Goals of Gratitude

I’d like to step back for a second from the controversial topics of billable hours and the juvenile behavior of generation Y and tell you about something a little more inspiring.  Back in March a group of 16 volunteers (myself included) began an experiment.  We call it the Virtues Experiment, and those of you that have been following me for longer than a few weeks know that I have written a manuscript called the Year of 12 Virtues.

I wanted to share a few of the great goals that members of the virtue experiment came up with this month to help them live their lives with more gratitude.

Amberly:  There is a song by Darius Rucker entitled, “It won’t be like this for long” that has sparked my focus for the month of gratitude.  I have been trying to “be” in the moment more with my children, realizing that they won’t be like this forever and that I need to do better and enjoying this precious time I have with them.  I get caught up in wishing time away, anticipating what is to come rather than being grateful for the experiences we could be having right now.

The action this month is to enjoy at least one activity with my children each week that is just us, creating a great experience.  It may be planned, it may not… this week we dropped everything at the last minute to play at the splash pad for a couple of hours, without any other friends, giving me the opportunity to be grateful for the little people my children are turning into and this time I have with them.
I don’t feel like I explained that very clearly, but hopefully you get the point…
Loud and clear Amberly, there are so many amazing moments in our lives- making a conscious effort to notice those great times I believe will enrich our lives.

Renee: It’s difficult being a care-taker for someone with a chronic disease
and still maintain a good view on life.  So this month I am going to write down in my Journal at least one thing a week I am grateful for. (As well as saying, “Thank YOU God for Your provisions,”)
Working on this in every situation, come Clouds or lots of Joy.

Ryan: My goal for the month of gratitude is to spend 10 minutes writing in my journal every night about what I was grateful for from that day.

Susan: Gratitude is something I have, but am not very good at expressing.  I have determined to send at least one thank you note every week for the rest of the year.  It is a habit I want to have and I know it is just a part of the character I want in my life.  How grateful I am for so many who help me accomplish my goals and are an example to me. I feel I need more than a month to work on this one.

Practicing virtues is a lifelong process, and I hope that the goals and challenges that we make each month can stick with us long after the month is over.

Sallee:  I’m excited about the month of gratitude.  I feel pretty strongly that gratitude is something that changes the way we look at the world.  Currently in my life I’ve been struggling being able to be grateful for many of the things I have especially when it comes to work.  I’ve taken on a second job for a few hours a week and while I’m really grateful to have it (great resume builder) but I tend to get really stressed out by it.

My full-time job is the same way.  Instead of being grateful that I have a full time job, I get stressed by things that happen there.  I also feel like I get so busy trying to fit everything in (gym time, garden time, time with my husband, time to relax) that I forget to be grateful that my life affords all of those different kinds of time. I mean really, how great is it that I get to spend at least 1 night a week working in the garden with my husband?  Pretty awesome.  Not everyone gets that.

So this month I want to work on appreciating what I have instead of having it stress me out. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to measure it yet but I’m driving my best friend to her new home in Washington DC this week and you’ll definitely have a measuring tool back from me on Sunday.

Rachel: I’m going to write in my gratitude journal every night.  (I haven’t been very good about it the last few months.)

Tiffany: Don’t know if you want our goals yet, but I have already made mine for gratitude.  I have a blog that I stared a long time ago.  It was kind of like a gratitude blog and I just started it for myself.  Here’s the site


I am going to post on it everyday things that I am grateful for.  I hope that this helps me complain a lot less.  I feel like such a negative person lately and I hope that looking for the good will help.  This is another goal that I have to be proactive about so we will see how it goes.  I don’t mind if you post my blog on your site, in fact, maybe you should, that way I HAVE to do it!

What are you grateful for this month?  Renee suggested that I start using a hashtag #gratitude on Twitter and invite others to say what they are grateful for.  I think its a great idea, so I invite all of you to share what you are grateful for- and I will do the same for the rest of the month.

Its interesting, arguing with Scott Greenfield this last week about Gen-Y made me realize I am grateful I did not become a litigator.  On a certain level arguing and good discussion is very enjoyable to me- but I don’t want my life to be spent arguing.  I hope for something more.

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