Gratitude: A Year Full Of It

So at the start of 2016, I began a new project.  Each day, I would acknowledge some things that I am grateful for.  Typically, it was three statements:
  • I am thankful for...
  • I appreciate...
  • I am grateful for...

Word cloud of the full year of gratitude notes in the shape of a heart.
The entire year's worth of gratitude in one image.

One year later and I can say that I did this almost every day of the year and those days that I missed, I certainly made up for those days that I missed.  In total, I recorded 1326 statements of gratitude, which averages out to about 3.5 statements a day.  I really liked these quiet moments in the morning where I took the time to just be thankful for what I have in my life.  It helped center me (as I've said repeatedly) and will continue the practice well into 2017.  

A secondary practice that came from doing this daily is my weekly thank you note.  Each week, I take the time to write out a card to someone who has played an important role in my life and then, I send that card to that person.  I've really enjoyed this and found it rewarding to be able to compose my thoughts and say something meaningful to the people in my life that have been so kind and helpful.  And so often, I hear from the people that the card arrived on the perfect day---a day they were in a sad state of some kind or another and the card brightened their day.  I appreciate hearing such sentiments though I'm just happy the person knows they are appreciated.   

How did I do it and keep consistent?  I've come to live by my Google calendar and email Inbox.  What I've done is more likely to work if you attempt to limit the amount of unread email to only that which you need to do.  I quickly turnover email that doesn't need my attention or if it's something that I can easily delete or archive.  Each day, I have a series of reminders from my Google calendar show up in my inbox for different "Daily Do's".  I can delete the reminder once I have addressed the item.  Thus, each day, I get a daily reminder about completing my gratitude exercise.  Coupled with this, I created a very simple Google Form (one question:  "What are you grateful for?").  I put the link to this Google Form in a prominent place in my bookmark bar.  Therefore, I can quickly get to the form and proceed to fill it out.  I'd be curious to others to hear how they construct their gratitude practice and what they have found useful. 

So here's all of the word clouds from each month along with a link to that month's reflection.  I'm fascinated by the things that show up time and again as significant and repeated items and those that don't.  Consciously or not, the grateful statements definitely reflect the different things that are going on in my life at any given time and thus some things are more stressed than others at certain times.  

January's Gratitude

Word cloud of the January's gratitude notes in the shape of a circle.



February's Gratitude

Word cloud of the February's gratitude notes in the shape of a cloud.



March's Gratitude

Word cloud of the March's gratitude notes in the shape of a heart.



April's Gratitude

Word cloud of the April's gratitude notes in the shape of a circle.



May's Gratitude

Word cloud of the May's gratitude notes in the shape of the word, "LOVE"



June's Gratitude

Word cloud of the June's gratitude notes in the shape of a cloud.


July's Gratitude

Word cloud of the July's gratitude notes in the shape of a heart.



August's Gratitude

Word cloud of the August's gratitude notes in the shape of a word balloon.



September's Gratitude

Word cloud of the September's gratitude notes in the shape of a leaf.



October's Gratitude

Word cloud of the October's gratitude notes in the shape of a heart.



November's Gratitude

Word cloud of the November's gratitude notes in the shape of a word balloon.



December

Word cloud of the December's gratitude notes in the shape of a heart..

Well, that's the (first) year in being grateful.  I have all this and so much more to be thankful for and appreciate that I have the opportunity to share it with all of you out there.  Thank you for reading and journeying along with me for this adventure.

So, what are you grateful for?




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