Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

“You can have it all, but not at the same time.” I’m not sure when I first heard that phrase but it’s stuck with me for years.

“You can have it all” being the main point I choose to focus on. Knowing that all of my goals may not come to fruition at once.

I’m an unapologetically optimistic person. And this year one of my goals is to do some research on optimistic. How to be optimistic. Why some of us are, some of us aren’t, and how practicing optimism could change our lives. So when Frost Bank reached out to see if I wanted to partner with them and share their Opt for Optimism initiative as well as some of how I put my optimism into action I nearly burst into tears at how fitting this partnership was.

Here’s the thing. Personally I think optimism is brave. These days it’s easier to be skeptical. To doubt that good things will come. To suppress belief. It takes courage to believe that better days are ahead.

Sometimes I think optimists get a bad rap. As if we’re walking around in some kind of fantasyland with blinders on, oblivious to reality. But I understand simply thinking good thoughts isn’t going to get me where I want to be. I also have to put in the work, and address any issues that may be in my way.

Being a positive person doesn’t mean I’m ignoring life’s stressors. I just try to approach hardships in a more productive way.

Dreams come true. How this selfie with Oprah came to be during Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Premiere

I attribute a lot of my success to optimistic techniques and hard work. From saving to put 51% down on our dream home, to meeting my idol. There was a lot of preparation, hard work, and positive thinking.

Frost Bank’s study found that optimists are 7Xs more likely to experience more financial health than pessimists. If that’s not motivation to give optimism a try I’m not sure what is. We are also more likely to take the taboo out of money discussions, and we tend to seek for progress rather than perfection.

Optimists generally view setbacks as temporary. They believe that if they take steps to fix the problem, they can improve their circumstances.

Whether you’re an optimist at heart, or wanting to give it a try, I think there are ways you cna act on optimism to uplift you from day to day. Here are five ways to put optimism in action.

How to be more optimistic

1. Look for the good

Sometimes when things are less than pleasant I try to find any silver lining in the situation, no matter how small. Or I reframe the scenario into a positive. This doesn’t work for every situation but it works wonders for my day to day gripes. When Lee Lee is having a rough day, and is acting cranky and clingy I remind myself how it felt these days would never end with my older two, yet they’re big kids now. And I hold on to the fact that though it’s a challenge in the moment, it’s just that… A moment.

2. Focus on solutions, not problems

When I get frustrated about something that’s bothering me I make it a point to state my frustration out loud. It’s my way of releasing it then transitioning to a mindset of looking for an appropriate solution. Try shifting your focus from solutions to problems you can solve, instead of clinging to ones you can’t.

Service is another excellent way to do this. Serving others and helping them solve a specific problem can help uplift your spirits as well.

3. Take a step toward improving your situation

Dreams don’t typically come true overnight. But we usually can do something each day to improve our situation ever so slightly, or step towards those goals. You don’t need to make great strides every day. But you know the saying: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

When we were saving for our home I tried to do a little something every day to work towards that goal. Whether it was making a more frugal choice, or putting in another hour of work.

4. Visualize where you want to be

I like to do this through meditation, picturing how I want my day to go, or visualizing a bigger picture of my goals. Like imagining my new home and yard long before it was built. I also have a vision board I keep displayed in my office so I have a visual reminder of the goals I’m (read here on how to make a vision board) working towards.

5. Express gratitude

When we have family prayers at night I just love hearing our children’s prayers filled with gratitude. They rarely ask for much but boy do they express all of the things they were thankful for that day.

This year we also started a family gratitude jar. We contribute to it whenever there’s something we’re especially grateful for in a moment. The idea is that we’ll take them all out and read them together at the end of the year.

Recognizing what you’re grateful for and noting it in some way, whether in a journal, prayer, or stating it out loud can improve your well-being, health and relationships. Even your income!

gratitude journal

Frost Bank believes optimism is a powerful tool you can use on the path toward better financial health. If you want to learn more about their project and ways you can use optimism to turn around your finances visit optinforoptimism.org.

As for me, I plan to continue to share my findings here on my blog as I delve into this topic all year. Feel free to shoot quotes, articles, stories, books and podcasts my way if you find something juicy.



I laid in bed with my husband as we tried to recall some of the highlights of our life together. Then we made it easier by just trying to remember some of the best parts of this year.

“This has been the best year of my life,” I told him. I was getting emotional. We’ve been through a lot, and we’ve had A LOT of good times. But this year, man, it’s been great.

