Challenge On: Expressing Thanks

Thank you: Arguably the two most powerful words in our vocabulary. The challenge to myself: extend a formal thank you
handwritten note to at least two people a week for a good
turn they’ve done for me or others. Challenge begins today and runs through 2016.

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It’s easy enough to say thank you – via text, email, snail mail, phone, in person – at any point in our day. When I worked in the nonprofit arena, I conveyed my thanks every day in a variety of ways for the many generous acts done on behalf of my nonprofits by volunteers and donors. Since those days (which ended five-plus years ago), however, I’ve been a bit remiss in extending thanks for the many good deeds that have benefited me.

A quick on-line search for the definition of thank you includes the following:

a polite expression of one’s gratitude

a polite expression used when acknowledging a gift, service, or compliment, or accepting or refusing an offer.

When used in it’s

true form (not merely out of obligation) it is an expression of respect and appreciation to another soul (and simultaneously to all beings) for the unconditional kindness that has been bestowed upon you

Exclamation used to express appreciation to some for offering or giving you something, for helping you, or for asking how you are feeling

For me, thank you and gratitude are inextricably linked together. I owe a debt of gratitude for many and find that expressing gratitude via thanks provides a variety of benefits for me:

  • thanks - gratitudeServes as a reminder of the good deeds done on my behalf
  • Acts as a natural mood enhancer
  • Spurs me on to do a good deed on someone else’s behalf
  • Forces me to slow down and appreciate the moment
  • Boosts productivity in all areas of my life
  • Underscores how a seemingly small act can have ripple effects
  • Reminds me that there is a lot of good happening in the world

Join me in your own way in adopting an attitude of gratitude and thanking those near and far who lend a hand to your success.

About Deb

Deb Nelson, principal of deb nelson consulting, is a creative storyteller. She designs and implements communication plans that leverage strategic partnerships and provide innovative solutions for her clients. You can find her on twitter at @nelliedeb.


  1. I believe in saying Thank You all the time Deb because I don’t want to ever regret not showing appreciation when it mattered. Saying thanks, saying grace and being grateful for what I had while aspiring for more were ingrained into my mind as a child and it makes a big difference to the way I see the world.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted..How to give patrons happy experiences not Twilight ZoneMy Profile

  2. I say thank you a dozen times a day. A friend who calls me, my husband with every cup of coffee he brings, my coach thru email as she is across the pond, my friends & fans on-line thru the posts I create for them and on & on. I think you probably do too.

    What is surprising about this challenge unless you wrote it wrong was 2 thanks you a week. Seems like that is in the bag, even 2 a day isn’t a real challenge, so I challenge you to up it. Given who you are, you can do this with ease. You already just expressed appreciation to me & Beverley. Either you just started or you are done.

    • Yes, you are always sharing with us how grateful you are for those in your life – beginning each day with thanks for your husband. I have loved hearing about your coach as well – sounds like you’ve got a good match there.

      And, yes, I’ll clarify my two a week challenge – I’ll be mailing two notes to people each week expressing my thanks. Going old school to say thanks.
      Deb Nelson recently posted..Challenge On: Expressing ThanksMy Profile

  3. Thank you is the most used term in my vocabulary and giving thanks in the form of gratitude is a daily practice for me…I have a pretty pink area in my daily planner for three gratitudes at the end of the day. Puts things into perspective especially on days when working with challenging clients.
    Gisele Grenier recently posted..Validating Your Product Idea Might Make You Want to do a Table DanceMy Profile

  4. I do appreciate it when I hear the phrase “Thank you”. Though being primarily virtual from all my clients, I have to rely primarily on their reply backs. So, when I am getting help, I prefer to thank you to them to show that I really appreciate them and what they are doing for me. Thanks for sharing, Deb.
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  5. Ah, gratitude! One of my favorite topics, Deb. And expressing it by saying “Thank You” is such a validation for all! I’ve said it 14 times today.
    And Thank You for this post! Make that 15 🙂
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted..Are You Empowering Girls to be Brave?My Profile

  6. When I was young, we were taught to say thank you and you’re welcome. I am not so sure younger people are as inclined to do this as we were. I say thank you a lot every day and it feels unnatural to me, not to say it. I love hand-written cards and messages, so I love your idea of actually thanking people this way, Deb. I agree that showing your gratitude does enhance all the good things in life and helps you slow down and be more mindful of them in the moment. Thanks for the reminder and I know the people you send thank you cards to this year, will be touched by them.
    Beverley Golden recently posted..Hippie: Think Values <i>Not</i> LifestyleMy Profile

  7. Thank you, Deb for posting about expressing thanks. Taking the time to say it or write it is more meaningful in today’s world when everything flies by so quickly. I’m grateful to you and all the other women who post here as we support one another with gratitude.
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  8. What a beautiful reminder to be more with our attitude of gratitude. I am a believer and practice too. Thank your eloquent reminder and expressions.
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  9. It is so easy to say thank you and there are so many great results. I also like to say “You’re welcome,” and never “No problem.” Isn’t it wonderful that showing gratitude also enhances our own mood?
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted..Encore Women? Who Are They?My Profile

  10. I usually have NOOOO problem thanking my clients, my followers, my referral and business partners and my family…but derned if I don’t take care of me… I’m working on it though!

  11. Hi Deb 🙂

    I loved your post on expressing thanks! I am grateful for so much and I express it daily 🙂
    Great share!!
    Joan M Harrington recently posted..What Are The Four Proven Services That Are In Demand and Are Easily Learned As You Blog?My Profile

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