As we enter the final month of 2016, I want to share two things with you. First, the idea of a Masterpiece Day and second, the value of practicing gratitude.
A Masterpiece Day
If you could design your perfect day, incorporating all of the elements of your life (Family, work, community, hobbies, etc.), what would it look like? In a perfect world, how would they fit together? If we’re not working to make this happen, to do it purposefully, it’s probably not going to happen.
One of the key elements to a Masterpiece Day is the idea of bookends. What activities will you do when you wake up, and what activities will you do at the end of the day? We theoretically have more control over these two times versus the middle of the day when most interruptions occur. Perhaps morning is the best time for you to exercise, eat with your family or do some reading. Maybe you prefer to get your exercise in at the end of the day, enjoy family dinner and then watch a favorite TV show.
However you arrange your bookends, I want to encourage you to incorporate the practice of gratitude into one of them. I started practicing gratitude at the beginning of this year and found it to be incredibly valuable, and like other things that fall into that category, I stopped doing it. As I encourage you to get into the habit of doing it, I’m committing to getting back into it for the remainder of 2016.
Why practice gratitude? Practicing gratitude helps keep life in perspective.
A lot of the news we consume is focused on negatives versus positives and it’s important to be mindful of focusing on the good as well.
Practicing gratitude reminds us of what we already have versus focusing on what we don’t.
How does one do it?
There’s not a right or wrong way. To get started, decide what time of day you’re going to do it and put it into your calendar or set a reminder. Find a place to sit where you’ll be able to focus for five minutes. With a notepad, journal or piece of paper begin by writing the date at the top followed by “My five things.” From there, think about your day and what you’re grateful for. This may come very easily some days, and a little harder on others. If you’re struggling, here are some prompts to consider:
Family Community Health Career Hobbies Spirituality A pleasant interaction with someone Coffee/Wine/Food A good night’s sleep Weather Friends
Parents, you may consider talking with you kids about what you’re grateful for and asking them what they’re grateful for.
Try this for the next couple of weeks; I think you’ll be glad you did.