Archive for the ‘December 2010’ Category

One Single Resolution that Enriches Your Entire Life

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Did you make your list yet?  Have you written them down or are they just percolating in your mind a bit?  How many do you have?  Are they the same ones as last year?

Ahh…. New Year’s Resolutions.

It seems like an annual ritual to think and act upon the ongoing challenges to eat healthier, exercise more, sleep more and take our business or career to the next level.  With each New Year we continue to be hopeful that we will make them all happen.

Would you be willing to make ONE resolution that could enrich many areas of your life?

All you need to do is make one resolution to enrich your relationships.  By expressing profound gratitude to one person –  a member of your family, a friend, a colleague, a client and anyone who has really helped you in your life  can not only elevate your relationship but also provide peace of mind.

Your resolution could be stated as easily as…

I will express explicit gratitude to someone who has made a real difference in my life.

Unlike so many resolutions, this is very doable. Think of a person who has been important to you not just this past year, but over the years.  Your deep gratitude can be expressed in less than an hour and the benefits can last a lifetime.  I believe you will find that after experiencing the positive benefits from doing it to just one person you will decide to do more.  When was the last time you exceeded a New Year’s resolution?

By expressing profound gratitude you will not only enrich your life but the lives of the “receivers” and the people to whom they pay it forward.  Imagine the wonderful year you can create not only for yourself but for others.  The process is easy, it is comfortable and it will make a significant difference in your life.

Do you have any regrets from years gone by?  Most do.  Has someone passed away or drifted out of your life that you wished you could have told him/her what they meant to you?

Make this year different.  Actively give yourself the peace of mind that nothing has gone unsaid to someone, or more, who have been important to you.  Eliminate future regret and have a conversation, send a letter, make a video, record a song or poem…. do it any way that feels right to you.

If you want help in executing this resolution, you can go to the bottom of this page and sign up for your FREE guide to Creating Your Own Gratitude Conversations.

This experience will be a life enhancer of significant value.  In my recently released book, This Is the Moment I provide you with all the tools you need to make this resolution one that you will achieve this coming year and be life changing in the process.

ABC Channel 10 Shares The Making of a Journey of Gratitude

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Sometimes we think a project is too grand and too complicated and these beliefs prevent us from even taking action.  Creating and delivering expressions of gratitude can be as easy as sitting down with a pen and a notepad.

Here’s how you can get started today.

  • Write the name of a person who has influenced your life at the top of the page.
  • Write down simple bullet points of what difference that person made in your life.
  • Deliver your message.  This can be a phone call, a meeting, a letter, a song or a poem.  Do it in your own way.  Make it comfortable for you and for the recipient.

There are a great deal of things that come from expressing your feelings of gratitude towards these people – most of all – peace of mind.   If anything were to happen to you or the other person, there would be nothing left unsaid.

The New Year is a time for reflection on what was wonderful, who made a difference and what changes we would like to make going forward.  That is why the New Year is a perfect time to take action.

Take a moment to watch this interview on ABC about how simple your journey of gratitude can be.

How One Woman Is Impacting Many with Expressions of Gratitude

Friday, December 17th, 2010

I wanted to share with you an encouraging and uplifting report.  I met Brenda at a recent event and her initiative and creativity in helping others capture the power of expressing extraordinary gratitude is heartwarming.  The thoughtfulness of what she has done and the diversity of her audiences is nothing short of amazing.

She is not only “igniting sparks” she is fanning the flames of a potential “wildfire of gratitude.”  With her permission I share her story with you.

I wanted to share my experience with spreading the message of This Is the Moment and hopefully “ignite sparks” in others.  I work as a spiritual consultant at a K-8 school. I am also a counselor for women and children living in a domestic violence shelter, and I volunteer my time teaching youth at my church.

I delivered the message of the importance of expressing gratitude to the 8th grade students yesterday, with the principal present, and she is going to have the students write a letter to a person who has influenced their life and give an oral presentation as their semester exam, based on my presentation of your book. Children find writing their emotions far less daunting than verbalizing their feelings. Understandably; however, if we can encourage children in looking for the positive influence of others, sharing it in a way they are comfortable, I believe they will find it easier to verbalize their feelings as they get older.  The principal shared that she wants to order This is the Moment for each 8th grader student. Just think of the impact!

I also gave the presentation to our youth group at church (young women ages 12-18). I had each of the girl’s teachers write a letter expressing their gratitude toward the girls, and I then gave the girls the assignment of paying it forward by using the gift bag I delivered their letter in to write a letter to someone who has influenced their lives. They will report back in a few weeks and share their experience.

