5 Ways to Practice Gratitude All Year Long

As I reflect on this past year, my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude. To be honest, this has been the hardest year of my life with so many changes happening at once. Anxiety, depression, health issues, divorce, new job, new income, and a new housing situation have all come together in one whirlwind and brought my year with many struggles that I don’t think anyone should endure at once. That alone is overwhelming, but instead of living with regret or self-pity, I choose joy. The very act of being thankful regardless of the circumstances can easily rid your life with of negativity that attempts to bring you down. We have so much to be thankful for, my friends.

Today I challenge you, to take your gratitude beyond Thanksgiving and the holiday season and begin being more intentional about giving thanks all year. I’ve gathered some of my favorite ways to practice gratitude, but I’d love for you to contribute and share your ideas as well!HERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whites

1. Appreciate someone.

In my opinion, we can never do this enough. Ultimately, I want my loved ones to know that I am thankful for them. The simplest “thank you” can mean the world to someone. My friends, I am thankful for you. Thank you for continuing to support me since I began my blogging journey. Thank you for your loving comments and words of encouragement. I feel so loved by you all and I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you! Thank you!

*Challenge: Say thank you and treat a friend to coffee next week. That $5 is just a simple thing you can do for something to show how much you appreciate them and goes a long way. We all need more gratitude in this world!

HERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whitesHERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whites

2. Write a thank you card.

If you read my birthday article, 26 things I’ve learned in 26 years, you may have noticed that I’ve learned, “Nothing can beat the power of a thank you card.” In my opinion, thank you cards aren’t given enough and seem to have lost value due to how easily we can send an e-mail or a text to say the very same thing. However, there is a special joy that comes from putting pen to paper and expressing gratitude through a handwritten card. It’s not only fulfilling to receive one but also to give. I started this challenge for myself a few weeks ago, and found myself enjoying it so much I’ve already written five!

*Challenge: Write one thank you card a week. Whether it’s for a loved one, friend, family member, co-worker, or boss, tell someone how much you appreciate them.HERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whitesHERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whites
HERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whites

3. Collect moments, not things.

Personally, I am a big of “things — chic things, silly things, cute things, and girly things too. I even love shopping and getting good deals on amazing things. What I am not a fan of is when these things get in the way of appreciating my everyday life and to be honest, I feel like they can all too often. I am very grateful for everything that I have and choose not to be a person always in need or want of more things. When we choose to value a moment and cherish memories, the joy that comes from that experience is authentic and long-lasting. I am blessed with many things, and instead of seeking more, I want to cherish the people in this world and not the things that fill it.

*Challenge: Choose to spend money on an experience instead of something material and observe how great it makes you feel. HERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whitesHERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whitesHERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whites

4. Keep a gratitude journal.

I recently just won a copy of the book 52 Lists for Happiness and I’m so thankful that I did because of the impact it has already made on my life. Not only is the book beautiful itself, but it has allowed me to reflect on the things that bring me joy and encourage me to do more of it.

Here are some simple things that bring me joy:

  • The smell of rain
  • Making people smile
  • The dedicated readers to my blog
  • Hiking in the lush green mountains of the Pacific Northwest
  • Receiving a compliment
  • Learning new things
  • My community and friendships with other amazing bloggers
  • Chai tea lattes
  • Sleeping in freshly washed sheets
  • Playing the piano
  • A clean home
  • Knowing that I might inspire even one person through my writing

*Challenge: Get a journal (or simply keep a running list on your phone) and every day before you go to bed write down one thing you’re thankful for. Awareness changes things. The more you do this, you will begin to notice a change in the depth of your gratitude. You will begin to notice the little things we have to be grateful for in every day.HERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whitesHERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whites

5. Tell yourself, “I choose joy.”

The practice of saying this phrase out loud is a powerful concept. I began practicing this lately, and it’s been my own way to cope with all the stress. To me, it’s a reminder that the joy in your life is not based on external circumstances. Just because life can be exceptionally difficult doesn’t mean that joy can not be present in your life. In fact, the most powerful times of joy in my life came from periods where joy was a real and honest choice.

*Challenge: When you are feeling down, tell yourself out loud “I choose joy.” It may seem silly at first, but pay attention to the benefits you receive from being in control of your own emotions.
HERboutique.com | Lace up Sweater | Winter whites

Keep smiling!missMollyHeaderMINT

Join this amazing community of readers from around the world and you’ll discover that Style Miss Molly is much more than pretty pictures. I promise I’ll try my best to bring a smile to your face!

You can find me on Pinterest to see things that “pin-spire” me, Twitter to learn more about what makes me smile, and of course, Facebook because let’s face it, I’m on it too much, and Instagram, which is basically my favorite place to hang out with you all! “See” you there!


Sweater:  Ivory Lace up Sweater — $48

Get an amazing deal on this sweater and everything at HER. Boutique by taking advantage of their 25% off sale going on right now. Just use code BLACKFRIDAY. If you’ve been holding off getting your favorites from them, now’s your chance!

 After their Cyber Monday sale, you can still get a good deal by using code MISSMOLLY20 to get 20% off everything at HER. Boutique.

