By Scott Colby

Each day, it’s important to find something that you’re grateful for: your health, your family, or the roof over your head. Life has its ups and downs. There will be times when you think the world is against you. There will be times when you won’t want to get out of bed. There will be times when you want other people to do the hard work.

Expressing gratitude daily can improve your mood and increase your happiness and optimism. It will help you complain less and look on the bright side of things. It will help you appreciate what you have. Cultivating a personal practice of gratitude can boost your motivation levels and increase your business performance.

Ultimately, it’s essential to fuel your personal gratitude so you’ll have a deep well to draw from in showing gratitude and appreciation to others.

The 3-1-3 System

Let me give you my 3-1-3 system for personal gratitude:

If you follow this daily, I truly believe it has the power to change your life.

— When you wake up on the morning, take out a journal and write down 3 things or people you’re grateful for. Don’t just say what they are, add WHY you’re grateful for these 3 things. Really feel it, believe it, and live it.

— In the evening, maybe when you’ve put away your work for the day, give thanks for one person who impacted you during the day. You might give thanks for the friend who helped with a school project, the parent who helped you get ready this morning, or the barista who smiled at you in the coffee shop. Take this a step further by telling that person you are grateful for them and why. Even better, send them a handwritten thank you card.

— Before you go to bed, list 3 wins from your day, big or small. We often beat ourselves up for our failures. I want you to go to bed in a celebratory mood. Writing down your 3 wins every night before bed will help with this. You’ll be in a good mood when you shut off the lights.

And that’s it! It’s pretty simple stuff, but it requires a daily commitment to the habit.

According to leading gratitude researcher, Robert Emmons, the act of consciously expressing gratitude has been scientifically proven to increase happiness and decrease depression. It also:

  • opens the door to more relationships,
  • improves physical and psychological health,
  • enhances empathy and reduces aggression,
  • improves quality of sleep and self-esteem, and
  • increases mental strength.

When you begin to practice personal gratitude on a regular basis, you will experience these positive effects. It can be truly life-changing for you.

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