6 Reasons to Add Thankfulness to Your ‘To Do’ List

It’s time for Thanksgiving and a pumpkin spiced latte. Who’s hosting dinner? Should we smoke or bake the turkey? Who is going to pick up Grandmother? Lots of plans to plan.

Yet, Thanksgiving is rooted in thankfulness – a season of gratitude. What about you? How will you personalize Thanksgiving this year? Don’t reserve thankfulness for just the personal. Work is a vital part of your life and could probably use a healthy dose of gratitude and thankfulness.

There are some amazing benefits of adding gratitude to your ‘to do’ list this year, in case you need a reminder that:

  1. You’re not in it alone.

Most of our successes happened because of partnerships, support and a lift from others. Any big or small success I’ve had always relied on big or small assists from those around me. Remember your team that delivered the tough client project, the coworker who worked double-time to cover for you while your mom was sick, or the manager who coached you along the way even when there was no time to do so. Our team has been ‘all in’ for each other at the hardest times and biggest successes – and it’s been amazing to experience.

Write a note to your essential people. Give them a call to share, ‘I appreciate you.’ It will matter to them and to you.

  1. You’ve done some amazing things today, this year and in life.

Be grateful for your wins, successes, and the hard things you’ve accomplished. All of you Type A perfectionists always thinking about the small thing that could have been just a little better are missing out on thankfulness. If you, like me, were the one leaving a great performance review thinking of that one ‘opportunity for development’ – please stop. There is such power in being thankful for our successes and letting them sit there and sink in a minute.

Every day (or at least once a week) – write down what you are proud of, what you did well and how you contributed to making your day and week better. I have a journal that asks, “Today I am happy that I ________”. It makes you stop and think.

  1. The ups are right in front of us, not just the downs.

Gratitude and thankfulness keep our mind and thoughts on the possibilities and positives. Distraction and busyness can really distort our perspective. My busy mind and schedule can spin me up over small things that seem big at that moment – but really aren’t.

Keep a journal or gratitude list. When I do this consistently, it is overwhelming to go back and review the prior weeks or months and realize how many important things can be easily forgotten.

  1. We can handle big disappointments.

At work, as in life, there will always be disappointments and setbacks. You are shocked to find out your new position was eliminated, and you just got there. Your mentor, and biggest champion is moving on. You didn’t get the job offer that you really wanted. Of course, these will remain disappointments, but I do believe that gratitude helps bring some peace about moving forward and even offer insight on what to do next.

  1. You can be both strong and thankful.

There is research that more women than men have imposter syndrome, the feeling that they don’t deserve to be where they are. And, that more women feel their success, even incredible success, was somehow due to luck or someone else opening a door rather than sheer hard work and delivering the goods. I believe that both can be true – that your success was powered by your own grit, determination and taking on the challenge while also having gratitude for how you got there.

  1. You will be more content.

Thankfulness can really change your outlook and your perspective on your work and those who work with you.

My hope for you this Thanksgiving season is to pause a minute and add thankfulness and gratitude to your agenda. Even schedule it so you don’t miss it. It may be one of the most important things you do this year.

Patti Johnson