3 Ways to Get More Gratitude Into Your Life

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“You say grace before meals. All right.

My daughter, Elizabeth, was on a fencing team while attending the Academy of Art University. I was grateful after each tournament that she didn’t get hurt!

  • But I say grace before the concert and the opera,
  • and grace before the play and pantomime,
  • and grace before I open a book,
  • and grace before sketching, painting, and swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing,
  • and grace before I dip the pen in ink.” G. K. Chesterton  

To say grace before meals is a time to ask for God’s blessings and to thank Him for our food. And I’ve been at some tables where a little one will thank God for a whole lot more!

This concept posed by Chesterton, saying grace before good, fun, enlightening activities, is a new concept to me.

Although in I Thessalonians 5:18 the apostle Paul says to give thanks in all things. I always thought these “all things” were the bad, trying, and sad circumstances of life. I never hooked it to the good.

I wonder what would happen in my attitude, if I were to say grace at all these times?

Your Turn . . . Besides saying grace before activities “that matter to you” how else could you enforce the practice of gratitude?

Below are three ideas. What would you add?

I. Create a Gratitude Calendar.

  1. Buy a dollar store calendar or print one from your computer.
  2. Brainstorm a list of categories you could be grateful for. You’ll need 12.
  3. Each month acknowledge your gratitude to/for that category. Choose whether you’ll do this daily, weekly, or once a month.
  4. Express your gratitude in prayer or by some other tangible act like sending an email, calling on the phone, or creating art or writing a blog post in honour of the category.

Here are some category ideas . . .

  • People You’ve Known who made an impact on you
  • People in your current life
  • Nature
  • Pets
  • Teachers
  • Travel experiences
  • Artists/Artwork
  • Books
  • Family
  • Failures/Triumphs
  • Traditions
  • Relationships/Friendships
  • Music
  • Things that make you happy
  • Bible
  • School/Work
  • Your City
  • Transportation
  • Heroes
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Medical: professionals, medicines, therapies

II. Send 365 Thank you cards. Write a thank you note to someone every day for a year. John Kralik did this and found his life changed. Here is an interview with John. He wrote a book about the experience.

A year too daunting? . . . . What about writing one every day for a month? . . . . Or write one the first Monday of every month.

  • You could even forgo paper and send a thank you email every day for a year.
  • Don’t over think this.
  • Just write a few sentences stating why you are thankful.
  • It doesn’t need to be long; just make it heartfelt.
  • Don’t forget the mailman, the bagger at your grocery store, Your partner, your plumber, your 3rd grade teacher.
  • In this post I list 36 potential people you can write to.

III. Create Post-it Note gratitude quotes. Be proactive about reminding yourself you have reasons to be grateful.

  • Go online and look up gratitude quotes or gratitude Scriptures. Write one saying on each piece of paper.
  • Or write a sentence on each Post It note declaring why you can be grateful in this situation.
  • Place them where you are least likely to feel gratitude: your car dashboard during rush hour . . . in a folder you will open during a contentious meeting . . . on your checkbook for when you pay bills . . .
  • READ them every time you come across them. Let the words sink in. Feel your gratitude rise and your frustrations and fear ebb away.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, that would suffice.” Mystic Meister Eckhart

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During November I am writing or posting a photo about something for which I am grateful. This explains why. 

Gratitude for November 4: I am grateful for quotes like the one from G. K. Chesterton about saying grace. This quote helped me see my world in a different way, in a way that promotes gratitude. Being more grateful will make me a more pleasant person to be around and will hopefully rub off on others. 😉

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Related Posts . . . 

  1. 5 Benefits From Giving Thanks
  2. 21 Ways to Express Gratitude
  3. A Quotations Meme
  4. Gratitude Lessons Are Free
  5. He Called Me Daughter Not By My Sin Or Disease
  6. Knowing How to Help Makes Me Grateful
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