We could all use a big, fat thankful heart. For this reason, I have made it my goal to research gratitude- why it matters and how to implement it so that it becomes apart of us every day. Being thankful is a process not an event.
It’s no surprise that we all go through tough seasons in life and it can be a struggle to find something to be grateful for. We experience painful things that take a toll on us and put us in a state of negative thoughts and behaviors. This can be paralyzing if you don’t look at what there is to be grateful for.
I have entitled this post “21 days of Thanks: why 21 matters” for a couple of reasons..
1. 21 days has been proven to be a start where changes and new behaviors and habits start to form.
This is not to say that it will automatically just happen after 21 days. Research has proven that on average it takes more than 2 months for a new behavior to become a habit.
2. 21 days is a doable goal.
When we focus on a number that isn’t too big and scary then we are able to commit to the process. It isn’t overbearing and it isn’t overly risky.
It is my hope that you continue this journey with me and are encouraged/motivated to keep going, even if you have a bad day, or two or three?
If you happen to miss a day, don’t feel bad. Pick yourself up and remind yourself you can do this.
Now if you’re wondering whether or not you want to embark on this journey, I have a few encouraging facts. Being grateful has many proven benefits.
Studies show that gratitude can do the following:
- Improve health
- Increase happiness and reduce depression
- Reduces toxic emotions
- Improves self esteem and mental strength
- Improves quality of sleep
- Promotes optimism
- Have a more positive outlook
In addition to this list, gratitude reduces entitlement and makes us more giving.
Now that we have established why and how being grateful matters, I would like to leave you with some ways to start putting it into practice.
For the next 21 days (minimum and please go longer) you will keep a gratitude journal.
- List one thing, every day of the week that you are grateful for. You can write why or meditate on it throughout the day.
Another great idea I’ve heard done before is to create a gratitude jar.
This can look many different ways…
- Fill it with money everytime you think of something you are grateful for. Then at the end of the day/week/month (however long it takes you to fill it) give it to a family in need.
- Another option is to write down something you are grateful for with your family. Each of you will take a turn reading them on a family night at the end of the day/week/month.
I’m incredibly grateful to do this with you. We were made to encourage, inspire and motivate each other to even more greatness. Joy, impact, meaning, purpose- these are words you thought you knew. We are going to seek to understand on a deeper level in the journey ahead. Prepare yourself, the journey ahead is about to get really good. Adventure here we come.