Intentional gratitude is searching and acknowledging a positive person, life experience or kind gesture each day. Do you look for opportunities to be thankful? Or do you rush through life unaware, pressured and unhappy? The action of being grateful, expressing your thanks can be a powerful tool for living a meaningful life. Studies show that we deliberately pursue an appreciation for the goodness in our lives, the result is an increase in our well-being and happiness. That my friend – is called intentional gratitude.
Science Supports the Happiness Factor
Scientific studies demonstrate that fear and negativity increase cortisol. This “fight or flight” hormone narrows your perspective because you perceive danger in your life. Developing a positive mindset increases the mood neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine), in your body.
Instead of dwelling on the lack of “things or other people’s successes,” focus on the goodness of your life, and you physically retrain your brain to look for abundance! Be aware. Open your mind to the possibilities in front of you. A positive mindset also encourages people to “broaden and build” life skills. Begin to actively seek new opportunities and utilize your small successes to achieve a more abundant and meaningful life.
Intentional gratitude can set the tone for the rest of the day. Some people like to begin their day with meditation or by murmuring words of gratefulness. Your thoughts direct your efforts, and a positive mental attitude often results in more beneficial outcomes for people at work or home, as the day unfolds.
You may prefer to reflect the best moments of your day in the evening. Write down your thoughts. Being thankful for all the people in our daily life helps us to set intentions in the future. Learn to flip frustrations or challenges to create new opportunities for choosing what matters in the long run.
Maintain Your Positive Vibes
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, many people focus on gift-giving, thankfulness, and an abundant life during this time. Try to keep that sense of choosing happiness and caring when the fine china is put up and the days grow long during the winter. Maintain an attitude of gratitude throughout the year, and you can relieve stress while generating a more optimistic view. Like a small pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples of goodwill you send out to others have a significant impact on many people, some of whom you may never meet!
Choosing to make conscious choices for your money and life may have implications for many aspects of your life. Consider giving the gift of time this year. Create a mental space to listen to your thoughts. Decide how to spend the last ten days of your holiday season, using your goals to give you focus.
Visualize your “perfect” holiday. Maybe it includes parties with friends, spending time with family, or taking the time to express your gratitude. December is such a hectic time of year. Many people feel overwhelmed by obligations presented by school, work, family, and friends. Invest your time in activities that bring you the most value.
Choose which activities you will spend your time on and know that you may miss some parties or invites. Setting boundaries for a successful holiday helps you maintain your sanity, increase your sense of gratefulness and keep your “spirits bright!”
Take that one step further and give the gift of time with those closest to you this month. Listen to your spouse, best friend or family members and notice what is important to them. Investing time with people who are special in your life strengthens your bond with them, creating more meaningful relationships.
When shopping, purchase one item and plan an experience to accompany the gift – instead of buying multiple gifts for everyone. Purchasing a new sweater? Plan a date night to enjoy the new outfit. Have a friend who loves to cook? Wrap up a kitchen gadget and sign up for a cooking class together. Give a gift of time to complete the gift in a box! Many people find that spending time with others reaps greater benefits in the journey of life.
Share some of the activities that your family or circle of friends love to do — and make the holidays extra special every year.
Where is your “Gratitude Meter” set? Do you find something to be thankful for each day or do you rush through life unaware and unhappy? The action of being thankful, appreciative or expressing gratitude can be a powerful tool for living a meaningful life. Studies show that we can deliberately pursue an appreciation for the goodness in our lives, the result is an increase in our well-being and happiness.
Focus on the goodness in your life, and you retrain your brain to look for abundance. Try this instead of dwelling on the lack of “things.” Scientific studies demonstrate that fear and negativity increase cortisol. This “fight or flight” hormone narrows your perspective because you perceive danger in your life. Developing a positive mindset increases the mood neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine), in your body. A positive mindset also encourages people to “broaden and build” life skills. Begin to actively seek new opportunities and utilize your small successes to achieve a more abundant and meaningful life.
Take a moment each day to express gratitude for the goodness in your life. This intentional action sets the tone for the rest of the day. Some people like to begin their day with a meditation or mantra of gratitude. Your thoughts direct your efforts, creating the best results, at work or home, as the day unfolds.
Others prefer towrite down their activities and review the goodness of the day each night. Being thankful for all the moments and people in our daily life can change our intentions. Learn to flip frustrations or challenges to create new opportunities for choosing what is important over time.
As the holiday season approaches, many people focus on gift-giving, thankfulness, and an abundant life. Remember to keep that sense of choosing happiness and caring when the fine china is put up. Keeping an attitude of gratitude throughout the year can relieve stress and generate a more optimistic view. A mindset of cultivating kindness can often have positive effects that we can’t even imagine. Like a small pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples of good will and thoughtful interactions can have a huge impact on many people, some of whom you may never meet!
