Gratitude. There are days I lose sight of it more than others. When life is crazy busy, I find myself saying, “I wish I had…” so much more than I say, “I’m so glad I have…”. I don’t always have a focus on thankfulness, but instead often gravitate towards discontentment.

I easily fall into the game of comparisons or lofty dreaming of how life could be better “IF _______”, that I forget to look around and see all that IS good in my life. It’s a real and slippery temptation for many people, including myself.

So what do I do with this wishful thinking attitude? I replace it with a mindset of gratitude. I study my surroundings and put on my positive lenses to look for the good right in front of me.

When you are struggling to focus on thankfulness, here’s a few tips to help:

Keep track

When we keep track of all the good, it helps us see reality. Scripture talks often about “Remembering” what God has already done. Life gets in the way so much that we often forget to see the good. Our family keeps track of the good God has done in a Thanksgiving journal. We’ve kept one for 14 years as a family and each year we love to look back and remember all we have to be grateful for.

Hit the pause button

When life gets crazy, we tend to get lost in the busyness. One way to increase your attitude of gratitude is to slow down. When we change our pace and relax, we can see and enjoy the good around us. Hit the pause button and take a look around to embrace all you have to be thankful for.

Remember that having more stuff won’t change your attitude

Having your wishes granted won’t make you more thankful. It’ll often cause you to want more! We fool ourselves to think that we will be content “only if we have ______”. Wrong! If we aren’t content and thankful for all we have now, we won’t once we have more.

I hope you can refocus your mindset this Thanksgiving season to one of gratitude and keep it all year long!