If you have ever read anything I’ve written, you will see that every single day, I practice gratitude.
I literally wrote the book on it. Ok, not the actual original book but I did publish a gratitude journal and now I feel like I can consider myself an author and influencer on this very topic: Gratitude
But I didn’t just one day decide to write a book and threw a dart on topics and gratitude stuck. I thought long and hard about the topic and the one thing in my family’s daily routine that has made us who we are and has made a true difference.
It started three years ago, when my husband was working full-time, my kids were all over the place with school, sports, and extra activities. We were like passing ships just always going past each other with a wave and meeting back up for dinner.
At this same time, my son was struggling with wanting to go to school. He would get a little negative about it, become a little anxious, and would have mornings where he would cry, and for me as a mom, it was hard to see. Sometimes I felt helpless.
I was listening to a lot of books by entrepreneurs at the time and it clicked.
Everything came back to gratitude.
People stayed on their track of business and success, not because everything was perfect but because they found something to be grateful for each and every day.
Lightbulb mom moment!
Daily gratitude for the family, every single day. The mornings were hard because, as you know, as a mom, everyone leaves at all times of the day. Consistency helps and just getting everyone on board with a daily gratitude practice.
Dinner! The other lightbulb mom moment! We all eat every single day and our goal as a family is to sit down and eat dinner together as often as possible. We start sitting at the table and as everyone got settled, picking out their food and starting their meal, we go around the table and ask each other what we are grateful for. Everyone takes their turn and everyone listens. It does not matter who starts (even though my daughter insists she should go first most of the time because she is so excited!)
Here is what this does. When you say positive things out loud and look for things to be grateful for in your day, it makes it extremely hard to be negative about anything. Your brain sends out little signals and tells you to be happy.
The bonus of this dinner gratitude is that when one person starts to say something they are grateful for, everyone at the table finds gratitude in that one thing also.
Moms, this is where it gets better… You will start to hear your kids say things they are grateful for that you had no idea meant something to them. Sure, sometimes you will get the “I am grateful for my iPad” but you will hear your kids say out loud things that they are grateful for that will make you want to cry, squeeze them, and start recording them.
There is literally nothing negative about this daily practice and every single night, no matter how the day went, no matter what happened, you and your family can choose gratitude.
This is where the gratitude journal came in. Not just saying our gratitude out loud but having a place to write it down. Having a place that stores the things that made you happy. Some day you can look back, flip open a page, and you are immediately brought back to something that you were thankful for.
So every morning, we start with our gratitude journals. We start the day writing down the things that make us happy. (Bonus: In the Live Inspired Gratitude Journal, there are also checkmarks for making your bed, moving your body, and manifesting your goals – now that REALLY gets your kids in motion and working on a positive day). Then, at night, while we finish our day and we are eating dinner, we bring up gratitude again. I am constantly pushing my children towards positive thoughts and having a grateful heart.
I can’t say that we don’t have negative times or that we won’t get upset about things. We aren’t perfect. But this has definitely been a positive thing for our family and has been a consistent practice in our lives that we look forward to.