When my son Lucas was four we did an experiment...
Each night during his bedtime we talked about what we were grateful for, wrote it on a slip of paper, and put it into a Gratitude Jar. We did this routine over the course of thirty days.
In a nutshell, this experience completely transformed my life.
Watch the video here: The True Story of How Practicing Gratitude Changed My Life >>>
Before using a Gratitude Jar, I was the person who fixated on the negative and went through each day focusing on all the things that irritated me.
By late afternoon I was miserable.
I would find any excuse to be alone in the kitchen while making my family dinner so I could drink generous amounts of wine.
Me, around 5 pm each day…:)
The incredible practice that took me from rock bottom, to emotional freedom.
Practicing gratitude was not something I’d ever done before, but decided to try when it was suggested to me by a mentor.
I thought practicing gratitude sounded like a good way to connect with my oldest son, who I had been feeling distant from since his baby brother had been born eight months ago.
So, I began thirty days of gratitude with my four-year-old and noticed changes almost immediately.
Every night I wanted to come up with a really good gratitude to share with my son, so I paid close attention all day for what that might be.
Being on the lookout for things to be grateful for was a lot different than focusing on the things that annoyed me - which I had been a pro at doing.
I realized there was a whole lot around me I had completely taken for granted.
Simple things like the sun, delicious food, a good night’s sleep, holding my husband’s hand, a movie that made me laugh out loud, my littlest one cooing peacefully in his crib, and on and on.
There were so many things right in front of me I had never given the time of day before, but which now deserved my attention, and gratitude.
From seeing the world through the eyes of gratitude, I noticed I started feeling something I hadn’t felt in long time: Happy.
I realized I’d never felt quite so happy and content before. At least not to the point where I actually noticed.
I learned focusing on what you don’t want brings more of it, while focusing on what you already have and give gratitude for, brings more and more things be grateful for.
Make this year your best one yet…
There are several ways to practice gratitude, and I’ve included a few of my favorite practices below.
For best results, I suggest doing any one of these practices for thirty days, then continuing longer if you feel inspired.
Start a Gratitude Jar
Cut up several slips of blank paper.
At the end of each day or very beginning, reflect on what you’re most grateful for.
Write it down on your slip of paper and put it in your gratitude jar.
Put the jar in a prominent spot of your home to serve as a visual reminder your blessings.
EXTRA CREDIT: Read The Gratitude Jar book to get inspired to keep your gratitude practice going. PS - You can download a copy for FREE right here!
Start a Gratitude Journal
Get a notebook, blank journal or a guided gratitude journal and write down what you’re most grateful for at the end of each day, or very beginning.
If you want to spice it up a bit, you could try a variation like:
Write 3 things you’re grateful for, or 5, or 10 each day. You could write them in sentences and go into detail about each one, or just choose a single word like, “coffee” or “sunshine”.
Draw your gratitude. Or, paint them. Sing them. Dance them. Make a collage. Whatever suits your fancy.
Share your gratitude practice with someone else. Make the commitment to practice together. It’s SO powerful to share this practice with someone else - which is why the gratitude journal I just published has TWO blank pages for each day, so you and a friend can share in this life-changing practice together.
Write Gratitude Letters
Get a stack of thank you cards or stationery (blank paper works too), and write a letter to someone telling them how thankful you are for them and why.
Mail the letter or deliver by hand.
**This practice was inspired by a man named John Kralik who transformed his life by writing a thank-you letter to someone every day for a year.
John’s book, A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life is super inspirational and I highly recommend it!
Make this year the best one yet by spending time in gratitude every day.
I promise it will be the best New Year's resolution you ever make.