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It's nice to pause and take time to be thankful for the important things. This is especially during the important moments in life like:
Most people don’t take the time to think about the small things they encounter in life. The things that should fill their lives with joy and happiness on a daily basis. That's why we've compiled this list of 283 things to be thankful for and grateful for in your life.
Whether you're celebrating a holiday like Thanksgiving with family and friends OR you're looking for small reasons why life is great, you'll discover a wide range of ideas you can use to express gratitude. And at the end of the post, we'll talk about how to make gratitude an important part of your life.
Sidebar: If you'd like to learn more about creating more thankfulness in your life and practicing daily gratitude, then I suggest checking out this 90-day gratitude journal.
Let's get started by talking about the importance of being thankful for what you have in life.
What You Will Learn
Why It's Important to Be Thankful
You might wonder:
“Why should I take time to express gratitude?”
The simple answer is that gratitude can have a wide-range of psychological and physical benefits.
It has been shown that gratitude is a keystone habit — a simple behavior that can have a positive impact on many different aspects of you life.
So if you'd like to learn more about this concept, then check out this massive, well researched article on the 31 benefits of gratitude. Here you can learn more about the research and science behind expressing gratitude on a regular basis.
Now, that said, let's dive into the first list of things to be thankful for in life.
283 Things to Be Thankful For in 2021
2020 was not the best of years. It gave us Covid-19, isolation, extreme weather disasters and political upheaval all in one bad year. Perhaps the worst year in my memory. So you could simply be thankful in 2021 that it is no longer 2020.
But even 2020 had many things to be thankful for. And it is actually more important to be thankful for the blessing you have when times are tough than when they are going well.
So let\s start this list with the important things in life — the ones that we often take for granted. Then we'll move on to small items that might seem important, but can often brighten your day.
(Side note: Some of these items might not apply to your personal situation. So feel free to skip anything that doesn't personally resonate with you.)
- Holidays where you can spend time with the important people in your life
- Having a romantic partner or spouse who is there for you
- Being surrounded by friends and family
- Your children
- Having access to clean, drinkable water
- Not being hungry and having an abundance of food
- Having a roof over your head and safe place to live
- Your parents who raised and molded you in the person you are today
- Kindness from strangers
- Mistakes that helped you grow as a person
- Modern conveniences that weren't available even a century ago (electricity, indoor plumbing, air conditioning)
- Having full use of your senses like eye-sight, hearing, and taste
- A new book
- The ability to learn something new
- A warm campfire on a cold night camping
- Feeling of acceptance
- The beauty of a work of art that moves you
- Making a final payment on a loan
- A nice hot shower
- Healthy foods
- Equality and diversity
- Hearing the voice of a friend or relative you have not seen in a long time.
- The ability to work from home in your pajamas
- A beautiful sunrise
- The sound of a song you love
- Simply relaxing and playing a board game with friends or family
- Catching up with your favorite blog
- Having a personal routine that helps you accomplish tasks efficiently
- The smell of freshly baked cookies
- Creating a gift for a family member with your own two hands. (crochet, woodworking, art etc.)
- Access to the medication you need to stay healthy.
- Free time on your “to do” list
- A hot cup of tea
- A home that is free of clutter
- The sincere appreciation of others
- A movie that makes you laugh
- Amazon Prime
- The mother who gave you life, nurtured you, loved you, taught you and supported you.
- Seeing your favorite band in concert
- Free apps like Todoist that can organize your life
- An ice cold beer after a hot day working in the yard.
- Questions in emails that can be resolved in a single sentence (this one always makes me happy.)
- New clothes
- The joy of rewarding yourself after completing a difficult task.
- The values handed down to you from your parents
- Entrepreneurs who constantly create technology that makes your life better
- Love that lasts a lifetime
- A really comfortable chair
- Realizing it has been YEARS since you have wanted a cigarette
- Knowing how to make a budget – and sticking to it!
- Visiting an amusement park.
- Snow days
- Respect from others
- Dancing for the pure joy of life
- Someone enjoying your writing/art/creativity
- When you're the recipient of a random act of kindness.
- Thank you notes
- Fresh popcorn — especially in a movie theater
- A favorite memory that you cherish
- An office desk with a great view
- The sense of accomplishment when you complete a difficult task
- The ability to complete a bucket list (If you don't have one, here are 553 ideas.)
- The feeling of uncontrollable laughter.