Lastly, I presented to a few women who are victims of domestic violence. I was sensitive to their situation, with the understanding that they may possibly find it difficult at this time of the year to look for positive influences in their lives; however, they loved the message and reported that they were up to the task of sharing their feelings with others who have influenced them. I’ve learned that gratitude has no boundaries.

I believe the antidote to depression, loneliness, and other challenges, is looking for the positive influences in your life, reaching out, softening and opening your heart by expressing gratitude”.


It only takes one person to share profound expressions of gratitude that builds momentum and changes lives.  Do you have a story of how expressing gratitude has changed your life and your relationships?  I would love to share it with our gratitude community.  Please submit it here

The Most Personal Holiday Gift that You Hope Gets Re-Gifted

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

What do you buy for those special people in your life?

We struggle for that just-right gift that will show them how much they mean to us, how much we care about them, and we want to give a gift that is from the heart and is personal.

In economic times like these, money is understandably limited for gifts.  There is nothing more special than a personal gift and nothing more personal than an expression of profound gratitude to those who had a major impact on our lives.

This is a gift for all people of any age, all backgrounds and all economic circumstances.  This uncommon approach to gratitude is a way to enrich our lives, enhance our important relationships and achieve peace of mind that can only come from not having regrets for things left unsaid.

In addition, there are several ways to give this “uncommon gift” that will cost a lot less than most people normally spend and the likely impact on the giver and the recipient are far greater than you can imagine.

I encourage you to reach out to the significant people in your life and have a one-on-one connection – in person, on the phone, in a letter – in whichever medium works best for both of you.  Do it your way. If you need assistance with what and how to communicate your profound gratitude, take a look at the last section of my book, This is the Moment or download the Free Guide offered at the bottom of this page by entering your email address.

Expressing extraordinary gratitude to those people who have impacted your life may be your perfect gift this year. The best thing that could happen is that it is re-gifted to someone else – that the receiver shares this wonderful experience with their significant relationships and then they share it, and so on….

Be the first to start the momentum of what will be one of the most rewarding and joyous gifts you have ever given.

School-Aged Children Get Into the Act of Gratitude

Friday, December 10th, 2010

As a wonderful contrast to all of the recent stories about school bullying and children in crisis, it was wonderful to see how the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) designated November 8–12, 2010, as National School Psychology Awareness Week.

More impressive is the exercise they use to “strengthen positive relationships and increasing positive experiences.” It is called Gratitude Works and it encourages students to write letters of gratitude to someone who has made a difference in their lives or the lives of others. The intention is to “reinforce students’ practice of gratitude as one of many pro-social behaviors that can foster individual resilience and well-being and contribute to overall positive school climate.”

Recently I had the opportunity to speak to three graduate management classes at Hofstra University about my yearlong journey of expressing gratitude. I was pleased to receive dozens of emails following those lectures from the students who had done their “homework” almost immediately. They had contacted someone who was a significant life influencer and told him or her specifically how they had affected their life. Every message I received was filled with enormous positive energy, peace of mind and pride in having created even deeper relationships.

Expressing profound gratitude can never start too early. Even school-aged children can think of at least one person who has impacted their life. There are several good reasons to start expressing your appreciation to these people now. The sooner you tell them how you feel, the longer they will be able have to take pleasure in the message. They’ll probably be inspired to help others; in fact, the ripples may very well be felt far and wide, and all because you made these individuals aware of how important they are to you.

Also, keep in mind that expressing your gratitude will likely enhance and enrich your relationships with these wonderful human beings and by starting young, you’ll have more time to enjoy them.

Another consideration is that it’s often easier for young people to speak openly and express heartfelt feelings. Plus, the earlier you do so, the more likely it is that you’ll get better at it, and the effort will become habitual. It’s like exercising an undeveloped muscle.

So what is stopping you? School-age children are doing it. College students are doing it…Why not you – why not now?

To read the full article about the National School Psychology Awareness Week, click here.

How to Craft Your Extraordinary Expressions of Gratitude

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

As we are full-swing into the holiday season it is a natural time to think of the people who have made a difference in our lives. Often times we assume they know how we feel or we tell them we appreciate them, respect them or are inspired by them but we don’t elaborate.

For example, it is one thing to tell your significant other they mean a great deal to you. You can even go one step further and say something like: “you provide stability and comfort in my life.” Now imagine if you gave a specific example such as, “No matter how stressful things get at work, I always know that I’m going to come home to a serene environment and your unfailing support.”

Wouldn’t this feel wonderful to say to someone? Imagine the gift you are giving!