I can’t count how many times this year I’ve been in or near tears, completely overwhelmed with gratitude. And I’ve made it a point to stop, and give thanks in those moments. Recently I’ve started taking it a step further and writing down those little moments I’m grateful for. No matter how small.

gratitude journal

A rare request for a kiss from my son, a tweet from a reader telling me she loves my blog, a declaration from my daughter saying I’m the ‘BEST mommy ever!’ I write these little things down every day, and I’ve noticed the difference it makes.

I also use it to write down impactful scriptures and quotes I come across.

As I look around at my family and blessings. I’m so thankful. Here are the first 50 things that came to mind when I think of my gratitude:

My awesome husband
My motivating kids
My sisters
My parents
Fantastic in-laws
The scriptures
Great friends
Our home
My faith
Our pup Snoop
A career I love
Our freedom
My Patriarchal Blessing
My wide variety of friends
Awesome neighbors
Service members
My husband’s loyalty
My blog readers (YOU!)
Clean running water
Financial stability
HUGE dreams
Cheerleaders/ motivators
The internet
Disney vacations
Movie nights
Lofthouse cookies
My health
My family’s health
A warm bed
Free cable
Good samaritans
Advocates for peace and love
Dr. Pepper
My talents
Family time
Warm weather
Our joy
Warm socks

Interracial family thanksgiving

I’m celebrating this day of thanks surrounded by so many people, full of so much love and gratitude. Love, hugs and prayers to you and yours!

Happy Thanksgiving!

All month Lil’ J and I have been talking about what we are thankful for. It’s a beautiful thing hearing those words come out of her mouth.

Our children are tiny sponges ready to soak up knowledge about the world. The better we do at our job of teaching them, the better the world can become.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nothing like good friends you can text any time about anything, call when you need a last minute favor, or pick up where you left off even after months, weeks, or years without talking.

I’m so thankful for my many friendships. I don’t know what I’d do without my buddies.

friendsThis is me with two of my best friends: Allisa and Brittani, taken by another best friend: Taylor.


I an truly thankful for the power of prayer. Whether for comfort, guidance, forgiveness, or assistance; prayer is something I can’t live without. I can physically feel a difference in my life when I’m praying constantly, or when I’m lacking, and the more I pray, the closer I feel to my Father in Heaven, and the clearer everything seems.Toddler and baby prayingI’m trying to teach my children about its power and blessing. My prayers are answered constantly, and I am grateful to have that speed-dial connection with Him.

I may be going out on a limb here but…

Me + sparkling cider + 9pm = Gratitude.

Now that I get less time to myself I don’t take it for granted.

My husband is hunky, my kids are cool, but the time between them going to bed and him coming home is what helps me keep it together. When many women would be sitting down for a glass of wine, I have my fake wine. It may just be a placebo effect but whatever, it does the trick.

fake wineSo whether curling up with a good book or watching some Scandal, when you’re a busy woman, a few moments alone every once in a while is something to be thankful for.

Can I get an amen?

“What are you grateful for?” I asked my three-year-old one afternoon as we rode home in the car.

“What’s grateful for?” she asked me in return. She’s always practiced good manners and learned how to give thanks in prayer, but I don’t think I had ever asked her that questions specifically before.

So teaching gratitude to kids… Preschoolers even. How’s it done?

Lil’ J will talk my ear off non-stop about anything and everything on her mind. I decided it was time for a basic lesson in gratitude, in a simple and fun way that she’d understand, doing what she does best… Talking it out.

Gratitude-jar_0041-copyGratitude-jar_0036-copyI cut up some strips of construction paper and wrote questions about gratitude. Questions like:

Who are you grateful for?
How can we show others we are thankful?
What dessert are you most thankful for?
Why is it nice to show our gratitude?

And so on. I put them in a mason jar and we played a little “game” asking each other the questions.gratitude jar gameI’ve continued to spend a little time having these types of discussions throughout the day so she can begin to learn what these words mean, and maybe… Learn ways to be more gracious.

We took turns asking each other questions, and her responses were so adorable I decided we should save some of her answers.

There are a gazillion awesome gratitude crafts out there but she can’t write just yet, and I wanted to get her answers in her own voice… Literally. So after dinner, before stories and by her bedside lamp, I recorded her. This may be something I do every year with my kids to see how their responses vary over time.

She’s adorable, no?

And because I know someone will ask, no, I did not make her dress. I bought it from Adelaide’s Boutique. Yes, I’m thankful for them too.

Have you spoken to your kids about gratitude? 

Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy donuts, and donuts make me happy.

#ThirtyThankfuls #3: SweetsLittle girl in a donut shop 110213_0018-copy

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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