We’ve all heard it before. “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” – but it doesn’t have to be that way. In setting aside time to reflect and be grateful, you can know what you’ve got before it’s gone. In choosing our thoughts to constantly see the good in others, the positive in the situation, and the light at the end of the tunnel, our focus shifts from complaining to thanksgiving.

I’ve talked about gratitude lists before. I try to write mine down daily. There’s no rule book that says you must write them down though. Even just taking a minute or two during your lunch break to think of all of the things and people you’re grateful for or what’s going well in your life makes a huge difference. Essentially, your thoughts change your life. So if you want to change your life, writing gratitude lists a good place to start.

Here’s mine.

August 3, 2016:

  1. Family…especially my sweet nephews, Jacoby and Maddox 🙂Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  2. Local favorites: Martin’s doughnuts, The Chief ice-cream, etc. IMG_1085
  3. Sunshine…not going to complain when it feels like 109 degrees because Chicago’s winters are brutal and I’m sure going to miss this gorgeous weather. Dang, my husband is sexy!Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  4. Having no agenda…I miss having a schedule with structure and routine badly, but I know in a few weeks when I start working I’ll miss these days of no one to see and no place to be. Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  5. The ability, time, and finances to read…I seriously can’t imagine life without it. I’ve learned a lot through my latest read Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  6. Friends who still call…texting is awesome and receiving snail mail makes me so happy, but a friend who calls just to chat randomly on her way home from work is truly the best.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
  7. Your comments and emails…I don’t write a blog or post on social media for praise. Praise is not my motivation. However, when you are passionate about things in life (and brave enough to share them), feedback that is constructive and kind is a really special. card

A few secrets for you:

  • There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.
  • The more grateful you are, the more grateful you become. It’s like an epidemic in the best way. 
  • Life becomes more enjoyable.
  • You’ll want to spread it! You won’t be able to keep it to yourself. Notice as your speech towards others who complain changes, too. 

So take a moment, right now as you’re reading this, and start thinking deeply about all that is going right in your world. Appreciate what you’ve got right here, right now.

XO, Manda

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