Give Gratitude a Go!

How a single, small habit changed my mornings, my days and my life.

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cup of coffee on a wood board, with green leaves, macarons and a napkin that says "Enjoy the little things."
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Waking up has never been easy. I’m good friends with the snooze button! Whether getting up for an important meeting or a relaxing self-care day, it didn’t matter, my bed always found a way to enrapture me, requiring seemingly Herculean effort to get out of it. But to start every day and I mean the absolute start of each day by mustering everything in me could not continue. That much effort so early… it had to stop. The perfect time to make a change you ask? A new year. Going into the New Year, I needed a new way to start each day. 

I thought about all of the “reasons” holding me back from creating that luxuriously inspiring morning routine everyone else seemed to have. How did other people do it? They worked out, showered, ate a perfectly healthy and proportioned meal and finished all of their morning emails before the sun rose. Can you imagine?! Even though it seemed like a stretch, I knew I truly wanted to find a way there…gradually. 

My first small step towards that light at the end of the tunnel (or really my bed) was to practice gratitude. Nothing crazy, right? So I bought a new notebook for my new gratitude practice. When my alarm went off the next morning, I started thinking of five reasons I appreciated my life or small moments that made me smile. Feeling the warm fuzzies inside and knowing what I was going to write, I peeled myself out of the sheets and shuffled to my desk. I grabbed a pen and my new notebook and took a moment to write my list. I will admit, I found it more difficult than I would have imagined, in the beginning. I thought about my family, friends, even those fries I had last night for dinner. I also noticed myself second-guessing the things I thought of. Is it deep enough? Am I grateful enough for that? I stopped myself and wrote whatever came to mind first. 

As a few days went on, I found myself quickly thinking of gratitude after hearing the alarm. And as my five things came to mind more quickly, I got out of bed sooner to write them down. I didn’t have to go outside in the rain, technology allowed me to see my family across the country, every appointment yesterday was on-time, the lady held the door for me (I didn’t have to touch it! #covidinducedgermophobia), the opportunities that await with today’s meetings. 

The greatest snowball was how throughout the day, I started to see small great things happening all around me that I previously ignored or didn’t consciously notice. I’d make a mental note for tomorrow morning’s gratitude list. Over time, I saw a shift. in my morning, I could get up easier, throughout the day I was aware of little miracles and I even cut people more slack when I got frustrated. This morning practice shifted my mornings and my life. 

I know this sounds a little crazy. How could such a small practice have such a snowball effect? It’s true. There is nothing I recommend more than a gratitude practice. Sometimes the smallest steps create the biggest impact. I can truly say finding the good in each day has changed my life and I today am grateful for that. So here’s your moment. Start now. What are you grateful for?

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