- Great Ted Talks
- Being pushed to “think outside the box”
- A massage
- Teachers who spent the extra time to give you the knowledge you have today
- Taking a morning walk
- Bathing in a nice warm hot tub or thermal spring
- Fuzzy socks
- Your dog or cat snuggling with you when you feel bad
- Manicures and pedicures
- The ability to spend time on a hobby you love
- Enjoying an episode of your favorite TV show
- The ability to learn from your mistakes
- A stranger opening the door for you when your hands are full
- The fresh smell of clean sheets
- Freedom of speech
- Coloring to relieve stress
- A colorful sunset
- The honesty of a child
- Happy people who make us happier simply by their presence
- The feeling of accomplishment when you stop procrastinating and complete the task you have been avoiding
- Memories of your first kiss
- Enjoying a movie marathon
- The freedom of choice
- Internal strength
- A child’s face after they get a present
- Being in love
- Foreign cultures we can visit and learn from
- Having a vibrant imagination
- Meeting up with your friends for lunch
- That new car smell
- Being accountable for your actions
- Trying new things. (even if it is simple – like a new cup of coffee)
- Old photographs
- Technology – for allowing us to stay closely connected with friends and family regardless of distance
- Netflix and other streaming service options that provide an abundance of viewing options
- A safe landing after a rough plane ride
- Positivity — even when things are difficult
- Visiting new places, especially ones you've always dreamed of seeing
- Getting a full night's sleep (If you struggle with this, then here are 17 ways to fall asleep easier.)
- Home cooked meals
- The pride of owning a home.
- The first flower of Spring
- Home cooked meals
- Having a morning routine that gives you energy throughout your day.
- The weekend
- Happy memories from your childhood
- A unseasonably warm winter day
- Long drives listening to a great podcast or audiobook
- Real honesty
- People who care about the environment, human rights, and animas
- Your car after it has been cleaned and detailed
- Getting a facial
- Being forgiven for my mistakes
- Finding unexpected money in your pockets
- Sitting down for dinner time with family
- The fresh smell of a Christmas tree
- The snooze button
- A sibling who listens to your problems without judgement
- Acting like a kid again
- Sharing a smile with a stranger
- Overcoming your fears
- Fall when the leaves change colors
- Going for a swim in the ocean
- People who go out of their way to try to make us happy
- Clean air
- Apps that help you save money (Here are 17 good ones)
- Dreamers who never give up
- The sounds and smell of the ocean
- Fresh healthy smoothies
- Good hair days
- Uncontrollable laughter
- Having a mental health day
- The heavy ozone scent right before and after a thunderstorm
- Driving and getting nothing but green lights
- Cell phones
- Spending the night in a fancy hotel
- A warm cup of coffee
- Doing something spontaneous
- Getting your most important task completed early
- Cheering for your favorite team
- Having a picnic with your family
- Wearing something that makes your feel confident
- Wearing a pair of comfortable shoes
- Getting positive feedback from other
- Doing work that matters
- Taking a power nap
- Discussing old time times with an old friend
- Participating in a hobby you enjoy
- Watching a funny Youtube video
- Having the ability to read
- Having good friends who you can share good times with
- Quirky family traditions
- Craft beer
- Couponing, travel hacking, and other unique ways to drastically save money
- The convenience of Amazon shopping
- Feeling hope
- Feeling inspired (If you don't feel inspired, then here are 23 motivational podcasts that can help)
- Laughing so hard it makes you cry
- Healthy children
- Forgiving others
- The perfect playlist (Check out these 35 motivational songs you can add to this list)
- The smell of lavender
- My Fitbit pedometer
- Peace of mind
- The successes and accomplishments that you've achieved in your life
- Money in the bank
- Family vacation
- Good health
- Time to practice mindfulness
- The amazing scale of the universe
- Flying a kite
- Hearing good news
- Lists and organization
- Refreshing herbal teas
- Air conditioning
- Hiking trails where you can get out into nature
- A sincere apology from someone who hurt you deeply
- Honest conversations full of deep questions and getting to know someone better
- Showers with strong water pressure
- Walking on the beach
- Quiet time
- Free Wifi
- Overcoming anxieties
- Journaling (Here are 59 ideas to help you get started)
- Farmer's markets and local craft fairs
- Books so awesome they keep you up all night reading
- Apple pie
- Feeling like a kid again
- The billions of stars on a clear night sky
- Remembering the people you have loved
- People sharing your stuff on social media
- Children’s museums
- First dates
- Holding a newborn baby
- Horseback riding
- Pumpkin picking
- Winery tours
- Outdoor musical festivals
- A reliable car
- Scenic overlooks
- Cliff diving
- Ice cream on a hot day
- Happy hour
- Funnel cake
- Ferris wheel stopping at the top
- Roller coasters
