Thanksgiving Appreciation and Gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches and the holiday season kicks into gear, it is easy to get caught up in the activities, preparations, and even stress that often come along with this time of year. Sadly, in the midst of all of the commotion of Thanksgiving, many of us forget the true essence of this important holiday - to be grateful, to express our appreciation to those around us, and to appreciate ourselves.

This year, according to author and gratitude expert Mike Robbins, Thanksgiving can be more than just a nice holiday, it can be a time of reflection, connection, and transformation. Robbins, the author of the new book Focus on the Good Stuff: The Power of Appreciation which reached #4 on Amazon's bestseller list when it came out and was on the San Francisco Chronicle's bestseller list last week, teaches people how to utilize the power of appreciation with their family, friends, and co-workers and in their lives in general. Greater appreciation leads to improved communication, better relationships, and more fulfillment.

Mike offers three reminders and three action ideas for making this Thanksgiving one to remember for you and those close to you:


  • Be grateful - focus on the good stuff and count your blessings
  • Acknowledge the people around you - let the people in your life know what you appreciate about them
  • Appreciate yourself - pat yourself on the back and focus on what you are doing well

Action ideas:

  • When you sit down at the table for Thanksgiving, go around the table and have everyone share things they are grateful for.
  • Before, during, or after your meal, pick someone to acknowledge, let them know how they have positively impacted your life, and then ask them to "pay it forward" and acknowledge someone else in the group. Keep going until everyone has been appreciated.
  • Take some time to reflect on yourself and your life and ask yourself, "What do I appreciate about myself?" Write down your answers to this question or share them with others whom you trust.