Today, most of our attention (if not focused on pie and turkey) is brought to the holidays, family, friends and what we have to be grateful for.

In many homes it’s a family tradition to go around the table on Thanksgiving and have each guest state one thing they’re grateful for. I think this is a great tradition.

Gratitude Journal 2013.1 Darker

But I have a better one. I maintain a gratitude journal and a gratitude practice where each and every day I spend time really focusing on what I have to be grateful for in my life.

I teach gratitude journaling to every student, every client, and just about anyone who will sit with me long enough to listen. I’ve been teaching it for a couple of decades at this point. It’s important to remember that while we have breath in our body, we have something to be grateful for. I don’t care what the circumstances are that you’re facing currently, you have something to be grateful for. And when you begin to approach life from that perspective you begin to understand how you can change your circumstances.

Whether coming at it from Law of Attraction or creative consciousness, everything you want and desire has to begin with gratitude for what you have currently. So here are the steps I take in my own gratitude practice:

Every night I write down 3 to 5 things I encountered that day that I’m grateful for. It’s important to understand that writing things down triggers all three mechanisms for adult learning (visual – you see the words; auditory – you speak the words in your mind; and kinesthetic – the act of writing the words out) and in doing so you create the strongest anchors to these experiences of gratitude.

It’s important to do this at night before you go to sleep. The reason for that is if you’re falling asleep worrying about getting kids to soccer, paying your mortgage, not being late to work the next day, then what do you think your rest is like? But if you’re focusing on what you had to be grateful for, you’re changing the whole energy of where your attention is; it’s a biochemical change your brain. Ultimately you are going to marinate in your own thoughts for 6 to 8 hours, so let’s make them good ones.

And just an aside, my clients who do this consistently typically hit their goals 50% sooner than the ones who choose to bypass this process.

So start today, tell me what you have to be grateful for.

And have a Happy Thanksgiving.