

So, at the beginning of the month, I researched gratitude apps. I found one that was free and easy to use: Gratitude Garden. It has the following …

  • Dedicated space to list things I am grateful for.
  • I can email this list to myself.
  • I can back this up to iCloud.
  • Every time I post, I get points which can be redeemed to grow/populate my garden.
  • I can receive gratitude cards after I journal. These cards have a gratitude quote and then an action item associated with it.

I am liking this app more than I thought I would. Here are some reasons why.

  1. Easy. I usually know where my phone is and so it is easy to journal. (When I lose my phone, I activate my Tile which helps me find my cell.)
  2. Reminder. To remind myself, I have an alarm set (on my phone) That lets me know when journaling time is.
  3. Small space. Because the space is limited, I don’t feel pressure to write a lot for each “thankful” item.
  4. Accountability. It is my accountability partner. I like looking at the calendar and seeing all the spaces filled in.

I’ve enjoyed going back to reread things that happened these past 3 weeks. It brought a smile and a sense of satisfaction besides more gratitude. I can see myself continuing with this practice.

Your Turn . . .

  • What apps do you already use?
  • What benefit do you most appreciate that apps provide?
  • Consider down loading Gratitude Garden and giving it a go.

Related Posts . . .

·       11 Ways to Use Facebook in Your Ministry

·       Does Making a List Really Make a Difference?

·       Recounting Blessings from a Reluctant Heart Improves My Mood

 

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Regular Recitations Help Gratitude Echo

On this 21st Day of Thanks Living I choose to say Psalm 34:1-8 twice a day.

Recitation Challenge. Recently my pastor challenged the congregation to daily recite The Lord’s Prayer. He asked us to say it three times a day at 7am, 1pm, and 7pm. I have quite enjoyed this. Since I am reading it from a version I don’t normally read, I have to pay attention to the words.

Because I am reading it three times a day, the concepts and phrases frequently echo in my thinking without much conscious effort.

Regular times of thanks giving. I thought I could also do this with a prayer of thanksgiving or a psalm of thanksgiving. There are quite a few ideas on the internet. I finally settled on Psalm 34: 1-8 in the New Living Translation. Two times a day, I will say these verses at 10am and 10pm (just before bedtime).

Alarm the alarm. So that I don’t have to count on my memory to say the various things at various times, I set the alarm on my cell phone with the correct label (either The Lord’s Prayer or Psalm 34). And I took a photo of these two readings so that it is easy to find and read.

A friend saved The Lord’s Prayer to a voice memo app. I will see if I can do that as well.

  • Do you engage in regular, set times of prayer? How has that impacted you?
  • How about joining me in saying a prayer or a psalm of thanks giving at least once a day?

Related Posts . . .

5 Benefits from Giving Thanks

Grateful 43 – Things about Prayer

Prayer Impacts Us in 5 Ways

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Slow Down To Ramp Up Gratitude

On this 20th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to slow down so I can SEE what there is to appreciate.

It is noticing that opens up the way for gratitude. It takes mindfulness to notice what’s around us. And to be mindful, we need to slow down.

We are busy people. We’re busy with our families, friendships, work, household chores, and health maintenance. Time-saving devices (like washing machines, dishwashers, and convenience foods) have not saved us time. That claim was a myth. Instead of using the saved time to chill, deepen relationships, or have a hobby, we’ve added more work in its place. We are busier than ever.

This frenetic pace presents us from noticing the good around us. We take for granted the nature, people, and circumstances that bless us. We are blind to their beauty, helpfulness, and love. In short, we exhibit an attitude of INgratitude.

THAT STINKS.

I propose that we slow down. Notice what’s around us. Savour what’s around us. And then express our thanks. It is always appropriate to thank God. And it is appropriate to thank the people around us for their contributions and personhood.

Your Turn …

  • Could you do with some rest, quiet time, or empty slots on the calendar? Take it. Slow down. See what there is to appreciate. Have a gratitude fest. Even by yourself, it will be worth it.
  • If you are already good at a slower paced life that leads to gratitude, give us your best tip to guarding this time.

Related Posts …

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Celebrating Others Increases Our Gratitude

On the 19th Day of Thanks Living, I choose to celebrate with and for others.

We Feel Happy When We Engage In Three Types Of Gratitude. The first one is gratitude we receive. It is a good feeling to be recognized for a job well done or just for being you. It is a delight to know that our accomplishments are noticed and that we are appreciated. This is gratitude we are all familiar with.

The second type of happiness from gratitude is when we express gratitude to others. Yes, we feel gratitude when we extend gratitude. This is especially true when our gratitude doesn’t expect anything in return. At that moment we are more focused on the well-being of the other person than on ourselves.

The last type of happiness from gratitude is when we celebrate with others the good things in their lives. This is when I am grateful that someone has an accomplishment or a happy circumstance. This type of happiness is not usually talked about. But it sure is a relationship builder when we practice it.

For Instance . . .

  • I am grateful that Rusty’s surgery went well and the infection is all cleared up.
  • I am grateful that my niece found an awesome apartment in midtown despite the lack of affordable housing.
  • I am grateful one granddaughter (8 years old) went on her first camping trip without the family and it went well.
  • I am grateful my daughter finished the “renovations” on her SUV to turn it into a tiny, tiny home.

Your Turn . . .

  • When was the last time you experienced happiness from these types of gratitude?
  • Will you take some time today to express gratitude?
  • Share how it felt celebrating something from another’s gratitude list.
  • The next time someone says “Thanks,” stop and savour the moment. You were given a gift. Don’t be dismissive of that gift.

Related Posts . . .

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