Still Thankful?

Now, that Thanksgiving day has passed and the calendar is moving forward toward Christmas, have you maintained your gratefulness or did it go away at 12:01 a.m. on November 24 when the holiday ended?

For many, Thanksgiving is a day to reflect upon all of the things that you have had and taken for granted, but realize that you have so much to be thankful for. Often times, when we look at our circumstances we get caught up in what is not right, or things that we wish we had done differently. For some, it’s a day of remembrance and reflection of the loved ones that are no longer with them. Thanksgiving can be filled with sad memories as well as happy memories. It is all about how we choose to view our situations.

If you woke up today and are reading this blog, you should feel thankful. Why? Because you are alive today (Some people did not wake up to see this day). On the other hand, you have eyes to see words and the ability to read. It may sound trivial, but look around where you are right now. What do you take for granted whereas others would be thankful to have?

Thanksgiving is just one day out of the year, but there are still 364 days where you can continue to count your blessings and have an attitude of gratitude. Here are some suggestions to help you remain thankful year round.

1. Keep a grateful journal – Take time out to write about all of the things that you have experienced each day that you are thankful for. See how much good you have in your life.

2. Write a thank-you note – Yes, the optimal word here is “write.” Handwritten notes are becoming very rare these days. But when people receive them, it really shows them how thankful you are because you took the time to write the note instead of emailing it.

3. Focus on giving back to yourself – If you are like a lot of women, you tend to focus on everyone else’s needs and put yourself last. Reverse that order and show how thankful you are for you! Start eating healthier, incorporate more exercise into your daily routine and don’t ignore signs that you may need to go see the doctor if you’ve been putting your health off for a while.

4. Stop focusing on just the big life event celebrations – Yes, buying a new home, car, or getting a promotion at work are all wonderful life events. But what about the small wins that you receive in life? Did you help someone who was in need recently? Did you give away something that was no longer of value to you, but it was to someone else? Think about the blessings that you receive on a regular basis, but take for granted.

5. Give yourself permission to acknowledge your feelings – In order to stay in the mindset of being thankful, sometimes you have to be in the right frame of mind. Acknowledge how you feel by checking in with yourself and asking yourself what do you need to do in order to stay in a positive frame of mind in order to consistently remain thankful.

Thanksgiving may be over, but the attitude of gratitude and thankfulness should never end. Happy Holidays!

Thankful Again, Still and Always

Another Thanksgiving is upon us. As you count all of your blessings this Thanksgiving, be sure to count your financial blessings as well. Even as we struggle to “do better” with our money, most of us have financial blessings far in excess of most of the rest of the world.

This week, simply give thanks for all that you have and enjoy the bounty of the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

To your turkey success!

What Do You Think of When I Say “Thanksgiving”?

Did you say turkey? I bet a turkey or pumpkin pie or cooking was the first thought that popped into your head. Those pilgrims had no idea the fuss they were starting way back when they planned that first shindig! The advertising folks at Butterball and Sarah Lee have fully ingrained in us the need to cook that big meal and gather some people around our table. But beyond the hours of cooking and the big meal and the pies for dessert, have you given thanks for your financial blessings lately?

The idea for the post came up several weeks ago, long before I turned my calendar to November. I was lamenting to myself that my husband and I have seemed, for a lot of our relationship, to be in different financial cycles with our careers or companies – I had a job and he moved to Atlanta when we got married so he was job hunting. I left corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom while he made good on the corporate front. He left corporate to start a business, and I went back to work. “Why can’t we both be on the upswing at the same time?!

And that comment hit me like a bolt – “thank heavens that we haven’t both been on the downswing at the same time!” What an incredible blessing it was right there in front of me, and I didn’t even recognize it for what it was. A blessing that when he has been down, I have had opportunity, and when I have been down, he has risen up. And what if everything was a blessing? Every time that we had a bit extra saved up, what if it was in preparation for the dead battery, broken washing machine or root canal that we needed? What if my needs were actually being taken care of before I had the need or knew that I had the need?

All of life is in how we interpret the situation in front of us. We can lament incomes moving up and down or give thanks that we have counter-balanced one another. We can lament having to use our extra this month to fix that washing machine or we can give thanks that we had some extra to cover it and that we even own a washing machine! We can worry over rising costs or we can give thanks that we are participating in this great economic wheel that we call the American dream. Many people the world over would give everything they have just to come here and have a chance to own a washing machine.

What financial “laments” do you have that could be turned around and viewed as blessings or wake-up calls or opportunities? What financial blessings do you have that you take for granted as we all do? I’m pretty thankful for that washing machine! With 4 kids, I spend a lot of time with that little miracle and don’t ever pause to give her a little pat on the side and appreciate that I could be out in a stream beating my clothes on a rock if not for her magic! Speaking of, I do need to change the load now so I will leave you to give thanks for the wonders of everyday magical machines, financial blessings, and that big, delicious turkey and pumpkin pie that will be sitting on your table come Thursday.

To help you get in the Thanksgiving spirit, here is a Gratitude Assessment created by Darren Hardy (Success Magazine).

To your financial thankfulness as well as success.

Happy THANKSgiving!