Intentional gratitude practices can have a multitude of benefits … when we do them!
The “Grati-Tools” are suggestions for ways to increase awareness of our blessings and privileges, (the ones that already exist), resulting in a multitude of potential benefits – emotionally, behaviorally, neurologically, physiologically, etc.
Your mileage may vary, but the likelihood of benefit is high.
Intentional gratitude practices – “Grati-Tools” – some possible results:
* experiencing more positive feelings, moods, and emotions associated with gratitude.
* more sincere expressions of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness.
* gaining new perspectives that could catalyze improvements in multiple areas of life.
* literally increasing happiness and well-being; short and long term.
Grati-Tool #1: Gratitude For Those Who Touched My Life
List ten people (or animal companions) from your past or present, who have positively contributed to your life. Those you love, who’ve helped you in some way, mentors, teachers … those who deserve your thanks and appreciation. Once a week, read your list and add ten more names. Think about what you would write to them in a thank-you note. And, maybe … write that note!
• Make an ongoing list of your best teachers, professors, mentors, coaches, advisors.
• Make an ongoing list of people you love and people you’ve ever loved,
people who love you, and people who’ve ever loved you.
• Make an ongoing list of people whom you’ve forgiven, and people you’d like to forgive.
• Make an ongoing list of musicians, writers, poets and artists who’ve inspired you.
• Make an ongoing list of businesspeople, social activists, change agents and heroes who’ve inspired you.
Choose to experiment with the one or the ones you like most.
Revisit and add to them, as you’d like to. Over time, you’ll remember more!
Have fun as you gain some new perspectives!
Mentor (noun): an experienced and trusted adviser. Synonyms: coach, guide, helper, counselor, consultant.
Consider these questions:
What is important, meaningful to you now? What do you want to learn … change … improve … accomplish. How would you like to feel? What ignites your passion? What triggers your happiness and joy?
Make a list of your strengths and competencies. Review regularly. Edit and revise as you see fit.
Make a list of well-thought-out outcomes you most desire. Review regularly. Edit and revise as you see fit.
Know your B.S. (Belief System). Do you have a FIXED mindset … or a GROWTH mindset?
Focus on things that you CAN control or manage — choices, attitudes, actions, behaviors, mood, responses.
Take responsibility and accountability for “co-creating” or “shaping” the future you most desire.
Make a list of your own core values/virtues — or TARGET values/virtues. For example: loyalty, dependability, balance, compassion, kindness, generosity, passion, humility, bravery, professionalism, gratitude, flow, love, faith, patience, humor, ambition, optimism, confidence, fitness, wellbeing.
Then, review/reinforce regularly. Research and learn more about ways to demonstrate and embody them.
Compose appropriate “focus phrases” (sayings — proverbs — mottos — affirmations) Use them as reminders, positive triggers, inspirations, “alignments.”
Write, record, display the reminders and reinforcement that is appropriate to the outcomes you seek.
Make a “To-Feel List” — list of “target” or “most desired” feelings or emotional states. Review regularly. For example: happy, joyful, proud, enthusiastic, confident, grateful, compassionate, smart, lucky, appreciative, creative, energetic, inspired, calm, hopeful, positive, serene, helpful, loved, loving, valued, euphoric, strong …
Three other very helpful lists: • To-Do List – “Today’s Mission” • Inspiration List • Gratitude Journal
Gather intelligence, take notes. Flipboard. Google Search. Networking. Books. Magazines. TED Talks.
A KEY QUESTION: “What do I want to do, that I WILL do, to increase the likelihood of the outcomes I desire?”
Your goals should be appropriate, realistic, practical … they need to make sense.
To achieve specific goals: Break them down into small, workable steps. “What will I do TODAY?”
And … schedule those tasks and activities on your calendar! Give yourself honest feedback.
“PRACTICE MAKES HABITS” – to create a new habit or ritual, link it to an existing one.
• “What would I advise my dearest friend with the same goals, or challenges that I’m facing?”
• If a highly motivated person was seeking advice and guidance from you, in areas of interest to you … What would you tell them? How would you help them? Would you follow your own best advice?
Be honest with yourself. Be good to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be self-compassionate.
©2016 Jerry D. Posner
Grati-Tuesday Missives — January, February, March 2016
Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 1/5/16! Thank you, furnace! Thank you, space heater! Thank you, propane! Thank you, hot water! Thank you, electricity!
Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 1/12/16! Reasons to feel grateful? Reasons to be thankful? Reasons to express appreciation? Yes, many!
Grati-Tuesday Greetings: 1/19/16! Gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation – foundations of a meaningful day. Feel it! Express it!
Grati-Tuesday, 1/26/16: More gratitude = _____________.
Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 2/2/16! What goes in your gratitude journal? Things in your life that make you smile. People you love. People that love you. Privileges, blessings and gifts.
Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 2/9/16! “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” — Gertrude Stein
Grati-Tuesday Greetings 2/16/16! If you’re reading these words, you have much to be grateful for. Hot and cold running water? Electricity? Food and shelter? Take a minute to acknowledge the good stuff. (Makes it easier to navigate the tough stuff.)
Grati-Tuesday Greetings, 2/23/16! Breathe in and think, “I’m grateful I can breathe.” Then, exhale and think, “I’m grateful I can breathe.” Repeat for 60 seconds, and notice where your mind goes next.
Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/1/16! “Grateful for the compassionate, caring, constructive people whose lives impact ours.”
Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/8/16! From time to time, let your heart overflow with gratitude. How about now? Facebook will still be here when you’re done.
Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/15/16! “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — G.K. Chesterton
Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/22/16! Add some gratitude to your attitude (as desired or as necessary).
Grati-Tuesday Greetings – 3/29/16! Gratitude and appreciation to the elementary and high school teachers! Thank you for your service!
Grati-Tuesdays November/December 2015
11/3/15 Grati-Tuesday! “When I look for reasons to feel grateful, I find hundreds, if not thousands. Sure beats self-pity!”
11/10/15 Grati-Tuesday! Think of just one thing that you’re grateful for. It doesn’t have to be the thing you’re MOST grateful for, just any one thing. Okay, two things. Just two things that make you feel sincerely thankful. Alright … three
11/17/15 Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Gratitude for blessings we are privileged to enjoy, help us maintain balance … especially during tough times.
11/24/15 Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Why wait? Be thankful now!
12/1/15 It’s Grati-Tuesday! An intentional gratitude practice, like a daily gratitude journal, doesn’t guarantee miracles … but CAN increase their likelihood.
12/8/15 Grati-Tuesday Greetings! Savor this moment. Gratitude. Thankfulness. Appreciation. Perspective. Balance.
12/15/15: Grati-Tuesday Greetings! “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” — John Milton
Grati-Tuesday 12/22/15: When times are stressful and busy, it’s especially helpful to take a “gratitude break!” How about right now?
12/29/15: Grati-Tuesday Greetings! “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.” – Cicero