Practicing Gratitude: 5 Thank Yous Your Friends and Family Will Always Remember

It is the season of giving back and giving thanks at AdventureWomen. Every year at this time, we pause to be grateful for our ability to travel the globe with other interesting, curious and caring women. On our team, we never take one day for granted.

This year we thought we would share five tips we think you might enjoy all about showing gratitude in impactful ways. How can you make your “thank you” even more meaningful for friends and family?

Tip #1: Deliver It Just When They Least Expect It

Whenever you do something when it is NOT expected, it resonates. We know one woman who, for example, when out on a casual sail with friends, always takes the opportunity to spontaneously seize the moment and proclaim “Do we not live in the most beautiful, most spectacular world? Are we not the luckiest people ever to be able to be out on a glorious day, in nature, breathing in the salt air and doing this together?”. The group laughs and the moment is always the highlight of the trip. So, if you are going to thank someone, do it off cycle.

Tip #2: Tell Them a Story

Expressing gratitude to someone also means more if they understand WHY you are so grateful (not just what you are grateful for). Sometimes telling the whole story of what someone did, how it made you feel, how it caused you to do something different or try something new, makes all the difference. Giving them a little bit of insight into your personal history, and why this act was so personally rewarding for you can draw you closer to each other in unexpected ways. So give a little more when you give your thanks back to others.

Tip #3: Make it Incredibly Funny

Another great way to make your way of expressing your gratitude more memorable is to deliver it with a big smile. Making the format for your thank you unique and funny is one way to do this. Create a limerick or a poem, write some song lyrics and pair it with a familiar song, shoot a selfie video and send it off to them in a gift card. Your thank you just might end up on their wall or in a frame on their desk!

Tip #4: Don’t Give Them a “Thing” – Gift Them an Experience

Thank you gifts are always nice to receive, but sometimes adding more “stuff” to our loved ones lives, is not actually that much of a “wow!”. Another way to get creative with thank you ideas is to take whatever you are thanking your friend or family for and gift them an experience which emphasizes this same meaningful emotion. For example, if you are grateful for someone giving you support in a down moment or time (giving you a smile when you most needed one), gift them a ticket to a comedy show. If they were your workout or weight loss buddy, how about a massage or 2-hour spa visit? And if they looked after your kitty or pup while you were away, who knows, maybe they would like a guided hike with a wildlife or birding guide!

Tip #5: Make Them a Star

A fifth strategy almost guaranteed to make sure your show of gratitude is remembered is to make the object of your thankfulness analogous with or tie into an icon they can relate to. Use a phrase in your thank you message such as “You are my Jane Goodall championing the cause of [whatever you are thanking them for]” or “I have no doubt you could be Oprah’s next bookclub author…”, “Did you know? You are being seriously considered as the Captain of the next Women’s World Cup Soccer team!” Knowing your friend or family member, you’ll know just the celebrity or icon to pick which will be the most meaningful to them. Go for it AdventureWomen!