We’re often encouraged to think about gratitude this time of the year in the United States. Traditionally, we go around the table and say one think we’re thankful for. Or more privately, we’re urged to craft a gratitude list.

In the spirit of our weekly time together, I’m going to ask you to dig a little deeper than the usual gratitude prompt.

It’s easy to get out your journal and number one to ten, listing what you’re grateful for. Health, family, a roof over your head. But what if we asked ourselves some different questions?

What if we asked why we’re grateful for those things? What if we asked what we can do to express all this gratitude?

I bet we’d learn a lot more about ourselves, our relationships, our dreams.

So here are some prompts, digging a little bit deeper than the traditional suggestion of making a gratitude list.

Feel free to pick and choose among the following prompts. Or if you find yourself snowed in, too stuffed to move, or with a blissfully silent home while everyone’s out shopping the Black Friday sales, try them all.

  • How can I demonstrate my gratitude for ________ in a meaningful way today?
  • What in my life have I previously overlooked that deserves gratitude?
  • How can I maintain a grateful outlook on a daily basis and not just at designated times of the year?
  • Who is grateful for me? What have I done that others might be grateful for?
  • When you actively think about something you’re grateful for, how does your physical body respond? Why do you think that is?
  • How would a daily focus on gratitude impact the rest of your life? Your work? Your relationships?

Personally, I’m grateful for YOU. Thank you for sharing these few minutes with me.