A Year of Thank Yous

I recently saw a review of the book “365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.” Author John Kralik was just about at rock bottom in his life – his law firm was failing, he was in the midst of a divorce, was overweight, lived in a crappy apartment, was out of contact with his kids, and so on. And during a New Year’s Day walk, he decided that maybe he could find a way to be grateful for what he had.

Sure, we’ve all heard about keeping a Gratitude Journal, and that’s all fine and good. But John took it a step further and, inspired by a thank you note he had received, determined to hand write 365 thank-you notes in the coming year. He shared his gratitude for kindness shown by family, friends, colleagues, store clerks, neighbors, etc. Miraculously, he became the beneficiary of all kinds of fortune, which is really not all that surprising if you understand karma.

SO even though I haven’t yet read the book, I decided to take up the challenge of doing the same thing. The timing is of course perfect because we’re just at the start of a new year. I actually think I’m going to have MORE than 365 people to write to, although at the moment the list is only running in my head and I haven’t any idea how many are on it. I’m wondering how I might reach people I’d like to thank but for whom I have no address. Guess I’ll figure that out somehow.

I posted this goal on Facebook and got some logistics questions. Making up my own rules here, these thank yous will be handwritten and mailed or hand delivered, as appropriate. They will not be posted on any social media site, as I don’t intend for them to be public declarations. The thank you notes I write to first time Zen Rabbit clients don’t count as part of the 365.

I’m excited to get started. I’ve been thinking about who I will choose to kick it all off and I think I know, but I’ve got another day of contemplation before I have to actually write. So many possibilities! Which only serves to emphasize how blessed I am to have such a pool of people from which to pick.

A few friends indicated that they too are up for the task. How about you? Get your fine stationery, the writing implement of your favor and start thanking!

8 Responses to “A Year of Thank Yous”

  1. Amy Z Says:

    I love this idea, Lori! I have had trouble in the past with resolutions that involved daily tasks (I usually make it to day 40 and fizzle) but getting back in the habit of writing personal correspondence by hand really appeals to me!

    • zenrabbit Says:

      Excellent! Glad I could be of service in inspiring you to a worthy goal this year. I’ll be happy to check in with you regularly to keep you on track.

  2. Julie Fleming Says:

    Lori, thank you for posting this. I’d heard snippets of conversation about this book and was intrigued, but I didn’t get enough to track it down or follow through. I started something similar last year but fizzled. Count me in for this year!

    • zenrabbit Says:

      So excited you will be joining in this practice, Julie! You, Amy and I can keep each other accountable so that we stay on task the whole year. So many people are hungry for acknowledgment, so think of how much our words will mean to the recipients.

  3. John Kralik Says:

    Good luck on your quest. If your read the book, you will see I didn’t get too attached to rules, as I’m not too good at following them, and when you break them there is a temptation to give up. The real key message is just to find a way to focus more on the good things, and people, and let them know you appreciate them.

    John Kralik

    • zenrabbit Says:

      John! I am honored you read my post and commented! Thank you. I actually have your book in hand now and am reading it. (In fact, the new cat I brought home from the animal shelter this week seems very interested in it too!)

      You are right on in terms of finding a way to focus more on good things. I find myself looking at things differently throughout the day, seeing where there is someone I can write a thank you note to.

      Thanks too for the “permission” to break the rules and be okay with that! 🙂

  4. More Gratitude Please (apparently this is the month for it) « Rabbit Rouser Online Says:

    […] post also brings to mind the project I mentioned back in 2010  after reading John Kralik’s book “365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude […]

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