Thanksgiving is one day away!  The world is getting into the holiday season and if we’re lucky someone ahead of us at Starbucks just bought our coffee this morning. You feel like you should be grateful…but…

We all know that having gratitude is essential yet it’s often hard to put something in the gratitude jar – or even open it.  And THAT is what we don’t talk about…

Have you ever heard this joke? (ok I took some liberty with it) The optimist says the glass is half full.  The pessimist says the glass is half empty.  The Professional Woman says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. Yes that’s us!  Determined, independent and solution focused women.  We are often driven by achievement.  While these are wonderful traits, determination can cause us to be narrow minded and focus on what’s wrong.  And when we’re stuck in “battle mode” it’s hard to stop doing what we do; fix things/make things happen.

So the secret?  Don’t fight it! Look at gratitude as a problem to be solved – a jar to crack open.  Here’s a simple system for how to be grateful:

Define (the problem):  Look gratitude in the eye and tell it you have a problem with it.  “Gratitude you’re so Pollyanna!  I mean who’s really grateful all the time? Why should I spend time doing this?”.  I need more data to define the credibility of this gratitude.

Measure (available data): Talk to people who practice gratitude and those who do not.  How do they feel?  What are they really thankful for? Are they really grateful all the time?  How do they make time for this?  Why did they start doing this? Why do they continue to practice this?

Analyze (root cause of problem): Being grateful seems to give others an inner joy that is present regardless of their circumstances. It seems that people practice gratitude because it helps them to be a better, more productive, more patient and more humble person.

Improve (test the solution): To truly test this it must be practiced. Pick one or two  of the methods found during “Measure” and do it for 7 days.

Control (define plan for sustainable results):  My conclusions – I found that gratitude does have credibility.  To sustain the effects of gratitude practice, practice, practice!  And when you’re just not feeling it go back to “Define”.

How can you use the above to adjust your perspective on the days you’re just not feeling it?