The holiday season is here with Thanksgiving being just three days away. It's that moment where it feels like the end of the year is coming quickly.
Some folks have had Christmas decorations up in their house since November 1, while others will be putting them up this weekend.
Some folks have been listening to Christmas music already while others will allow it to hit the airwaves on Friday.
Some folks will be traveling both close and far distances to see family, and others will be spending time at home.
Some folks will be looking for the best deals on November 29, while others will be avoiding the lines and people at all costs.
Regardless of what camp we reside in for Thanksgiving, a unanimous sentiment around Thursday is working to be thankful and finding reasons to appreciate that one day. It's amazing how we need specific days to remind ourselves to be thankful and experience gratitude.
When we think about the skill of gratitude and optimistic thinking, it is one of the game changer type of shifts we can make with our mindset. Practicing gratitude will help us to be more resilient when challenges and adversities come our way. Identifying things we are grateful for each day has been shown to lead to better performance, greater life satisfaction, improved relationships, and a number of beneficial traits that help us to be the person we are striving towards.
Despite knowing how beneficial practicing gratitude can be we fall into the trap of only being grateful when the big moments come around that we feel are worth celebrating. When we earn a new job, a promotion at work, hit a training goal, or win the competition we have been preparing for do we actually take time to be thankful. What about all the days in between the big moments? How often are we thankful for having a coffee to start the morning? How often are we thankful for food when we are hungry? How often are we grateful to be able to physically move in a specific way? How often are we thankful for relationships that push us and comfort us when needed?
As we think about the answer to some of these questions, it may help us to realize that we want to practice gratitude more consistently to truly appreciate the high and lows that we experience on a day-to-day basis.
If gratitude is a skill we are interested in improving, then this is the perfect week to start.
With 36 days left in 2019, our challenge is to spend a little bit of time each day and make everyday Thanksgiving. Over the next 36 days we can lay down the foundation to start a habit that could make a major impact on our 2020.
Here is a simple three step process we can use start forming our gratitude habit.
1. Choose a specific part of the day that happens no matter what. (i.e. brushing your teeth in the morning, turning off your alarm clock, drinking your morning coffee, meditating, eating dinner, etc)
2. Combine that habit with the skill of identifying what is one thing that you are grateful for in that moment. It can be BIG or small.
3. After you identify what it is you are grateful for, spend a few moments reflecting on why you are thankful for that one thing.
It's as simple as that. After 36 days of practicing this skill we will be well on our way to building a habit that can dramatically shift our mindset for the better!