The Attitude of Gratitude

To be grateful means to feel pleased with something, in fact the root of the word is “gratus” which means “pleasing.”  But our instinct is to wait until we are pleased and then express gratitude, but what if we did this the other way around?  Complacency is the barrier to gratitude, and so we must be more intentional with it. For example, if you are reading this article the odds are that you have access to the internet via some type of technological device.  When did this device and the entire world wide web become a necessity and no longer a privilege for you?

To get you started with your new intention of gratitude, I have put together a month long challenge for you, specific to November but feel free to adjust it for any month.  After this challenge, the goal would be for you to no longer be so complacent or quick to point out the negatives in life without also recognizing the positives.

Even Jimmy Fallon takes the time out once a week to practice gratitude with his Thank You Notes.

How to use this challenge:

  1. Identify what to be grateful for with the prompt given on each day.
  2. Identify how it has made positive impact in your life.
  3. Identify why you like those positive impacts.
  4. Write these down, do an activity, or tell someone about it to express your gratitude.  (Some of these prompts even have suggested activities).
  • Week 1
    • Monday: Gratitude for something about yourself (*look in mirror)
    • Tuesday: Gratitude from something about your partner or a close friend
    • Wednesday: Gratitude for someone you look up to
    • Thursday: Gratitude for nature or a spiritual setting (*go to that place)
    • Friday: Gratitude for a gift you have received
    • Saturday: Gratitude for something a stranger has done for you
    • Sunday: Gratitude for potential opportunities in the week ahead
  • Week 2
    • Monday: Gratitude for a recent positive experience
    • Tuesday: Gratitude for a talent or ability you have
    • Wednesday: Gratitude for your body (*do something for self care today)
    • Thursday: Gratitude for you life (*look at the pictures in your home and appreciate those people or experiences)
    • Friday: Gratitude for you sense of taste (*eat your favorite food today)
    • Saturday: Gratitude for a job or role in your live
    • Sunday: Gratitude for your sense of smell (*light a candle or use a favorite scent)
  • Week 3
    • Monday: Gratitude for your favorite color (*wear it, color with it, point it out)
    • Tuesday: Gratitude for a recent lesson you learned
    • Wednesday: Gratitude for a chore and what it signifies (ex: laundry means you have clothes)
    • Thursday: Gratitude for a loved one younger than you (*call someone to let them know you are grateful for them)
    • Friday: Gratitude fro your interests (*do your favorite hobby today)
    • Saturday: Gratitude for silence (*spend 10 minutes of quite time)
    • Sunday: Gratitude for something you belong to – family, church, team, group of friends
  • Week 4
    • Monday: Gratitude for an old teacher or professor from whom you learned the most
    • Tuesday: Gratitude fro a frustrating experience from which you have grown
    • Wednesday: Gratitude for traditions (*use one of them)
    • Thursday: Gratitude for a loved one older than you (*send a note of thanks to someone)
    • Friday: Gratitude for daily comforts (*watch a favorite movie, TV show, or read a book)
    • Saturday: Gratitude for a time when someone forgave you
    • Sunday: Gratitude for self completing this challenge (*celebrate your accomplishment)

To continue your gratitude, here is my recommendation for a fun journal that not only keeps you appreciating life but becomes a piece of art the more you use it.

101 Joys Make a Rainbow: A Gratitude Journal