One of the single most profound practices to increase your success, well-being, and cultivate general positivity and happiness is to develop an attitude of appreciation.
Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey
As coaches, it is our heartfelt desire for you to have the ability to begin every day from a place of gratitude, rather than being burdened and restricted by fear. We know that you can focus on the things that you’re grateful for or you can focus on your problems.
Your mind expands what you focus it on.
Developing an attitude of appreciation is as simple as this: Every day bring to mind at least three things that you are grateful for. These can be small and simple such as a particularly choice cup of coffee or an enjoyable dinner the night before. They can also be earth shattering, such as a recovery from an illness or a huge life event such as a promotion or graduation.
This is a way of priming your mind. Of getting your mind conditioned to have rose coloured glasses. Not to pretend that everything is perfect, but to focus on the things that you feel most grateful for. If you do this every day, it will have a cumulative effect of reorienting your perception so that you become more aware of the good things in life. When we consistently focus on what is going well in our lives it keeps our outlook positive and fosters high performance.
While thinking appreciatively is not particularly difficult or time consuming, remembering to take time out of your busy day for to consciously do this can be difficult. In order to do anything with regularity, we must make the activity into a habit. Here are some pointers on how to form habitual behaviour:
Use a reminder. For example, after you brush your teeth at night, use this as a cue to signal that it’s time to meditate, or use the beginning of your workday before (or after) you clock in to act as a cue to list five things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal.
Have a routine. Try to write in your gratitude journal or meditate at the same time every day.
Reward yourself. Although developing mindfulness or a cumulative sense of gratitude are their own rewards, the act of setting up a specific reward helps to divide a large task into many small tasks. For example, for after a week of successively meditating, pick a small reward for yourself.
Be consistent. Doing something consistently becomes automatic over time, but that time can vary between 18 and 254 days to do so. The average amount of time to make a habit automatic is around two months.
Be kind to yourself. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Take note however why you missed it as well as any strategies to counteract whatever caused you to miss it. Be aware that a change in routine can disrupt habitual behaviour and may require the development of a new reminder and routine.
Over to You
The Views PD Planner is a great way to practise gratitude in your daily work and life. Because you’re one of our valued readers, you’re able to get a free copy by emailing Trinity at firstname.lastname@example.org
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