Happy Thanksgiving weekend, my Canadian babes! Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday (and fall is my favourite time of year) so I wanted to take some time to reflect on all the amazing things in my life that I am SO grateful for. I don’t always take the time to sit down and write these things out, but I think it’s really important to do on a regular basis. It keeps you grounded and encourages you to think about all the things you do have, rather than what you don’t. Plus, I wanted to touch on 4 ways to cultivate gratitude everyday so we can all start living happier, more fulfilling lives!
1. Shift your mindset
A lot of time we focus on what we don’t have. It’s a natural thing to do and that’s why we have to consciously shift our mindset. Common things I hear people complain about: They hate their job, they don’t have enough time and they don’t make enough money. For example, people will focus on how much money they didn’t make or wish they had, but what about being grateful for the money that you do have? Even if it’s not a lot, it’s better than nothing at all, and it’s so much more beneficial to focus on that than stressing and being angry about what you don’t have.
You’ll find that this actually may help you in the money department. When you’re always complaining and in a negative mindset, you’re less likely to do anything about your situation. Whereas, if you keep your mindset positive, it’s easier to create new opportunities for yourself. You attract what you put out to the world, so try to be as positive as you can.
2. Focus on being present
This one is so important for our generation. I’ll go to a restaurant and see a group of friends sitting together, all on their phones. Why? I get it, sometimes you need to get an Instagram story (I’m more than guilty of pulling out my phone for this reason), but then I put it away. I like to have a no-phone-at-meals rule, which should apply anytime you’re even just hanging out with someone.
We’ve become so attached to our devices and social media that we’re missing out on being present with the people around us. We’d rather scroll through a hundred photos of people we don’t know than converse with our friend right across the table. Whenever you’re spending time with someone else, or even just walking down the street alone, focus on being present in that moment. You never know what you could be missing out on.
3. Enjoy the process
I’m a huge advocate for having big goals and dreams, but sometimes we focus so much on the future and where we want to go, that we miss out on the process. These are our wonder years. It’s okay to make mistakes and fail. It’s okay to be totally lost and still unsure of what you want to do with your life. It’s okay to switch directions and change the course of your career. Set your goals high, but immerse yourself in the process along the way. Say yes to new opportunities, take risks and never forget that you are worthy of enjoying each and every moment of your life.
Related post: How to Build Better Habits Starting Now
4. Write it down
One of the best things you can do is write down everything you’re grateful for on a regular basis. Maybe it’s once a week, maybe it’s even once a day. It’s great to do in the mornings so you can start your day on a positive note. Even if it’s just a few things, it will switch your mind to a thankful state which will allow you to let go of mundane things that might bother you otherwise. One of the things I LOVE about my Day Desinger, is there is a space for “Daily Gratitude” every single day. So when you’re organizing your busy day, you can take a moment to stop and write down what you’re most grateful for as well.
The 7 things I’m most thankful for right now
1) Family: My family means more to me than anything else in this world. I’m incredibly lucky to have a family that’s so close to one another (not just my immediate family, but cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, too), and spending time with them tops my list of things I love to do. Stefan also falls in here, and I’m not going to get all gushy on my blog, but he’s the friggin best. Seriously. And his family is too. I’m so thankful we both have such amazing, supportive families that love us maybe too much, if that’s even possible 😉
2) Friends: I’m pretty sure I have the best friend group in the entire world. I think I used to assume that everyone has friends like mine because it’s the only thing I know, but I’m realizing more and more that that’s just not true. A lot of people I’ve met lately have friends that bail, that are unsupportive, that literally cut them off for no reason at all. My friends, are kind, loving, supportive, FUN AF, authentic, nonjudgmental, and the list goes on and on. They may not be perfect (really, who is?) but they’re pretty darn close.
3) My team: Over the past year I’ve gotten to work with a team of inspiring, motivating and all around amazing entrepreneurs and I don’t know where I’d be without them. They push me to do better, to be better, and remind me that my goals and dreams are in reach every single day. It’s incredible to be able to work alongside so many like-minded, talented and incredible people and I’m so grateful for them.
4) Health: I’m physically and mentally healthy. I’m not saying that I don’t have bad days, I do. I also suffer from mild anxiety and I’m extremely emotional, but I’m overall in a really happy, positive state of mind. I know that’s not as common as everyone thinks, so I’m very very thankful for my mental (and of course physical) health. When things start to get overwhelming, I’ve been making a conscious effort to step back and take care of myself. Everything else falls apart it you don’t. I’m also thankful everyday for the health or my friends and loved ones. It’s truly one of the things that makes me happiest in this world.
5) My work: This encompasses everything from my online e-commerce business to my blog to my media company to freelance writing. I’m so thankful to get to do what I love to do on a daily basis. It’s not always easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
6) My freedom: Working for myself means I have a lot of freedom. This doesn’t mean I work less (I work my butt off 7 days of the week), but it does mean I have the freedom to spend my time how I want. If my mom randomly takes a day off from work, I can spend time with her; I can go surprise my sister at work on her birthday (totally did this this year); I can stop by and see Stefan at his office on the way home from a meeting. I can take a two week vacation and not have to ask for vacation time!
7) Travel: I never travelled far out of North America until about 2008. We took family trips on the west coast of Canada and went to Florida a couple of times, but 2008 was really the year we started travelling more as a family and of course I caught the travel bug. Now, I’ve been to over 14 countries and more than 25 cities, and I can’t wait to check more off my list. It’s the best feeling in the world to experience new places and cultures and I feel so incredibly grateful that I’m able to travel so much.
And here’s about a million pics because I couldn’t pick just a few AND I LOVE ALL THESE PEOPLE SO DAMN MUCH!!!! (In no particular order!!!)
What are you most grateful for right now? Let me know in the comments below!