HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - As much excitement we have for the holiday season, we thought we could use a reminder of just how fortunate we all are. So often we view being grateful as something we are, but Habit and Success Coach Shannon Carothers wants to encourage us to shift it into something we do.
With gratitude practice, it gets easier the more we do it. Shannon says it’s easiest to incorporate a new habit into something we are already doing every day.
Here are 5 things we can do to incorporate a gratitude practice into our daily lives:
1. Dinner Time Thanks
This is as simple as having each member of the family say something they’re grateful for from the day. You can do this at the dinner table or in the car with a Happy Meal on the way to soccer practice. Connecting it to dinner time helps anchor it as a daily habit because dinner is something you already do consistently every day.
2. Gratitude Jar
Set a jar, some scrap paper, and a pen or two somewhere convenient where everyone passes it daily. Have family members write (or draw pictures) quick notes about something they are thankful for. Set a time weekly to go through these together and discuss. This can also be a fun practice for the end of the year to write favorite memories from 2023 to review on New Year’s Eve.
3. Thank You Cards
An oldie, but a goodie... everyone loves getting happy mail! And in a day of emails and text messages, it can be so special to have something unexpected show up in your mailbox. Make it super easy and quick to do by keeping cards, stamps, and pens all in one place. And get your kids involved... again, let them draw a picture for someone and mail it to them as a thank you!
4. Gratitude Journal
You can do this so many different ways... by yourself or as a family, guided or not, writing or scrapbook style. Do whatever works for you! Shannon loves to write a few things she’s thankful for in the morning in her planner. Her boys quickly learned this practice of hers and would often bring a journal or paper to sit by her to write their own lists. You can also get a book that you pass back and forth as a family or leave available to anyone who wants to add to it.
5. Art/Craft Time
Get ready all you Pinterest Mamas! This is your time to shine. Grab some fun activities or crafts around being grateful and do them with your kids. One thing we do each year is “Nose the Turkey” (Shannon’s oldest named him when he was 2). She made a turkey body and laminated him, and her boys come up with different things they are thankful for to create his feathers each year. You can also do something simple like doodle or sketch (even if you aren’t very good at it!) and focus the time on things you are thankful for. Again, it is about the practice.
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