Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Thankfulness Experiment Results

Well, here we are... at the end of our 66 day journey to thankfulness.  Now is the time to evaluate our results and determine next steps.  Our goal was to reach 10,000 reasons for being thankful in 66 days.  Did we achieve our goal?  Absolutely!!!!!  As of 1:27 PM today, we reached 10,000 reasons for giving thanks.  And to celebrate, I looked up our 1st reason, our 5,000th reason and our 10,000th reason. Here they are:

1.      I’m thankful for my husband, with whom I’m celebrating 10 years of marriage today.

5000. A much needed catnap

10000. Laundry Day

There you have it... our 10,000th reason!!  And to top it all off, we have even more than 10,000
reasons!  God is so incredible.  He just takes my breath away!

Here is our Thankfulness Tree with the 10,000 ornament in place:

God has truly demonstrated that nothing is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37) because
over 3,000 reasons poured in this week alone.

On day one, I shared some research results for people who are thankful and challenged us to
see if we noticed any similar results after our experiment.  Last week, a friend of mine sent me
more research on people who make thankfulness part of their daily routine.  Here's a snippet
from the article:

Well, according to Bill Phillips in Chapter 16 of Transformation, Dr. Robert Emmons, PhD, from the University of California Davis was involved in a large research project on gratitude, and here were some of his discoveries:
"Those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more often, felt better physically, and had a more positive mindset."
"Study participants who kept gratitude lists were found to be more likely to have made progress towards important personal goals (academic, interpersonal, and health-based) over a 2-month period."
"A daily gratitude intervention (taking time to focus on and write down things to be thankful for) produced higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy."
"Those who participate in a daily gratitude exercise have lower levels of depression and stress and are more likely to offer emotional support to others and help them make it through their difficulties."
The bottom line... although you may have heard about practicing daily gratitude in the past, are you really doing it daily? If not, you're missing out on the health benefits, increased energy, better sleep and mood, goal achievements, and just living healthier and happier!

