How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

gratitudeYour mindset is the single most important factor in determining your success in life.  According to Social Media, many of us have had a challenging year (to say the very least), and are looking forward to wiping the slate clean on 2016 before welcoming in the New Year!

While the New Year is wonderful for setting goals, many of us become disappointed when the resolutions we make for ourselves (like quitting smoking, losing weight and taking up a health regime) aren’t upheld in the initial few weeks, and statistics show that 95% of New Years’ Resolutions are retired by 15 January, each and every year.

So, how can we set goals for the New Year and keep up the momentum?

Well, what you put out, you will attract. If you think that only bad people exist in the world, you’ll only see bad people in your life. If you think that you can’t get a promotion at work because you believe you don’t have enough skills or confidence to get one, you won’t get a promotion.

Your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings dictate your attitude. The best attitude to have is an attitude of gratitude!  Gratitude is the answer to transforming your negative, self-destructive views into a positive, powerful force.  Learn how you can create your attitude of gratitude with the following tips:

1. Keep a journal dedicated to gratitude.

Having a gratitude journal is a surefire way to improve your attitude of gratitude.  Use your gratitude journal by writing at least one thing you are grateful for each day.  Write it out with the words “I’m grateful for” or “I’m thankful for” in front of the object you’re expressing thanks to.  With 2016 nearly behind us, creating a review of all of the things you are grateful for (pay rises, spending time with our family, holidays, education milestones, etc) will help you take a different viewpoint and allow you to focus on the opportunities rather than the obstacles.

After one to two weeks, increase the number to three things you appreciate in your life. After two to four weeks, increase it to five things. The more you write down, the better! Make sure you set a time each day to write in your gratitude journal and turn this activity into a habit.

2. Appreciate the small yet essential details in life.

Most people take many things in their life for granted.  Recognising and appreciating those little details in your life will make your gratitude deeper and more thoughtful.

For instance, breathing is something we all do naturally. Many of us may not think about being grateful for oxygen, but it’s an essential element that allows us to survive.  Be grateful for the small things in life, and you’ll soon find more and more to admire and appreciate.

3. Listen to yourself.

You might be good at listening to others, but what about listening to yourself?  If you complain or have negative thoughts without realising it, that’s a sign you need to tune into yourself more often. Negative thoughts make you blind to the things in your life that you can be grateful for, even if they are right in front of you.  Ask yourself the question “What am I thinking about right now?” throughout the day, and change your thoughts to positive ones if you catch yourself complaining or thinking negatively.

Expressing gratitude every day isn’t difficult; you probably do it naturally when a co-worker does a favour for you or when the waiter brings your food.  As you become more aware of feeling and expressing gratitude, finding things to be grateful for will become easier.  Once it becomes a habit, you will have changed your thought patterns and you may even start to do it unconsciously. The more you are grateful, the more things you will have to be grateful about!