Home » Happiness Tip: Practice Gratitude Deliberately

Happiness Tip: Practice Gratitude Deliberately

If we want to be happy we need to practice gratitude deliberately and consistently — or we’ll end up feeling entitled rather than satisfied.

Here are my three favorite gratitude practices:

(1) On Thanksgiving, we appreciate each other by writing on our dinner table place cards. The kids make giant construction paper place cards for each guest, and as people arrive and mingle, we each take some time to sit down at the table and write on the inside of each place card something that we love or appreciate about them.

(2) Several times a week, I take a photograph of something I find beautiful or inspiring, or something I feel grateful for.

(3) Everyday, I ask my kids about three good things. They might share good things that happened to them that day, or good things they did themselves, or even something good that hasn’t happened yet, that they are anticipating.

Take Action: If you don’t already have one, pick a gratitude practice to start this week. Make a plan to make your gratitude practice a habit (don’t skip this part). What will remind you to practice?

Join the discussion: How do you foster gratitude in your life? Inspire others by leaving a comment.


  1. Star M. Staubach says:

    Dr. Carter, your tips have truly elevated the joy in our home. Around our dinner table, we discuss our “favorite parts of the day” and now, if I do not get to it first thing, my two year old will initiate it. THAT is always my favorite part of the day, “Momma, my favrit pawrt today is tuddling (cuddling) sissy.” That was inspired by you, during our first interview together! You’re a gift in our home and I have you on my daily gratitude list! <3

    This year, I look forward to incorporating the place cards and the written note of gratitude inside – I LOVE IT!

  2. Carolyn Crow says:

    Our family often ask “What went well?” at the dinner table. We talk about our days from this perspective. After practicing gratitude in this way, we have noticed that we now search for the gifts in situations as they arise. My elder daughter also journals her gratitudes at night and has found it heightens her practice of looking for the “good things” throughout her day. What a great consciousness raising tool!

Comments are closed.