Progress Update #2: Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days

Gratitude Card Set 6 - Photo credit Fern R on Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 License

Photo Credit: Fern R on Flickr
Used unmodified under CC Attribution license

“I think that 99% of people FORGET the effect that they can have on people with just a simple show of gratitude”
Daniel DiPiazza, IM conversation 5/25/14

When I started this list item, I was thinking about myself. This goal was going to miraculously fix my ungrateful, complaining attitude. I would become a grateful person. I would know that I shared my grateful thoughts with people who matter to me, to prevent me from feeling guilty in case something bad happened to any of them. I would single-handedly save the US Post Office from bankruptcy. Just kidding. But I have mailed a lot of cards.

All that doesn’t mean that my words and feelings that I sent to people were lies. I meant every word, and I still do. I also still think it’s important to tell people the good things you think about them, especially considering we don’t know when things are going to happen, and we really don’t give enough positive feedback to the people who matter to us.

I knew that sharing those words would probably make other people feel good, but I didn’t expect to receive the feedback I did. Some people sent cards back to me. Their responses came when I was having bad days and cheered me up. They came when I was having good days and made them better. Even just a simple “thanks for the card” text makes me feel good because words make a difference. And that was the story everyone was telling me too: my grateful words made a difference in their day.

This goal has also helped me reconnect with friends who I haven’t talked to in a while, and it’s been very fun to get to know what’s happening in their lives and to hear about their current joys and struggles, and to share mine, so we can go through them together. The thank you notes have started conversations of gratitude, and I have to admit, sometimes it’s difficult to allow myself to accept thank you’s in return. Accepting gratitude takes humility.

I am grateful for the effect that other people’s gratitude has had on my life during this time, and I’m looking forward to the remaining 8 days. I can’t wait to see the impact they will have!

Click to read: final reflection on this goal, progress update #1, or the initial post about this goal.

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10 thoughts on “Progress Update #2: Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days

  1. Pingback: Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days | The Goal List

  2. Pingback: Progress Update: Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days | The Goal List

  3. Pingback: Goal Accomplished! Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days (2014) | The Goal List

  4. Pingback: Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days | The Goal List

  5. Pingback: Progress Update: Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days | The Goal List

  6. kayleymurphy

    This is amazing. I never thought about doing this. Thank you for the idea and hope you don’t mind that I use it 😉

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    1. Shelly @ The Goal List

      🙂 Thanks for reading, and taking the time to comment! This was a really great experience for me (today is Day 100, final post on this goal list item to come soon). I’m so happy you want to do it too, I know that you will have a really good time, and the people you thank will be happy too. Please let me know how it goes, okay?

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      1. kayleymurphy

        🙂 How did you decide who to write to? Compile a list beforehand or just as it goes? I want to write to old friend I fell out of touch with and some people who used to be in my life but I’m kind of worried they will see it as an insincere gesture…

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        1. Shelly @ The Goal List

          I made a list with ~70 people/businesses I wanted to thank, with the rest as free choices as they came up. The perception of insincerity was also a concern for me. I wrote a little about that in my first post about it. I understand the feeling of wanting to reconnect but feeling a bit worried. I generally said acknowledged that we’d fallen out of touch and said I still think about them (don’t say it if it’s not true). You could also say that you started a gratitude project and you thought about them, and how grateful you are that they were in your life. Whether or not you want to offer to reconnect or just to thank them for the memories and impact on your life is up to you. The important thing for me to remember was that I needed to be writing what I would write regardless of whether I was doing it for this list item. The 100 thank you notes wasn’t just a goal to meet, it was a prompt to be more grateful. It’s not insincere to write a card unless you don’t mean it and you’re just writing it to meet a quota.

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