Our family has a team streak that we started a couple years ago. Each night, we write what we are individually grateful for in a journal. This streak is a “keep the balloon in the air” team streak, meaning that any one of us can keep the streak alive without some of the other members of our family. Some nights only one or two of us record our gratitude, but most nights it is the entire family. This streak has been a benefit to our family in numerous ways. It brings us together at the end of the day, provides a family history, and refocuses our mindset.
My husband and I have four children, three girls and a boy, ages 4, 6, 9, and 11. We are at the early stages of having activities and commitments sending us in different directions, but evenings can still be pretty hectic. It is soothing to our household to come together (mostly peacefully) at the end of a demanding day and share gratitude. Each person thinks back on the day to identify something for which they can express thanks. The busyness of schedules can pause for a moment and we can enjoy being together and listening to one another.
A side benefit of our gratitude streak is that we now have a written record to help us remember our family history. As we look back in our grateful journals, we are reminded of what happened on different days. On a day that most of us were grateful for a piano recital, odds are we had a piano recital. We invite those who are visiting our home to join our streak, so we can remember when Grandma came to visit or cousins came to stay. We love looking back at some of the amusing things family members have recorded. Our youngest is especially entertaining. Some nights she is thankful for “spinning around in a circle” or “this thing that I am holding.”
This family streak helps us transform our mindset. Sometimes the day has been rough and it takes a little longer to find something to appreciate. However, doing this exercise together helps us recognize that there is always something for which to be grateful. Often we are inspired by the comment of another in our gratitude circle and are able to find a positive aspect in our struggles.
Steve Maraboli writes in his book Unapologetically You that “gratitude is a fuel, a medicine, and spiritual and emotional nourishment.” Maybe this is why our family gratitude streak is so important to us. We have broken this streak a few times, but we keep restarting. The benefits of expressing appreciation as a family are time together, a written family history, and mindset adjustments. Streaking consistently brings these benefits to our lives.