Our Upcoming Year of Work-Life Gratitude

Written by Kirsten Taggart

Every year as the holiday season ends and the New Year becomes the present year, we all seem to be filled with renewed hope and excitement in anticipation of what the incoming year may bring: new opportunities, experiences, jobs, relationships. Whether we make resolutions or not, the calendar change represents a fresh start we are only given once a year.

I recently saw a video of a young boy receiving an Xbox for Christmas and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so grateful (seriously, watch it. I dare you not to cry). He is so appreciative of the generous gesture from his parents and it got me thinking, what if everyone was that gratuitous?

The more I thought about this video the more I became inspired to thank those close to me for their constant support and kindness. Without them I would not be who or where I am today.

But in fear of sounding like a self-help book, I’m going to skip spilling my inner-most, holiday-triggered emotions and cut to the chase.

Let’s make 2011 the year of gratitude in both the workplace and your social communities.

You may think that simple things such as saying “thank you” several times a day seem trivial. However, I’m asking you to not only participate in these acts of kindness but also to appreciate the day-to-day experiences that you, unlike so many, are fortunate enough to have. We live in a go, go, go, world, but sometimes it’s worth it to take a minute and smell the roses. This is extremely important during the job search, as the smallest gesture of kindness can set you apart from the crowd.

Doing so doesn’t take more than a few minutes out of your day either.

  • Were you recently interviewed for a job? Send a thank you note.
  • Receive great advice from a colleague? Do something for them in return.
  • Did someone do you a favor?  Give them a call.

Showing appreciation doesn’t have to come in the form of gifts. A simple gesture can make a world of difference and strengthen even the most informal of relationships. This can strengthen a work relationship, especially after one starts to appreciate and cherish these small acts.

Additionally, thank yourself once in a while. I know so many people who work themselves into the ground and barely take the time to breathe. Where’s the fun in that? Live a little! Treat yourself to a massage or a weekend camping trip. After a long week at work, it is important to rejuvenate and remind us of the beauty of life. We all deserve a break from time to time.

Whatever resolutions you may make for yourselves this year, remember to think about those who care for you most, whether it be our families or our work community. Life without kindness is no life at all. In the hustle and bustle of the New Year, remember to take some time to truly appreciate the little things in life. I wish all of you a very happy, healthy, successful, and grateful 2011.

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