The school year has begun again and I have volunteered for the parent’s association of my son’s school. My title is Appreciation Chair which got me thinking- shouldn’t I be the appreciation chair of my own life too? Just as the parent’s association assigns someone in that role to appreciate the teachers and staff, who in my life do I need to be appreciating and how should I do it?
We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.
John F. Kennedy
This got me thinking about the definition of appreciation. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as:
An ability to understand the worth, quality, or importance of something.
What allows us the ability to understand something that deserves our appreciation? That led me to find the next definition, for gratitude. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is defined as:
A feeling of appreciation or thanks.
Studies show that practicing gratitude can make an impact on our lives. The benefits can be both mental and physical. From a physical standpoint, people who practice gratitude may be healthier and sleep better. Mentally, people who practice gratitude can have a more positive outlook and report higher levels of happiness.
If you want to add Appreciation Chair to your list of jobs, what responsibilities would that add to your life? As a school volunteer, it’s easy to know who the appreciation is aimed at – teachers and staff. But in our lives, the list may be much longer. Our appreciation could be aimed at colleagues, managers, mentors, coaches, or others. So, the first responsibility for the Appreciation Chair role in your life is to identify who should be appreciated.
Practicing gratitude can help you identify who deserves your appreciation. This can be done through a daily or weekly gratitude journal which can provide you an ability to reflect on who is making the biggest impact on your life.
The second responsibility is to determine how to show appreciation. For the parent association, we are catering breakfast for all faculty and staff. But how do we need to show appreciation in our lives? You likely don’t have a budget set aside for this and money isn’t necessary to show appreciation to someone.
Think back to how someone has shown you appreciation.
A manager I work with wrote notes to his employees thanking them, others schedule one-on-one meetings and others publicly thank people via social media. Consider what the person you are thinking of, would appreciate the most - and if you’re not sure, ask them!
The best part about practicing appreciation is that it’s free (unless you want to splurge on someone) and it’s something you can practice every single day to increase your own happiness levels.
* Actionable Success Steps
Use these Actionable Success Steps to strengthen your gratitude and appreciation for others.
1) Read this article from Harvard Medical School:
Giving Thanks Can Make you Happier https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
2) Read this article from Mindful.org and commit to incorporating 1 gratitude practice each week
How to Practice Gratitude
3) Commit to being your own Appreciation Chair and schedule time on your calendar to incorporate the new responsibilities listed above.
The Growth Group Academy currently provides instruction to strengthen your success skills. As your own Appreciation Chair, you need to be able to communicate your appreciation for others. Our Strengthening Effective Communication course is exactly the refresher you need to make sure your communication skills are on point and it’s also FREE using the code SUCCESS. Click here to sign up and learn more!