Words can ring hollow if our actions don’t back them up. Don’t just say “thank you”—show it. Here are some simple ways Kelly advises to cultivate a life of gratitude:Share
• Keep a regular journal of the things for which you are truly grateful.
• Send a letter of thanks to someone who has made a difference in your life.
• Volunteer your time, make a contribution to your favorite charity, recycle, or donate your old clothes to a homeless shelter.
• Strive to be more compassionate and thoughtful when you speak.
• Smile. Be an example of good manners, and let people imitate you. A sincere smile is contagious.
Elegant thank-you notes follow traditional protocol including these guidelines:
• Always handwrite your note neatly in blue or black ink.
• Get expressive with the language to convey the emotion felt when you received the gift.
• Personalize your note instead of writing something generic.
• Tell the person how you plan to use the present; make the giver feel special by complimenting his or her taste.
• Mail your notes to make the recipient feel official.
• Write your thank-you note as soon as possible (within two weeks for a gift and three months for a wedding gift). But don’t fret if your note goes out later. Just acknowledge your lateness along with your gratitude. Where gratitude is concerned, “better late than never” is certainly true. (Read more.)