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“To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

A few months ago Nicole Dalton shared her gratitude calendar with Facebook and I immediately became a fan of the idea. I finally found a moment to reach out and find out more about her process behind creating them and to learn more about her relationship with gratitude, annndd I'm happy I did.

I think you'll want to start one after you see hers. 

By the way, Nicole is currently attending the University of Texas in Austin and even though she is busy being a stud volleyball player and winning National Championships, she has made time for gratitude.

 

(Photo: Nicole Dalton)

1. I love seeing the pictures of your gratitude calendars on social media! Where did you get the idea to start keeping one?

I got the idea to start keeping a gratitude calendar from a really good friend of mine, Mary, who has been doing it for awhile. She has inspired a lot of her friends to do it and now I see a lot of my friends joining the calendar making each month!

(Photo: Nicole Dalton)

2. What role does gratitude play in your life? Do you think it adds to your everyday experience?

Gratitude has played a significant role in my life! From my family, friends, and relationships to volleyball and my faith. Gratitude and being thankful for what I have been given each and everyday is a beautiful gift for me. I find so much joy in recognizing even the littlest of things that I can be grateful for, such as catching up with an old friend or someone holding the door open for me. Gratitude definitely adds to my everyday experience, especially since I find myself taking things for granted sometimes. With making the calendar, I have a constant reminder to appreciate what brings happiness, peace, and love to my everyday life.

(Photo: Nicole Dalton) 

3. What has been your personal approach to keeping a gratitude calendar? You record such a variety of different things, I’m curious to know how you choose what to write/draw to represent each day.

My personal approach to keeping a gratitude calendar is to fill in each day at night, right before bed. It gives me time to reflect and be aware of all the little blessings in my life on that specific day. It usually takes me a minute or so and then I usually use that to start my night prayer..thanking God for each of those things. Honestly though, some nights I sit there for a good couple minutes and think to myself 'wow, is there not one thing I am thankful for?' because yes, we all have our good and bad days so on not so good days it can be hard to recognize what you are thankful for. But in the end, I always find something and this is a great reminder that even on your worst days and even in suffering you can always find something to be grateful for. I usually write or draw what comes first to my mind. I love to draw and letter, so it is a great way to incorporate that hobby into the calendar as well.

(Photo: Nicole Dalton) 

4. What has been your favorite part of the whole experience?

My favorite part of the whole experience is the joy it brings me. Not that I didn't recognize good things in my life before, but it is amazing what writing it out for a whole month does for you. I absolutely love looking back on previous months, it always brings a smile to my face. Today, our lives are so busy and full of activity and going, going, going so to take a glance back at all you are thankful for in those moments is special and puts things into perspective. Looking back at previous months brings to light how precious time is and how beautiful each day of our lives is. It also is a great reminder to show others you are thankful for them and has helped me serve and love others better.

(Photo: Nicole Dalton)

5. What would you say to someone thinking about starting one?

I would say that if you are looking for a simple and easy way to find joy and genuine happiness in your everyday life, this will be perfect for you! Letting yourself recognize one thing you are thankful for each day will change your heart, give you a sense of appreciation, and a return to kindness even on the worst of days.

(Photo: Nicole Dalton)



1 Response

jennifer d
jennifer d

August 18, 2016

this is very similar to a few craft projects that my sister friend and I do. Often we don’t keep track of days (just) in the calendar. I am inspired once again to write and draw rather than internally reveal gratitude. DO you have some pictures of yours too?

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