The Appreciation Factor

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


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The Appreciation Factor’s Turns 5!

5th-anniversary

Today is the The Appreciation Factor’s 5th Anniversary!  

Wow! Who knew when I started this blog in 2012 that I would still be here 5 years later. Well….I’d hoped I’d still be here, but you know best intentions and all of that. Here we are, 80+ posts later.

When I started out, I knew that I wanted to create a blog about a topic I was passionate about, so it started with talking about the importance of writing Thank you notes. However, I wasn’t sure that there would be enough content around just writing about thank you notes and I decided to expand it to “sharing appreciation,” but truly it became the overarching topic of appreciation.  I also knew that to some degree I couldn’t worry about whether others disagreed with me or not.  As I’ve stated in the “about me” page, I primarily write to share my passion about appreciation and gratitude, but I also want to offer a point of view that you may not have considered, or tips to help you share your appreciation.

I’ve been really happy to find ways to expand on my “how to write”/”why write thank you notes” posts to cover Things I Appreciate, like Día de los Muertosfall, beach etiquette, my fitness quest (still going strong by the way!), New Jersey and many more. You may have also seen two posts where I was fortunate to partner with others.  The first as a guest blogger on The Cutie Life, and more recently where I featured etiquette coach, Janet Parnes.  Both were extremely rewarding and I’m in talks with other bloggers and professionals to do more!

Two other additions to the blog that have become favorites of mine are Thankful Thursdays where I curate stories and/or videos that I feel exemplify appreciation, have moved me, or talk about people making a difference; and the second where I write about showing appreciation, especially in the form of Random Acts of Kindness (ROAKs) and promoting Giving Tuesday.  Both I are causes anyone can do, and both help make the world a better place.
The Future

I hope to continue to share some fresh posts on the topics above, and come up with new ones. Part of the challenge fun about having a blog is that you can come up with new features, approaches or even a new direction.  I hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride as I go into my 5th year, as well as share my posts with others, on your blogs or via Social Media, or not… as I’m content to have you simply read and enjoy them.  I’m appreciative of all of my followers, and really at the end of the day, if I’ve made you think about something in a new way, or supported a viewpoint you already have, then I’ve already done what I’d hoped to do.

 

Content/Compensation Free:

One additional thing that I wanted to clarify.  At times I will promote a brand, site, product etc.  At this time, The Appreciation Factor is not written for financial gain. I write it to support my passion for all things appreciation and writing.  I am not paid, nor do I receive any products to talk about. Candidly I have considered this option and I’m not against this approach as I’ve thought about a post/partnering with a paper company or another service that promoted appreciation, gratitude and thanks yous, but to date, I have not.  Should this ever change, I will absolutely let you know, and be very clear about it in the post.
What this means: Unless I state otherwise, all opinions are mine and I’m not compensated for any links or clicks you make on The Appreciation Factor.  Feel free click without worry and the ability to see that related content on a separate tab. (A pet peeve of mine are posts that take me away from the content I’m reading just to sell me something. Perhaps that’s how one is “supposed to do it”, but it’s just not for me.) I hope this encourages you to click, read, and share to your heart’s content.

 

Please, please, please don’t hesitate to also share your ideas. While I’m always searching the internet and news for stories and topics, I may miss something. Let me know if you see something you think I should share or a topic I should cover. I love hearing from my followers.

 

Best wishes, and many thanks to each of you. Here’s to 5 more years! (Hey I can dream can’t I?)

K

 

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Heartfelt Wishes

Happy New Year

new-yearsPhoto Credit: Paperless PostThe Indigo Bunting/Erin Jang

 

I wanted to take a moment to Thank All of You… my Followers especially, but also the visitors, mentors, and fellow bloggers as well, that continue to visit and/or comment on my site, The Appreciation Factor.  I hope you’ve found the posts helpful, insightful, or that they’ve provided a new point of view. I’m so grateful for you all.

 

I know I didn’t post as often as I should have wanted to this year, but my passion for all things Appreciation has not wavered, but simply the act of completing the posts was challenging at times for me. This was especially true when I always wanted to ensure that my posts and topics are fresh/new content and paused when I wasn’t sure that it was.  Still for 2017, I hope to overcome these insecurities challenges and get more posts out in the new year.

Know that I’m forever grateful for your support, and for those that continue (or start) to follow this blog. You cheer me and humble me simultaneously.

 

May you have much success and happiness in 2017!
I hope you’ll come back for fresh content, tips on saying and writing thank yous (or just notes),
and for new things to appreciate.

I do have a few ideas up my sleeve and hope to start posting in early January. (Thanks for your patience!)

