Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge together that this year has been hard.

Our plans have had to be changed, adjusted or cancelled over and over again. Just when we think we’ve found a routine to settle into, yet another unknown or unexpected factor gets tossed into the mix that is now changing that up for us.

When things are hectic or stressful (ahem… #2020 #COVID19), finding the silver lining can be challenging.

But, alas, it’s Thanksgiving week so if there was ever a time to find a silver lining, this is the time. Some of you may be spending time with your families. Some of you may be staying home. Some of you may choose to travel. Some of you may be in quarantine. Some of you may be grieving. I get it – this year is heavy and no matter what this Thanksgiving is not going to be typical for most of us.

In the midst of it all, we can be grateful. Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to be another person telling you to start a journal or make a list of a 1,000 things you are grateful for. Those are great ideas and if that’s what you want to do, go for it.

In today’s post, I’m going to keep it super simple. I just want you to take a look around your environment and muster up some gratitude for the random and everyday things and experiences all around you.

Just for today, find one random thing in your environment to be grateful for. This is a low-stakes activity that can be a great way to jumpstart your pursuit of gratitude. Keep reading, and I’ll show you just what I mean. 

What to Look For

It’s easy, really. There are things to be grateful for, even on the difficult days. In fact, it’s even more impactful when you discover little rays of light in the darkest times. You can look for anything within your daily routine that inspires you.

If you don’t leave your home this week, perhaps the very roof over your head could be your source of gratitude.

A changing fall tree out your window might be enough to influence your mood for the better. For me, it’s hearing the sound of my daughter’s laugh and seeing her smile. Find just one thing and focus on that.

What You Can Expect

Let’s be realistic. Taking a minute to notice one thing you’re grateful for in your day probably isn’t going to completely change your life.

However, it could be a significant jumpstart toward moving you in the right direction. This is especially true when you’re going through a difficult period, like the collective hardship that has become 2020.

Turning a long-standing low mood around even slightly by acknowledging one small good thing can be quite meaningful.

Remember, our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviors. 

Future Payoffs

Sometimes all it takes is one small catalyst to spark major change. Some consider this the “baby steps” philosophy. Every habit or practice begins with one small step.

Enjoy a moment to be grateful for just one thing in your environment today can improve your mood, even just a little bit. You may notice a weight is lifted from your chest or that some of your anxiety has eased.

Hold onto that feeling. Notice whether your perspective improves after reflecting on gratitude just once today.

This lift in your mood and brightened outlook can lead you to feeling better, which then influences your actions in a positive manner. You might just notice it’s a bit easier to find that one thing to be grateful for tomorrow. 

Give it a try.

Find one tiny spark to light the flame of gratitude today. Be intentional in noticing the effect it has on you. You may find it’s simpler and more rewarding than you realized to begin your gratitude practice.