Habit #1

February 21 – March 13, 2013

Write one email message or note thanking someone in your support network each day

The first step of our “Experiment” may seem simple, but it’s so important in the effort of boosting the social and support systems that we surround ourselves with.  From February 21 – March 13  we ask you to write a quick note or email each day to someone in your support circle that thanks them for something.  Anything.  It can be something that just happened.  It can be something you forgot to say in the past.  It can be something they did for you 30 minutes ago.  It can be for the support they’ve provided over time.  We are hopeful the outcome will be twofold: A) those who have been supportive will be recognized for their support and B) those doing the thanking will realize the breadth of their support circles.  (it may take more than 21 days to get everyone thanked.  And then there’s the re-thanking process.  You get our drift   : )

Too often in our fast-paced, get-three-things-done-in-the-next-five-minutes society. we tend to trample over some of the folks who have helped us along that journey of getting those three things done.  Get one thing done – we expect more.  Get it done in 5 minutes this time – next time, why not 4?  It’s too much.  It’s too fast.  And people in the course if it all, are getting wiped out.  Depleted.  Exhausted.

Step by step, we hope to rebuild some of that energy in the Happy LIFE project.  The first step, “habit” if you will,  of the Happy LIFE is to take time to thank one person, in writing each day.  It can be an email or it can be a note.  But the important thing is writing it down.  For one thing, if you write it down, you’ll necessarily spend more time thinking about it and that’s a positive outcome.  But secondly, the person who receives the message needs to receive the message you’re intending.  You don’t want them walking away saying, “what did she just say?” So, we ask you to write one thank-you a day. A different person each day.  That’s the only way to recognize “who are the 21 most supportive people in my system?”  Our hope is that you will not only recognize the enormous amount of support that surrounds you, we hope that in the process some diehard supporters will begin to feel more appreciated for their efforts.

What should a thank you or recognition email include?
(With thanks to http://humanresources.about.com)

A thank you email does not need to be elaborate but it is most effective when it:

  • Specifically describes the behavior you’d like to recognize,
  • Says thank you and that the person’s contribution is appreciated,
  • Is written and given close in timing to the event you are praising, and
  • Is customized and avoids sounding like a form letter.

Don’t ever underestimate the joy people experience when they receive a thank you or recognition message from someone who is important to them. Might that important someone be you?