How To Create A Gratitude List That Works — But Not For The Reason You Think

By Steve Foran


One thing we can all agree on here is that we have them, some of which don’t help us and some of which do.

A habit is defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Oh yes, we all know some ‘bad’ habits are hard to break!

But you not only develop personal habits, which may or may not be beneficial. As a physiotherapist, clinic owner, or manager, you develop habits around your routines and behaviors at work.

These habits can be as simple as what you eat before heading to work with patients, when you take your breaks, or your method of communication with other professionals, to name a few.

Habits are human nature, and can often be subconscious. Yet, as we’ve already established, they have a profound influence on what you do, who you are, how you work, and your daily routine.

This means it’s incredibly important to be aware of your habits. Being mindful of positive habits and how to use habits to contribute to your growth, personally and professionally, can greatly impact your life. Whereas on the other hand, letting subconscious habits run rife, well, let’s just say things don’t always work out the way we want them to.

If given a choice, you no doubt want a great life and business, and here’s how you can do that using a habit of gratitude.

Your Gratitude List

Habits are among the best predictors of your success. One such success habit is making a list of what you are grateful for… it’s the quintessential gratitude habit.

I started this habit about 10 years ago and for the last 5 years I’ve shared that list every day with a community of grateful minded people. My gratitude lists have spanned the spectrum. There have been things from work, about my family and friends, related to the community in which I live, and even the simple pleasures in life.

Experiencing gratitude at work is the result of developing this habit and the end result is that it opens you to possibilities, goodness and growth.

I’ve found business leaders in particular, often believe that in order for gratitude to “work” at “work,” their gratitude list must somehow be related directly to work. And herein lies the misunderstanding of how the daily gratitude list habit contributes to success.

While it’s great if gratitudes are related to work, it is not necessary.

The olympic hurdles will help us understand this more clearly.

The world’s best hurdlers have a regime of exercise they habitually do. Leg presses, stretching, sprints and upper body strength training. These exercises condition their body so it will perform in top condition in the heat of competition.

Not surprisingly, when the athletes show up on the track, the spectators will not see anyone doing leg presses. However, it’s because of their habits, one of which included doing thousands of leg presses, that these olympians are prepared to do their “work.”

The Olympian knows the leg press habit conditions their legs making them capable of many things, among them is running 20 mph while jumping over 3.5 foot hurdles.

So it is with gratitude at work.

The daily habit of making a gratitude list is like the leg press, it’s an exercise that conditions the mind to perceive the good in life, whether you are at work or at home.

Making a gratitude list is the training ground for you and your people so that when they show up on the field of competition, they’re ready to go. So don’t worry if you (or your team) are writing gratitudes that are personal in nature or work-related. It doesn’t really matter. Both will yield positive results.

“Gratitude at work works… even if gratitudes aren’t from work”

— Steve Foran


The most important thing is you create your gratitude habit starting NOW.

Habits separate olympians who train consistently from the athletes who train occasionally. This same principle applies to the habit of making a gratitude list. It’s what separates the emotionally committed from the entitled and the complacent.

The person with the regular habit of making a gratitude list is more averse to entitlement and complacency than someone who occasionally makes a list (even if their list is about what they are grateful for at work).

Make the daily gratitude list one of your success habits. Do it day in and day out from this day forward and you will observe dramatic changes occurring in all areas of your life.

For help and support keeping this habit, join the community of grateful minded people at

steve-foran-squareAbout Steve Foran

Steve Foran has been on the leading edge of gratitude-based research, writing, and teaching for more than fifteen years.

His science-based program, Gratitude At Work, is a simple, yet innovative approach to business growth.

Find our more at Gratitude at Work.

By | 2017-05-13T02:29:20+00:00 May 13th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on How To Create A Gratitude List That Works — But Not For The Reason You Think

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