Tag Archives: thankfulness

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.

Resource (3 minute TED talk):

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Progress Update: Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days

Monster thank you by AForestFrolic (stampinmom) on Flickr Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Photo Credit: AForestFrolic (stampinmom) on Flickr
Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.
–Robert Louis Stevenson

For the beginning part of this year (okay, through most of grad school too) I forgot to be thankful. The above quote stood out to me because I really did feel like I was just going through the motions, checked out of really paying attention to what was going on around me. I know that it’s not only related to being ungrateful, but I think my attitude greatly impacted that feeling of sleepwalking.

Since the beginning of this month, I’ve been making progress on writing 100 thank you notes in 100 days. It’s been a little slower than I anticipated, because it takes longer to write each note than I expected.

When I’m writing a thank you note for a specific purpose, like “thanks for the birthday gift,” the note almost writes itself. It’s genuine, but more straightforward than when I write a general expression of thanks to a person for being themselves, even though I’m writing about specific reasons I appreciate them. There’s a big difference between the two reasons for writing. While I’m writing a few of the first type, the second is much more meaningful to both me and the person to whom I give the note.

I now realize that as a part of this goal, I originally thought that I would suddenly become a more grateful person. It’s still a challenge to not complain. How about that! Changing habits takes time. Who knew? ;P

On the other hand, I notice that I’m slowly starting to focus more on things I’m grateful for. Expressing gratitude helps me put things into perspective. It also helps me value people more and I’ve been taking time to pray for each person to whom I’m writing, so they’re benefitting apart from simply knowing that I’m grateful.

If you’ve been doing something similar, please leave a comment and let me know how it’s going for you. I’m looking forward to continuing with this goal and to bringing you some stories of how gratitude has changed people’s life, maybe an interview or two, and some more updates on this goal in general.

Click to read: final reflection on this goalprogress update #2, or the initial post about this goal.

ResourceHow to Write a Thank-You Note

Want to join me in this goal of writing 100 thank you notes in 100 days? If you do, please let me know in the comment section below, or by using the contact form. Let’s support each other in intentional gratitude.

Write 100 Thank You Notes in 100 Days

Photo credit: Sadie Hernandez (sadiediane) on Flickr, used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

Photo Credit: Sadie Hernandez (sadiediane) on Flickr.
Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18a (NIV)

Over the last few months, I have become very ungrateful and dissatisfied with events or conditions of my life, even though I am very blessed. Sometimes my bucket list is part of the problem, because I feel like I’m not making progress and I can’t find time to do things on the list. I get jealous of people who are doing their bucket list items, and convince myself that I will never be able to get them done.

In my head, I know that’s not true, but it’s sometimes hard to remember. While progress on my list has been slower than I’d like compared to my idea of a perfect situation, I have had many opportunities to complete or make progress on several things on my list since the start of 2014.

Last October, I added “Write 100 thank you notes in 100 days” to my list. I didn’t want this just to be a project to check off the list, but to have it give me motivation and structure to be more intentional about expressing gratitude. It seems like it is a good time to start this goal, and May 1st will be Day 1 (Aug 8 will be Day 100).

I debated about writing about this at all while it’s in progress, because I really don’t want people to feel like I’m that I’m not genuine/that I’m only writing to them because I want to finish a list item. However, I decided that if it comes up, I will explain the reasoning behind this project, and that I thought this would be a good time to let them know that I am thankful for them. I will write a brief weekly reflection about this goal, and hopefully add some interviews/guest posts of other people who have done or are doing similar things.

Want to join me in this goal of writing 100 thank you notes in 100 days? If you do, please let me know in the comment section below, or by using the contact form. Let’s support each other in intentional gratitude.

Click to read: progress update #1, progress update #2, and the final reflection on this goal.