Have you ever thought you needed a body double so you could get everything done? Maybe your thoughts and actions are too scattered. Starting a journal may help. Journaling builds insight and mindfulness. This simple tool is highly productive, only requiring paper and a pen. You will deepen your connection with what is most important to you when writing your thoughts on paper. You may find it easier to think about strategies, visualize a solution and create new pathways for creative thinking.
Sometimes the process of slowing down to reflect and review your thoughts results in a deeper capacity for innovation and more forward thinking. A person’s mind can have up to 60,000 thoughts during the day. Mobile devices push us to make even more teeny-tiny decisions each hour. When writing, most people can only process about one hundred words per minute, so any thoughts recorded on paper have a higher percentage of “sticking” or being remembered.
Journaling can be free form; it can be doodles that mean something to you or your thoughts can be directed toward a particular problem or challenge. Some people carry a journal with them at all times and jot down inspiring ideas as they pop up during the day. Others may end the day with 10 minutes of quiet, introspective thoughts. There is no wrong or right way; each person is unique. The primary challenge for many individuals is to be consistent. Giving yourself permission to take 5-30 minutes to sit quietly and put your thoughts in order sounds like a huge chunk of time for many, but when compared to the 24 hours given to us each day, it isn’t that much time at all!
Journaling builds insight into why you act the way you do and can aid you in changing your perspective on people around you, your job and your life goals. Journaling builds mindfulness as you delve into the emotional side of your life and then look at your problems more objectively to make proactive, intentional actions that will make your life better.
Go ahead; purchase a small spiral notebook or a fancy leather bound book. Both will work just fine. Put that pen or pencil to paper & give yourself a chance. Let journaling build your insight and mindfulness!
Setting aside a few minutes for daily journaling each morning or at the end of the day creates a greater awareness of your actions, and what changes you would like to make. You may have noticed that you have an emotional response when dealing with your finances. As you define your “Money Nerve” and begin to see what makes you uncomfortable, quiet reflection each day provides you a powerful tool to become more proactive with your decisions.
This process of self-discovery is not easy. If it were, everyone would be debt free and have enough money in the bank to live comfortably. Facing your Money Nerve can be stressful and frightening. Let’s say at this point, you are fearful and not yet taking steps to make your life better. Are you willing to experience the fear and still push through it? Most people go toward change kicking and screaming. They may think there is less risk when they box themselves up and resist change. The environment around us is changing so quickly that adaptation is a necessity. Those who are willing to make changes by being honest and facing their emotions are the people who are moving toward success.
Taking an emotional inventory at the moment is the first step. This self-reflection helps you become aware of how you feel when you make financial decisions. If you are having difficulty figuring out how your Money Nerve affects your finances, use daily journaling to think back to moments during the day when you had to make a financial decision. Choosing to buy coffee for a friend or waiting to make a credit card payment may have triggered your Money Nerve. Ideally, you’ll start to note your emotions at the end of every day, as part of your mental mapping and reflection. Tips for starting a daily journal.
If it is hard for you to carve out time, try this strategy: When a client or friend is 15 minutes late or cancels their time with you, see that moment as “extra time” and use it to meditate or find a calm spot in your day. You can simply enjoy the quiet or jot down notes on how the day is going, and what you would like to see happen — by the end of the day. Are you making daily decisions based on fear or are you proactively forming decisions that can be accomplished with small conscious choices each day?
Be aware and make time to address the change you want to see in your life. Become responsiblefor your life, your finances, and your mental attitude. You are now making a choice to create change – now is a good time to purchase blank paper to reshape your life dreams with daily journaling! Want to learn more about easing your Money Nerve? You can receive a monthly newsletter with helpful tips and motivational guidelines to find your financial freedom.
When you have something of value: family, friends, possessions – you want to take care of them, and maintain your investment. Many people are financial quick-fixers with a duct tape mentality, and contrary to popular belief, duct tape doesn’t fix everything. They may get immediate results, but are not actually dealing with the cause of their problem. This can result in complicated or frustrating long-term results.
If you are overdrawn in your bank account, you might think you are doing right by using your credit card to bring your account back into balance. That is robbing Peter to pay Paul. The reality is that you are creating more debt for yourself and adding interest payments to what you owe already.
I joke that I wish I could “un-know” what I know. It is a lot more work when you start to take responsibility for your life. Imagine going to a seminar and hearing that there are eight steps you have to take in order to become a millionaire. Many people in the seminar will stop at four steps and say, “I’ve finished four steps, why don’t I have 500,000 dollars?”
We live in a volatile world. Instead of being a financial quick-fixer, take a longer view into the future, make value-based choices and begin to create a healthy and abundant lifestyle over time.
Figure out where you are: Take a look at your spending habits and write down every purchase in a month. Will you be happy with that choice in five years?
