Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It’s a time to pause and express our gratitude for the things we often take for granted—the people in our lives, the roof over our heads, the food on the table. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget the spirit of Thanksgiving and fall back into old habits. Just a day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday—a day marked by consumerism and incivility—and all the thankfulness and simplicity of the prior day seem to go out the window.
It’s a shame that this tends to happen because grateful people are often successful people. According to author and leadership speaker, David Horsager, “Gratitude is the number one magnetic trait.” People tend to gravitate towards grateful individuals because they are viewed as trustworthy, sincere, and optimistic.
How can you hold onto the spirit of Thanksgiving and maintain a positive, grateful attitude all year round? Here are a few activities that will help you see the positive side of life and express your thankfulness.
- Let gratitude be the first thing you think about in the morning.
Your morning mindset can influence your entire day. According to Kate Bratskeir of the Huffington Post, “Adding intention into your morning routine is in your best interest: It sets the tone for the rest of your day, and may ultimately reflect how productive, happy and calm you’ll be for your following waking hours.” Before you get out of bed, think of three things for which you are grateful. Are you grateful for your family? The healthy breakfast you’re about to eat? Warm socks? Employment? The education you received that allows you to read this blog post? Let your three things guide you into the day.
- Keep a gratitude journal
Spend a few minutes over lunch jotting down a few things that you’re especially thankful for today. Try to write something every day so that gratitude because a habit. If you’re feeling down, pull out the journal and read some of your past entries—I guarantee they’ll get you smiling again!
- Say thank you
Don’t assume that a thank you is implied. Say it out loud. Tell someone you are grateful for their contribution or their positive presence.
- Practice simplicity
A big part of gratitude is being thankful for what you have. Do you really need that new pair of shoes or that brand new smartphone? Be grateful for your perfectly good possessions, not captive to the latest trends.
- Avoid pessimists
There’s nothing like a persistently pessimistic person to bring down your mood. This year, make a point of avoid toxic influences and, instead, seek out positive, caring individuals who will support you in your mission to embrace gratitude.
Once you establish a “gratitude routine,” you’ll find yourself becoming happier, more sincere, and optimistic. Make gratitude part of your brand and transform your personal and professional life.
As Peer Performance Solutions turns one year old, I would like to say THANK YOU to all of those who helped make it a successful year. Your support and encouragement is priceless.