November is upon us! A month where the idea of gratitude and thankfulness enters the minds of many. While I love that so many choose to turn their minds towards this each year approaching thanksgiving, I wish that was the case all year long. A long time ago I was challenged to make a list everyday of ten things I was grateful for in an effort to see what I already had going for me. Fast forward to today, as a result of that activity I now see the world differently. By focusing on gratitude for a concentrated period of time, it is now part of my psyche to see the world through the lens of gratefulness. So what does it take to see the world through a appreciative filter? How do you start to see everything you have as enough? Like putting in your contacts everyday, or putting on your glasses, after time it becomes the way you see the everything.
Here are 3 tried and true tips on how to create a new mindset around gratitude.
1. Start by learning and recognizing what gratitude actually is and if a mindset shift is really what you want.
Gratitude can be commercialized and looked at as a seasonal way of being, but true recognition, thankfulness and gratitude that changes your state of being requests from you an elevated way of being in the world. One that is free of victimization, and more so one of responsibility and the choice to see circumstances as your ally, good and bad. Choosing to focus on what is happening, and to see it as a gift and a teacher is a challenging aim, however when adopted, albeit "hard" at times, truly is a remarkable way to live. It has been my experience that once you choose to see the world in this way, as your ally and to take responsibility, it is a more fulfilling way to live, but not necessarily "popular."
If creating a mindset of gratitude is for you then:
2. Find one person in your life you can have gratitude conversations with and do it daily.
Here is the deal; measurable long term change is most effective and fun with another person. Community tends to propel behavioral change. So find a friend, someone you like, and ask that person to partner with you to focus on what is working vs what’s not working. You would be shocked if you evaluated the topics of conversation with your friends. Chances are what you talk about is primarily focused on things other than what you love in your life but rather gossip and what is not working in your life.
Once you find your gratitude pal:
3. Track it, notice and repeat.
Systems ,systems, systems. If you really want to experience a measurable change, you have to create a system to measure your progress and celebrate re-commitment. I have gone to a host of workshops and courses and left with a ton of amazing ways that I want to use to shake up my routines and try new self care practices. The reality is that if I do not create a system to remind me to incorporate this new habit, I will forget. Some ways this has worked for me in that I use my Reminders app on my phone to set a daily note, scheduling myself just like I would a meeting for work. This is also another reason for a friend to join you: they can help with this part. Text each other daily! And once you have put together a few days in a row of your new habit celebrate that you are doing what you set out to do! And, when you go a few days not doing what you said you were going to do, re- commit! Do not throw the baby away with the bath water and quit, just re-commit and start again. Changing your mind and behaviors take discipline.
To develop a Gratitude habit resulting in a new perspective, it takes measurable effort requiring behavioral changes. It is by no means impossible, but to really enjoy the lasting benefits of gratitude it does take time and effort. The reason for doing so? A life that includes a genuine appreciation is one that is rich with context and meaning. To me, it's a catalyst to enjoying your life to it's fullest!
Lindsey Rainwater is a consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o