The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to Appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.


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Have You Said Thank You Lately?

If not, today is definitely the day to do it.  It’s National Thank you Day!

Sometimes I think that there are holiday’s custom-made for The Appreciation Factor, and if so, this is surely one of them.   As one of the biggest proponents of expressing my appreciation and saying thanks, this day speaks volumes. Of course, for those of you who know me well, we shouldn’t require a “holiday” dedicated to appreciation to be the only time and/or reason to say thanks, but if it helps… I’ll take it!

Does Saying Thanks Make a Difference?

Saying thank you is powerful.  It can bring joy.  It can immediately disarm someone who’s feeling under appreciated.  It can also provide validation for the hard work.  I even read a great article that said showing appreciation to your employees will subconsciously make them work harder for you and increase their longevity at the company.  I know I try harder when a boss has told me that I’ve done a good job.

I think this is why it always puzzles me when these comments come up, “You’re paid to do a good job,” and “They are supposed to do X so why should I thank them?”   I don’t ever think that monetary compensation or the fact that a task/chore is something a person is supposed to do should be a reason not say thank you. Nor do I think that others always intuitively know that you are grateful unless you say something.  People thrive on praise and often strive to feel worthy. Saying thank you or sending a thank you note is a great way to acknowledge their help, and to help them achieve those goals.

 

Thanks Aren’t Necessary…. That’s probably not 100% True

I’m sure you’ve met someone who’s said, “It’s OK, I don’t need any thanks,” but likely it’s not 100% true. If you agree with Dr. Laura Trice (in the TED Talk below), people may say this simply because admitting that they need and want to feel appreciated and praised would be sharing their deep-seeded insecurities/needs.  I would propose that these people would appreciate it if you  shared your gratitude for the help, support, or kind act.

 

On this National Thank You Day, I’m pledging to write and/or say thank you to those who are making a difference in my life, supporting my goals I’m also going to make sure that I go out of my way to thank those for the simpler things, like the stranger who holds the door for you, or the librarian who took a few extra minutes to help find that “must read book”.  So how about it?  Today on #NationalThankYouDay take that extra minute and say thanks.  I KNOW it will make a difference in someone’s day.

And a tip:  If you’re on the receiving end, be sure to say “You’re Welcome.” So often we counter with “No problem,” “It’s OK,” or “Don’t Worry About it,” but whatever we’ve done did help someone and it make a difference.  So it’s better to graciously acknowledge the thanks and move on.

 

Want to Make Your Thank You Extra Special?  

Send a handwritten thank you note. (Always my preferred method of showing gratitude.)  These are some of the cards I’m using these days.  Many have “Thank you” incorporated on the card itself, but if you recall Janet Parnes, the etiquette expert’s advice it’s actually better to NOT have “Thank you” imprinted. So I sometimes use these lovely gold embossed initial cards below that I received for Christmas.

 

 

 

Card Details:

Thanks a Ton:  This cutie is from Red + Wolfe, an eco-friendly paper company that gives $1 per card sold to wildlife conservation. For all of you Bostonian followers, this owner/maker, Rachel Mott sells her cards at SOWA markets and at several specialty boutiques in the South End. (I’m planning to feature her in the blog soon so keep a look out).

 

Thank You with gold embossed starfish: Picked up these gems at #Marshalls.  They’re a part of Graphic de France’s La Petite Presse line.  They are so cute that I almost hated to use them!

 

Gold Hand Engraved Initial K:  Available in every letter of the alphabet, these are from Crane 

 

 

**Need tips on writing a powerful thank you note? Check out this post or this one.

What is the most memorable thank you you’ve ever received?
Do you have a go to card/stationery/shop you turn to when you write a thank you note?

I’m always looking for new options!

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Send a Little Love – 30 Day Letter Challenge

This gem is a share/inspiration from Mail More Love’s/Devoted Diarist’s Rhea Abramson. Since stumbling across her blog a few months ago during National Letter Writing Month (April), I’ve been an avid reader and follower of her blog and Instagram posts.

*Check out the Instagram account (Devoted Diarist) for her envelope artwork – I want one!   You’ll also likely be inspired by some of the card designs (and designers) she features! I know I was. (DearHancock anyone? Love those bunnies!)

