If you're starting this Monday out with appreciation and gratitude, well done, read on for more inspo!
If you've yet to drag yourself out of bed (probably me!) and are having a case of the Mondays, then hopefully today's gratitude prompt will get your week started on a grateful foot.
Before you even attempt to unbury yourself from your inbox (what a way to start the week), let's try some gratitude, instead.
When we think of practicing gratitude, most of us immediately feel thankful for our families, our friends, our furball companions and our favorite hot beverage (seriously, the amount of gratitude I hear about coffee is pretty significant!).
And unless you are the most wired person on earth, you probably spend more time at work than you do drinking coffee.
But in almost 3 years of running this challenge, I don't hear very often that people feel grateful for their work. As much as we might fantasize about our next vacation, early retirement, or spending the rest of our days in a vat of coffee, there are plenty of reasons why finding gratitude at work is good for us all.
Please note-->there are quite a few ideas in this blog, so if you're short on time, start with just the 5-minute practice below. Then read the extra gravy ideas at lunch, to possibly implement later, but don't overwhelm yourself with having to do an entire gratitude makeover of your office in one day (nobody would be grateful for that!).
Gratitude Gravy Practice 4:
Take 5-minutes and do an appreciation download about work. Pen and paper set a timer for 5-minutes, write it down. Start with your surroundings, appreciate your comfy chair, that yummy hot coffee, that great parking space (or that refreshing walk from the not-so-great parking space), and then broaden the practice out even further to find gratitude and appreciation for some aspect of the people you work with and the customers you serve.
You can choose to be grateful to work for keeping your mind sharp, your bills paid, and your time spent doing something meaningful with other perfectly imperfect humans.
Notice if your mind immediately went to a litany of why your work isn't meaningful or your bank account isn't full enough, or your benefits suck, or your colleagues are jerks or any other chronic complaints that cropped up.
If your brain did that (it's completely normal), just thank it for its input, redirect it back to gratitude and look for the good that's right in front of you.
Want extra gravy? Additional ideas for gratitude at work (short on time? Read these at lunch).
Write 30,000 thank-you notes (just kidding)
If you're a leader of a company, consider this: former CEO of Campbell's Soup, Doug Conant wrote over 30,000 notes of gratitude to his employees during his ten years at Campbell's Soup (that's quite a bit of extra gravy!).
(here I am, wishing I could turn back the clock & write gratitude letters to my employees when I used to have 45 of them)
This created a more engaged workforce (because they felt appreciated), as well as a leader who could not only think critically but who could also appreciate the good.
Because the notes were handwritten, it also gave the employees something to hold onto and it gave him a daily digital detox (we all need that) plus an upward spiral of positivity, which probably kept him in his role longer than if he was on the verge of burnout.
Apparently the 30,000 thank you notes made a difference in the numbers as Campbell's books were a lot more impressive in 2011 when Doug retired than when he started in 2001!
So start writing some thank you notes. It's more about being genuine than being voluminous. You can always start with 3 rather than 30,000.
Start a post-it appreciation wall
This comes from our veteran gratitude GRAVY'er, Jennifer Maginnis. Jenny works as a sales associate at Athleta in Cincinnati. She got inspired by gratitude GRAVY last year and created an appreciation wall for all of the employees at the Athleta store during the stressful retail holiday season.
Management was a little unsure about the idea, at first, but after seeing how much it kept spirits from sagging during holiday mania, they embraced it.
The key to its success was that Jenny taught everyone how to be SPECIFIC on their post-its. Instead of just thanking someone for their smile, they specifically said things like thank you for getting that x-small from the back room for me. Remember, being specific is how we stave off gratitude fatigue.
Start a meeting with gratitude:
Another #gratitudegravy participant, Dianne Bertini, shared with me that in her real estate firm, they have a practice of starting each Monday team meeting with their gratitudes from over the weekend. Such a great way to start the week on a good note AND get rid of what could be a case of the Mondays...
Share the customer love notes!
Try compiling all recent customer thank you's into one weekly email and share with the entire team. This is especially helpful when some team members never interact with the customer. It helps everyone reconnect to the purpose of the work, find meaning in the day to day and to enjoy the fruits of everyone's labor.
Warm and fuzzies at work for the win!
If you're sharing on social, please use #gratitudegravy. Tag me or follow along on Instagram. I'll be adding some gravy to my stories...
Now go do your 5-minute work appreciation download to start your week with more gratitude, less grind!
Coach & Creator of Gratitude GRAVY & The Life Feast
Need a reminder? Missed a day? All #gratitudegravy prompts are right here:
Day 1---> Don't let your gratitude be bland (tip to get the most out of gratitude)
Day 2---> Look for the good (3 good things)
Day 3---> The GREATful Outdoors
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