Change your thoughts and you change your world. ~Norman Vincent Peale
I love my daily habit of pulling out three slips of paper and writing three things that I am grateful for, adding the date, then placing them in my gratitude jar in my office.
My shelf is full of Mason jars, each one crammed with tiny slips of paper. They serve as reminders that there is a lot to be grateful for; I know many of those slips of paper says, “I am grateful I was not hard on myself today.”
Several years ago, I started working with a life coach. She would always start our coaching session with the question “What do you want to acknowledge yourself for this week?”
The first few times I coached with her, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to acknowledge. I would hem and haw before my mind went to the list of projects or tasks I hadn’t finished or needed to finish.
Over the next few coaching sessions, I decided to translate my action and experiences into acknowledgements:
“I went to the dentist yesterday” became “I had a great check-up at the dentist”
“I spent the afternoon with my Dad” became “I am a good daughter”
Every time I translated an action or experience into an acknowledgement, I felt better, more optimistic, and happy. I liked this feeling and wanted more, so I decided to hone my acknowledgement muscle.
On March 1, 2016, I pulled out a small piece of paper, added the date, and wrote out five acknowledgements:
I had a great coaching session today
I am making progress on the auction seating project
I am a good Mom
I have a clean house
I am on task
After I finished writing, I took the slip of paper and tucked it into a small box. Each morning, after writing out my gratitude, I wrote out a list of five acknowledgements and added it to the box.
This daily habit of writing out acknowledgements helped me stay optimistic and spread that optimism and positive energy to those around me.
Last week, my younger son finished his homework on time and without being asked. “You are working hard to keep up with your schoolwork,” I said to him.
Yesterday, my older son helped my husband with a project. “You are helpful, thank you,” I told him.
These very simple acknowledgments have a positive impact on obtaining desired results from my boys, and it makes them feel good about themselves.
After two years, I no longer write out five acknowledgements daily, instead, I jot down one or two each day in my planner. I like these gentle reminders and how they help me stay calm and grounded.
I am optimistic. I am leading by example. I am having a great day.
And I am.