What if every day was Thanksgiving? It just might change how we look at life. Perhaps we would realize how many reasons we have to be grateful.
The season is a reminder to stop and count our blessings. Everyday life aside, we pause to give thanks. Sitting around the table with loved ones, we think about how special they are in our lives. But the season passes quickly, and we return to the daily grind.
A thankful heart shouldn't be reserved for a season or a day. God's grace is all around. Daily life is full of blessings. But busyness makes it a challenge to stop long enough to reflect.
It would be wonderful if it were possible to greet every morning with a smile. Unfortunately, life happens. We face challenges. Some days are harder than others. Some mornings it takes everything we have to get up, let alone wake up with a cheerful heart.
Here are some principals that I apply on a daily basis. Some days are harder than others. Either way, they tend to work for me. They may be helpful for you as well.
1. Wake up early to give yourself sufficient time to reflect. Don't just jump out of bed at the last minute and rush off to work or school. You need time to step back and think.
I get up at 4:45 every morning. I decide what I'm going to do ahead of time. Despite my feelings, I do it. Even if I wake up feeling less than my best, this simple act of discipline keeps me going.
2. Count your blessings rather than your limitations. If you focus on problems, they tend to get bigger. If you reflect on blessings, problems lose power to control your thinking.
Writing tends to work for me. It allows me to look for the positive in even the most difficult of circumstances. The challenges may still be there, but I have more strength to deal with them.
3. Think about someone that you can help or encourage. Be intentional. Focus on how you can build others up, and you'll be inspired as well.
Sharing positive quotes or an encouraging blog post on social media is helpful for me. I've gone through some challenging times in the past 18 months. Rather than allow circumstances to overwhelm me, I shift my focus to what I can do to inspire and motivate others.
Make November your month of appreciation. Apply the 'Thankfulness Formula' as you celebrate Thanksgiving. But don't wait for Thanksgiving to begin. Start today. And don't stop there. Celebrate now, and make gratitude a habit every day.
If you’re ready to shift your focus, let’s talk.
Julie Barbera, author of the forthcoming book, Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection
“Treasures Are Right Before Our Eyes, yet Many Miss Gems Searching for Pearls at the Bottom of the Sea.”