An Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Key Components of a Thank You Note
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Last week I talked about how to keep commitments. So to keep in the theme of doing things that improve relationships, I wanted to talk about gratitude. I have been terrible at writing thank you notes over the years! It doesn’t mean I haven’t been thankful, though. So coming into 2019, I wanted to do better at expressing that gratitude. Besides journaling things I’m thankful for, I also started writing out thank you notes. While I never expect thank you notes myself and don’t really notice if I don’t get one, I know that a lot of people take them seriously. I never want someone to think I’m not grateful for the ways they pour into my life. So I decided to share with you my key components of a thank you note to make it a little easier to express an attitude of gratitude!
1. “Thank you for…”
Thank you notes would be pretty pointless if you didn’t actually thank the person for something. The first thing is to be specific about what you are thankful for. If it was a gift, thank them for the specific gift. If it was an action, thank them for that specific action. This is a great opening for every thank you note and a great jumping off point for all the other components I’ll talk about!
2. How it has positively affected you…
Besides the specific thing you’re thankful for, also be specific about how it will positively affect you. People want to know the thing they gifted or the service they provided will be something that will be a positive in your daily life. How has it made life easier? What will it do for you in the future?
For instance, over Christmas, a wonderful couple in our church gifted us with a gift card to a nice restaurant. While it’s obvious that it will be used for food, beyond that it will be used for some much-needed quality time for my husband and I. So, when writing my thank-you note I specified that it would be used for a nice date-night (something that is worth so much more than money right now). Their gift went beyond delicious food and gave us time to enjoy each other.
3. How much they mean to you…
Obviously, if people are doing wonderful things for you, you are loved and important to them! It’s a wonderful thing to feel loved and important to others. So, return that favor by letting them know how much they mean to you! Specify the various ways they add to your life. Beyond being thankful for gifts and deeds, the most important component is to be thankful for the giver and how much they add to your life on a regular basis. What things do they bring to the table
4. What you look forward to in the future…
Is there an activity coming up in the future that you look forward to experiencing with them? Do you want to get together for a coffee or meal and hang out? Saying thank you isn’t the end of the story. There’s a relationship here and one that will likely mean crossing paths again. Being intentional about spending time with people who are important to you
5. Repeat your gratitude…
Saying thank you in a thank you note should be a bookend; you should start the note with it and end the note with it. So again, express your gratitude for their thoughtfulness and generosity. That’s the whole point of the thank you note and you want to be sure the message doesn’t get lost.
And there you have it! A great, thorough thank you note that will hopefully delight the recipient! Though, beyond doing it for the benefit of the other person, it helps you live every day with an attitude of gratitude!
What other things do you like adding to your thank you notes? Have you received a well-written thank you note? How did it make you feel?