“Practice gratitude” is a thing I kept hearing about and reading online in a lot of my groups. I was a total skeptic because it sounded pretty dumb, to be blunt about it. Which is why I kept reading, to discover out why on earth it was getting repeated everywhere.

The phrase basically means focusing on what you do have instead of what you don’t have right now. It’s a way of being present, instead of wishing you were down the road a bit: more successful, happier, skinnier, or finally feeling peace. You could also call it counting your blessings.

The name doesn’t really matter that much. It’s the mindset work that counts. It’s a shift in perspective.

“Practicing” gratitude could look like writing down the good things that happen every day, obsessing over the tiniest miracles, or celebrating each milestone on the way to achieving your goal. It also means ditching the “I can’t” self talk, focusing on the outcome instead of the obstacles, and really allowing yourself to feel joy. I mean, really feeling good about each day.

Think about it.

Start to pay attention to the things you tell yourself, what you hear others say, and the behavior you witness every day. Current culture tends to glorify being busy, working too hard, and a little miserable with our present status. I’m not entirely sure why, but sometimes it’s easier to commiserate than anything else.

Since the past few years had brought about massive change in my personal and professional life, I wanted this year to feel like an even keel for a change. I wanted to feel happy every day, even in the midst of whatever chaos ensued. Although 2016 was a real dumpster fire for a lot of reasons, I began making a conscious effort to practice gratitude.

At the end of 12 months, I can tell you this: practicing gratitude is great.

In fact, I wish everyone would start practicing gratitude and encouraging their friends to try it. I think we’d all be a little happier, less afraid, and kinder to one another – even though it won’t solve all the world’s problems in an instant. I think it’s a powerful tool we should learn how to master.

Here are a few things I did this year to practice gratitude:

  1. Spent more quality time with loved ones: being present, listening, and supporting one another
  2. Wrote down something good that happened (almost) every day and put it in a jar to look through at the end of the year
  3. Reviewed my business daily, weekly, quarterly, and annually
  4. Made an attempt to start meditating to reconnect with my “why”
  5. Anchor positive experiences by celebrating with loved ones, treating myself, or upgrading the things around me

So far, so good.

I mean, I’ve got a lot of ways I could improve this in 2017. I plan on tackling those things throughout the year. But at this exact moment in time, I feel like the effort has far greater rewards than I realized.

Try it!

If you’re feeling rotten, cranky, frustrated, or tired frequently, I encourage you to start looking into practicing gratitude. Do some serious internet researching to filter through the noise and find something that feels right for you. I sincerely hope you’ll feel lighter, happier, and healthier at the end of the next 12 months as a result.

What do you think?

Tell me in the comments if any of this sounds familiar. Have you tried it? What worked? What are you going to try in 2017? I’d love to hear from ya.