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Simon Says | Start each day with gratitude

Cultivate more joy in your life with one simple new habit.

ARKANSAS, USA — Now is the time to change your life by starting each day with gratitude.

There’s no better time than now because it’s National Gratitude Month, and Thanksgiving is a couple of weeks away.

When you wake up each morning, get present, and focus on the next 24 hours. 

An easy way to start is by listing three things you’re thankful for that day. It can be three things big or small. Write it down, say it out loud and make it a habit to start the day off in a positive way.

If that’s a challenge for you on any given day, turn on some music that inspires you, or read 10 pages of a book to get good energy flowing.

Right now, I’m reading a book called "Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown. There’s a part in the book where she talks about the connection between joy and gratitude.

She quotes a Jesuit priest who says, “It’s not joy that makes us grateful. It’s gratitude that makes us joyful."

If you think about it, happiness ebbs and flows typically based on circumstances and achievements. But joy is a state of being cultivated by being a grateful, positive person.

Some days are harder than others to be grateful, but it’s important to take a moment to realize how good things really are in your life. It only takes a minute to jot down three things that make you feel gratitude for today.

Fear, frustration, doubt and lack can all be transformed into hope and appreciation. Gratitude and joy involve choosing a mindset of sufficiency, knowing that we have enough and we are enough.

You can talk about what you are thankful for around the dinner table each night with your family, and get your kids started on a gratitude practice as well.

However you want to do it, practicing thankfulness invites more joy into your life if you allow yourself to experience things from that perspective.

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