It’s probably a little cliche to write a gratitude post in November, but if you’re a long-time reader you know that I don’t limit my talks about gratitude to a specific time of year. And if I’m really being straight with you, I have to admit that it just feels appropriate to write about what feels authentic to me no matter how overdone the concept might be.
But all of those disclaimers aside, the real reason for this post is that I simply can’t imagine a November without a gratitude post. The question that keeps pushing my pen in that direction isn’t what we are appreciative of as Thanksgiving (aka Gratitude Day) approaches, but rather how can we keep that feeling of gratitude going all year long?
It would be easy to talk about how for many of us this might be the first Thanksgiving that we’re seeing our extended family members again. That’s certainly something to be grateful for! But I’m really intrigued by how most of us managed to drum up feelings of sincere appreciation, despite our circumstances last year. And I’m particularly looking forward to exploring how, as we get back to our new normals, we can hold onto those feelings of gratefulness too.
So aside from meditation, journaling, and gratitude lists (all of which I’m big fans of), let’s delve into the three additional ways to embrace gratitude-not only in November, not only post quarantine, but all year long.
Set a gratitude reminder on your phone- I have an app on my phone that twice a day sends me an alert. I feel the tap on my Apple Watch and I glance down to a message that says what are you grateful for today? A few minutes later I always get a second alert-What would you like to manifest today? I love that the Idillionaire app reminds me daily to not only pause to reflect on what I’m thankful for but also reflect on what I’d love to see unfold in my life as well. But you don’t have to have an app to do that. You can simply set a daily reminder on your phone or if you’re not tech-savvy at all a Post It Note with that question visibly placed will do the trick too.
Take a picture-create a photo folder of things that bring you joy. It could be a candid shot of your child/grandchild, a daily photo of your pet or a flower, or an interesting bird on your morning walk. A visual reminder is something you’ll always be able to turn to. We have one of those digital photo frames and watching all of those memories roll around always makes me smile. But again a folder on your phone, or even a photo album (prominently displayed) will work as well. Capturing photographs of people, places or things that you’re grateful for, and looking back at them, is an easy way to evoke those feelings inside of you.
Give back-Giving Tuesday, The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, The United Way and similar organizations are great national ways to give back during the year, but what about finding a local or small organization that you can become even more invested in (literally of course). I’ve found two nonprofits that I give both my time and donations to. If you don’t have the bandwidth or the desire to join a foundations board or advisory council (they can be emotionally rewarding but they certainly can be time consuming too) instead find a clothing donation center, a food drive, animal shelter, or a local school that you can regularly give your time or donations to. Altruism is powerful! Giving back is not only a great way to appreciate what we have, but doing so in a more meaningful and strategic way makes us more grateful for others too.
All of these suggestions are about creating routines throughout the year to help you cultivate gratitude. When we make gratitude a practice not only does it make us happier (there’s science behind that) but we’ll attract more good things too!
I’d love to hear about things you do all year to practice gratitude as well.
Until Next Post,