Photo Credit //  Samantha Weissbach Photography

Molly Lawson

I’m Molly Lawson! I live in Seattle and am an optimist, adventurer, and bold lipstick wearer. I created this space to inspire and empower women with words of encouragement known as #MollysWords and share inspiration through my personal style. I always want my readers to leave with a smile and I hope you do!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook



  1. November 24, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    You are so lovely. I loved reading this post, we should be thankful year round. It’s easy to get caught up in all the bad stuff. You are such a motivation <3


  2. simplygailg
    November 25, 2016 / 12:01 pm

    This is such a beautiful and meaningful post. I love your sense of gratitude and you’re right, it’s so important to appreciate the people in our lives than the things we deem important. Your outfit is gorgeous-such a beautiful sweater and love the boots. Thank you so much for this post! Xoxo

  3. November 25, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing. These are such great tips and you are definitely right in that we should be practicing gratitude every day.

    Cheers, J

  4. brownpaperdoll
    November 25, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    Your positivity is absolutely infectious! Thanks for sharing this post and the reminder that we have so much to be grateful for.
    Xo, Lauren Ashley

  5. November 25, 2016 / 7:11 pm

    I’m sorry that you’ve had the roughest year ever, but it seems like you’re making the most of it which is inspiring! Last year I was going through a lot of what you are this year, and I can attest that it makes you a stronger person and learning to be grateful is one of the most valuable skills you can learn. Totally going to try a gratitude journal!

    Chow Down USA

    • November 26, 2016 / 6:43 am

      Hey Chelsea, keeping a gratitude journal is something that has genuinely made a difference. I strongly believe that being positive to others will only bring positivity back to you 🙂

      Keep smiling!
      Molly | http://www.stylemissmolly

  6. Jennifer Kinal
    November 25, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    This is such a good post and I cannot tell you how much I appreciated reading it. Gratitude and choosing joy are something I struggle with. I tend to get bogged down in life and forget to take a moment for gratitude. I love beautiful reminders like this post.

  7. November 27, 2016 / 7:41 am

    This is so inspiring. Why wait for an occassion to appreciate something and be thankful.
    Love the idea of keeping a journal.
    Richa | Fancier’s World

  8. November 27, 2016 / 8:28 am

    This is so perfect, Molly! I have Moorea’s book too and I LOVE it! It’s the perfect way to reflect on our blessings daily! I am grateful for you, sweet friend and know that you are so inspiring to others – including me!! xoxo

  9. November 27, 2016 / 9:07 am

    There’s nothing I love than a good gratitude list- this is PEFECT.
    I am such a fan of the journal, and choosing joy – but I love cards too. these are so right especially during the holiday season.
    Obsessed! Happy Sunday!

  10. Thomas Falkenstedt
    November 27, 2016 / 11:02 am

    Indeed, Molly is so much more than just pretty pictures (although you are beautiful me dear friend!). This post was so beautiful and I could write a whole novel about how much I appreciated it. So I’m grateful for having read this to begin with. One thing I liked in particular is the collecting of moments instead of things. Just like you I love material stuff such as clothes, interior decoration and what not, but at the end of the day, it’s the experiences in your life you will remember.
    I’ll have to come back to this post and read it over and over. Thank you so much for such a deep and beautiful post!


    • November 27, 2016 / 3:10 pm

      Thanks Thomas, it makes me so happy to know my words genuinely touched you. It’s so much more important creating memories that you can cherish forever 🙂

  11. November 27, 2016 / 6:00 pm

    This is such a wonderful post Molly! Your positive attitude is so infectious! I love the idea of keeping a gratitude journal, it’s so easy to get swept up and forget how much we have to be thankful for. Great motivation and inspiration!


  12. November 27, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Love your sweater and boots babe. You’re rocking the look! And, great tips for practicing gratitude all year round! Hope you had a fab weekend. xo, sharon


  13. brittany
    November 28, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    What an inspirational post.. always so good to remember these things and try to add them to our day. Also adore your outfit- love a good winter white.


  14. Paige Strand
    November 28, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    I totally agree! I was reading a study that said people who complain actually bring more negativity into their life. Gratitude is really one of the keys to a good attitude!

  15. November 28, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    Babe this was such a great post! Thank you for sharing some of your personal life with us and I hope you receive all the happiness you deserve 🙂 these are such great ideas. I completely agree with you that small gestures like the ones you listed can really go along way by showing someone how much we appreciate them and are thankful for them in our lives. Stay strong and keep on smiling 🙂 xx

  16. Nadia
    November 29, 2016 / 4:44 am

    Such a lovely & important post to share, sweetie!! Gratitude and thanksgiving should definitely be practiced all year round, not just on Thanksgiving Day 🙂 I love keeping a gratitude journal <3 Saying simple words like "thank you" and smiling to people might sound easy but I wish more people did that! I guess the change start with us. Once we start doing it, others might join in 😉
    You look gorgeous!! And as always, loved this pick-me-up happy post 😀
    Choose joy every day – lovely reminder <3 {1 Thes. 5:16}
    xox Nadia

  17. November 29, 2016 / 7:50 am

    You are amazing, Molly! Love your positive attitude and how you always choose joy over anything life throws at you. Keep on inspiring friend, I sincerely pray that your troubles and trials are behind you soon, muah!
    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

  18. Ines Naouali
    December 5, 2016 / 1:35 pm

    I never thought of pairing grey boots with white jeans – omg. It’s perfection. I’m totally going to take inspiration from you girl! Xx


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