Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Have you ever wondered if there was a way things could just feel easier. A way for more moments to feel less hard and more days to be lived in more happiness? Friends, there is something that you can easily do that can ultimately change your day, every single day and it isn’t as complicated as you think. By focusing your heart on gratitude you can live each day as a happier version of yourself. Through starting your day with gratitude, you can unlock the potential for great happiness and wellness in your life.
Joining in on this conversation focused on all things gratitude is a super sweet guest. On episode 43 of the Best Day Podcast, I had the absolute honor of talking with Ashley Brock. Ashley is wife, mom of a toddler, and full-time digital marketer that has helped manage over $200 million dollars in ad spend for her clients all the way from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, as well as a digital marketing educator.
Additionally, Ashley is a lead instructor in an online education platform teaching thousands of students globally the foundations of digital marketing. Recently, Ashley launched her very own course, “How to Land a Job in Digital Marketing.” And is an absolute sweetheart. Our conversation was one of my absolute favorites as we talked about the importance of gratitude and the necessity to starting your day with gratitude to have overall happiness in life.
My conversation with Ashley was so encouraging as we sat down and discussed the importance of cultivating a place and a mindset of gratitude. The importance of taking a moment to position our minds and our thoughts, as well as the words we speak to a position of thankfulness. The importance of thankfulness and expressing gratitude is something that is near and dear to the heart of Ashley as well and this conversation was truly encouraging.
Within our conversation, I asked Ashley what was the trigger in leading her to making it a priority to really start off each and every day from a place of gratitude. Ashley shared, “I had a few things at the beginning of this year happen in my personal life that was kind of hard and I needed something to refocus myself. So I began to read some books and look to other people who seem to be living a successful, wholesome life. One of the books that impacted me right away was a book by Rachel Hollis who shared the importance of her “five to thrive” practice.”.
Within this daily practice, one of the five daily practices was gratitude. Unsure at first, in the true power the daily practice of gratitude can hold, Ashley decided what the heck, lets commit and see what happens. So she committed to starting every day with gratitude by specifically writing something she was thankful for down on paper, every single day!
At first, the challenge seemed unbearable, how would it be possible to think of so many things to be thankful for. “My mindset at the beginning of the year was not at the best spot,” Ashley shared. “But, I tried it, and she had this rule, where every morning when you write down your gratitude, it has to be something from the last 24 hours. And it has to be something very specific.”
This daily gratitude challenge goes beyond just being thankful for a job, a home, your family. Instead, it calls one to focus intentionally on the very specific moments of things to be thankful for. Through this daily gratitude practice, committing the action of writing down specific things you are thankful for throughout a 30 day period completely changed Ashley’s life.
Now, the commitment of a 30 day goal is incredible. It can be so hard to actually reach that goal. Yet, Ashley did it and committed to a daily gratitude practice and the change was exceptional.
Through practicing gratitude, your entire day is changed. When you start your day with gratitude, you start to look for the very good things in the everyday and then you realize just how much good there actually is in the everyday. When I first started the gratitude challenge, I started with 3 things I was thankful for. Then it was 5, then 7. I looked forward to every single day and it completely changed everything. My coworkers noticed I was happier and it was all because I was more grateful.
We hear growing up society tell us to be thankful and when we walk through seasons of hard, being thankful isn’t necessarily our first thought. Instead, look at things differently and take a step back. When you focus intentionally on living each moment with the practice of gratitude, it is powerful as it changes our entire purpose for living.
Ashley shared, “It can be very easy for all of us to come up with a list of the things that don’t go our way, but what this gratitude challenge has taught me, is to focus on the things I am thankful for. It took me being in a place where I knew I needed something, to be able to sit down and commit to a gratitude challenge. At the beginning of the year, I could have written a very long list of things that were not going my day. But, through making it a habit of starting each day with gratitude, I realized that even in the hard, there were still so many good things happening.
You can also take the practice of gratitude and apply it to the whole family. The whole entire family’s conversation each day can focus on expressing what we are thankful for. Even when things are hard and life gets messy, we focus our attention to the things that are good.
When you can operate from a place of gratitude and thankfulness, it births joy in ways that you don’t even think possible. The art of expressing gratitude and specifically writing down the things you are thankful for produces so much contagious joy and laughter. Through focusing on a grateful spirit and a thankful heart it allows for an overflow of the good things. Even if the bad things try to weigh you down, you won’t fall as far when you focus on a heart of gratitude.
Ashley shared that when you practice gratitude, it doesn’t mean you don’t have bad days, but it does mean that when you do have bad days they are more bearable through establishing gratitude as a baseline.
It can be very tempting when days don’t go according to plan to just sit in a place of frustration and angst. But when you start each day with gratitude it shifts your entire focus for your day and it is powerful. The beauty of the gratitude challenge is it only takes few moments in the very beginning of your day and can start your day off in the best way possible.
Gratitude can be applied to all areas of life. Through both work and within relationships, focusing on gratitude allows everything to be re-centered. It turns the focus to what truly matters. Additionally, through practicing gratitude makes us appreciative and thankful for our own personal experiences and places we have been.
To fully appreciate the connections and doors that have opened for us and to take that and give it back to others. To take the investment of others and invest that forward, through a heart of service, all coming from a place of gratitude. Now, that is powerful!
Especially when you work in a service industry, it can be easy to focus on all the areas that are causing you stress, but instead, when you shift the focus back to what you are thankful for, it changes absolutely everything.
Looking for more gratitude – another great gratitude challenge to help spark more joy in your hearts this season – send a message of gratitude to someone each day! One message to one person a day that is a thank you message. When you can take a moment within your day to express gratitude and encourage someone else, that has the potential to completely change someone’s day. Not only will they get a reward by hearing that, but you also will feel that reward too.
We all are so busy and social media only shows so much of one person’s story, but we all desire to be seen, to be heard, to be appreciated and to be encouraged. Through the daily practice and reflection of gratitude, there is so much power to truly change people’s day.
It was truly an honor to have Ashley on The Best Day Podcast to be able to share inspiration and tactical tools for reflecting on and practicing the art of gratitude every single day! Every single day provides another opportunity to let it be how you want it to be. Even when circumstances try to knock you down and push you over, it is possible to choose thankfulness. To focus on the things that we have, as well as the things that are appreciated. That is what makes every day the best day!