How to Stay Thankful All Year Long

Always extra thankful for these two loves of my life.             Photo by Olivia Hamilton Jones


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days to scroll through social media. I love seeing everyone’s family pictures and sweet posts listing all of the things that they are thankful for. I always wish that we could continue spreading  gratitude in our lives everyday, not just on Thanksgiving. Here are my best ideas for staying focused on gratitude all year long.

Create a Gratitude Jar – This is the perfect time of year to start a gratitude jar. A gratitude jar is simply a jar that you and  your family use to share things that you are grateful for. All you need is a mason jar, or any other container, and small slips of paper. Throughout the year, take time to write down things that you are thankful for as they happen to you. You could also choose a certain day of the week where you all take turns adding to your gratitude jar. Then, at the end of the year, you can open up the jar and go back and remember all of the things that made you grateful! Alternately, you can pick one or two things to read out of the jar when you are having an extra hard day. Turning to gratitude will help lift your spirits and remind you that whatever you are facing is temporary.

Celebrate Thankful Thursdays – Each Thursday can be an opportunity to live in gratitude. All you have to do is choose the one thing that is making you most grateful each Thursday. You can then share it with your friends or family, or post to social media and hashtag #thankfulthursday.

Play the Appreciation Game – The appreciation game is a spin on sharing what we are grateful for. You can play with one other person, or with a group of people. You simply go back and forth sharing what you appreciate about each other. My husband and I have started playing this game on car rides or any time that we are feeling some tension. It’s a great way to lift our spirits and brighten the mood. We all like to feel appreciated, and this game encourages you to focus on the positive and truly appreciate the people in your life.

Try a Gratitude Meditation – Meditating on gratitude is another way to raise your vibration and start to feel good fast. All you need is a few minutes to sit in stillness and start to think about all of the things that you are grateful for. Sit still, close your eyes, and start to slow down your breathing. Once you are feeling nice and calm, bring to mind something that you are extra grateful for in your life. Notice how it feels to focus on this one special thing, and start to really feel your gratitude. Silently say, “thank you”. Then move on to the next thing you are grateful for, and so on. Once you feel ready, take one last deep breath, and open your eyes.

Start a Gratitude Journal – A gratitude journal is a space that is dedicated solely to gratitude! Choose a special journal and every night before you go to sleep, take a few minutes to write down the top 3 things that you are grateful for that day. The more you practice making your gratitude list, the more your appreciation will grow.

Find Gratitude in the Difficult Times – It can feel simple to be grateful for all of the great things that are happening in our lives, but what about the difficult ones? Learning to find gratitude in the hard times can be life changing. Next time you are faced with a challenging situation, ask yourself what the lesson could be in these circumstances. Maybe you lost your job so that you can find the work that you are truly meant to do in the world. Perhaps you got sick as an opportunity to focus on your health. Maybe your relationship ended to make space for the right person to enter your life. Shift your attitude from feeling sorry for yourself, to feeling grateful for every single thing that happens to you, even the difficult ones. If you look hard enough, there is always a lesson to learn, and that is something to be thankful for.

How do you show gratitude in your life? Will you be trying any of these ideas at home? Please share in the comments below! 🙂

Be happy. Be thankful. Be grateful.

Be well,


P.S. Have you gotten your free guide to a more peaceful holiday season? Click on the picture below to download now. 🙂


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