It’s been almost two weeks since we started. Have you noticed any difference in your your attitude? Are you happier? Are you more appreciative? Do people respond to your gratitude?
One of my goals is to make gratitude a habit. It would be great if everyone did but I can only change myself. Habits take time. But it isn’t hard to incorporate gratitude into your routine. If you have read and completed all the challenges so far, you are on your way to a habit.
Todays find time and reflect. Reflect upon the progress you have made since the beginning of the challenge. Be grateful for what has happened. Notice what is working? How have you changed? Are you complaining less? Focused on what you do rather than what others do? What didn’t work? How can you improve? Just as sports teams make adjustments at halftime, so should you. SKOL Vikings
Remember the goal of Day 1? No whining? No complaining? Day 1 did not start off as hoped. Few things irritate me more than my morning commute. My commute is short (about 5 miles). On a good day, it takes about 15 minutes. Most days, it takes a little over 20 minutes. For many reasons (school zone, two construction zones, stoplights, heavy traffic), yesterday’s commute was longer in duration than usual. For most of the commute, I kept my cool, thought positive thoughts, and enjoyed the time alone. However, within a mile of work, a man in a pickup (which describes about 45% of the vehicles on the road) pulled a U-turn in front of me, parked in a no-parking zone, and severely limited traffic flow. After some choice words, I stopped myself. I admonished myself for the outburst as it violated the day’s goal. Upon arrival at work, I paused and refocused my efforts to be positive and not complain. Often merely interrupting your negative thoughts (complaining and whining) before they progress further is a victory. I was not perfect today, but I was better. I will try to do the same again today in addition to the challenge for the second day.
Not knowing that she was preparing me for Day 2, I came home last night to my wife watching a fireplace on tv. It is a thing. We had a discussion about Norwegian Slow TV which was popular a few years back. After dinner, I put on a video of a slow train ride in Scotland. As the film progressed, we were struck by the overall beauty and began planning our next trip to Scotland. After a few minutes, we started to notice more little things. A deer running up a hill. The lack of authentic train noise. The train did not stop in some towns and we wondered why. We noticed the colors. In a short period of time, we were completely relaxed and in awe of all the wonder of the video. One of us became so relaxed she fell asleep!
The challenge for Day 2 is to notice and appreciate the little things. What is something you see or experience every day that you do not think about AND impacts your life in a positive way? Notice these things today and be grateful. Want to take your gratitude challenge to the next level? Take time at the end of the day to think about things you noticed, write them down, discuss them with a friend, or all the above. Have a wonderful day.
Take time today to notice and appreciate the little things. Look around. What little things can you notice and appreciate? Maybe you will experience something in nature. Perhaps you will notice the smile or laugh of a friend. How about the smell of fresh coffee or tea? How about electricity or running water? Find the joy in these small things and be grateful.
An example from yesterday – While walking my dog, I saw a whitetail doe darting across an open field nearby. While I was watching her run, I noticed the reason she was running. I young buck was chasing her. My dog also noticed and wanted to join the chase! It only lasted about 10 seconds before they bounded out of sight. I am thankful to live in a city where this sight is possible. I am thank the gift of nature.