Sincerely,

k of taf


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600

Just an update for those who’ve been following my fitness quest

Today #

600-days                                                                                                                                                                      is in the books.

I know I should be doing the #happydance

 

giphy

and appreciate what I’ve accomplished but, candidly the last 100 days haven’t been as great as the first 500. My interest and drive has waned and waistline is starting to expand.  Still I’ve not stopped.

For me, I’ve found that once you start something/a goal, it’s hard to stop – or better said, difficult to justify stopping/not working out, simply because I want to watch something on TV or “just don’t feel like it.”  I also haven’t completed the goal started eating healthier, “as planned.”  While my weight loss has stalled and started to go in the other direction, despite working out, I can get down right discouraged.  But hey… the harder and longer workouts I was doing aren’t happening as frequently as they should, and are replaced by “easier” walks, so I really have no one to blame but myself.  (Yeah… I’m finding that I’m not as nice to myself about this.)  Still I can say to say that I have done something – like a 20-30+ walk or workout video every day since March 8, 2015. That’s something and I know I’d be in worse shape had I not been doing anything at all.  I just need to get psyched up and motivated again… perhaps that’s also why I’m blogging about it, to regain that excitement.

 

What’s Next

Next week I’m trying a new food plan – it’s a two-week boost process where I’ll eat healthier, through the omission of several favorite “food groups” – like whole wheat and dairy. It does allow for snacks of pickles, nuts, and certain veggies – Yea!! – but am not a fan of plans that deny things.  For me, it makes me want them more.    Still maybe this is what I need to do to get me back on track. My current goal is to make it another 112 days and complete to 2 years straight.  That’s not many days at all when you think about how many I’ve done so far. I want to do this, but I would love to do this with a little more gusto and enthusiasm.  Despite what many in my position could feel, I have not become excited to work out or necessarily look forward to working out. I wish I liked it more. Maybe it’s that I’ve gotten in a rut with the approaches I’ve been taking and I want to change that.

So if anyone has any tips to stay motivated, tapes/exercises that would make things fresh again, or just personal stories to share, please do. I could use the additional support and motivation.

And finally… I’m also hoping to get back in to blogging more often.  I know several of you have said that they’ve missed my posts.

Fall is usually my reset or renewal time period, but so far, it’s been more sluggish  than anything else.  I love writing about appreciation and am hoping to find fresh stories and topics to share, not all have inspired me in a way that I’d hope to inspire you. So here too, please send any suggestions my way – I’d be happy to credit you/your blog if you have a post to share, or follow-up on a topic you propose.

2 years… I’m gunning for you.


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In the Meantime…

Appreciation

 

I’m so appreciative and grateful for your patience while I’m resetting and developing new posts for The Appreciation Factor.  While you “wait” I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite posts like these:

Tips on Writing a Memorable Thank You Note

The Need for RSVPs

What if you’re not Thankful

Ode to a Swizzle Stick

A Feature on the Cutie Life

365 Days  (By the way I recently passed 400 days and still going strong)

Keep reading and sharing… I’ll be back soon.

– TAF


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Need a Boost of Happiness – Moments to Look for and Appreciate

I cannot take credit for the entirety of this post, but when I came across this list, I was feeling a little off my game. That can come with transitions of course, but the article so reaffirmed that there was much to celebrate, appreciate, and be happy for, that I could not help but share it with you. I even found my mood lifted.  I gratefully credit, one of my favorite sites, Huffington Post Good News and Lindsay Holmes their Healthy Living Editor for the content of this post.

Every once and while, it’s good to be reminded of the little things that we I should be appreciating.

Note this article 20 Tiny Moments That Instantly Boost Your Happiness, listed 20 things. I’ve provided a dozen of my favorites from that list. I’ve also added some comments in pink

 

 “Big moments in life — weddings, births, new jobs, graduations — are special, but appreciating the smaller, daily occurrences can really maintain your happiness.

