Gratitude, gratefulness, appreciation—these are words that are “easy” to say and perhaps hard to put into practice. Particularly, when we have deadlines to meet, bills to pay, and your head/ego is shouting out to fix a money problem or find another alternative!  We as humans are not hardwired to step into “gratefulness” on command, particularly when our brain is in fear, anger and/or anxiety mode!

How do we step into this mindset of gratitude, particularly when we talk about Money Matters? Well, as we do with our education and vocational skills, it does take practice and awareness of our self and our mindset in in the moment to take a deep breath and step into, by choice, the mindset of “gratitude”. This may or will seem odd when you do this intentionally for the first time.

However, I can testify that the shift in my mindset, particularly, when my own Money Matters come into play, if I just take a step back, look at the “big picture,” and breathe, the answers… the alternatives… come to me as if on command.  If I stay in the mode of frustration, anger, fear and/or anxiety, usually no good answers come to mind and I remain stuck. Our move to the mindset of gratitude and gratefulness allows us to see the big picture, both the good and the bad, of that particular situation. It also pushes us to take action, to make a decision and to move forward. Now, I realize that some decisions will still not resolve a specific situation around money and finances, however, taking action, is one step in a direction that will help you move ahead toward your goals. The practice of starting your day with a mindset of gratitude/gratefulness can shift your entire day.

How can we start our day, and even end our day, with the mindset of gratitude? Here are 3 tips to kick-start your habit and you will be surprised at how easy this becomes and how joyful and less stress you will feel as you tackle the challenges of your day. Whether you are dealing with Money Matters or Life Matters, I have found these simple tips to work well for me to take action and move forward.

Tip 1:

When we wake up, do we open our eyes and say, “Thank you for another day?” Or do we grumble to ourselves that it’s too early; it’s too cold; the dog needs to be walked, or a hundred other complaints about our morning?

Try starting your day with a smile and an affirmation that you are here with your family, your pets, your friends, your health, or your work… Whatever gets you up in the morning filled with passion and purpose!

I can think of many things in my life that I am grateful for, starting with my health and my family. If I wake up and my first thought is “negative” or a “complaint to self,” then I have screwed up my day and who knows what will happen.  If you wake up and you cannot shake the negative thought, try to change your surroundings with a walk outside in nature or a quick exercise routine.

Tip 2:

For many of us, we keep a journal close by to take note of the things that we are grateful for. I often use a journal. It’s an amazing mind shift when you write a note to say, “I am grateful for________!”

Tip 3:

This tip will take a little practice. When faced with a situation or person that is negative, in your mind, switch or “re-frame” to a positive trait or thought. Example, if a colleague comes into your morning meeting grumpy and negative, take the positive view and reframe the conversation. Don’t let the person or the environment move you from a positive frame of mind. It works… with practice!!

Bonus Tip:

Your smile, whether in person or on the phone, will make someone’s day, and it may be yours!