It’s destined to be a good year. You’re making sure of it. You’ve set your big goals and determined what steps you have to take to be on track to achieve them. While doing this sets you up for success, there is one more thing you can do to assure your happiness in the year ahead: Show your appreciation.
Showing appreciation, tangibly or intangibly, is more important than you may think. This simple act can improve your relationships, physical health and mental well-being. And this is why it’s time to start a 66-day challenge for incorporating gratitude into your life.
Think about it. We’re in the trenches at work with the same people day in and day out. Showing your appreciation for what they do goes a long way toward creating a positive environment. Recent research backs this up: Gratitude goes hand in hand with job satisfaction. Organizations that encourage their employees to show gratitude are often happier. There are many different ways for companies to do this. For instance, the staff at Keller Williams show their appreciation for their coworkers through “bucket fills.” A “bucket fill” is a way to share public praise at monthly staff meetings. The former president and CEO of Campbell’s Soup showed his appreciation by handwriting 30,000 thank you notes to people on his staff.
Bosses who show gratitude to their staff are also more likely to create a workplace where people want to work harder. This isn’t surprising. After all, wouldn’t you rather work for someone who appreciates the work you do?
But saying “thank you” doesn’t only have positive effects on our relationships with others. The impact on our own physical and mental health is worth taking note of too. Some studies show that gratitude has the opposite effect on us that stress does. In other words, gratitude makes us sleep better, feel less tired and boosts our immune system. If that isn’t enough, consider the mental effects too. Taking time to recognize who or what we are thankful for can improve both our level of optimism and personal happiness.
One recent study showed the difference gratitude can make in our lives. They divided people into three groups: one who wrote about things that they were grateful for over the past week, one who wrote about the things that annoyed them over the past week, and one who wrote about events that affected them in some way over the past week. Each of these groups spent nine weeks making these lists. The results showed that the people who wrote about gratitude were happier and more positive.
Showing appreciation is vital for a happy, healthy workplace. That’s why we want you to create a 66-day Challenge around it!
66 Days to a Happier Organization
Every day for 66 days, show your appreciation for someone in your life. Start by creating a list of the five people who are making a difference in your life today. Continue the list with the five people who made a difference in your life in the past. Then let one of those people know how much of an impact they’ve had on you. Whether you send a message, make a phone call or show up in person, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the acknowledgement. It’s likely that they have no idea of the effect they’ve made on your life. By reaching out you’ll be sharing that boost in happiness you feel with them.
Once you’ve thanked these people in your life you can turn your focus to smaller tokens of gratitude. Does your barista always remember your name and order? Take a moment to thank them. Has your child come home bursting with excitement about what they are learning in school? Send their teacher a note to let them know. The list of reasons to show gratitude is endless. It’s up to us to tell the people in our lives – no matter how minor a role they might play – how they’ve made our life better.
As the days go by in this 66-day challenge you’ll not only feel happier but spread happiness to others as well. And we think that is a great way to make sure that this is the best year yet. How have you shown gratitude to the people in your life? Head over to our Facebook page and tell us!