Blog Categories: Gratitude
Benjamin Franklin built his character around 13 virtues — and following his weekly plan could change your life
Posted on January 19, 2018
When I start to work with a client, I ask them to define what their values/virtues and strengths are — taking the VIA strengths survey helps to determine them. Then I ask them to rate their top 6 values each day on a scale of 1 -10. This exercise was also practiced by one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. Read this article on how esteemed Mr. Franklin defined his values and then contemplated each day how he used them. How many years later and we are still talking about Ben? I would say his method of defining his virtues and living them out served him well … and us.
Posted on January 2, 2018
Three simple (yet challenging to practice) behaviors can help in making intimate relationships stronger: Taking accountability for one’s own behavior, speaking from the heart and realizing what “true love” really means. In this blog post, novelist Richard Paul Evans reveals how asking his partner a simple question each day using behaviors mentioned above not only saved his marriage — but has also lead to a fuller, more meaningful relationship.
Posted on November 12, 2017
It’s fascinating what causes people to remember certain experiences, activities, and times in their lives. Yet, most of the time we wonder what we did last week that was meaningful or, how fast time is going by and … what is there to show for it? This article describes the research behind what makes certain events memorable and how to create more of them to savor and enjoy the life we have. Here are some hints: tell a employee that you appreciate their work, celebrate getting past a disagreement and remaining friends, mark a memory with a ritual that involves a sensory delight…live your life and look to make more moments of connection and gratitude.
Posted on August 23, 2017
Resilience, defined by most as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity, is widely considered now an important behavior to nurture well-being and healing from life’s challenges. This article outlines specific ways one can practice and develop resilience to manage the stresses living a life may bring.
Posted on August 3, 2017
We all know negative thinking when we hear it, the challenge is managing our own negative thoughts even in the face of hearing the “half empty glass” dialogue of others. This article by NYT health editor Jane Brody describes the compelling research of current social scientists whose data suggests that developing positive emotions in oneself promotes healthy bodies, minds and more life satisfaction.
Posted on November 20, 2016
An important adult skill to develop: Understanding your own emotions and how they contribute to your thinking. Our best thinking leads to our best actions, producing the connections with others that we desire. This article gives compelling research on how simple acts like smiles, touch and laughter can add great dividends to leading a good life.
Posted on February 14, 2016
The world as we know it today is complicated, busy, stimulating and filled with “breaking news.” How to calm the brain and body and get a good nights rest? After all, we are learning through mind/body research how important a good nights sleep is to our days of fulfilling work. Good news: social scientists have discovered some ways to train our brains to power down at night and look forward to the new day tomorrow. This article gives great insights and specific activities as to how to end our day celebrating what was and – start the new day with the anticipation of fun and contribution.
Posted on July 1, 2015
Every wondered “What is the best version of myself?” The answer to this is embedded in this article which outline recent research on ways to make your life happier – or ways to infuse more positive emotion into your life…and enjoy it. Caveat: like much of life, this involves attention, monitoring and practicing new ways of doing things.
Posted on January 22, 2015
101 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR LIFE
By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.
1. Get up 15 minutes earlier.
2. Prepare for the morning the night before.
3. Avoid tight fitting clothes..
4. Avoid relying on chemical aids of any kind.
5. Set appointments ahead.
6. Don’t rely on your memory…write it down.
7. Practice preventative health maintenance.
8. Make duplicate keys.
9. Say “No” more often.
10. Avoid negative people.
11. Use time wisely . Simplify meal times.
12. Always make copies of important papers.
13. Anticipate your needs.
14. Repair anything that doesn’t work properly.
15. Ask for help with the jobs you dislike.
16. Break large tasks into bite-size portions.
17. Look at problems as a challenge.
18. Look for the silver lining in every negative event.
19. Say something nice to someone.
20. Teach a kid to fly a kite. . Walk in the rain.
21. Schedule play time into every day.
22. Take a bubble bath.
23. Believe in yourself.
24. Stop saying negative things to yourself.
25. Visualize yourself winning.
26. Develop your sense of humor.
27. Have goals for yourself.
28. Dance a jig.
29. Say hello to a stranger.
30. Ask a friend for a hug.
31. Look up at the stars.
32. Practice breathing slowly.
33. Learn to whistle a tune.
34. Read a poem.
35. Listen to a symphony.
36. Watch a ballet.
37. Read a story curled up in bed.
38. Do a brand new thing.
39. Stop a bad habit by replacing it with a good one.
40. Buy yourself flowers.
41. Take time to smell the flowers.
42. Find support from others.
43. Ask someone to be your “Vent Partner.”
44. Do it today…avoid procrastinating.
45. Work at being cheerful and optimistic.
46. Put safety first.
47. Do everything in moderation.
48. Be aware of the decisions you make.
49. Pay attention to your appearance.
50. Strive for adequacy or excellence NOT perfection.
51. Stretch your limits a little each day.
52. Look at a work of art.
53. Hum a jingle.
54. Maintain your weight.
55. Plant a tree.
56. Feed the birds.
57. Practice grace under pressure.
58. Stand up and stretch.
59. Learn a new doodle.
60. Memorize a joke.
61. Be responsible for your feelings.
62. Learn to meet your own needs.
63. Become a better listener.
64. Know your limitations and let others know them too.
65. Tell someone to have a good day in foreign language.
66. Throw a paper airplane.
67. Exercise every day.
68. Learn the words to a new song.
69. Get to work early.
70. Clean out one closet.
71. Play patty cake with a toddler.
72. Go on a picnic.
73. Take a different route to work.
74. Leave work early (with permission).
75. Watch a funny movie and eat popcorn.
76. Write a note to a far away friend.
77. Go to a ball game and scream.
78. Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight.
79. Recognize the importance of unconditional love and practice it.
80. Remember that stress is an attitude that you can change.
81. Keep a gratitude journal.
82. Practice a monster smile.
83. Remember you always have options.
84. Develop a support network of people, places and things.
85. Quit trying to fix or change other people.
86. Get enough sleep.
87. Talk less and listen more.
88. Freely praise other people.
90. Watch a sun set.
91. Take one day at a time.
92. Keep in mind you have the rest of your life to live.
94. Join a service club.
95. Learn what choices lead to what consequences.
96. Always have a plan “B”
97. Go for a walk.
98. Set priorities for your day’s activities.
99. Write down some attainable goals.
100. Engage in one new activity every day.
101. Live in the present moment and pay attention to it.
Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life
coach. He serves on the faculty of the International University of
Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams)
the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and
Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton
2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.