Cultivating Gratitude

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How many times have you said thank you without actually feeling… well… grateful? Muttering thanks to the person who held the door for you earlier, the barista who made your latte, and even your sign off “Thanks!” on all your emails can sometimes ring hollow. The sentiment, and most importantly, the good feelings you have behind the words are lost.

Honestly, if you did keep track of “moments of gratitude”, you would have a dozen things to be thankful for just in that morning on your way to work!

Don’t worry. You don’t have to keep track of ALL of it. How about five things? That sounds almost doable, right?

Putting your problems in perspective by focusing on the positive is the first step in overcoming them. And, there’s so much more. Here are some more unexpected benefits to starting a gratitude journal:

1. Good things DO happen and you finally have the “receipts” to prove it! A gratitude journal is literally your important paperwork of life.

2. You keep only memories that bring you joy. Have you ever gone through your old teenage journals and think … “What was I so upset about?! I had free food and wifi!”? If you want a happy life, record only the happy memories and let the bad times slip into oblivion along with your high school locker combination.

3. It’s the perfect way to end your day. Who doesn’t want to have their stress levels lowered right before bed? Skip the Tylenol PM and grab your gratitude journal instead.

4. Your future self will thank you. This is a little bit meta, but by writing out what you are grateful for now, you give your future self something to be grateful for. Gratitude is simply happiness you recognize at a later date.

5. You will find that you go through life extra attuned to “gratitude inspiring” events. How cool is that?

Starting and maintaining a gratitude journal sounds daunting, but it is so worth it. Here are some handy tips and tricks to get started.

1. Keep a small notebook and pen next to your bedside table. You can later invest in a fancy personalized journal. Whatever you have on hand will do just fine.

2. Write – don’t type. Research shows that the physical act of writing is soothing in and of itself.

3. Take a moment to think through what you are grateful for today. Just today. It may not make sense to anyone who is reading it, and that’s okay!

4. Stay the course. This isn’t a journal of events. This isn’t a place to write out your frustrations. Stay positive and keep out the negative.

5. Keep it secret. Don’t share it with anyone. It will only stymie your true thoughts and feelings. Your gratitude journal is a judgement free zone.

Are you ready to smile at the end of every work day? Keeping a gratitude journal is a hidden life hack for being healthier, happier, and more productive.

Try it!

 

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The Lions

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Wait? The Lions?

At this point in time I’d guess you are thinking one of two things: 1) Um, Who? Is that some sports team? Or 2) The Lions? I know they have Stafford but is he really getting them the wins they need?

As Americans, we’re known for a few quirky traditions on our Thanksgiving holiday– but one that touches all is the Detroit Lions football team: they always play on Thanksgiving and they always play that game at home.

They must be amazing, right?! Not so. In the last 10 years – they’ve only won their last 2 games. Yikes – a 1:5 winning ratio.

For this game, though, it doesn’t really matter if they win or lose (though for a while whoever they were playing had high hopes of an additional “W” to their record) – it’s the fact that everyone comes together. It’s a moment when each family member treks into the room with the TV and takes a peek at the score with either a “YES!” or an “ughhhhh” to follow.

It can be so easy in the hustle and bustle of life to even be distracted on Thanksgiving. You need to make sure all the food is ready, that you leave on time, and prep yourself to see “that” family member that things have been a little tense with.

And, you also need to make sure you REST on your two days off before you run back to work on Monday (can you pencil my nap in at 2:00 p.m. on Friday?)

As we’ve been talking about all the ways to take a break, we encourage you to do so on Thanksgiving too. Put your feet up for a sec. Take delight in your family gathered around the table. Spend some extra time cranking out those awesome mashed potatoes of yours.

Don’t let the pressure of the holiday steal away from you the time that you have.

Maybe even sit down to watch the Lions play, with your family or friends, and use that as a great excuse to take that break you deserve!

Stop and Be Thankful

Give ThanksI recently read a note from an English man on Thanksgiving… His thoughts really sparked my curiosity. He said a lot of times “The idea of being thankful for prospering after having taken a giant leap into the unknown (as the Pilgrims did) just doesn’t fit a society which is more guided by the social placement of Downton Abbey…”

His thoughts got me thinking…are weam Iare you – thankful for prospering after taking a giant leap into the unknown? Are we taking the time to be thankful for success before we move on to the next goal to reach? Do we even really take the time to consider what we are thankful for?

If we are honest, thankfulness can even get lost during the season of Thanksgiving; it’s so easy to get distracted by “getting everything done” before the holidays and figuring out travel plans that we forget to stop and remember all we have to be thankful for.

Here at Coaching Right Now, we want to promote thankfulness this season.

Over the last few months, we’ve introduced you to some of the awesome coaches we work with. We think it’s time to introduce you to our leadership team, too!

To give you a little flavor of who we are… we have all included something we’re thankful for.

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What are you thankful for? Leave a comment below, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Maybe you’ll even get a special shout out on a later blog!