While I haven’t quite taken on the 30 day challenge, (I’m struggling to find 30 people to write to, or 20 for that matter!) I love this idea. As a lover of sharing appreciation and all things handwritten… I WILL find a way to participate. (She has great tips in putting everything in reach!) It just may not be this month/summer.

Without further ado, Rhea’s recent post on a Summer Letter Writing Challenge  (Thanks Rhea!)

 

 

I began my foray into writing a letter every day with a 30 day snail mail challenge back in July of 2015. Here is a FLIPGRAM of the 30 days. That adventure filled my world with gems I never expected to encounter. My own stationery business, a snail mate, friends near and far, a Letter […]

via Summer Letter Writing Challenge — Mail More Love


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Thankful Thursdays -June 22nd Edition

Happy summer!  I’ve been looking forward to the first day of summer for a long time. As I said to someone yesterday on the phone, I may like the first day of summer even more than my birthday!

 

I’ve got some great Thankful Thursday stories to share today.  You’ll note that two are around writing; I was more inspired by National Stationary Month than I realized.  Two others focus on middle schoolers really stepping up.  As you know, Thankful Thursdays are stories, people, companies, and videos that move me, and which exemplify appreciation, kindness, or those making a difference in the world.  These five stories really spoke to me and I hope they’ll speak to you too!

As an added bonus that’s in honor of summer, I’ve included a refreshing non-alcoholic drink, Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca, courtesy of the How Sweet It Is blog.

 

We’re Really Just All the Same

I found this on Twitter in May, and it still moves me every time I watch it.  A girl in Birmingham, England came to school with a new prosthetic blade.  How did her classmates react?

Watch this video to find out:

Thanks to www.someecards.com for this story

 

 

They Say Middle School Can Be Cruel, But This One has Kindness In It

We’ve all known that group in middle school who always has the best and most expensive things and who seem to look down on those who don’t.  In this case, one who had a lot, shared a lot more.   Instead of continuing to allow a younger classmate to be bullied and made fun of, an 8th grade boy gave a 6th grader a pair of his Air Jordan’s that he’d only worn a few times! (FYI: Some Air Jordan’s cost over $125!)
His parting comment: “…remember this day for the rest of your life.  No matter how many bad people there are, there are always people that will help you in the long run.” WOW! Such wise words from an 8th grader.

Click this link to read the whole story.

 

 

A Letter Makes A Difference – Girls Love Mail

Ever since National Stationery Month in April, I’ve candidly become a bit obsessed with cards and letter writing – much more so than what I expound upon here at The Appreciation Factor. I’ve told you in the past how much impact a handwritten note can have, so you’ll quickly see why, this story about Girls Love Mail, an organization that sends handwritten notes of encouragement to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, made such an impact on me.

 

I think I’m going to have to write a few letters myself for Girls Love Mail and join their 2017 Miles of Mail campaign (as of this post, Girls Love Mail is on Lap 2 with over 9,400 letters received, and over 92,000 have received a letter since the group’s founding in 2011!)  Truly, when more has a letter meant so much?

 

 

Putting a Spin on a Serious Topic

While you may have distinct opinions on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and it’s depiction of a girl who commits suicide and who she blames, I promise this is not story is not a downer.

Much has been said about 13 Reasons Why and how it glamorizes suicide.  I personally did not have that take away but I know younger audiences could walk away with different ideas from this program. This is why I wanted to share a story of Oxford, Michigan, who turned the story around to be, 13 Reasons Why Not.  The school wanted to address suicide, bullying, depression and other challenges teens face, with a positive twist.  Select students from Oxford High School were picked to tell their story and to thank a friend/friends for bringing hope and inspiration to their lives.

You can listen to this NPR Youth Radio feature: 13 Reasons Why Not (Listen here).

 

Rocks Can Make a Difference

One pile found on Martha’s Vineyard. Source: Backwater Trading Co.

Ever a fan of acts of kindness, this one won me over immediately. It’s probably because I also collect rocks – primarily heart-shaped rocks, but still find a nice rock can really make my beach day – even one without any writing on it.  The thought of finding one with an inspirational message… wow!

