The title of this tip is a double entendre!
There are so many reasons to be grateful!
And…there are so many reasons to be grateful!
As most of you probably know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I could not let this month pass without expressing my gratitude to all of you who support breast cancer research.
This month is a reminder of good stuff and not-so-good stuff for our family!
I must also express my gratitude for my doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, my family and many others (including my CSU staff and team in 2002-03) who provided support in so many ways as I dealt with my breast cancer diagnosis almost 20 years ago!
I would be remiss if I did not mention Dr. Sue Zeigler who spent many days with me in her office leading me through visualizations of “fighting” cancer cells out of my body. I am not sure I knew I understood the power of that exercise at the time, but I do now!
I am also grateful for the strength and grace my mother-in-law showed as she battled her metastasized breast cancer 13 years ago. She never felt sorry for herself and faced each day as it came. That was a blessing for her daughters as they cared for her through it all.
Although these situations had very different outcomes, both have led to so many moments of gratitude – for life, of love, of hope and of the power of finding something to celebrate, even in life’s toughest moments.
Since I started my mental performance training practice, I have made some exciting changes in my habits and routines knowing I need to practice what I preach. One of the ones I find most impactful is my gratitude journal.
Journal? Who has time to journal?
Trust me, this is no longwinded practice (like these tips are 😊). This is a simple, “write down 3 things you are grateful for today” practice followed by writing down my positive affirmation.
Each night I spend a few minutes thinking about my day…or my life and write down 3 awesome things. Sometimes they are full of emotion and meaning, sometimes they are simple, like being grateful for a rainy day to get things done in the house that I don’t want to do on a sunny day!
The other night I looked back at entries from the past 20 months or so, reading about nights around the fire with friends, watching my son in his first swim meet and the beauty of our back yard in the spring.
THIS WAS AWESOME! I got to relive a ton of great moments and it filled me with joy and even more gratitude!
Way back in Tip #18, I listed the benefits of gratitude. It increases performance. It is contagious. It increases well-being. It reduces our stress hormones. It changes our perspective. It makes us move more. (Read about the benefits HERE).
I also quoted author Jo Miller. She says that “a culture of GRATITUDE is the most underestimated way to BUILD A STRONG TEAM.”
I am going to take Jo’s thought one step further. I believe gratitude may be the most underestimated way to build a successful and fulfilling life! Think about it, if gratitude does all of the aforementioned things, how could it not lend itself to success and fulfillment?
The second part of my gratitude practice – writing down my positive affirmation (or my destination postcard) may be just as important.
The jury is still out on the true effectiveness of affirmations, but there is a large body of work that boasts their benefits.
Either way, we do know that writing things down by hand helps develop a stronger conceptual understanding of what we are writing.
Our brain is more engaged in the information than through the spoken or typed word.
As we write, we connect to images of the information and it allows us to express our thoughts more vividly. The more vivid our descriptions, the more likely we are to accomplish what we “see.”
As I end each day with my affirmation, it prompts me to think of what I need to do to get closer to this “picture” of the "me" I have in my head…and on the paper in front of me.
If “I am the leading mental performance coach in college athletics and NE Ohio,” I have a lot of work to do. Writing it down every night reminds me of where I am headed, makes me think about what I need to do “tomorrow” to get one step closer.
Maybe, more importantly, it helps me celebrate any “wins” I had toward my goal that day AND it forces me to say who I “am” even when I don’t feel like I am at all able to be who I “see.”
ALL OF THIS – recording my gratitude and writing my affirmation – takes me about 5 minutes, unless I want to stretch it out and sit there for a while (which leads to all kinds of other good stuff like prayer, planning and keeping perspective!).
I love my daily practice. And I encourage you to give it a try…and share it with those you lead.
There are so many reasons to be grateful…I could fill a ton of journals.
And there are so many reasons to be grateful…the benefits are amazing!
So many reasons…these simple practices that can make a big difference for you and your team!
Have a great week!
P.S. I would love to help your team increase its performance. Give me a call or text at 234–206–0946 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a team session!
Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach
email@example.com • 234-206-0946