Now here’s how you can craft an extraordinary expressing of gratitude…

How do you think your spouse would feel if you followed up that previous expression with, “This makes me want to do the same for you, and I think I’m a better person for it.”

Not only will you have expressed your gratitude on a much deeper level, but the other person has a more profound understanding of what he/she means to you, how he/she has specifically impacted your life and how he/she can continue to do the same for others.

This is the perfect way to ignite sparks in your relationship as well as other people in both of your lives.

What about your parents, your children or your best friend? What impact would these conversations have on those relationships?

Here are a few more examples of how you can go deeper with your expressions.

Example: “Your character and solid values have been great role models for me.”

“I was impressed seeing you cope so gracefully with the disappointment of losing your job and making lifestyle changes.”

Digging Deeper: “This brought home what’s important in my life and I made some important adjustments.”

Example: “You’re a rock.”

Specifically: “It’s a relief for me to know that there’s someone I can trust with the most confidential aspects of my life.”

Digging Deeper: “You epitomize loyalty, and that gives me tremendous peace of mind. It makes me want to be there for the people who rely on me.”

This is easier than you might have first thought. It only takes a few minutes to think about the specifically how their actions have changed your life and who you have become as a result of having them in your life.

Start today. If you haven’t already done so, download the FREE guide Creating Your Own Gratitude Conversations offered at the bottom of this page under Ignite Your Spark.

Once you begin to with your extraordinary expressions of gratitude, I would love for you to share them with our gratitude community on the Share Your Story page of this site.

Nephew Shares Blessing of Gratitude on WPIX-TV in New York

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Most people know that you like and love them, but very seldom (if at all) do they know how they’ve specifically impacted your life.  In this brief segment on WPIX-TV in New York I touch on the four key elements of an extraordinary expression of gratitude.

My nephew, Eric Herrenkohl was one of the 44 people on my yearlong journey to express profound gratitude.

You can also see what our gratitude conversation meant to him during this television segment and the action he took immediately following our time together.


For your own peace of mind so that you don’t have any regrets, have your gratitude conversation with those significant people in your life today. If you are not sure how to start, sign in at the bottom of this page and download your FREE guide. It will show you the simple steps to creating your own gratitude conversation.

Once you start your journey I would love for you to share your experience with our community. Please go to the Share Your Story page on the website and ignite sparks of gratitude.

Expressing Profound Gratitude: Are You Reaping the Rewards?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

We hear and read about how an attitude of gratitude and how it can help us through tough times. This is very true. Equally as important is how expressing profound gratitude can transform our levels of happiness on an even deeper level. It can also a bring us that often elusive peace of mind.

Robert Emmons, Ph.D. is the author of Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, which I acknowledge in my book, This Is the Moment Recently Dr. Emmons wrote an article that summarized very concisely what we can gain from expressing and feeling gratitude.

“We’ve studied more than one thousand people, from ages 8 to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:


  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking


  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • More optimism and happiness


  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate
  • More forgiving
  • More outgoing
  • Feel less lonely and isolated

Take another look at the list that Dr. Robert Emmons shares above – if a daily supplement pill promised these results, would you take it?

The practice of expressing deep gratitude to those who have impacted our lives in important ways can yield all the above benefits and some additional ones. Further, if we fail to express this level of appreciation, to others, the outcome is usually painful regrets for all that was left unsaid. Given all the benefits of expressing deep gratitude to others, both for ourselves and the recipients, why don’t we “just do it”? Because it is not normal or customary. In one of my chapters “Hesitancy is but One Step from Action” I sleigh these perceived obstacles including I’m too Old, I’m too Young, I’m too Busy, I’d be Uncomfortable, It Doesn’t Matter, or They Know How I Feel.

After I’d completed my yearlong journey of gratitude and one of my friends asked, “What did you get from all this?” “What was it really like for you?” It was almost as if he was asking me to reveal a secret, and it prompted me to drill a little deeper for a response.

Two of several immediate responses came to mind. First, I had a much deeper appreciation of just how important these relationships were to me. It felt like I was seeing them in “high definition”. The second thought was: peace of mind. I didn’t realize I was getting it at the time I was having my conversations or even after I’d finished them. I only got in touch with how peaceful I’d become sometime later when I was faced with a crisis. Which I go into more detail in This is the Moment.

Don’t wait until you have a health crisis to express profound gratitude, do it today for all the reasons Dr. Emmons’ study reveals, and much more.

To read the entire online article by Robert Emmons, Ph.D. click here: “Why Gratitude Is Good”

To get started on your own gratitude conversation, sign in at the bottom of this page under Ignite Your Spark! and get your FREE guide.