We can easily forget what Thanksgiving is all about as we stuff ourselves with turkey, aggressively shop for deals, and argue politics with our family. Luckily, the keyword is right there in the name of the holiday to remind us what it's about - thanks.
We should be thankful all year, but we get distracted by our business, family, and Netflix. If we take the time each day of the year to be thankful, we will all be more kind and reflective. I feel like this is needed now more than ever.
As we ease to and away from Thanksgiving 2016 here are some fresh ideas on how to be thankful.
Be smart with your smartphone: Set a daily reminder asking, "What am I thankful for?" Stop your day to ask and answer this question to yourself during a quite moment. It will only take a minute and can quickly become a positive daily habit.
Journal it. Use a small notebook to jot down what you are thankful for each morning or before bed. This will become a valuable resource to turn to when you have a crummy day. Flip through it and realize you live a charmed life.
Walk and talk. Get outside and clear your head. I use the voice memo app on my iPhone to record why I am thankful. Don't worry the passersby will think you are speaking on your phone. Nobody will know you are secretly talking to yourself. It will be our little secret.
Say Thank You. Review your recent emails, voice messages, social media interactions and instant messages. There are people deserving of your thanks. Pick up the phone and tell them why you are thankful, or write them a personal note and mail it. There is magic in the tangible interactions.
The Cheater's Guide to Saying Thank You
I enjoyed watching Carly Slater's Ignite Seattle presentation, "The Cheater's Guide to Saying Thank You". In it, she suggests that instead of being thankful to someone, we should be thankful for them. This helps us realize exactly why we are grateful. It's great advice.
Take it a step further and acknowledge someone for something they care about. In her presentation, Slater says you can find what someone cares about by noting difficult or rare things they often do. Tell them you have noticed and why you are thankful for it. Take a moment now to consider the people in your network and what they care about.
Don't let Thanksgiving be the only time you are giving thanks. Happy Thanksgiving (and belated to my Canadian friends).
This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.