It all started when Meagan Murphy wrote some inspirational messages for friends on rocks she found on her local Cape Cod beach.  Inspired by the positive reactions she received, she started leaving inspiration rocks for strangers to hind on her local beach.  So many people were moved by them, that they started to leave their own.

Now formally, The Kindness Rocks Project (www.thekindnessrocksproject.com) it’s expanded across the US and rocks have been left/found in over 10 countries!
There are two goals of The Kindness Rocks Project:
1.  Inspire others through randomly placed rocks along the way
2.  Recruit every person who stumbles upon one to join in the pursuit of inspiring others through random acts of kindness.

What a great reminder to always act as kindly as possible, and share inspiration in places one may not expect it.

How can you get involved?  Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate – no registration is needed.  Simply decorate a rock and leave it for the next person to find. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

 

And as a special treat a recipe courtesy of Jessica Merchant of How Sweet it Is

Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca (frozen non-alcoholic drink)

Source: How Sweet It Is (Jessica Merchant)

Serves: 4         Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
– 1/2 Large Watermelon, Seeded and Cubed (about 4 cups)
– 1/2 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
– 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest, plus extra for topping
– 3 Tablespoons sugar
– Pinch of salt
– 4 Cups Ice
– Garnish: Lime and Watermelon wedges

Directions:

I’ve tried this and it’s Ahhhhhmazing! Can’t wait for the really good summer watermelon to come out! I’m also thinking about adding some Mint to this too!  Let me know what you think!

What did you think of this issue of Thankful Thursdays?

Have a link you want to share for my next issue of Thankful Thursdays – Share it in the comments section.


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Put the Phone Down

While this may not be popular to say, I have to say something.

I’m not big on smartphones, nor candidly, the biggest smartphone user. I don’t text all that often and can’t stand it when I receive one- or two-word texts or even four texts to convey something that could have sent as a single text.  And don’t even get me started on the emoji only texts.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to cell phones, in fact, sometimes there’s nothing more I enjoy than calling up a friend and catching up on the fly.  But… I primarily prefer to use the phone to call people, not to do the myriad of other things that you can do with it. Perhaps I’m missing out, but I’m not inclined to think so.

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Thankful Thursdays the April 27th Edition

There have been unfortunately several days this month, where I’ve been a bit uncertain, the path rocky, and unknown. However, as I’ve navigated my way towards what will hopefully surely can be only better days ahead, stories like these always lift me up and inspire me. They also reignite the gratitude I have for those around me and for those who support me. Thanks for stopping by for this issue of:

 

Thankful Thursdays

Stories, People, Companies, and Videos that move me and which exemplify appreciation, kindness, or those making a difference in our world. 

 

Boston Marathon

source: ABC/WCVB

In New England, April is synonymous with the Boston Marathon. Everyone shows their hometown spirit and they are extra friendly to visitors.  Patience abounds.

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Drop “Me” A Line – It’s National Letter Writing Month

April is National Letter Writing Month. Get those Pens out!

If I could, I’d have this song playing while you read the post. It’s cathartic to me and oh so clever, even if it’s not exactly mimicking putting pen to paper.

 

If you’ve already heard about National Letter Writing Month, my apologies, I know I’m a little late to the game.  Once I heard about it however, of course I needed to share because HELLLLOOOO, this is so up my alley.  How better to show your appreciation than with a handwritten note.  (Candidly – this celebration also reminded me that I need to write more notes all year long.)

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Thankful Thursdays the March 30th Edition

Squeaking in a Thankful Thursdays edition. Thankful Thursdays Logo
With so much activity on the world-wide web and social media these days it’s great to see that kindness, positive words, and ways to show appreciation are still out there.  

I know that a couple of these stories happened a little while ago, but truly when you think about it, when is showing appreciation, gratitude or kindness EVER out of date?  Maybe one will inspire someone for next year.

So without further ado… Here are some great links I’ve found that support Thankful Thursdays – stories, people, companies, and videos that move me and which exemplify appreciation, or those making a difference in our world.

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