Identify your priorities: How can you reallocate funds to support your priorities and provide additional value in your life? What really matters to you?
Create a financial support system: Actively seek support utilizing professional advice, friends, financial tools, software and applications to set your self up for success.
Once you learn to work with your list of financial goals and stop operating out of fear regarding money, you will see your efforts transfer to other aspects of your life. You may feel more financially confident once you have a clear vision of where you are and where you want to be.
Empowering yourself financially allows you to toss out old reactions and habits. You choose your actions! As you tap into your own power, you no longer wait for luck to happen or hope that you win the lottery—you actively take charge of your life. I call this positive lifestyle where the riches of life are inherent in your soul—proactive abundance!
Forget those “pie in the sky” resolutions that are too ambitious to keep and are quickly forgotten as the holidays fade into the fullness of today’s activities.
Instead, make a lifestyle change with small daily habits to bring about the change you desire. Focus inward and face your deepest anxieties. What scares you the most when thinking about money? Losing your house? Not having enough money saved to send your children to college? Are you terrified that your old car will break down, and you will be late to work – again? You might lose your job without transportation.
Who knows? You might win the Lottery today & this flash of good luck would take care of everything! Good Luck with that! You have a better chance of flying to Mars before winning today’s big pot of money.
STOP! Write down your fears. Determine what you are most afraid of and prioritize your concerns. You can make small changes in your life to battle the fear. By writing down your concerns and defining what keeps you awake at night, you can now write down a small “to-do” list to conquer financial obstacles. You will find that nebulous, nagging fear that has been keeping your stomach tied up in knots will begin to shrink. Often, our fear of the FEAR can be debilitating, but as we define and face our nightmares, an amazing thing happens. The worry begins to dissipate; you gain confidence, and your emotions become easier to manage. By creating this focused daily mindset, instead of grandiose resolutions, you can achieve small, tiny victories, in a weekly or monthly fashion.
As your confidence builds, you can begin to target other goals in your life. You are creating a life of intention, making conscious choices each day, crafting the life that you dared to dream, day by day. And that my friends, is what I call #ProactiveAbundance!
What a wonderful gift to give to yourself!
Best Wishes & Happy New Year.
Do you know an “unsung hero?” Someone who does good things for others without asking for praise or recognition? Often these are people who have made “things” happen or quietly prove that one person can make a difference for many.
There are many facets in life, love, finances, work, and play. As you build a life of conscious choice, you may want to incorporate an intentional celebration of the unsung heroes in your life. Or you may decide that you want to make a difference by adding your efforts to make the world a better place.
Take a moment to personally thank one of the people in your life who make a difference for you or for others. Maybe it’s a teacher, policeman, nurse or doctor, or a family member who is taking care of a loved one. Recognize the effort and impact that one person can make in the lives of others.
Here are a few ideas for showing your appreciation:
Give a sincere compliment to a colleague without expectations.
Send a thank-you note to a person you have noticed whose actions benefit others.
Give blood to help heal others who might be in bad health.
If you see a veteran dining in a restaurant, discreetly pay for his or her dinner and ask the server to tell simply say, “America thanks you.”
Donate to a cause one of your friends or family members is deeply involved with and let them know you appreciate their time.
Post a message on social media “shining a spotlight on and thanking” a person you feel is making a difference.
Host a lunch and honor the support team members whose work often goes unrecognized.
Gratefulness – also defined as being thankful, appreciative or gratitude – can be a powerful tool for living a meaningful life.
Psychology Today states, “Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has – as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants. Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness – and especially expression of it to others – is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.
Take a moment each day to express gratitude for the goodness in your life. Some people like to begin their day with a meditation or short mantra expressing thanks. This is a positive action to begin each day and set the tone for the rest of the day. It helps you look for the best resolution as the day unfolds.
Others prefer to document the activities and the goodness of the day as a nightly ritual. Being thankful for all the moments and people in our daily life can change our intentions. One can learn to flip frustrations or challenges to create new opportunities for choosing what is important to us over time.
As the holiday season approaches, many celebrate thankfulness and a bountiful life, but as the good china is put up, keeping an attitude of gratitude throughout the year can relieve stress and generate a more optimistic view. A mindset of cultivating kindness can often have positive repercussions that we can’t even imagine. Much like a small pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples of thankfulness and kindness can have a huge impact on many people, some of whom you may never meet!
By focusing on the good, you retrain your brain to look for abundance, rather than dwelling on the lack of “things.” Scientific studies are demonstrating that fear and negativity increase cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormones and narrow your perspective because you perceive danger in your life. Developing a positive mindset increases the mood neurotransmitters (serotonin and norepinephrine), in your body. It also encourages people to “broaden and build” life skills, actively seek new opportunities, and utilize small successes to achieve a more abundant and meaningful life.
In gratitude ~ Bob