- Catamaran rides
- Swimming with dolphins
- Comedians who make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts
- Skinny dipping
- A harvest moon
- Watching a sunset
- Driving in a convertible
- An obligation free weekend
- Mindblowing sex
- A sibling who is your best friend
- Self confidence and self esteem-boosting moments
- A symbiotic relationship
- Ride or die friendships
- Freedom of religion
- Candlelight dinners
- National parks
- Board games with family or friends
- Short power outages that force the family to unplug and reconnect
- Road trips
- Camping under the stars
- The change in seasons
- Comfy sweaters
- Your favorite restaurants
- Your favorite vacation spot
- Summer traditions
- Hot cocoa in a ski lodge
- Ice skating on a frozen river or pond
- Bustling city sounds
- Small town charm
- Restaurants on the water
- Fun cover bands
- Movies on the beach
- Winter hats and gloves
- Silky soft underwear
- Yoga studios
- A gym membership
- A morning walk or run
- Speaking multiple languages
- Foreign cities
- Actors that make your feel inspired
- Watching you favorite childhood movie with your child for the first time
- Completing a small DIY project
- Horse drawn carriage rides
- Hearing the words, “I love you”
How to Apply This List of Things to Be Thankful For
A gratitude list like this is nice, but what can it really do for you?
This list can be used at a time like Thanksgiving, when we all stop and think about all the things we should be thankful for. But how about for the rest of the year?
The answer is that by itself it does little. But if it helps inspire you to create your own gratitude list, it can be quite valuable.
Earlier I mentioned the many benefits of gratitude and how it can improve your life.
Gratitude can transform you. It can pull you from the vortex of negativity that is sucking the life out of you and give you a renewed sense of purpose and joy.
One of the best ways to practice gratitude is by journaling. At its simplest form this gratitude journaling is taking time out, every day to think about (and write down) things that you are grateful for.
It can be as simple as writing three things you are grateful for on post-it notes every single day. Or a bit more formal and guided, like using our 90 day gratitude journal.
I discussed the advantages of gratitude earlier.
Simply taking time everyday to think about and write out the things you are grateful for is one of the biggest ways to improve your happiness and overall quality of life.
Let’s face it, you are probably not going to double your income in the next year, and even if you could, studies show that above a family income of $75,000 per year money has ZERO effect on happiness.
So if getting ahead at work and making more money will not make you happier, what will?
The answer, of course, is thankfulness and gratitude.
So I highly encourage you to make a habit out of making a habit out of daily gratitude journaling. It doesn’t matter if you write it on yellow stickies, add it to an existing bullet journal, or use our book as a framework. Spending daily time thinking about gratitude will improve your life in a way few other things can.
So hopefully you can use this thankfulness list as a idea generator for creating your own daily ideas of things you are grateful for. Write them down every day and make it a habit.
Thankfulness Vs Gratitude: What’s the Difference
In this post, we use the terms thankfulness and gratitude interchangeably. But are they really the same thing? What are the differences between being thankful and being grateful?
The differences are actually minor, but I do think there are differences.
Thankfulness is in the moment. Gratitude is lasting.
When someone opens the door for you when you hands are full, you are thankful. You appreciate the action, but it is quickly forgotten.
On the other hand, when you are grateful it is a feeling that should last. You may not have true gratitude toward a single person opening the door, but you could feel a gratitude toward all of the people as a group who politely take the time to think of others and open doors.
Like the ‘being thankful’ quotes on this page? Why not check out this larger list of gratitude quotes.
A Final Word on Gratitude and Thankfulness
I hope you enjoyed this list of things to be thankful for.
Hopefully you will consider making a list of your own. Writing out your personal feelings of gratitude on a daily basis can do quite a bit to improve your life. Hopefully you will consider journaling your gratitude feelings every day.
Remember that being thankful or grateful is not just something for Thanksgiving, but something that should be practiced every day of your life. Realizing the blessings that abound in your life will make you happier and healthier.
On a related note, you may also find our post about how to respond to “thank you” pretty useful.
If you enjoyed this list of thankfulness ideas, I hope you will consider sharing it. Pin it. Tweet it. Email it.
It will be appreciated and I will be thankful!
Finally, if you'd like to learn more about creating more thankfulness in your life and practicing daily gratitude, then I suggest checking out this 90-day gratitude journal.