In last week’s article, I wrote about how to develop an attitude of gratitude, and we kicked off week one of the Social Worker Success 21 Day Gratitude Challenge.
In Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection, she emphasizes the importance of moving beyond only “having an attitude”, and translating the attitude of gratitude into a behavior.
How has week one’s challenge of sending words of thankfulness to people in your life affected you?
Week One Review
Before I started our week one challenge, I wrote about gratitude in my SELF JOURNAL:
- Three things I’m grateful for in the morning
- Three things I’m grateful for in the evening
But my journal is my personal spiritual practice of putting pen-to-paper and recognizing my blessings. I don’t typically share my journal content with others.
Week one was a literal challenge for me because I realized don’t easily express gratitude to others beyond my immediate family.
The gratitude challenge has been at the top of my mind . . . and I still found it hard.
Why was it difficult?
I think expressing gratitude to others makes me feel vulnerable. I’m not in the routine of outwardly and intentionally expressing gratitude to other people this way.
Even though the act of writing a letter, or typing a text or email would take me less than five minutes, I avoided taking action.
Once I successfully pushed through the initial discomfort of connecting with my people, I discovered a deeper level of appreciation for their roles in my life.
Avoidance creeps up for many behaviors we know would be good for us, but make us feel uncomfortable.
We are much more likely to take action on a behavior when we schedule when and where we intend to do it. Behavioral psychologists call this your “implementation intention.”
An example of an implementation intention for my gratitude practice towards others could be:
On Monday morning at 8am, I will text my mother-in-law thank you for helping us with childcare last weekend and tell her how thankful I am to have her play such an integral role in our family’s life.
Consider using implementation intentions next week when you practice gratitude.
Need help getting started with this week’s challenge?
Watch this short TED Talk for visual inspiration.