Have you experienced any of these benefits from participating in The Thankfulness Experiment?  I have... I am more likely to recognize my attitude and flip the switch to thankfulness now that I have kept an online thankfulness journal the past 66 days.  I have a more positive mindset now... and that helps me encourage others.  And I have more enthusiasm for what's in store because each circumstance gives me an opportunity to choose thanksgiving.  
The final piece of our experiment was the number of days.  We logged our lists for 66 days because it takes 66 days to form a habit.  And I have to say that after 66 days, thankfulness is part of my nightly routine.  After the boys are in bed, I hit the computer to log my list and to share what God has taught me that day.  There are lots of things that become habits in our lives and I'm so glad that thankfulness is a habit for me because the benefits of this habit are positive.
What's next, you ask?  Good question!  I've prayed about what happens now that The Thankfulness Experiment has come to an end.  And while I believe God wants me to take a rest from daily blogging right now so I can focus on getting ready for a Women's Retreat in February, I also realize that we have become a community of thankful people.  You've let me know how much you enjoy reading each other's lists... how they inspire you and make you more thankful.  So here's the plan and we'll see how it goes.  This blog will remain open... however, I'm resting from counting comments and daily reflections.  I'll just list what I'm thankful for each day and you can continue to post your comments too.  And who knows?  Maybe God will give me a message to share every now and then...  Let's keep this thankfulness thing going... because 10,000 reasons is only the beginning...
We are at a crossroads... what do we do next?  How can you use what you've learned about thankfulness to  help others?  What are you going to do to maintain this habit of giving thanks?  I hope you'll keep posting your lists right here with me and invite others to join us.  If you're reading the blog for the first time, please start at Day 1 and post for 66 days from the beginning so you can experience the journey as we did.  
I mentioned yesterday that thankfulness is often "the road less traveled" and I believe we've  discovered that it makes all the difference as Robert Frost so poetically penned in his famous poem "The Road Not Taken."
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
Let's keep taking the road less traveled and invite others to join us on our thankfulness journey.  Let's keep giving thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  Let's see what God has in store for us as we continue giving thanks each and every day.  And let's close out with 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman to celebrate!
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name
The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing your song again
What ever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes,000-reasons-lyrics.html
Tonight, I am thankful for...
1.  Attending worship this morning
2.  My church family singing 10,000 Reasons this morning in honor of The Thankfulness Experiment
3.  Worshiping God while singing 10,000 Reasons with tears streaming down my face because the blessings He's given the past 66 days
4.  Being blown away by God providing the 10,000 reasons on the last day... and realizing that He didn't have to provide 10,000 reasons, but He did it anyway
5.  Encouraging words from friends about the difference thankfulness makes
6.  Being able to chuckle over the fact that my curling iron broke the day after I included it on my thankful list... I didn't even get frustrated... that's a result from my thankfulness habit for sure!
7.  Realizing it's so much more pleasant to smile over the broken curling iron than to get mad
8.  Curly hair so it wasn't a big deal that my curling iron broke
9.  My 7 year old telling me my hair looked nice
10.  My three year old didn't break my Thankfulness Tree when he used it as part of his booby trap
11.  That the wise man didn't break when it was knocked off due to the said booby trap
12.  My seven year old saying "You can put your tree didn't break on your blog"
13.  Needing only 2 more reasons to reach 10,000 at 1:20
14.  Realizing that because of God, we were going to hit our goal
15.  Reaching 10,000 reasons at 1:27
16.  Laundry day - our 10,000th reason
17.  God changing how we think through this experiment
18.  The fact that we can choose thanksgiving
19.  God inviting my pastor to rally the troops to reach 10,000 reasons... and that he prayed for us to reach this goal
20.  God just asking me to be obedient and to allow Him to take care of the outcomes
21.  God changing lives through the simple decision to give thanks
22.  Hugs from friends
23.  Each one of you who have walked this thankfulness journey with me
24.  The challenge of maintaining thankfulness now that our 66 days is up
25.  1 Thessalonians 5:18
26.  Spell check because after 66 days because I still can't spell Thessalonians right!
27.  The confidence of others that we would reach 10,000 reasons
28.  Those of you who listed 100s of reasons so we would reach our goal
29.  The sound of the wind
30.  My church family's amazing support of me and this blog
31.  God using each of your thankful lists to encourage and inspire others
32.  Learning that it is possible to choose thanksgiving even in the toughest circumstances... and witnessing some of you do just that over the past 66 days
33.  Knowing that God rewards us for our obedience
34.  Peace that God gives us
35.  Each of you inspiring me... challenging me... and holding me accountable
36.  My boys jumping up and down saying "You're done!  You're done!" as I hung the 10,000 ornament on the tree
37.  My boys doing jumping jacks for snacks
38.  My three year old listing things my seven year old is thankful for when he was sad
39.  My dear friend's faith, trust, and joy in the midst of the toughest of circumstances and how she is radiant and shining so brightly for God 
41.  The Facebook picture and congratulations post that brought tears to my eyes
42.  All the people who cheered me on during the past 66 days
43.  The peppermint mocha hot chocolate with marshmallows and homemade chocolate chip cookie I'm about to enjoy to celebrate this experiment!!
44.  God doing immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine with The Thankfulness Experiment!!
Here's to 10,136 reasons... and infinitely more to go...
As you post your list today, please share what you learned over the past 66 days.  Are you more thankful?  What benefits did you experience from choosing thankfulness?  Is thanksgiving a habit now?  How are you going to maintain that habit of giving thanks?  What are you going to do with what you learned?  I can't wait to learn about your results!


  1. 1. Norwegian chocolate
    2. Plans changing and being able to adapt
    3. Learning lessons when I'm not looking
    4. Post-it notes
    5. Finding motivation in little things

    What I've learned is that I am thankful for more than I realize and have been blessed more that I could have ever imagined. Recently I've found out that it's not "The devil is in the details" but rather "Success is in the details". Now I know that I need to be thankful for the details, every brush stroke, as they add up to complete the overall big picture and make it a masterpiece. Most above all, I thankful for the painter who gives the artwork light.

    Thanks Heather

  2. I am thankful for:
    1. the energizing feeling of exercise
    2. seeing my favorite teacup pigs today - Aubree and Oliver!
    3. a really funny text from my son, and my restraint in not saying, "I told you so"
    4. Fantastic news from the Lopez family - how my spirit rejoiced!
    5. God's unchangeableness

  3. On this thankfulnessl journey I have learned to focus on the blessings not the bad. I have enjoyed seeing others lists knowIng g that they to are looking for the good in their day. Perspective Is everything !
    Today I am thankful for:
    A super fun,yummy, and productive Tea planning meeting with one of my favorite blessings ;)
    getting everywhere I needed to be today on time
    Enjoying my freezing cold run today.
    Pink's new song "Try"
    Yummy Lentil soup for dinner
    Clementines for dessert
    Bonnie Lawrence