In honor of the International Day of Happiness, [this was on Sunday 3/20] we’ve rounded up some tiny, joyful moments that never fail to lift everyone’s mood. There’s glee to be found in even the smallest circumstances:

  1. When your boss gives you a compliment.Genuine compliments are way more meaningful than superficial praise. If your boss gives you sincere accolades for your work on something, you know they mean it.  (TAF: I have to agree. I know when I’ve been recognized, it only makes me want to work harder, but I feel that I’m truly appreciated for being a part of the team.)
  2. An upbeat conversation with a stranger. Research shows that social interactions with strangers can boost feelings of happiness.
  3. When the weather is perfect. That skip in your step on a spring day isn’t all in your head. Studies suggest weather has an influence on your mood.
  4. When your favorite artist comes out with new music. Music has a direct influence on your mood — even sad songs can evoke positive emotions. Turn the volume up.
  5. Finding money in your pocket. It’s like your own miniature version of winning the lottery.
  6. When you finally get some peace and quiet. A little silence is good for your soul. Research suggests it could relieve stress and give your brain a much-needed break.  (TAF: When it’s quiet, I also tend to climb into bed,  and curl up with a good book.  This act rejuvenates my soul and temporarily takes me away from whatever stresses have been present in my life.)hand written
  7. Snail mail. There’s just something about a tangible invitation or letter that brings glee. It’s way better than your inbox — which inevitably stresses you out.  (TAF: You know this was definitely something I wanted to feature. A personal handwritten note makes Everyone’s day!)
  8. The first few moments after a fresh snowfall. Is there anything more serene?  (TAF: … Or so beautiful. Seeing snow covering the branches is one of my favorite things.) fresh sheets
  9. Crawling into bed with fresh sheets. There’s just something about a well-made bed that instantly puts your mind at ease.
  10. When someone surprises you with flowers. Any expression of gratitude — whether you’re on the giving or receiving end — can improve your well-being.
  11. Listening to a baby giggle. Honestly, there’s no better sound in the world. Go on and laugh with them — studies show laughing can boost your happiness and even lower your blood pressure.
  12. The look on your pet’s face when they see you. Now that’s unconditional love. Research shows pet ownership makes you happier.”  (TAF: My dad once told me how much he enjoyed how excited my brother’s dog was to see him. Max would jump around and bark gleefully the moment my father would walk in the door.)

What other things can you come up with that have brought you happiness in the moment?

Two that I came up with…

  • Seeing the first buds of spring popping up. While we did have snow on Monday, I still see my crocus and daffodils making their annual entrance!
  • How energized and accomplished I’ve felt after a completing challenging workout – especially one that I reluctantly went into because I really “didn’t feel like doing it” that day.

I’d love to hear what moments you came up with to add to this and Lindsay Holmes list.

Again, my thanks and appreciation to Lindsay for the great article and reminder.  Sometimes we really do need to stop and smell the flowers – or see them poking through the snow.
Be sure to check out her other articles and the links at the end of some of her moments – there’s some great research here. 


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Improve Your Relationships By Showing Your Appreciation at the Holidays

You know how I love to show my appreciation often and to many.  The holidays are a great time to do that.  Today I wanted to share how you can use holiday cards to build/improve your professional and business relationships.

 

Did you know that holiday cards are a great way to strengthen a professional or customer relationship?  By sending one, it gives you a chance show your appreciation of their support and/or business during the last year.   Plus if you’re in business, holiday cards can help ensure that your brand is top of mind going into the new one.  A card may also convince a client with whom expectations weren’t quite met this year that you deserve a second chance.

But as I’ve mentioned in the past, appreciation should be shown in a sincere fashion.  There should be intent behind your actions, and it shouldn’t be done for personal gain.  This is true with sending holiday cards.  If your purpose is to ask for more business or a job or if it’s executed in a half-hearted way, it likely won’t be well received. Instead, you will likely harm the relationship vs. grow it.

 

Here are my 5 tips for making the biggest impact and best impression with a holiday card:

  Continue reading


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Happy 2015 – Sending Well Wishes with My Grateful Thanks

Happy New Year & Grateful Thanks from The Appreciation Factor!
2015 Happy New Year greeting card

I cannot believe we’ve reached the new year!  15 years beyond the millennium and it seems that time flies by faster than ever.  I’m even more in awe that I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years, have written almost 35 posts and am closing in on 5,000 views!  (I might have even hit or surpassed that number that by the time you read this!)

Writing posts for The Appreciation Factor is truly is something that I’ve enjoyed doing, especially the chance to inspire others.  It’s something I look increase (# of posts) in the coming year. (I’m shooting for at least 25 new posts next year. That’s 2/month and something I’m committed to make happen regardless of how busy my life seems to become.)

 

I wanted to take a moment to share my deepest thanks to all of you.  I’ve appreciated the well wishes, the ongoing support from my long-time followers, and I appreciate my newest followers and welcome those who are simply stopping by for a first-time visit – I hope you’ll visit again or become a follower.

Your feedback, comments and simply your support, inspires me to write more often and find/share new things for you to think about and possibly appreciate.

 

Wishing you only the best and much to appreciate/be grateful for in the coming year.

 – The Appreciation Factorchampagne glasses