Yes. You read that correctly: Stop responding with thankfulness.


Responding with thankfulness isn’t sustainable.


Are you shocked I’m saying this?

Just wait for a second and hear me out…

Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful.

When thankfulness is most needed, it may be the hardest to wrangle, grab, find…

Yes. We need the benefits of thankfulness (physical, mental and spiritual), but when life is hard…

when tragedy interrupts the flow of our wonderful existence,

when even the basics are scarce,

when stuff isn’t going to get better… or at least it seems that way,

being thankful, and brimming with gratitude is still important in our life.

Ah, yes. (insert big sigh here)

So, did you catch it yet?

The key word in this whole article is “respond“.

Don’t respond with thankfulness – rather, make thankfulness a Discipline.

That’s “discipline” with a capital D.

  • Discipline: the controlled behavior.
  • plus Discipline: activity or experience that provides mental or physical training.
  • and finally, Discipline: a branch of knowledge.

The Discipline of Thankfulness will get you through the really sucky, hard, unimaginable quagmire – and reap the benefits of gratitude – when it’s really hard to find anything to express gratitude over or about. Sometimes we treat gratitude like a flighty, flitty, “woo-woo” option…. It’s not. It can be as important as taking your vitamins and letting sunshine soak into your skin.


Have the benefits of thankfulness – make it a Discipline.

But how?

What if you’re not in a time of plenty, fulfilled expectations, pleasant outcomes, good prognosis, a time of dreams coming true, and roses and champagne? What in the world is there to feel gratitude for if this is not a good time?


I’m the first who goes with the “I’ll do it when I feel like it!” response to some things. (Just ask Rob.)

But I am learning, slowly, the value of consistency. Of being deliberate despite not feeling like it…

Of systems. (Oh, that’s a buzzword from our son.)

Routines. (Bleeeeeech Yuck! Phooey!)

Habits. (positive ones)

Let’s call it Discipline.

(self-control, maybe?)

3 ways to make Gratitude a Discipline

Before your feet hit the floor in the morning say – out loud – one thing you appreciate. Shout it, whisper it, – doesn’t matter. For example, I have a cold. I feel like gloppy, congealed oatmeal. But this morning I had to catch a snotty sneeze when I woke, and there was a tissue box beside my bed. I was really thankful for that tissue at that moment.

Don’t ask for anything in prayer to God before you express your thankfulness for something, no matter how small. Be disciplined about it.

Make a physical list. Grab a piece of paper and pen and don’t go to sleep without writing down one thing you’re thankful for from your day. Not on your phone – use your physical hand, writing with a physical tool, on a real piece of paper. Make it permanent. It doesn’t need to be pretty, or enjoyable. (But it could be.) Because the Discipline of being Thankful will pull you through every day – not just the good ones.

You’ll reap the reward of your Discipline:

you’ll sleep better,

you’ll have greater mental strength,

your relationships will be more healthy,

you’ll be less angry, and depressed,

and increase your sense of well-being.

Here are 5 positive things you’ll learn by putting the Discipline of Gratitude into action.

Yes. Even in rotten times.


We like people who express their gratitude.

We like thankful people – generally, they’re the first to notice the positive little things even in the worst times.

Let’s become one of those thankful people as a gift to ourselves and others.

Make gratitude a Discipline. Not a response.

If you’d like to print at home and use these images for your personal crafting – click HERE

And if you don’t have a printer but still want the image of the mug to use as a sticker, I’ve created that option on RedBubble – it’s a site where images are printed on products. I’m having fun adding my crafting digitals to that platform – take a look and see what’s there – I’ll add more and more as inspiration sparks.

Here’s the link to all the images on RedBubble